The show RadioLab on WNYC examines the strange behavior of ants and the ability of the colony to make seemingly intelligent collective decisions, RadioLab, episode “Emergence“.
Researchers from many different fields have started to look at the ability of animals to naturally form a consensus, Utne.
Bees, ants, locusts and plenty of other animals collectively make life-or-death choices. The biologists studying animal groups are finding strange lab fellows these days in economists, social scientists, even money market specialists. They are trading tales of humans and of nonhuman animals to understand collective behavior and what makes it go right or wrong, “Swarm Savvy“, Science News.
Web comic xkcd’s take on the intelligence of ants, xkcd.
The Space Shuttle Discovery landed at Andrews Air Force base in California today after bad weather canceled the planned landing in Florida. The shuttle, with seven astronauts on board, had hooked up with the International Space Shuttle for a supply mission. You can see video of the shuttle landing at BBC News.
New computer scans show a giant eagle may have hunted humans before it went extinct 500 years ago. The Haast’s eagle lived in New Zealand and weighed around 40 pounds. The main evidence shows that the birds were not scavengers but predators who may have been able to target small humans. Scientists also say the findings support stories told in Maori lore about huge birds that could pick up small children, AP.
Discovery News: Top 5 Volcano Videos.
If there is one thing to see this week, look at the first photos from the Hubble Telescope since it was grounded for repairs. View them here.
The San Diego Zoo welcomed the birth of a panda cub last month and the zoo has just stated that the cub is a boy and currently weighs 2.8 pounds. To see the panda live, visit the zoo’s panda cam (only broadcasted live during the day).
A fossil of a dinosaur dubbed the “giraffe of the prehistoric” has been found in China and is the first ever Early Cretaceous brachiosaur discovered in the country. The dinosaur’s official name is Qiaowanlong kangxii and it is believed the animal was close to 40 feet long and 10 feet tall, Discovery News.
New studies show that current Arctic air temperatures are the highest they have been in 2,000 years. The higher temps are a result of the increasing amount of greenhouse gas levels. Temperatures now are 2.2 degrees Fahrenheit warmer than in 1900, LiveScience.
Science Daily: Celestial Rosetta Stone: White Dwarf Star, Circling Companion Star, Could Explode In A Few Million Years.
LiveScience: Dangers in the Deep – 10 Scariest Sea Creatures.
33 people are missing after a boat sunk off the coast of Tonga in the Pacific Ocean. The first ship to reach the scene saved 42 people, BBC News.
William Jefferson, a former congressmen from Louisiana, was convicted today of 11 counts of bribery. Jefferson is accused of accepting $400,000 in bribes and was found with $90,000 in his freezer in March 2005. His lawyer says he will appeal the decision, AP.
The U.K. has introduced rail plans that would create ultra fast passenger trains, with speeds reaching 250/mph. Transport analysts say, if built, the new system could substantially cut into air travel, Guardian Unlimited.
New scientific studies show that far away stars move at speeds greater than one million mph. The stars are part of a galaxy 11 billion light-years away and prove that the galaxy is oddly massive, but compact, SPACE.
Not much news today, so check out what’s going on in the science world this week.
- The BBC takes a look at the interesting dynamic between humans and wildlife – specifically monkeys – on the island of Bali.
- Funny story: the Apollo 11 astronauts had to go through customs after returning from their mission to the moon.
- Read the Science Channel’s list of the top 10 accidental inventions (preview: plastic and Coca-Cola make the list).
- The United Kingdom is considered creating their own space agency akin to NASA. They’re holding a 12-week public consultation where the public, academics, etc. can voice their opinions on the proposal. Read more here.
- This year’s ‘dead zone’ in the Gulf of Mexico is actually smaller than initial predictions said, according to new reports. The dead zone, an area where there is not enough oxygen for plant and animal life to develop, is half the size it was originally believed to be, but is still about 3,000 square miles.
- New images from the Hubble Telescope show debris from an object that hit Jupiter (likely a comet or asteroid). The large impact from the crash is very rare and appears to have left a gash in the planet. See the photo here.
- Earlier this month, three new dinosaur species were discovered in Australia. They include two plant-eating and one carnivorous dinosaur, with the carnivore beating the Velociraptor in size.
At least 19 people were killed today in clashes in Tehran, and some wounded marchers went to foreign embassies to seek medical attention out of fear of being arrested at hospitals. Unconfirmed reports say as many as 150 may be dead, but hospitals only confirmed 19 deaths. Thousands marched today to protest last week’s elections, CNN.
More than 70 people were killed when a truck bomb exploded today in northern Iraq. It was the deadliest bomb attack this year. The violence is escalating as U.S. troops are leaving cities in the country, but officials say the troops will be withdrawn by the deadline “no matter what happens,” AP.
The controversial atom smasher, known as the Large Hadron Collider, will likely be restarted in October by scientists at CERN. The collider will hopefully shed light on what makes up the universe, but some are concerned the use of the machine could be catastrophic, AP.
Hot Topic: The New York Times has a great piece on Tibetan monks who have escaped from China. Read the article here.
It was estimated that over one million people attended today’s rallies in Tehran to show support for reform candidate Mousavi. At least one person was shot and killed at the rally, but according to pictures and videos circulating on the web, there were likely more deaths. Police are mostly targeting students and raiding university dormitories. At least 12 students have been killed in the raids, Guardian.
Pictures from the Boston Globe. | Bahramks.
At least three bodies of missing foreigners in Yemen have been found, although sources are saying it is possible more were recovered. Nine foreigners were kidnapped by a suspected Shia rebel faction while the group were on a picnic. Three of the nine kidnapped were children, and other reports say two children have been found alive, but this has not been confirmed, BBC News.
Scientists say a glacier in Argentina is actually growing, despite global warming. The Perito Moreno glacier grows using snow from the Andes, but they are not sure why this glacier is expanding while almost all others are shrinking or disappearing completely, AP.
If you haven’t, check out our earlier live blog of today’s protests in Tehran after Ahmadinejad was declared the winner of the presidential election. Some unverified reports say 50-100 people died in clashes, but BNO can only confirm three deaths so far, BNO.
President Obama met with Zimbabwe Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai today and pledged to give $73m in aid to the struggling country. Tsvangirai shares power with President Robert Mugabe, who is widely criticized by international powers, BBC News.
The launch of the space shuttle Endeavour has been delayed because of a hydrogen gas leak. A second launch attempt will take at least four days, SPACE.
Hot Topic: NPR takes a look at military families who will have to have to celebrate Father’s Day without their dads. Read it here.