December 17th, 2007

The New Halo

Sky Survey Reveals New Halo of Stars
The Milky Way galaxy possesses a distinct outer halo that orbits in the opposite direction from its inner halo and the rest of the galaxy.

 
This second halo contains some of the most primitive stars in the universe, offering new evidence about how the galaxy formed. Some scientists had previously suspected that a portion of the stars in the Milky Way travel in a different direction from the rest. But data on such stars were too sparse to conclude that an entire second halo existed.
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Life’s Mysteries

Why Are Pubic Hairs Curly?
 
Hormones give pubic hairs their curl. Sex hormones make pubic hair follicles an oval shape, according to Andrew Thompson, author of "Why Skies are Blue and Parrots Talk.” Oval-shaped follicles give rise to similarly shaped hairs. 

The oval shape puts a curly kink in each hair. Conversely, Thompson says straight hair sprouts from round follicles, which are less likely to curl pieces of hair.
The purpose of curly kinky pubic hairs remains a mystery to scientists, however.
 
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Treasure Hunt

The Islander Sunken Gold
In Stevens Passage between Admiralty and Douglas Islands in the southern reaches of the state's Pacific coast the steamer Islander went down on August 15, 1901, with a reported $3,000,000 in gold and $400,000 in currency aboard. Forty people lost their lives.


In 1898 the Islander, once the presumed unsinkable steel hulled flagship of the Canadian Pacific Navigation Company, struck a submerged rock or iceberg while steaming at 15 knots and went under in less than 20 minutes.  Numerous attempts to salvage the wreck were made, but it was not until 1934 that the remains of the Islander were raised from 300 feet.  Both the Islander and the Griffson now rest ashore. 

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Project Jennifer

Target: K-129
"Jennifer" was the code name for the United States Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) project to recover the sunken Soviet submarine K-129, one of the Soviet Union's strategic ballistic missile submarines, from the Pacific Ocean floor in the summer of 1974.

The 1968 sinking of the K-129 occurred north and west of Hawaii, at a location still (2007) held highly classified by U.S. intelligence agencies. Project Jennifer was one of the most complex, expensive and secretive intelligence operations of the Cold War.
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Quote of the Day

“We can have facts without thinking but we cannot have thinking without facts.”
 
-John Dewey (1859 - 1952)-
 
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Person of the Week

Svante Pääbo
 
Even after 148 years, many people still argue about whether Charles Darwin's theory on human evolution is correct. Svante Pääbo has done more than argue, conducting some of the most exacting work ever attempted on the DNA of human and nonhuman primates, including his spectacular 2006 announcement that he had decoded fragments of DNA from remains of Neanderthals. In so doing, he is replacing speculation with scientific fact.
 
Pääbo, 52, is director of the department of evolutionary genetics at the Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology in Leipzig, Germany.

MILF of the Week

Halle Berry!
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