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  #1  
Old 12-09-2012, 07:01 PM
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Arrow Science and Technology thread

There seem to be many scattered news articles about science and tech on IMNet, this is just a collective place we can post them.

Like my other infamous Cricket and Books threads, hope this one doesn't fizzle out after two pages as well Maybe I ll get Paparock involved.
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Last edited by Knaur; 12-09-2012 at 07:06 PM.. Reason: The Voices told me to do it ....
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Old 12-09-2012, 07:04 PM
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Default Houston Calling New Delhi

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U.S.-India relations reached a high point when the two countries signed the Civil Nuclear Agreement in 2005. But since then, relations between the two countries have drifted.

While the Obama administration continues to reiterate that relations with India are vital, there have been several issues where Washington has expressed its displeasure. These include India’s nuclear liability bill, which Washington sees as unfair to U.S. companies; India’s decision to reject two different American jet fighters for India’s Medium Multi Role Combat Aircraft (MMRCA) requirement; and India’s less-than-supportive role within the United Nations on a range of issues, including Libya, Iran and Syria.

New Delhi is not without its own set of complaints about Washington. India feels that American pressure to deepen U.S.-India defense cooperation is premature, particularly given Indian questions about the United States’ credibility as a potential ally or partner. The Obama administration’s initial focus on China is still an irritant in New Delhi, although Washington has since corrected course.

There is certainly no dearth of official statements from both capitals concerning the vitality of the relationship. But it is clear that what is needed is a grand project around which the relationship can grow and strengthen. Without this initiative, we may see US-India relations flounder. One such ideal place for the two countries to collaborate on a grand scale is space.

An Opportunity and Imperative

In 2009, Karl F. Inderfurth, former Assistant Secretary of State for South Asia Affairs, and C. Raja Mohan, prominent Indian foreign policy analyst, argued in the Financial Times that space cooperation should become the heart of U.S.-India relations. Several space joint-working group meetings have taken place since then, but substantive outcomes are proving elusive.

Such cooperation would have proven difficult in previous decades. Many Indian space research agencies, including ISRO (Indian Space Research Organization)—India’s equivalent of NASA—were under U.S. sanctions. With sanctions lifted, the potential for cooperation is much greater. Unlike nuclear cooperation, space is much less controversial—and promises benefits not only for humanity but for the long term sustainability of outer space.

Indo-American space cooperation also offers the potential for becoming a broad-based initiative which brings a wide spectrum of stakeholders—national space agencies on both sides, education, science, and technology agencies, as well as private commercial entities—together in collaboration. With private sector participation, there is the prospect of moving beyond governmental entities to create new strategic industries in space.

To achieve such an ambitious agenda, the two governments should institutionalize space cooperation by setting up an Indo-American Commercial Space Initiative or a Space Knowledge Initiative. Such an effort could fall along the same lines as the U.S.-India Agricultural Knowledge Initiative and the U.S.-India Clean Energy Initiative, which are successful models of cooperation. Clean energy is a particularly successful model because it is a public-private partnership, with both governments investing $25 million and the private sector investing $50 million.

Space Traffic Control

There are several specific areas of space exploration where the two countries could cooperate. But an urgent need exists for collaboration on space situational awareness (SSA), which is the ability to monitor, understand, and predict the changing physical environment of outer-space. This includes the location and movement of natural and manmade objects in an effort to prevent collisions and accidents.

This is the corollary of maritime domain awareness (MDA), which refers to essentially large collation of data—both intelligence and information to arrive at what is called in the maritime lingo a common operative picture (COP)--and air domain awareness (ADA), a similar concept regarding air domain.

Of all the potential areas of collaboration, joint space situational awareness is most urgent for India and the United States. Outer space has become crowded, congested and contested—increasing the potential for collisions. The long-term sustainability of outer space is of paramount concern to India and the United States. An increasing number of incidents—the Chinese weapons test in 2007, destruction of a defunct satellite by the United States in 2008, and the collision between a Russian and U.S. satellite in 2009—illustrate the potential threats for space-faring nations. Space debris, unpredictable space weather and aging satellites continue to create insecurity.

