December 14, 2007 08:30 AM - Paul Smith , Triple Pundit
As a child, did you ever use a magnifying glass to barbeque ants? Sizzle flies? Burn leaves? Don't worry, we won't tell. Someone who may fall into this category has found an ingenious way to harness the sun's power to make jewelry. No, not using the latest thin-film solar innovation. No, they've what appears to be a giant magnifying glass, capable of melting glass into a pliable state, suitable for making quite lovely jewelry. You can see the process here and the resulting jewelry here.
Senate oks energy bill to cut vehicle fuel use
December 13, 2007 08:09 PM - By Tom Doggett, Reuters
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The U.S. Senate late on Thursday approved a broad energy bill to increase the fuel efficiency of U.S. cars and trucks by Congress for the first time since 1975 and significantly boost production of renewable motor fuels like ethanol.
New Jersey legislature votes to end death penalty
December 13, 2007 07:21 PM - By Jon Hurdle, Reuters
TRENTON, New Jersey (Reuters) - New Jersey on Thursday became the first U.S. state to legislatively abolish the death penalty since the U.S. Supreme Court reinstated capital punishment in 1976.
Study: caring for foster youth past 18 improves transition to adulthood
December 13, 2007 05:54 PM - University of Chicago Newswire
Chicago - Foster youth allowed to remain in care past age 18 are more likely to go to college than those who exit at 18, according to a study released by Chapin Hall Center for Children at the University of Chicago at a Congressional briefing. The study, which is the most comprehensive examination of youth leaving foster care since the passage of the 1999 Foster Care Independence Act, found that extending care might also increase earnings and delay pregnancy. However, when compared to adolescents not in foster care, youth aging out of the child welfare system are faring poorly as a group.
Quake early warning system predicts shaking, averts casulties
December 13, 2007 04:54 PM - UC Berkeley Newswire
BERKELEY -- A California earthquake early warning system now being tested accurately predicted the ground shaking in San Francisco a few seconds before the city felt the Oct. 30, 2007, magnitude 5.4 quake near San Jose, according to a statewide team of seismologists.
Active early warning systems already created in places like Japan, Taiwan, Mexico and Turkey automatically stop elevators at the nearest floor, halt trains, isolate hazardous chemical systems and machinery and move people to a safer location or position.
Native American astronomer reaches out to native students
December 13, 2007 03:40 PM - Paul Schaefer, ENN
BLOOMINGTON, Ind. -- Dennis Lamenti believes he is the only Native American astronomer in the U.S. with -- or working on -- a graduate degree. He now has another goal: to re-introduce astronomy to thousands of Native American students nationwide.
The IU graduate student is planning a spring Bloomington campus visit, and later a retreat for Native American students at a national observatory. It's a nation-wide event,designed to bring more Native Americans to the field of astronomy while introducing his culture's astronomic heritage to the world.
Mitchell steroid report fingers top baseball stars
December 13, 2007 03:13 PM - By Larry Fine, Reuters
NEW YORK (Reuters) - Dozens of top baseball stars including Roger Clemens were named on Thursday in the long-awaited Mitchell Report on steroids use, which Major League Baseball hopes will help clean its tarnished image.
Namibia's poor 'will be hit hard' by climate change
December 13, 2007 12:50 PM - Carol Campbell, SciDevNet
Namibia, Africa - Climate change is expected to dramatically alter the lifestyles of poor people in Namibia, say the authors of a study. Their findings were published by the UK-based International Institute for Environment and Development (IIED) this month (December).
Namibia is economically dependent on natural resources. Up to 30 per cent of its gross domestic product (GDP) is estimated to be reliant on the environment. Climate change could increase temperatures by 2–6 degrees Celsius by 2100, and rainfall is expected to be lower and more variable.
Subliminal Smells Bias Perception About a Person's Likeability
December 13, 2007 12:29 PM - Northwestern University Newswire
EVANSTON, Ill. --- Anyone who has bonded with a puppy madly sniffing with affection gets an idea of how scents, most not apparent to humans, are critical to a dog's appreciation of her two-legged friends. Now new research from Northwestern University suggests that humans also pick up infinitesimal scents that affect whether or not we like somebody.
Attractiveness Is Its Own Reward
December 13, 2007 12:12 PM - California Institute of Technology Newswire
PASADENA, Calif. --Studies of the snap judgments we often make about people are shedding new light not only on social behavior, but also on drug abuse, gambling addiction, and other disorders in which our ability to make decisions is impaired, say scientists at the California Institute of Technology.