Monthly Archives: November 2013

World’s oldest scorpion found

World’s oldest scorpion found

By Larry O’Hanlon

Published November 27, 2013

Discovery News
  • Permian scorpion by Mary Sundstrom.jpg
  • scorpion-trace.jpg

    Photo of the rock with the imprint of what is believed to be a scorpion. (NEW MEXICO MUSEUM OF NATURAL HISTORY)

It may not look like much, but together with other tracks in the 280 million-year-old rocks of Prehistoric Trackways National Monument in southern New Mexico, this vague form has been identified as the one and only fossil impression of a scorpion body ever found. The scorpion rested here for a time, then scurried off, and the imprint of its body eventually turned to stone.

The age of the trace fossil, as body impressions and tracks are called, takes scorpions way back to the early Permian. That confirms that scorpions have survived a lot of gigantic mass extinction events between then and now. What’s more, seeing how the carbon dioxide levels in the Permian atmosphere were probably three times what they are today on Earth, it’s not likely anthropogenic climate change will stop these hardy arthropods either.

‘We gave it the name Alacranichnus, which means scorpion trace.’

– Spencer Lucas, curator at the New Mexico Museum of Natural History and Science

“We gave it the name Alacranichnus, which means scorpion trace (alacran is Spanish for scorpion and ichnos is Greek for trace),” said Spencer Lucas, curator at the New Mexico Museum of Natural History and Science (NMMNHS). The discovery was just published in the journal Ichnos: An International Journal for Plant and Animal Traces by scientist at the museum in Albuquerque.

In the paper Lucas, Allan Lerner and Sebastian Voigt describe the trace fossil as a “substantial addition to the poorly known Permian fossil record of scorpions that demonstrates that scorpions were present in the Early Permian coastal plain…. Unfortunately, there is nothing in the way of morphological characters evident from the resting trace that can help determine which particular type of scorpion made it.”

Scorpions are the oldest known arachnids, the researchers explain, with some fossils of probably aquatic scorpions dating back to the Silurian Periods about 430 million years ago. Later, in the Carboniferous (359 million to 299 million years ago), scorpions took to land. But then the fossils peter out.

“There is an extremely large gap in the North American scorpion fossil record following the Upper Carboniferous,” write Lucas and his colleagues. In fact, Permian scorpion fossils are rare worldwide, and only found in bits and pieces. There are no more North American scorpion fossils until the Middle Eocene (about 45 million years ago).

The unique new fossil will be displayed in the New Mexico museum’s upcoming Paleozoic Hall.

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Two men save shark from choking on moose

Two men save shark from choking on moose

Published November 21, 2013

He’s going to need a bigger bite.

According to, two Newfoundland men saved a shark from choking on a moose.


Derrick Chaulk was driving by the Norris Arm North harbor and thought he saw a beached whale. But when he went closer to investigate, Chaulk realized it was a Greenland shark.And it was choking.

“[The moose] had the fur and all the liner on it — it was about 2 feet long, maybe,” Chaulk said.

Chaulk and another man, Jeremy Ball, started pulling on the moose, reported.

“A couple yanks and it just came right out,” he said.


Chaulk and Ball then pushed the shark back into the water. After being still for a few minutes, water starting coming off the shark’s gills and it headed back out to sea.

“It was a good feeling to see that shark swim out, knowing that you saved his life,” Chaulk said. “There was a few people up on the bank watching and once that shark swam out and lifted his tail, and then swam all the way out, everybody just clapped.”

Greenland sharks are rarely seen on the northeast coast of Newfoundland, reported.

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Cosplay Pictures for Your Saturday

Your every Saturday edition of cool cosplay outfits:

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Wine cellar found in ancient palace

Raising Canaan? Wine cellar found in ancient palace hints at a sophisticated drink for banquets

Published November 23, 2013

Associated Press
  • Ancient Israeli Wine Cellar.jpg

    3,700-year-old jars were found in the ruins of a recently discovered wine cellar in a Canaanite palace that dates back to approximately 1700 B.C., near the modern town of Nahariya in northern Israel. (AP PHOTO/GEORGE WASHINGTON UNIVERSITY, ERIC H. CLINE)

  • Ancient Israeli Wine Cellar 1.jpg

    George Washington alumnus Zach Dunseth carefully removes dirt and debris from ancient wine jars while excavating the ruins of a recently discovered wine cellar in a Canaanite palace in Israel that dates back to approximately 1700 B.C., near the modern town of Nahariya in northern Israel. (AP PHOTO/GEORGE WASHINGTON UNIVERSITY, ERIC H. CLINE)

  • Ancient Israeli Wine Cellar 2.jpg

    The ruins of a recently discovered wine cellar in a Canaanite palace that dates back to approximately 1700 B.C., near the modern town of Nahariya in northern Israel. Researchers found 40 ceramic jars, each big enough to hold about 13 gallons, in a single room.(AP PHOTO/GEORGE WASHINGTON UNIVERSITY, ERIC H. CLINE)

NEW YORK –  Scientists have uncovered a 3,700-year-old wine cellar in the ruins of a Canaanite palace in Israel, and chemical analysis shows this is where they kept the good stuff.

