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Old 02-22-2013, 05:35 PM   #21 (permalink)
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I have pretty much everything that Brian Cox has done on TV downloaded or on DVD - we are just watching his Wonders of life series here on Sundays - well shot, well explained, science in action.

I think the Beeb is lining him up to replace David Attenborough.

And he used to be a band member of D:ream too - although we should not hold that against him, or indeed his support of Oldham Athletic.

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Old 02-23-2013, 05:38 PM   #22 (permalink)
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Yeah, he looks a bit like a musician. ;-) David Attenborough has done a retrospective, and he is obviously getting close an age when he can't do all the travel etc.

This was a cool report - bumble bees can "see" the positive charge of flowers!

Honey, It's Electric: Bees Sense Charge On Flowers : NPR

http://www.sciencemag.org/content/ea...0-a4301f1cfddf

Remember - plants generate electricity at the cellular level - this is how they do photosynthesis. So, this is probably how the flowers become positively charged; and the bees themselves are negatively charged (caused by their flying), and the pollen is attracted to them. Cool stuff.
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Old 02-27-2013, 02:10 PM   #23 (permalink)
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If you watch this, you will probably learn something about the jet stream:

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Old 03-06-2013, 02:43 PM   #24 (permalink)
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True that...

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Old 03-06-2013, 03:19 PM   #25 (permalink)
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The BBC did a series, I think it was something like "the history of physics" where they covered the conference where that photo was taken, the guy fronting it actually stood in the courtyard in the picture.

Wish I could find it but I didn't have the BBC download skills I have now I'll wait for BBC Four to repeat it, I'm sure they will.
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Old 03-13-2013, 08:20 AM   #26 (permalink)
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Rogue Planets!

Have you heard about rogue planets?

Living on Earth: Superman of Astrophysics

Quote:
CURWOOD: Yeah, that I wanted to ask you about. And thereís something that Iíd never heard ofÖ a rogue planet?

TYSON: Oh yeah! Oh, youíve never heard about the rogue planets? Well, we didnít even think to think of these things until our models of the formation of the solar system showed us that if you start out with a star and a collapsing gas cloud making surrounding planets, you can make planets in all kinds of places in orbit around the host star, but not all of those places are orbitally stable.

And what we found was the solar system itself might have started with two, three dozen planets, and depending on where their orbits are relative to other planets, they might not maintain a stable, forever, orbit around their host star, and they can end up getting flung into interstellar space. And when this happens, they become rogue planets. Homeless planets. And what makes it interesting is some planets still have heat left over from when they formed.

Jupiter still has heat left over. Actually, itís generating heat because itís slowly collapsing so it radiates more heat than it receives from the sun. And of course Earth has all this heat from its geologic activity, weíve got this magma sitting below the crust and all of this volcanic activityÖ that heat, that energy is not traceable to the sun. Thatís born here on Earth. So you could imagine flinging a planet out into interstellar space, and still have energy there that could possibly sustain life.

So itís been hypothesized that most life in the universe is found on rogue planets, where they donít need a star. And weíre pretty sure that there are more rogue planets than planets that are in happy, stable orbits around host stars.
So, there is a fairly good chance that there is life on a large rogue planet that has a totally different reference point for time than those lifeforms like us who live on an orbiting planet - they have no day and night, no seasons, no years - but they do have an ever changing view of the stars.

If that doesn't expand your mind, I don't know what would!
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Old 03-13-2013, 05:34 PM   #27 (permalink)
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Antarctica seen naked for the first time!


(click on image for link)

Quote:
From this work, some key findings:

The volume of ice in Antarctica is 4.6% greater than previously thought.
The mean bed depth of Antarctica, at 95 metres, is 60 m lower than estimated.
The volume of ice that is grounded with a bed below sea level is 23% greater than originally thought meaning there is a larger volume of ice that is susceptible to rapid melting. The ice that rests just below sea level is vulnerable to warming from ocean currents.
The total potential contribution to global sea level rise from Antarctica is 58 metres, similar to previous estimates but a much more accurate measurement.
The new deepest point, under Byrd Glacier, is around 400 metres deeper than the previously identified deepest point
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Old 03-17-2013, 01:06 PM   #28 (permalink)
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The BBC (home of Mr Cox) is currently showing "The Trials of Life" which is a very good bit of mr Attenborough in his prime.

BBC iPlayer - The Trials of Life: Growing Up
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Old 03-18-2013, 09:33 AM   #29 (permalink)
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Unfortunately, the BBC player is blocked for those of us outside the UK.

My brother recently had his DNA done for the purposes of genealogy and it is mind blowing how much we can learn about our ancestors, and how much of human history we have a glimpse of through the information contained in our living cells. I had not even heard of Denisovans, let alone that we now have a single DNA sample that came from the pinky bone of a 5 year old girl who lived ~40,000 years ago in the area we call Siberia.

Folks - virtually all of us who who ancestors came from outside Africa have 1-4% Neanderthal DNA, and in some cases may have a similar proportion of Denisovan DNA. People who's ancestors have always lived in Africa are 100% homo sapiens.
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Old 03-18-2013, 12:36 PM   #30 (permalink)
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Try a proxy, getiplayer might also work outside the UK - there is a lot of good stuff on the iplayer, the radio science is really cool too.

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