According to NASA, there are over 500,000 pieces of debris in Earth’s orbit, some of which are large enough to cause serious damage to satellites and spacecraft. Space weather, caused by charged solar particles and the Earth’s magnetic field, also create disturbing conditions for space objects.

Improving space situational awareness can help in alleviating some of these concerns. Simply put, SSA aims at creating a constant understanding of the space environment by keeping a close watch on developments, including tracking of space objects, debris, and space weather. This includes predicting collisions in orbit, detecting launches of new space objects, predicting reentry of space objects into the atmosphere, and detecting threats and attacks on spacecraft. This can be done by radar, optical telescopes, electronic signals sensors, infrared sensors, or other spacecraft.

The United States already has the most comprehensive SSA mechanism, which is called the Space Surveillance Network (SSN). The SSN is a wide-ranging array of radars and optical telescopes that provides information to the Joint Space Operations Centre in California. Data collected enables tracking of objects. A telescope mounted on the Space-Based Space Surveillance (SBSS) satellite that is operated by the U.S. military also provides such information. But even the U.S. SSN has limited coverage in the Southern Hemisphere.

The Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO), has an operational Telemetry, Tracking and Command Network (ISTRAC), which currently provides mission support to low-earth orbit satellites and launch vehicles. A network of ground stations, spread across India, form the structure of ISTRAC. The Indian Deep Space Network (IDSN) also provides operational support for India as well as external space agencies. Additionally, the two Swordfish tracking radars, which have been deployed by India, have the potential for monitoring activities in space.

On the American side, U.S. Strategic Command/Air Force Space Command manage these functions. ISRO, India’s civilian space agency—not the Indian military—is STRATCOM’s counterpart. Bringing the two together has proven difficult in the past. For India to move forward, its space-domain bureaucracies have to overcome any aversions to working with the U.S. military.

The Dragon in the Room

For many within the U.S. military space community, collaboration with India is seen as having limited potential. With the United States clearly the more advanced technologically, there is legitimate concern that cooperation may lead to large and costly technology transfers. After all, space remains one of the U.S. military’s most highly classified areas. But safeguarding critical information and technology is possible and well worth taking a reasonable risk.

As India and the United States look to the future, both are deeply concerned over a rising China that is asserting itself in unexpected and aggressive ways. To effectively counter the Chinese dragon, Uncle Sam and the Indian tiger must move beyond the U.S.-India civil nuclear agreement and existing commercial relations to build trust and cooperation in other areas. Space has the potential to serve as the next grand project steering the relationship to greater heights.

Dr. Rajeswari Pillai Rajagopalan is a Senior Fellow at the Observer Research Foundation in New Delhi and Dr. Adam B. Lowther is a non-resident Senior Fellow at the Center for the National Interest in Washington, DC.


http://nationalinterest.org/commenta...am-7787?page=1
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Old 12-09-2012, 07:10 PM
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Default Astronaut Sunita Williams Tells Indians To Get Involved