Samples from the ceramic jars suggest they held a luxurious beverage that was evidently reserved for banquets, researchers said.

“It’s not wine that somebody is just going to come home from a hard day and kick back and drink,” said Andrew Koh of Brandeis University. He found signs of a blend of ingredients that may have included honey, mint, cedar, tree resins and cinnamon bark.

The discovery confirms how sophisticated wines were at that time, something suggested only by ancient texts, said Eric Cline of George Washington University. He, Koh and Assaf Yasur-Landau of the University of Haifa in Israel spoke to reporters Thursday before their work was presented Friday at a meeting of the American Schools of Oriental Research.

The wine cellar was found this summer in palace ruins near the modern town of Nahariya in northern Israel. Researchers found 40 ceramic jars, each big enough to hold about 13 gallons, in a single room. There may be more wine stored elsewhere, but the amount found so far wouldn’t be enough to supply the local population, which is why the researchers believe it was reserved for palace use, Cline said.

The unmarked jars are all similar, as if made by the same potter, Yasur-Landau said. Chemical analysis indicates that the jars held red wine and possibly white wine, Koh said. No liquid was left, and he analyzed residues he had removed from the jars.

Patrick McGovern of the University of Pennsylvania, an expert in ancient winemaking, said the discovery “sheds important new light” on the development of winemaking in ancient Canaan, from which it later spread to Egypt and across the Mediterranean. He said the chemical analysis would have to be published before the ingredients of the wine could be assessed.

Curtis Runnels, an archaeologist at Boston University, called the finding significant not only in showing the sophistication of the wine, but also in suggesting that it was meant specifically for palace use. He noted that the chemical analysis showed each jar held wine from the same recipe, showing the “consistency and control you’d expect in a palace.”

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Sometimes invasive and annoying, urban marketing does has the potential to be innovative in how the city’s objects are used to convey a message.


There is something interesting about ads that creatively take advantage of urban space (notably from Julian Beever’s optical illusions). Clearly this domain sparks the imagination and gives way to endless innovations. This list is devoted to streets and restricts the art to the ground, further cultivating an appreciation for urban space.

1-Vijay Sales’s barbecues

2-A musical crossing

3-An orthodontist can straighten that out

4-The South African tourism office

5-The pedestrian crossing bar-code

6-NGO Aseema for children’s rights

7-Mr. Clean makes it whiter

8-McDonald fries tries to take over the world

9-Opitical illusions by Julian Beever

10-A new security system for manholes

11-A hot cup of coffee…

12- The promotion for the children’s books “The Kids Who Could Fly”

13-Fedex’s office supplies

14-Durex condoms: with “knobs” :-)

15-The new Canon: with a bigger “zoom”

16-Your cigarette butts go in the trash…

17-Made by a creative hairdresser

18-Water is life

19-Amnesty International

20-A memorial for victims of the road

Source :

This post was originally published on Topito

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First 3D-printed metal gun

Texas firm makes world’s first 3D-printed metal gun

By Konrad Krawczyk

Published November 08, 2013

Digital Trends
  • 3D Printed Metal Gun.jpg

    Components for the first ever working 3D Printed metal gun. (SOLID CONCEPTS)

Depending on who you are, where you hail from, and where you stand on guns, 3D printing and related issues, this bit of news will either thrill and astound you, terrify you, or compel you to say “meh.”

But here goes: A company by the name of Solid Concepts has made the world’s first metal gun using a 3D printer.

Based out of Austin, Texas, the 3D-printed metal pistol made by Solid Concepts is based on the Browning 1911 firearm. Solid Concepts set out to make this gun in an effort to prove that they can make weapons that are fit for “real world applications.”

‘The industrial printer we used costs more than my college tuition (and I went to a private university).’

– Solid Concepts representative Alyssa Parkinson

To make the gun, Solid Concepts utilized a manufacturing process known as direct metal laser sintering, or DMLS. DMLS is a 3D manufacturing process used to make metal parts for the aerospace and medical industries. The application for DMLS in the latter example is specific to surgical tools, meaning it’s perfectly suited for the creation of precision firearms.

“The whole concept of using a laser sintering process to 3D Print a metal gun revolves around proving the reliability, accuracy, and usability of 3D Metal Printing as functional prototypes and end use products,” says Solid Concepts’ vice president of additive manufacturing Kent Firestone. “It’s a common misconception that laser sintering isn’t accurate or strong enough, and we’re working to change people’s perspective.”

While 3D printers are becoming more and more affordable all the time, don’t get the wrong idea: you can’t just slap down a couple thousand bucks for a MakerBot 3D printer and hope to make your own firearm from the comfort of your own garage.

“The industrial printer we used costs more than my college tuition (and I went to a private university),” said Alyssa Parkinson, a Solid Concepts rep. ”And the engineers who run our machines are top of the line; they are experts who know what they’re doing and understand 3D Printing better than anyone in this business.”

