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Current Topic: Science

Semen acts as an anti-depressant
Topic: Science 8:33 pm EST, Mar  2, 2004

] Semen makes you happy. That's the remarkable conclusion
] of a study comparing women whose partners wear condoms
] with those whose partners don't.
] The study, which is bound to provoke controversy, showed
] that the women who were directly exposed to semen were
] less depressed. The researchers think this is because
] mood-altering hormones in semen are absorbed through the
] vagina. They say they have ruled out other explanations.
] "I want to make it clear that we are not advocating that
] people abstain from using condoms," says Gordon Gallup,
] the psychologist at the State University of New York who
] led the team. "Clearly an unwanted pregnancy or a
] sexually transmitted disease would more than offset any
] advantageous psychological effects of semen."

This could explain a lot.

Semen acts as an anti-depressant

Yahoo! News - Flower-Power Could Help Clear Land mines
Topic: Science 9:55 pm EST, Jan 27, 2004

] A Danish biotech company has developed a genetically
] modified flower that could help detect land mines and it
] hopes to have a prototype ready for use within a few
] years.

Yahoo! News - Flower-Power Could Help Clear Land mines

Scientist opens gate to new elements
Topic: Science 7:39 pm EST, Nov 20, 2003

] By applying electrical pressure to neighboring atoms of
] two different elements, such as iron and silver, Gleiter
] said an electron deficit or excess can be stimulated
] among the bordering atoms to create a composite material
] that has properties in between the two elements.

This is actually really really neat... Anyone got more information? Can we experiment with this at home?

Scientist opens gate to new elements

Reuters | Latest Financial News / Full News Coverage
Topic: Science 12:28 pm EDT, Oct 22, 2003

] WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Methane bubbles from the sea floor
] could, in theory, sink ships and may explain the odd
] disappearances of some vessels, Australian researchers
] reported on Tuesday.

hasn't this been proposed before as a possible explaination to some of the ship disappearances in the bermuda triangle.

Reuters | Latest Financial News / Full News Coverage

Hope Diamond glows with mystery
Topic: Science 1:06 pm EDT, Oct  5, 2003

Museum security guards stood by nervously Thursday as curators -- joking they hoped the gem's storied curse wouldn't rub off -- allowed a reporter and photographer to hold the diamond briefly after it was removed from its case for scientific study.

What does it feel like to hold such a priceless gem, one of the most famed in the world?

The first thought that comes to mind is "Wow!"

It's like holding a bit of ancient India, the French Revolution, Georgian England and Gilded Age America in one magnificent moment.
You cradle the 45.5-carat stone -- heavier than its translucence makes it appear -- turning it from side to side as the light flashes from its facets, knowing it's the hardest natural material yet fearful of dropping it.

Once part of the French crown jewels, the fabled gem is now the star of the Smithsonian's National Museum of Natural History. It normally resides in a special protective display case in a secure room.

For the testing it was taken to a museum laboratory, reachable down winding corridors and through three locked doors. It was only the second time in 20 years the Hope has been removed from its necklace setting, where it is surrounded by bright clear diamonds that intensify its blue color.

National Gem Collection Curator Jeffrey Post ordered the lights turned off and focused an ultraviolet beam on the Hope Diamond. Then he switched off the beam and, in pitch dark, the diamond glowed bright orange-amber.

It's that strong color, which lasts for several seconds after the diamond is exposed to ultraviolet light, that intrigues scientists. What causes the gem to fluoresce remains a mystery. Post speculates it's related to chemical impurities that give it that blue color.

But the Hope Diamond has inspired legends over the years and some may prefer those to sheer science.

Some say, for instance, that the glowing color reflects the blood of royalty spilled in the French Revolution and the trail of bad luck said to have followed the stone over many years -- including the bankruptcy of the Hope family for whom it is named and the death of the young son of later owner Evalyn McLean.

Hope Diamond glows with mystery

Scientist says moggie malaise makes men morose.
Topic: Science 7:13 pm EDT, Sep 23, 2003

] Czech scientist Jaroslav Flegr of Charles University in
] Prague told Reuters his research showed a parasite called
] toxoplasma gondii in cats, rabbits or raw meat, may make
] women reckless and friendly while making men jealous and
] morose.
] Just contracting the bug might not be life-threatening
] but infected women behind the wheel can be fatal, and
] those out for a stroll in busy traffic may be a hazard,
] he said.

Scientist says moggie malaise makes men morose. - version 5.0
Topic: Science 11:58 am EDT, Aug 15, 2003

] SAN JOSE, Calif. -- If Russian researchers in Antarctica
] succeed in drilling through the final 120 meters of
] nearly 4 kilometers of ice to reach an ancient,
] unexplored lake underneath, scientists at NASA warn that
] the hole could cause a dangerous eruption that spews
] water thousands of feet into the air.

This is pretty nifty. I will be waiting to hear what all they learn from the water. - version 5.0

Wired 11.09: The New Diamond Age
Topic: Science 11:05 pm EDT, Aug 14, 2003

] Armed with inexpensive, mass-produced gems, two startups
] are launching an assault on the De Beers cartel.
] Next up: the computing industry.
] By Joshua Davis
] Aron Weingarten brings the yellow diamond up to the
] stainless steel jeweler's loupe he holds against his eye.
] We are in Antwerp, Belgium, in Weingarten's marbled and
] gilded living room on the edge of the city's gem
] district, the center of the diamond universe. Nearly 80
] percent of the world's rough and polished diamonds move
] through the hands of Belgian gem traders like Weingarten,
] a dealer who wears the thick beard and black suit of the
] Hasidim.
] "This is very rare stone," he says, almost to himself, in
] thickly accented English. "Yellow diamonds of this color
] are very hard to find. It is probably worth 10, maybe 15
] thousand dollars."
] "I have two more exactly like it in my pocket," I tell
] him.
] He puts the diamond down and looks at me seriously for
] the first time. I place the other two stones on the
] table. They are all the same color and size. To find
] three nearly identical yellow diamonds is like flipping a
] coin 10,000 times and never seeing tails.
] "These are cubic zirconium?" Weingarten says without much
] hope.
] "No, they're real," I tell him. "But they were made by a machine
] in Florida for less than a hundred dollars."

Wired 11.09: The New Diamond Age

Microwave beam weapon to disperse crowds (New Scientist)
Topic: Science 5:45 pm EDT, Aug 11, 2003

Tests of a controversial weapon that is designed to heat people's skin with a microwave beam have shown that it can disperse crowds. But critics are not convinced the system is safe.

Last week, the Air Force Research Laboratory (AFRL) in New Mexico finished testing the system on human volunteers. The Air Force now wants to use this Active Denial Technology (ADT), which it says is non-lethal, for peacekeeping or riot control at "relatively long range" - possibly from low-flying aircraft.

Microwave beam weapon to disperse crowds (New Scientist)

Four-legged chicken born in Del.
Topic: Science 8:19 pm EDT, Jul 20, 2003

] Robert Short held a white pail as his mother, Laurie,
] drove the family truck home Tuesday from the chicken
] house on their farm in Laurel. Inside the pail was a
] yellow chick with four legs.
] The bird appears to be healthy, chirping like any other
] chick. The Shorts even let the chicken walk around their
] kitchen - on two legs, although the second pair were
] visible.

Whip up some batter more legs for everyone!!

Four-legged chicken born in Del.

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