http://thelinkpaper.ca/?p=24725

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Saturday, December 8th, 2012 |
Astronaut Sunita Williams Tells Indians To Get Involved
WASHINGTON – “Get involved, try to be a part of it ” is the message of record-breaking Indo-American astronaut Sunita Williams to millions of Indians students and space enthusiasts.
Stressing that India has a great resource of people and talent, Williams, who is just back from her 127 days mission to the International Space Mission, said she can’t imagine India taking a backseat in space programmes.
“You know, I hope so. I sort of had my head down for last mission for the last couple of years. So I haven’t really been in the know about all the Indian space program and what it has been doing, but gosh we really hope so,” Williams, 47, said when asked if India stands a chance in front of US and Russia to emerge as a leader in space research.
“India has a great resource of people and talent out there that I can’t imagine Indians taking a back seat. So, I am really hoping they will jump out there and be part of the space programme and be flying people in space before too long,” Williams told PTI in an interview.
Asked what would her message to fans in India be, she said, “I think the message that I would like to give to folks in India about the International Space Station is get involved“.
She added, “We have experiments up there from all over the world, not only the international partners that participated in building the space station, but all over the world…universities, schools, we talk to kids all over the place.”
“Get involved, try to be part of it, open up new doors and new opportunities“.
Williams has spent a total of 322 days in space during her two long-duration missions.
That makes her the second most experienced female astronaut in history, behind NASA’s Peggy Whitson (who spent 377 days in space during two station flights).
Williams now also holds the record for spacewalking time for female astronauts. Williams said she is hoping to visit India “may be this spring and may be next fall”.
“India is a little bit hot in the summer time…just like in Houston. So I would love to come possibly this spring or this fall,” she said. Asked how India looked from space, Williams said she took some wonderful pictures.
“I was not getting any good picture when I was first up there and I was little bit bummed out because last time I was there in the winter time and I took some great pictures of India. But luckily we stayed up long enough and I got some really wonderful pictures coming up the coast of (where my dad is in Gujarat) Saurashtra, Mumbai, coming across the mountains, the Himalayas, the Punjab area, New Delhi and all to the west, Kolkata, some of the great rivers, Brahmaputra and the Ganges as they were creating sandbars. So I took a bunch of pictures, as I said, I was really happy to be there little bit later, when some of the summer haze burned off and you can really see the beauty of India. So that was very lucky”.
Asked about her future plans, Williams said she would like to stay involved in the space programme.
“I had a great opportunity. And we have young astronauts getting ready to get out there and go to the international space station…I would like to help them as much as I can, while I have the recent knowledge and then after that I would see. Eventually when I grow up I would love to be a school teacher. We will see what happens,” she said.
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Old 12-09-2012, 07:40 PM
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Default 'Diverse' Bacterial Life Found in Ice-Sealed Antarctic Lake

http://www.usnews.com/news/articles/...antarctic-lake

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'Diverse' Bacterial Life Found in Ice-Sealed Antarctic Lake
Quote:
If life survives here, it could also survive on Mars

By JASON KOEBLER
November 26, 2012 RSS Feed Print

Lake Vida field camp, erected for about a month in 2010 in the Victoria Valley, Antarctica, was staged with a coring tent and cook tent to accommodate ten scientists working to recover ice cores and brine from the lower levels of the lake ice.

American researchers have found a "diverse" colony of microbial life living in an ice-sealed Antarctic lake. The life survives at temperatures of 8.6 degrees Fahrenheit and could mean that life could survive in extreme conditions on Mars or other places in the Solar System.

Life survives in Lake Vida, near the southern tip of Antarctica, despite the fact that the lake's waters are beneath more than 30 feet of ice, hadn't been uncovered for more than 2,800 years, and are about six times as salty as sea water.

Researchers initially discovered microbes frozen in the ice covering Lake Vida in 2002 and, during subsequent trips funded by the National Science Foundation and NASA in 2005 and 2010, sampled the lake's water. Researcher Alison Murray says what they found in brine samples was a "pretty diverse community" of microbes—with 32 types of bacteria falling under eight different phyla.

"The diversity suggests it's a pretty stable community of interacting parts," she says.

It also might mean life could survive in environments that scientists once thought were inhospitable, such as Mars or Europa, a moon of Jupiter that scientists hypothesize might have subterranean oceans.

"This discovery gives us the indication that life can survive in such cold temperatures and isolated from surface processes," Murray says. "It has expanded our view of the types of ecosystems that are habitable."

Murray's discovery, published in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences Monday, is the latest in a series of new research in Antarctica. Earlier this year, Russian scientists announced they'd successfully sampled Lake Vostok, which had remained untouched beneath 2.5 miles of ice for more than 15 million years. If scientists discover life in Vostok, it is likely to look different than the bacteria inhabiting Lake Vida, Murray says.

