A "good enough" mom muses about alpha moms, adoption, computers, the State Of The World, Internet quirkiness, and the Kosmik All
Science Saturday
It's been a while since I've done some science stuff on the ol' bloggeroo, but I've run across some neat/interesting/scary stuff recently that I just have to pass on.


First up on the agenda is this photoblog, passed on to me by OmegaGranny.  It's some folks on a yacht, cruising around the south Pacific.  In mid-August, while they were sailing along, they encountered a sea covered with floating pumice stones.  They sailed a little further along, and found a new volcano rising from the sea before them.  Way cool!

Then there's the story of the sedimentary chevron deposits on Madagascar (and elsewhere) which stand more than a thousand feet high.  What's special about these chevrons of deposited sediments is that (a) they came from the bottom of the ocean; (b) they contain tektites--an indicator that they were deposited as the result of an asteroid impact; (c) they point in one direction.

What's interesting about it is that a group of scientists theorize that the chevrons were deposited by a tsunami 600 feet high (!!), the result of an asteroid impact.  They used the aspects and slopes of the chevrons, coupled with their heights, to determine where the asteroid crater should be; another set of scientists, using that data, did some sonography and undersea mapping and found--lo and behold--a crater.

What's intensely interesting is that this happened only 4,800 years ago.

What's even more interesting is that these scientists speculate that the Flood Myths from around the world may be related to this impact.  Oh, yeah, and the slightly disturbing realization that disastrous asteroid/meteor impacts happen more often than previously thought.


Wireless recharging of computer devices.  No more need to have cables attached to power devices to recharge your iPod or your cell phone.  It's still just a theoretical process, modeled in computer simulations.  But just think of being able to get rid of some of those damned cords! 

Steorn, the company that is purporting to have developed a technology that provides free, limitless power, has announced the selection of their "jury of scientists" to test their system and determine whether it's real or a fake.  The testing is supposed to begin after the New Year.


The UK's new high-tech passports, with an RFID chip embedded in them, are easily hacked.  The story focuses on stealing someone else's identity--my question is, given the way the high-tech passport verification process works, and the fact that they're so easily hacked, why on earth would someone want to steal someone else's identity for a passport?  Why not just create a new identity, with a faux passport number (which is part of the key to encrypting the data on the chip), and store the false data nicely on a shiny new RFID chip on a fake passport?  There doesn't seem to be any call to a centralized database, to see if it's a real passport--just a check on a laptop to be sure the visible data on the passport matches the data on the chip.


The Leonids meteor shower is this weekend.  It's not going to be as showy as it was four years ago--that one was astounding.  But still, it's usually a darned good meteor shower; it often has atmosphere grazers that leave long, bright streaks in the sky.


If you believe this one, I have a large bridge to sell you in Manhattan.

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posted by Kate @ 11/18/2006 01:19:00 AM  
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About Me
Name: OmegaMom
Home: Southwest
About Me: Middle-aged mom of a 4-year-old adopted from China. Love science, debate, good SF and fantasy, hiking, music of almost every style. Lousy housekeeper. "Good enough" mom.
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