1

Intact Baby Dinosaur Skeleton Found In Canada

fb share tweet share

Chasmosaurus belli While I know from Jurassic Park that even the most adorable-looking dinosaurs mean trouble, I can’t help but think “Awww…” when I see this fully intact baby dinosaur skeleton. How could something so small have been so scary? (That’s a rhetorical question, in case you were wondering). While its cuteness may be debatable, everyone can agree that finding a fully intact skeleton like this is rare and awesome.

The five-foot-long skeleton was found in a hillside of the appropriately named Dinosaur Provincial Park in Alberta, Canada. The find is the smallest intact skeleton ever discovered of its particular dino-type, the ceratopsids, which also includes Triceratops and Torosaurus, which scientists now believe are one in the same. Baby dinosaurs are pretty tough to find, as they make easy (and tasty) prey and their bones don’t hold up as well to decay. While scientists have found some ceratopsid bones here and there in the past, there’s a distinct lack of intact skeletons of younger dinosaurs, which is part of the reason scientists initially believed Triceratops and Torosaurus were two different species of dinosaur.

0

NASA Will Try To Grow Plants On The Moon In 2015

fb share tweet share

plants on the moonIn President Obama’s 2010 speech on the country’s space program, he undid the previous administration’s plan to send American astronauts back to the moon: “But I just have to say pretty bluntly here: We’ve been there before. Buzz has been there. There’s a lot more of space to explore, and a lot more to learn when we do.” My favorite comedy show of all time, Mr. Show (starring Bob Odenkirk and David Cross) has a sketch about blowing up the moon, in which a former Apollo astronaut says, “I walked on the moon. I did a push-up, I ate an egg on it… What else can you do with it?” Well, NASA has an answer to that question — it intends to grow plants on the moon.

The Lunar Plant Growth Habitat team, comprised of NASA scientists, as well as contractors, volunteers, and students, will try to grow a couple of plants such as basil, sunflowers, and turnips in specially constructed cylindrical aluminum planters that contain sensors, cameras, and other equipment that will broadcast images of the plants as the grow (or don’t grow). The plant habitats are intended to be self-sufficient, able to monitor and regular temperature, moisture, and their own power supply.

0

Calvin & Hobbes Creator And Novelist Thomas Pynchon Get Minor Planets Named For Them

fb share tweet share

spaceman spiffIf you’ve ever wanted a planetary body named after yourself, now is the best time to do something amazing for the world, since naming things is something the IAU is using to get people interested in space again. And even when there isn’t a vote involved, there is still something magical about the naming of a star or planet. A group of 49 minor planets were recently given proper names, and the two most recognizable names in the bunch belonged to author Thomas Pynchon and legendary cartoonist Bill Watterson, creator of Calvin & Hobbes, arguably the greatest comic strip to ever blow everyone’s minds.

The Minor Planet Circular‘s latest edition lists all of the newly named minor planets, as well as another 500 pages’ worth of numbers and letters that my poor brain couldn’t comprehend. It’s been a long process for many of these objects to get named, so it’s worth a celebration. Assuming giant rocks know how to celebrate properly.

0

3, 2, 1 — Uh Oh, SpaceX Reschedules Falcon 9 Rocket Launch For Thursday

fb share tweet share

Falcon 9

Earlier today, SpaceX’s website was counting down, stopping, then counting down again, then stopping again, scrubbing the launch that was scheduled to take place at approximately 5:37pm EST. On Thursday, SpaceX will again attempt to launch a Falcon 9 rocket for a GEO Transfer Mission. The rocket, which will launch from Florida’s Cape Canaveral Air Force Base, will put an Orbital Sciences SES-8 satellite, designed to support Southeast Asian communications needs for about 15 years, into a geostationary transfer orbit. Then, about a half-hour after launch, the Falcon 9 will deliver the satellite into geostationary orbit at about 22,000 miles above Earth, roughly 25% of the way to the moon. Many launchers deliver a satellite in two phases, or burns, depending on how long and how much power it takes to reach the first apogee. The transfer to geostatic orbit phase is usually performed via solar power, which reduces overall costs. This launch is SpaceX’s first attempt at putting a communications satellite in orbit.

0

Companies Are Using Video Games To Screen Job Candidates

fb share tweet share

KnackIn Ender’s Game, one of the training (or not training, as the case may be) regimens for prospective intergalactic soldiers involves practicing on high-tech video games or virtual reality. Surgeons practice their fine motor skills and anatomical slicing and dicing on video games too. Now employers are getting on board, testing potential employees with video games designed to reveal behavior, personality traits, and strengths useful for specific jobs.

It makes sense that employers right now would need a new system for interviewing, especially given the scads of resumes that are submitted in response to every job posting. I know companies who have become bogged down by the hiring process — especially companies who desperately need help and who often don’t have the resources to spare for sifting through resumes, conducting phone screens, and interviewing applicants in person. The hiring process can last for months, and it can be pretty hard to calibrate the bullshit detector when it comes to candidates’ honesty with regards to their skills and experience. Knack, a video game company, has developed a couple of games that gather data from job applicants while engaging them in a perhaps more organic experience than a formal interview. Wasabi Waiter and Balloon Brigade gather information about a person’s competitiveness, grit, situational thinking, social skills, and adaptability. Employees then use the information collected by the game to find the kind of employees they want. They correlate the results of the applicants with the results of current successful employees to identify matches.

0

An Underwater Volcano Creates A New Japanese Island

fb share tweet share

Well this is certainly one way to increase your land base, though it isn’t anywhere near the fastest. As the result of an underwater volcano, Japan now has a brand new island to call its very own. There’s definitely less bloodshed involved in this than in your traditional land grabbing war, though this sounds like a difficult, painstaking way to expand the reach of your empire.

Located 620 miles South of Tokyo, the eruption went down a mere 500 meters away from Nishinoshima Island, an uninhabited subtropical landmass that is part of the Bonin Islands. You’d be correct if you assumed that this bit of geological action took place on the so-called “Ring of Fire,” as the archipelago does sit on the border of the Pacific tectonic plate. The string of islands number in the thousands, and ownership of them has come in handy in previous years to bolster claims to large areas of the ocean, as well as the energy and mineral resources those waters contain, which could potentially be very lucrative. In the past, Japan has used some of these islands to back territorial disputes with China.