Vostok's water is also kept in liquid form largely because of pressure exerted from the ice, whereas Vida's water remains in liquid form because of its high salt content. "On all accounts they're very different—Vostok is kilometers below the surface, we're meters below the surface. Vostok is also thought to have much more fresh water compared to Vida," she says.
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Old 12-09-2012, 08:19 PM
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Default Sir Patrick Moore, 89, Dies At Home

http://uk.news.yahoo.com/british-ast...125837317.html

R . I. P.
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Old 12-15-2012, 05:44 PM
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http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencete...hs-shadow.html

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The amazing asteroid-eye view of the Earth as XE54 passes just 226,000km from us - and crosses the Earth's shadow

Simulation shows the view from 2012 XE54 which is set to pass close by Earth within hours
Unique event will see 28 metre wide asteroid eclipsed by the Earth's shadow

By MARK PRIGG
PUBLISHED: 16:45 GMT, 11 December 2012 | UPDATED: 09:09 GMT, 12 December 2012


Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencete...#ixzz2FE50gTO7
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The amazing asteroid-eye view of the Earth as XE54 passes just 226,000km from us - and crosses the Earth's shadow

Simulation shows the view from 2012 XE54 which is set to pass close by Earth within hours
Unique event will see 28 metre wide asteroid eclipsed by the Earth's shadow

By MARK PRIGG
PUBLISHED: 16:45 GMT, 11 December 2012 | UPDATED: 09:09 GMT, 12 December 2012
Comments (13)
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As Earth prepares for a double flyby of asteroids in the next day, astronomers have created this unique view of the earth - from an asteroid as it passes close by.
This animation shows the Sun and the Earth as observed from the asteroid 2012 XE54, which alongside a long-studied giant space rock named Toutatis will pass close to Earth later today.
Luckily, there is no danger of either hitting Earth - but scientists say the unique occurrence could help them learn a lot about asteroids.

Animation via Pasquale Tricarico
Asteroid 2012 XE54 was only recently discovered, and will safely pass between the Earth and the Moon’s orbit at a distance of about 226,000 km (141,000 miles) or about .6 lunar distances.
However, it will have a unique path.

More...
The asteroid that wiped out the dinosaurs also nearly killed off all of Earth's lizards and snakes, study claims
Seven Milky Way worlds could harbour life, say astronomers (after just a year of hunting)
'A close analysis of the trajectory of this asteroid reveals that it will likely cross the Earth's shadow, causing a partial eclipse of the asteroid a few hours before reaching its minimum distance with the Earth,' said Pasquale Tricarico of the Planetary Science Institute, who created the animation above.
Asteroids eclipsing during an Earth flyby are relatively rare, with the first known case of asteroid 2008 TC3 which was totally eclipsed just one hour before entering Earth's atmosphere over Sudan in 2008, and asteroid 2012 KT42 experiencing both an eclipse and a transit during the same Earth flyby in 2012.

Four computer generated views of Asteroid Toutatis based on radar images from Nasa's Goldstone probe
The asteroid is one of two set to pass by Earth.
4179 Toutatis, with a shape that has been described as a 'malformed potato' will pass 6.9 million kilometers (4.3 million miles) away from Earth, or more than 18 times the distance from the Earth to the Moon.
At 4.46 kilometers (2.7 miles) long and 2.4 kilometers (1.5 miles) wide, astronomers say it is considered a potentially hazardous asteroid because it makes repeated passes by the Earth, about every four years.
In comparison, the asteroid that is thought to have destroyed the dinosaurs was approximately 10 km (6 miles) wide.
It's passing will be streamed online by the Slooh Space Camera
At its maximum brightness, experts say Toutatis might be barely visible through binoculars.
VIDEO: Computer generated views of Asteroid Toutatis
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Old 12-15-2012, 05:45 PM
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Full video and images with time of the above in link.
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The wisdom of the ancients has been taught by the philosophers of Greece, but also by people called Jews in Syria, and by Brahmins in India
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Why is it that on June 4th 1967 I was a Jordanian and overnight I became a Palestinian? - Walid Shoebat, PLO terrorist
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Old 12-17-2012, 04:47 AM
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Anyone with interest in science and tech may post articles, news or anectodes, models you're working on etc.!
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The wisdom of the ancients has been taught by the philosophers of Greece, but also by people called Jews in Syria, and by Brahmins in India
-Megasthenes, Greek Ambassador to India, 300 BC

