Friday, June 20, 2008

Friday Links!

Post-vacation edition, and we're bursting at the seams. With links.

From New Scientist, a link to an article titled Bacteria Make Major Evolutionary Shift In Lab. It's too complex to summarize, but here's the basic setup for the experiment:
Twenty years ago, evolutionary biologist Richard Lenski of Michigan State University in East Lansing, US, took a single Escherichia coli bacterium and used its descendants to found 12 laboratory populations.

The 12 have been growing ever since, gradually accumulating mutations and evolving for more than 44,000 generations, while Lenski watches what happens.

From Science Daily, a link to an intriguing article about an unusually inactive period for sunspot production.

From Deadspin, a link to a brilliant video by (believe it or not) The Tampa Bay Rays on the history of the fist bump.

From Kwadwo Burgee, a link to a hunter--of giant hornets. These are the hornets with three-inch wingspans, and the footage of the strategy honey buzzards use to hunt them is just amazing.
Here's a link to a video from Jessie Leimkuehler of the NASA Phoenix Mars Lander using its robotic arm to sprinkle Martian soil onto a collection plate.

From Sean, a link to an amazing architectural mystery--in a New York City apartment. Here's an excerpt:
But some of that furniture and some of those walls conceal secrets — messages, games and treasures — that make up a Rube Goldberg maze of systems and contraptions conceived by a young architectural designer named Eric Clough...

It's totally fantastic, and you can read the full story here.

From the Edwin Garcia Links Machine, a link to the BMW GINA, a prototype with some amazing design features. Here's an excerpt:
The GINA replaces the traditional metal/plastic skin with a textile fabric skin that’s pulled taut around a frame of metal and carbon fiber wires. Even the shape of the car can change.

From Sirius, a link to a story about László and Georg Bíró, who patented the ballpoint pen in 1943. Here's an excerpt:
When the pens went into commercial production in 1945, they were a sensation. In the United States, the Reynolds Pen sold for $12.50 (about $150 in today's money). Yet people swarmed a New York department store to buy 8,000 of them on the first day of sale.

Also from Sirius, a link to the home page of Tom Rokicki, who has now reduced the minimum number of moves necessary to solve any Rubik's cube configuration to twenty-three.

And the hat trick for Sirius, with an article about the discovery of a "unicorn deer". The picture's pretty amazing.

From Geoff Engelstein, a link to a story about a tree that grew from, well, this:
A 2,000-year-old seed recovered from the ancient Jewish fortress of Masada near the Dead Sea has become the oldest seed in the world to have germinated successfully, scientists said yesterday.

From Gloria, a link to tree-carving man, a sculptor who shapes downed trees into art--with a chainsaw.

Last week, I saw an article on MSNBC about a wiener war. Then, I received this story from Steven Kreuch: Weiner bill looks out for models. What would you call that--wienerdipity?

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