(Click here for posts on geophysics and the energy industry.)
Associated Press: Group skewers publishers for censoring textbooks.
"The Freedom Network said one publisher agreed to eliminate references to `fossil fuels being formed millions of years ago' so there would be no conflict with biblical timelines, which indicate the Earth has existed for a much shorter time."
An anti- bumper sticker, spotted in Houston --
"Don't have strong opinions about issues you don't understand."
Ready for a real Halloween scare?
US News: Interactive Retirement Calculator.
Doonesbury: Gotta be spam!
A great 404 error page.
[via Zannah the digital girl]
"... the mummification process also preserved a network of tendons and a frill-like a rooster's comb-that ran along the creature's back. `Leonardo will be a great test of how scientists have imagined dinosaurs to appear,' [Nate L. Murphy, curator of paleontology at the Phillips County Museum in Malta, Mont.] says."
WSJ (subscription): British Taps Run Hot Or Cold -- Rarely Both.
"Most bathroom sinks in Britain still have separate hot and cold taps today, ... decades after nearly all dual taps were scrapped in the U.S. and most vanished from continental Europe. For reasons of thrift, regulations and a stubborn attachment to tradition, the British have resisted the tide of plumbing history."
"The star passes within 17 light-hours of a compact radio source known as Sagittarius A[*], pegged as the galactic center, and completes an oval orbit around the super hot spot every 15.2 years. The orbital perimeter means that the entire mass of the interior object, between 2.6 million and 3.7 million times more massive than the sun, lurks inside an area three times the size of our solar system."
A complete account --
Daring Fireball: Microsoft Make-Up.
WSJ (subscription): Microsoft Removes 'Switch' Ad.
"Microsoft Corp. on Monday pulled a breezy advertisement purportedly by a free-lance writer who switched to using Windows software from rival Macintosh, amid questions about whether the woman actually exists.... Trouble erupted after amateur sleuths at a popular technology Web site, Slashdot.org, noticed that a photograph showing the woman with a cup of coffee was a stock image available for purchase elsewhere on the Internet."
Houston Chronicle: Life on Venus may be microbe clouds. Research team says conditions could be right.
"The team's theory is that microbes could be living in clouds 30 miles up in the Venusian atmosphere, where conditions are relatively balmy -- water droplets are present, the temperature is 158 degrees Fahrenheit and the atmosphere is similar to what it is on Earth."
Science News: Hefty Discovery: Finding a Kuiper belt king.
"A newly discovered celestial body appears to be the largest object that scientists have found in the solar system since their detection of Pluto in 1930.... With several large objects now known to belong to the Kuiper belt, Pluto's size no longer makes the body an oddity in the belt."
Associated Press: Horace Lee Logan dies at 86.
"When Presley debuted in 1954, Logan [told the audience] ... `Ladies and gentlemen, you've never heard of this young man before, but one day you'll be able to tell your children and grandchildren you heard musical history made tonight.'...
Two years later, trying to quiet a frenzied audience after another Presley performance, Logan announced, `Elvis has left the building.'"
WSJ (subscription): Parts of the Brain Used Most Expand, Rewire on Demand.
"The existence, and importance, of brain plasticity are no longer in doubt. The brain is dynamic, and the life we lead leaves its mark in the complex circuitry of the brain.... The brain allocates neural real estate depending on what we use most: the thumb of a videogame addict, the index finger of a Braille reader, the analytic ability of a chess player, the language skills of a linguist.
"But the brain also remakes itself based on something much more ephemeral than what we do: It rewires itself based on what we think."
> Positive thoughts for the weekend.
Back in my hometown -- Lafayette, Louisiana -- my parents and my brother's family should be having a rockin' full-strength hurricane party today.
Update to this earlier story --
Arizona Central: Blonds going extinct? Agency denies study.
"[The World Health Organization] `has no knowledge of how these news reports originated but would like to stress that we have no opinion on the future existence of blonds,' it said in a statement released at United Nations headquarters in New York."