Why is it that on June 4th 1967 I was a Jordanian and overnight I became a Palestinian? - Walid Shoebat, PLO terrorist
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Old 12-17-2012, 04:50 AM
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Default Venus Upper Atmosphere Science and Technology Interchange Meeting

http://www.spaceref.com/news/viewsr.html?pid=42886
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The wisdom of the ancients has been taught by the philosophers of Greece, but also by people called Jews in Syria, and by Brahmins in India
-Megasthenes, Greek Ambassador to India, 300 BC

Why is it that on June 4th 1967 I was a Jordanian and overnight I became a Palestinian? - Walid Shoebat, PLO terrorist
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Old 12-17-2012, 04:51 AM
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Default NZ-China science & technology declaration signed

http://www.scoop.co.nz/stories/PA121...ion-signed.htm
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Old 12-17-2012, 04:54 AM
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Default Gambia: 'Science & Technology Is Key to Economic Development'

http://allafrica.com/stories/201212130976.html
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Old 01-16-2013, 12:24 PM
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Migrants from India settled in Australia 4,000 years ago before Captain Cook's arrival (and they took their dingos with them)


http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencete...ngos-them.html
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Old 01-16-2013, 01:11 PM
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http://www.foxnews.com/science/2013/...ntcmp=features

Emperor Palpatine, Galactic Empire scoff as US disavows Death Star
Published January 15, 2013
FoxNews.com


The Empire has struck back -- at the United States.
The Galactic Empire’s public relations division has issued a press release (via the Star Wars blog, of course) reasserting its military might -- and laughing at the United States for not building a planet-killing Death Star-style weapon.
Part of the story is no joke: An official petition urged the U.S. to begin building a real-life Death Star by 2016 on the White House's We the People website. When it received 34,435 signatures, President Barack Obama's Administration did indeed disavow plans to build the science fiction weapon -- in a very cheeky and clever response.
'Such destructive power can only be wielded to protect and defend by so enlightened a leader as Emperor Palpatine.'
- Governor Wilhuff Tarkin of the Outer Rim Territories
"Why would we spend countless taxpayer dollars on a Death Star with a fundamental flaw that could be exploited by a one-man starship?" wrote Paul Shawcross, chief of the Science and Space Branch at the White House's Office of Management and Budget. "The Administration shares your desire for job creation and a strong national defense, but a Death Star isn't on the horizon."
Of course not, the Empire responded.
“It is doubtless that such a technological terror in the hands of so primitive a world would be used to upset the peace and sanctity of the citizens of the Galactic Empire,“ said Governor Wilhuff Tarkin of the Outer Rim Territories -- in a press release from Imperial Center, Coruscant. “Such destructive power can only be wielded to protect and defend by so enlightened a leader as Emperor Palpatine.”
The overwhelming military superiority of the Galactic Empire has been confirmed once again, the press release concludes, despite the bellicose demands of the president of United States and “the people of his tiny, aggressive planet.”
Shawcross noted the cost of building such a vast weapon among the numerous reasons that the proposal would never fly. He estimated construction of a real-life Death Star would cost $850 quadrillion (that's $850,000,000,000,000,000). The White House is trying to reduce the deficit, not expand it, he wrote.
The Galactic Empire scoffed at the budgetary constrictions our “tiny, aggressive planet” faces.
“The costs of construction they cited were ridiculously overestimated, though I suppose we must keep in mind that this miniscule planet does not have our massive means of production,” added Admiral Conan Motti of the Imperial Starfleet.
Emissaries of the Emperor also caution any seditious elements within the Galactic Senate not to believe Earth’s exaggerated claims of there being a weakness in the Death Star design. “Any attacks made upon such a station — should one ever be built — would be a useless gesture,” added Motti.
Where's that Jedi when you need him?


