Nature


Is evolution backtracking? Physorg reports: The extravagant headgear of small bugs called treehoppers are in fact wing-like appendages that grew back 200 million years after evolution had supposedly cast them aside, according…


TermitesVia Yahoo News:

LUCKNOW, India – It was an all you can eat buffet at the bank.

An army of termites munched through 10 million rupees ($222,000) in currency notes stored in a steel chest at a bank, police in northern India said Friday.

The bank manager discovered the damage when he opened the reinforced room in an old bank building on Wednesday, police officer Navneet Rana told The Associated Press.

“It’s a matter of investigation how termites attacked bundles of currency notes stacked in a steel chest,” he said. The money was put in the chest in January.

The termites had damaged bank furniture and documents in the past.

The police have registered a case of negligence against bank officials in Barabanki, a town 20 miles (30 kilometers) southwest of Lucknow, the Uttar Pradesh state capital. In India, police register a case before opening an investigation.




Joanna Eede writes for National Geographic:

Deep in one of the remotest parts of the Brazilian Amazon, in a clearing at the headwaters of the Envira River, an Indian man looks up at an aeroplane.

He is surrounded by kapok trees and banana plants, and by the necessities of his life: a thatched hut, its roof made from palm fronds; a plant-fiber basket brimming with ripe pawpaw; a pile of peeled manioc, lying bright-white against the rain forest earth.

The man’s body is painted red from crushed seeds of the annatto shrub, and in his hand…




Occluded Mesocyclone TornadoMason Inman writes on National Geographic:

The world has gotten stormier over the past two decades — and the reason is a mystery, a new study says.

In the past 20 years, winds have picked up around 5 percent on average.

Extremely strong winds caused by storms have increased even faster, jumping 10 percent over 20 years, according to the new analysis of global satellite data.

The study, the first to look at wind speeds across such a large swath of the planet, bolsters some earlier findings, according to study leader Ian Young, of the Swinburne University of Technology in Melbourne, Australia.

“Some regional studies had found similar results, so we suspected there may be an increasing trend,” Young said.


398px-Trees_near_CoggeshallWhat would happen if there were no longer any trees? Well, we could just make our own. Via AOL News:

It’s not nice to fool Mother Nature. Or is it? If you’re not getting enough air, you might want to spend time sitting under a newly designed artificial tree that converts carbon dioxide into breathable oxygen.

In the modern world of urban pollution, we can’t seem to grow enough trees to naturally convert carbon dioxide into life-sustaining air — the process of photosynthesis — until now.

Researchers at New York’s Columbia University, working with Influx Studio in Paris, France, have designed a faux or artificial tree. It’s basically a machine fashioned to resemble a dragon blood tree, complete with wide branches and umbrellalike tops that are used as support for the large solar panels…





Lightning Strikes Jesus StatueAct of God? Can you believe this statue was nicknamed “Touchdown Jesus”? Man, God is a tough quarterback … Reports the AP:

A six-story statue of Jesus Christ was struck by lightning and burned to the ground, leaving only a blackened steel skeleton and pieces of foam that were scooped up by curious onlookers Tuesday.

The “King of Kings” statue, one of southwest Ohio’s most familiar landmarks, had stood since 2004 at the evangelical Solid Rock Church along Interstate 75 in Monroe, just north of Cincinnati.

The sculpture, about 62 feet tall and 40 feet wide at the base, showed Jesus from the torso up and was nicknamed “Touchdown Jesus” because of the way the arms were raised, similar to a referee signaling a touchdown. It was made of plastic foam and fiberglass over a steel frame, which is all that remained Tuesday.

The nickname is the same used for a famous mural of the resurrected Jesus that overlooks the Notre Dame football stadium.

The fire spread from the statue to an adjacent amphitheater but was confined to the attic area, and no one was injured, police Chief Mark Neu said.


This video seems looks like good news to me. However, it’s far from conclusive evidence of a “climate change myth.”

From the Examiner:

A curious thing has happened over the 2009 – 2010 winter season – Arctic sea ice has rebounded to near normal levels. Long pointed to as a sign of the impact of global warming, the extent of sea ice had been shrinking in recent years.

According to the National Snow and Ice Data Center (NSIDC), the maximum extent for Arctic sea ice was reached on March 31st. This is the latest date maximum extent has been reached since 1979 when satellites began measuring the Arctic Ice.





Sounds like a joke, but it’s for real. Truly bizarre. Reports LiveScience: Many gardeners swear you should not water in the midday because water droplets on plants can magnify the sun’s rays…