Saturday, May 30, 2009

Flickr Explore

Finally got a couple of photos into Explore! again on Flickr. Yay!

Click the photos to see much larger versions

Pretty Green Jumping Spider - DSCF4404c

Tricksy Scorpion - DSCF4622c

Saturday, May 23, 2009

It Appears We've Finally Found the Evolutionary Missing Link

Scientists have discovered an exquisitely preserved ancient primate fossil that they believe forms a crucial "missing link" between our own evolutionary branch of life and the rest of the animal kingdom.

The 47 million year old primate – named Ida – has been hailed as the fossil equivalent of a "Rosetta Stone" for understanding the critical early stages of primate evolution.

The top-level international research team, who have studied her in secret for the past two years, believe she is the most complete and best preserved primate fossil ever uncovered. The skeleton is 95% complete and thanks to the unique location where she died, it is possible to see individual hairs covering her body and even the make-up of her final meal – a last vegetarian snack.

"This little creature is going to show us our connection with the rest of all the mammals; with cows and sheep, and elephants and anteaters," said Sir David Attenborough who is narrating a BBC documentary on the find. "The more you look at Ida, the more you can see, as it were, the primate in embryo."

"This will be the one pictured in the textbooks for the next hundred years," said Dr Jørn Hurum, the palaeontologist from Oslo University's Natural History Museum who assembled the scientific team to study the fossil. "It tells a part of our evolution that's been hidden so far. It's been hidden because the only [other] specimens are so incomplete and so broken there's nothing almost to study." The fossil has been formally named Darwinius masillae in honour of Darwin's 200th birthday year.

It has been shipped across the Atlantic for an unveiling ceremony hosted by the mayor of New York Michael Bloomberg today. There is even talk of Ida being the first non-living thing to feature on the front cover of People magazine.

See more here.

Saturday, May 16, 2009

STS-125 Atlantis Solar Transit (200905120002HQ)

This photo is too cool not to post.

In this tightly cropped image, the NASA space shuttle Atlantis is seen in silhouette during solar transit, Tuesday, May 12, 2009, from Florida. This image was made before Atlantis and the crew of STS-125 had grappled the Hubble Space Telescope. Photo Credit: (NASA/Thierry Legault)

Thierry made this image using a solar-filtered Takahashi 5-inch refracting telescope and a Canon 5D Mark II digital camera. Photo Credit: (NASA/Thierry Legault)

Thursday, May 14, 2009

We Grow 'Em Big in Central America

I just had to post this photo taken in Costa Rica. I hope you enjoy it.

Originally uploaded on Flickr by Néstor Baltodano

Saturday, May 9, 2009

Scorpions Anyone?

I thought I'd post a video made from several clips I shot of scorpions that one occasionally encounters here where I live.

Thursday, May 7, 2009

Up to 2 Billion Could Become Infected with Swine Flu

Up to 2 billion people could get the swine flu (AH1N1).

Pandemics typically last about two years and infect about one-third of the world's population.

If the current epidemic becomes a pandemic and lasts for two years, it could infect 2 billion people, if the pandemic follows the patterns of past pandemics, says the WHO.

See the AP story here.