Monthly Archives: September 2008

Water Bears Can Even Survive Unprotected In Space

From Scientific Blogging:

The dried-up tardigrades were aboard the FOTON-M3 spacecraft launched by the European Space Agency (ESA) in September 2007 and were exposed to open space conditions i.e. to vacuum, UV radiation from the sun and cosmic radiation in a low Earth orbit of around 270km altitude. After their safe return to Earth, it turned out that while most of them survived exposure to vacuum and cosmic rays alone, some had even survived the exposure to the deadly levels of solar UV radiation, which are more than 1000 times higher than on the surface of the Earth. Even more so, the survivors could reproduce fine after their space trip. [Water Bears Can Even Survive Unprotected In Space]

Prions jump species barrier : Nature News

From Nature News:

Infectious prion proteins from hamsters can change normal proteins from mice into new, infectious forms of prion – simply by mixing the proteins together in a test tube. Researchers at the University of Texas Medical Branch in Galveston suggest their discovery could be turned into a useful test for whether a given prion strain is transmissible from one species to another. But they also found that when a prion jumps species, it produces a new kind of prion. “This is very worrisome,” says Claudio Soto, who led the research, published in Cell1. “The universe of possible prions could be much larger than we thought. [Prions jump species barrier]

Roman Conquerors Destroyed HIV Resistance in Early Europe

From New Scientist:

It appears that the Roman Empire left a legacy that may still affect modern Europe – those living within its conquered lands are more susceptible to HIV. It could explain why a gene that confers resistance to HIV varies in frequency across the continent. The gene in question codes for a protein receptor called CCR5. The HIV virus binds to this receptor before entering cells. One gene variant, called CCR5-Delta32, has 32 DNA base pairs missing and produces a receptor that HIV cannot bind to, which prevents the virus from entering the cells. People with this variant have some resistance to HIV infection and also take longer to develop AIDS. [Did the Romans destroy Europe’s HIV resistance? – health – 03 September 2008]

My Sarah Palin Conspiracy (With an Assist from Sam)

Andy: oh yes [Palin cancels appearance at RNC Tuesday night] – yup it is on the Gnews

Sam: jesus

Andy: I wonder if they are going to switch her out. and it wasn’t even: OH SHE GON BE AT GUSTAV

Sam: i don’t see how it’s not a legitimate concern to her base…   hwo can she possibly be going for this job considering the wreck of her family

Andy: I know. it isn’t because she has a vagina – it is because she’s got a NEWBORN. unless hubbie is staying home… like a fag

Sam: well that and she’s got a teenage girl who is crying out for fucking help

Andy: 🙂 well there’s that

Sam: and instead of trying to manage this they are bringing babydaddy along for the ride. levi, who is a self-described “redneck”

Andy: exactly. she found the worst possible chump and got knocked up. AND she supposedly had mono as she’s pregnant?

Sam: i’m sorry, that retarded baby is hers, not sarah’s

Andy: so you think Bristol gave birth to the tarder tot 😉 and then turned around and got re-knocked up?

Sam: it’s happened before.

Andy:  mmkay

Sam: my first theory was she’s not even pregnant at all right now. and she will “miscarry”. that’s my conspiracy theory
Andy: OH. tha’ts a good one. OH SAM. OH SAM.

Sam: yes YES!!

Andy: she isn’t appearing tonight because of the miscarriage. CONVENIENT EXIT. nobody gets aborted


Andy: sympathies felt – flowers sent – continues to qualify for speakers circuit

Sam: right, and anybody who questions it is belittling their experience.  as a family. the stress of this all just caused her mucous plug to shoot out like a bullet from her mom’s shotgun – no one was injured.

Andy: YES

Sam: liberals caused the death of yet another defenseless child

Are All Guys Named Tucker Complete Assholes?

Basically McCain’s spokesman boils down to WHY DO YOU HATE MOTHERHOOD SO MUCH? From TPM:

I just saw McCain spokesman Tucker Bounds on CNN with a new line on Gov. Palin’s foreign policy experience: McCain and Palin have more combined military command experience than Obama and Biden put together. [video]

Palin Tried to Fire Librarian for Not Banning Books

It just gets better and better:

She asked the library how she could go about banning books,” he says, because some voters thought they had inappropriate language in them. “The librarian was aghast.” That woman, Mary Ellen Baker, couldn’t be reached for comment, but news reports from the time show that Palin had threatened to fire Baker for not giving “full support” to the mayor. [Mayor Palin: A Rough Record]

Logic Gates with Dominos


While cleaning out some old papers, I spotted strange doodles on the back of one of my computer science assignments from high school. After a minute I realized they were plans for logic gates made out of dominoes. So, like any self-respecting geek, I got some dominoes and built them [Neil Fraser: News: Domino Logic]

Growing Your Own Food On One Square Yard Of Land

This reminds me of a book dad had called ‘Square Foot Gardening’ or something like that:

This garden is so small that just about anyone could find this much space. I spent about 30 dollars on the whole thing, and have gotten about 10 pounds of squash, a bazzilion tomatoes, bunches of green onions, and a bushel of peppers. More than paying back my investment. I used no fertilizer, or pesticides. If you live in a concrete jungle, and have not even a small little square of land, you could do this same project in some large pots and get probably an even better yield. [Growing Your Own Food On One Square Yard Of Land]

Hoosier Excavators Uncover Ancient Settlement


Archaeologists said that what excavators found near Brookville, Ind., is so significant that it could help rewrite history books. The workers uncovered what seems to be evidence of an unknown previous settlement that dates back thousands of years. Some of the evidence that have been uncovered so far dated back 600, 1,000 and even 5,000 years old, archaeologists said. [Pipeline Project Makes Unintentional Historic Find]