Illustration of the interior of 55 Cancri e — an extremely hot planet with a surface of mostly graphite surrounding a thick layer of diamond, below which is a layer of silicon-based minerals and a molten iron core at the center.
Originally published on Thu October 11, 2012 6:39 pm
Scientists have discovered a world much fancier than our homely, little Earth.
New research that will published in the journal Astrophysical Journal Letters details a planet that is eight times heavier than Earth and with twice its radius. But instead of being covered in water and granite, it is encrusted in graphite and diamond.
Mark Siegel's new graphic novel, Sailor Twain, is a dark, allusive, satisfyingly knotty work of fiction.
Siegel anchors his fantastical main story — that of a Hudson River steamboat captain who rescues and falls in love with a mermaid — in exacting historical detail and deft character work. But the book's secondary storylines roil with ideas darker than those immediately apparent in his central, high-concept fairy tale — ideas about social mores, literary culture and sexuality.
Mars Attacks: 50th Anniversary Collection, an anthology of the 1962 trading card series from the Topps Company and Abrams Comic Arts, comes packaged in a jacket made from the same wax paper as '60s bubble gum wrap. The packaging establishes an air of honeyed nostalgia that the cards themselves are mercifully quick to demolish. The 55 violent images of interplanetary slaughter in the "Mars Attacks" series were controversial in their day, but have atrophied in the popular consciousness as kitsch relics of the Kennedy era.
When a stranger can gain access to someone's entire genetic code by picking up a used coffee cup, it presents a whole new thicket of concerns about privacy and security.
Actually, we're already there, though we're still in the early stages of what's shaping up, after all the years of hype, as a genuine revolution. Just take a look at Rob Stein's recent series on the $1,000 genome to see how far we've come and where we're headed.
Unsuspecting motorists got either a shiver or a laugh yesterday morning in Portland, Maine as they drove by a construction site whose warning sign had been hacked: instead of the typical caution, they were told 'Warning Zombies Ahead!'
Portland authorities are not amused.
"These (signs) are deployed and used as a safety precaution. They're not a toy," Portland spokeswoman Nicole Clegg told the Portland Press Herald. She says the prank is a crime.
The news coming out of Pakistan today in the case of Malala is not good: The 15-year-old girl shot by the Taliban has been airlifted to the "country's top military hospital for specialist treatment," Pakistan's Dawn reports.
Originally published on Thu October 11, 2012 11:09 am
Yesterday I sat in the presence of a spiritual leader and felt the power of a mind that practices contemplative Buddhism and embraces modern science.
His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama, Buddhist monk and winner of the Nobel Peace Prize, spoke Wednesday to a crowd of 8,000 students, faculty, staff and members of the community at an arena at the College of William and Mary in Williamsburg, Virginia. His central message, about the transformational strength of human compassion, was straightforward yet profound.
Originally published on Thu October 11, 2012 10:06 am
The rift between Syria and Turkey deepened, after Turkish warplanes forced a Moscow-to-Damascus bound passenger airplane to land on Wednesday.
Not only that but it also opened fresh conflict with Russia. The New York Times reports that today Moscow demanded answers for it called "air piracy" and Turkey said it had found illegal materials on board.
Originally published on Thu October 11, 2012 10:49 am
OK, Grease lyrics aside, when it comes to gastronomy, certain foods just belong together: red wine and red meat, sushi and ginger, tea and biscuits, beer and pretzels. But, ever wonder why your favorite cabernet goes so well with a nice filet mignon? What makes two flavors jibe?