Read more: http://www.foxnews.com/science/2013/...#ixzz2I8yOZjw3
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Passage Isaiah 62

I have set watchmen upon thy walls, O Jerusalem, which shall never hold their peace day nor night: ye that make mention of the LORD, keep not silence,


"I ask then, has God rejected His people? By no means! God has not rejected His people whom He foreknew. For the gifts and call of God are irrevocable."
(Romans 11:1,2,29)
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Old 01-16-2013, 01:14 PM
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http://news.sky.com/story/1038020/ch...e-of-fair-play


Fair play is not a unique human trait, but one also possessed by chimpanzees, according to new scientific research.6:03am UK, Tuesday 15 January 2013
A pair of chimpanzees share a piece of watermelon




Chimpanzees and humans possess a similar sense of fairness, researchers have concluded.

Scientists watched both species taking part in a game in which two players had to decide how to divide a reward between them.

In the tests, bananas acted as rewards for the chimps and stickers for the children, who were aged between two and seven.

Known as the 'Ultimatum Game', after the first player proposes how to divide the reward between the two players, the second player can either accept or reject the proposal.

If this player objects, neither player receives anything. If they accept, the reward is split according to the proposal.

The children tended to offer fair proportions, typically half of the reward, to their partners.

Observers discovered almost exactly the same pattern of behaviour among the group of chimps.

But in both groups, the sense of fair play only went so far.

When it was possible to be selfish without any chance of the proposal being rejected, charity tended to be forgotten.

Dr Frans de Waal, from the Yerkes National Primate Research Centre in Atlanta, said: "Until our study, the behavioural economics community assumed the Ultimatum Game could not be played with animals, or that animals would choose only the most selfish option while playing.

"We've concluded that chimpanzees not only get very close to the human sense of fairness, but the animals may actually have exactly the same preferences as our own species."

Scientists believe the findings, which are published in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, suggest that sensitivity to reward distributions may help chimps reap the benefits of co-operation in the wild.


yeah but humans dont fling poo at each other when annoyed........well...ok maybe not!
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Passage Isaiah 62

I have set watchmen upon thy walls, O Jerusalem, which shall never hold their peace day nor night: ye that make mention of the LORD, keep not silence,


"I ask then, has God rejected His people? By no means! God has not rejected His people whom He foreknew. For the gifts and call of God are irrevocable."
(Romans 11:1,2,29)
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Old 01-16-2013, 10:01 PM
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Shame on the death star.

Poo should be gift-wrapped and perfumed, then left in the neighbours' mailbox.

In winter preferable when they are on vacation, it thaws out quite nicely.

Burning it on their porch is also a laugh of course.

Wonder if India should demand Oz back from the UK as they've found native Ozzies are with Indian genes!
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Old 01-17-2013, 11:34 AM
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India's first dinosaur fossil rediscovered

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/h...w/18058929.cms
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The wisdom of the ancients has been taught by the philosophers of Greece, but also by people called Jews in Syria, and by Brahmins in India
-Megasthenes, Greek Ambassador to India, 300 BC

Why is it that on June 4th 1967 I was a Jordanian and overnight I became a Palestinian? - Walid Shoebat, PLO terrorist
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Old 01-31-2013, 11:24 PM
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Default South Korea Launches Rocket in 1st Space Success

http://www.space.com/19553-south-kor...satellite.html
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The wisdom of the ancients has been taught by the philosophers of Greece, but also by people called Jews in Syria, and by Brahmins in India
-Megasthenes, Greek Ambassador to India, 300 BC

Why is it that on June 4th 1967 I was a Jordanian and overnight I became a Palestinian? - Walid Shoebat, PLO terrorist
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  #18  
Old 04-08-2013, 01:18 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Knaur View Post
Shame on the death star.

Poo should be gift-wrapped and perfumed, then left in the neighbours' mailbox.

In winter preferable when they are on vacation, it thaws out quite nicely.

Burning it on their porch is also a laugh of course.

Wonder if India should demand Oz back from the UK as they've found native Ozzies are with Indian genes!
i worked in an electronics factory years ago and the place was shutting down. one of the much hated team leaders was leaving and on his last day, a night shift in the middle of a very cold winter, one of his shift workers smeared poo over his windscreen and door handle of his car. after he cleared the frozen mess on the windscreen he obviously hadn't seen the mess on the door handle only to open the door and get a handful of the messy stuff!! shouldn't have p!ssed his team off!
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Passage Isaiah 62

I have set watchmen upon thy walls, O Jerusalem, which shall never hold their peace day nor night: ye that make mention of the LORD, keep not silence,


"I ask then, has God rejected His people? By no means! God has not rejected His people whom He foreknew. For the gifts and call of God are irrevocable."
(Romans 11:1,2,29)
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Old 11-19-2013, 11:33 AM
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Default After 84 Years, Von Neumann-Day Math Problem Finally Solved

http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases...1118133041.htm
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Why is it that on June 4th 1967 I was a Jordanian and overnight I became a Palestinian? - Walid Shoebat, PLO terrorist
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Old 12-02-2013, 12:04 PM
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Default China Successfully Launches Chang'e-3 Lunar Rover

http://www.ibtimes.co.uk/articles/52...-e-3-lunar.htm

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China's "long march" into the space has hit another milestone with the successful launch of its first lunar rover, Chang'e-3.

The Long March-3B rocket blasted off from the Xichang Satellite Launch Centre in southwest China, carrying the probe that is expected to make a "soft-landing" on the moon mid-December.

If successful, the unmanned craft will release a six-wheeled lunar rover onto the moon's surface, making China only the third nation after the US and the former Soviet Union to make a soft-landing on the moon.

Coming a decade after China sent an astronaut into space, the launch of Chang'e-3 is China's biggest step in deep space exploration in recent times.

"The probe has already entered the designated orbit ... I now announce the launch was successful," said Zhang Zhenzhong, director of the launch centre in Xichang.

"We will strive for our space dream as part of the Chinese dream of national rejuvenation," he said, according to China Daily.

China nurses an ambitious plan to send a manned lunar mission more than forty years after the US first sent a man to the moon. Chinese scientists said a successful rover landing will give them vital inputs for a manned mission, the roadmap for which has not yet been revealed.

The Chang'e-3 mission is the second phase of China's lunar programme. In this mission China aims to soft-land the craft on the moon, after Chang'e-1 intentionally crashed onto the lunar surface in 2007.

In the third and final stage of the programme, which is planned for 2017, Chinese space scientists aim to land a lunar probe, release a moon rover and return the probe to earth.

A successful Chang'e-3 mission will give China the ability of exploring an extraterrestrial body as it is, a top mission scientist told the daily.

"China's space exploration will not stop at the moon ... Our target is deep space," said Sun Huixian, deputy engineer-in-chief in charge of the mission.

Earlier, Xinhua had reported that the Chang'e-3 spacecraft will release the "Jade Rabbit", a six-wheeled lunar probe. The rover will patrol the moon's surface for at least three months and dig up soil samples, besides capturing images.

To report problems or to leave feedback about this article, e-mail: j.jacob@ibtimes.co.uk
To contact the editor, e-mail: editor@ibtimes.co.uk
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The wisdom of the ancients has been taught by the philosophers of Greece, but also by people called Jews in Syria, and by Brahmins in India
-Megasthenes, Greek Ambassador to India, 300 BC

Why is it that on June 4th 1967 I was a Jordanian and overnight I became a Palestinian? - Walid Shoebat, PLO terrorist
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