In other words, there’s a big difference between the gun made by Solid Concepts and the weapons made by Defense Distributed, a Texas-based firm that designed guns intended to be built using 3D printers in your home.

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Talking Turkey – Facts About Thanksgiving

Talking Turkey – Facts About Thanksgiving


  • The pilgrims did NOT have the first Thanksgiving as we know it.  In fact, Puritans gave thanks by fasting.  The harvest festival with the Pilgrims was to celebrate having enough food not to starve that winter.  The primary foods were corn and eel, though the native Americans also brought in venison, which was the height of the feast.  It was much later that Americans decided this early feast should be called the “first Thanksgiving.”
  • The association between Thanksgiving and the Pilgrims had been suggested as early as 1841 when Alexander Young identified the 1621 harvest celebration as the “first Thanksgiving” in New England, but their importance among the holiday’s symbols did not occur until after 1900. It was then that the familiar illustrations of Pilgrims and Native Americans sitting down to dinner in peace and concord appeared widely in calendar art and on patriotic murals.
  • The pilgrims did not want to go to Plymouth Rock.  They stopped there because they ran out of beer.  Beer was a great way to boil and preserve water and provide nutrition and calories.
  • Squanto, the native that helped them, had lived in England as a slave and returned to America.  He spoke English and knew their ways, so he was a natural go-between.Sarah Josepha Hale, an American magazine editor, persuaded Abraham Lincoln to declare Thanksgiving a national holiday. She is also the author of the popular nursery rhyme “Mary Had a Little Lamb”
  • Sarah Josepha Hale, an American magazine editor, persuaded Abraham Lincoln to declare Thanksgiving a national holiday. She is also the author of the popular nursery rhyme “Mary Had a Little Lamb”
  • Thanksgiving was a National Day of Prayer – hence, the Giving of Thanks to God
  • Abraham Lincoln issued a ‘Thanksgiving Proclamation’ on third October 1863 and officially set aside the last Thursday of November as the national day for Thanksgiving.  It was, in part, a celebration of the Union victories at Gettysburg and Vicksburg that early July.
  • The annual Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade tradition began in the 1920’s.
  • In 1939, President Roosevelt proclaimed that Thanksgiving would take place on November 23rd, not November 30th, as a way to spur economic growth and extend the Christmas shopping season.

Fun Facts about Thanksgiving Today


  • In the US, about 280 million turkeys are sold for the Thanksgiving celebrations.
  • Each year, the average American eats somewhere between 16 – 18 pounds of turkey.
  • Californians are the largest consumers of turkey in the United States.
  • Thanksgiving Day is celebrated on the fourth Thursday in November in the United States.
  • Although, Thanksgiving is widely considered an American holiday, it is also celebrated on the second Monday in October in Canada.
  • Black Friday is the Friday after Thanksgiving in the United States, where it is the beginning of the traditional Christmas shopping season.

Fun Turkey Facts


  • The average weight of a turkey purchased at Thanksgiving is 15 pounds.
  • The heaviest turkey ever raised was 86 pounds, about the size of a large dog.
  • A 15 pound turkey usually has about 70 percent white meat and 30 percent dark meat.
  • The five most popular ways to serve leftover turkey is as a sandwich, in stew, chili or soup, casseroles and as a burger.
  • Turkey has more protein than chicken or beef.
  • Turkeys will have 3,500 feathers at maturity.
  • Male turkeys gobble. Hens do not. They make a clucking noise.
  • Commercially raised turkeys cannot fly.
  • Turkeys have heart attacks. The United States Air Force was doing test runs and breaking the sound barrier. Nearby turkeys dropped dead with heart attacks.
  • A large group of turkeys is called a flock.
  • Turkeys have poor night vision.
  • It takes 75-80 pounds of feed to raise a 30 pound tom turkey.
  • A 16-week-old turkey is called a fryer. A five to seven month old turkey is called a young roaster.
  • Congress to passed a law on December 26, 1941, ensuring that all Americans would celebrate a unified Thanksgiving on the fourth Thursday of November every year.
  • Since 1947, the National Turkey Federation has presented a live turkey and two dressed turkeys to the President. The President does not eat the live turkey. He “pardons” it and allows it to live out its days on a historical farm.



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Random Humor for your Hump Day

Random humor – Enjoy!

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Art made from Cutting Wire Mesh

Ephemeral Portraits Cut from Layers of Wire Mesh by Seung Mo Park


Using a process that could be the new definition of meticulous, Korean sculptor Seung Mo Park creates giant ephemeral portraits by cutting layer after layer of wire mesh. Each work begins with a photograph which is superimposed over layers of wire with a projector, then using a subtractive technique Park slowly snips away areas of mesh. Each piece is several inches thick as each plane that forms the final image is spaced a few finger widths apart, giving the portraits a certain depth and dimensionality that’s hard to convey in a photograph, but this video on YouTube shows it pretty well. Park just exhibited this month at Blank Space Gallery in New York as part of his latest series Maya (meaning “illusion” in Sanskrit). You can see much more at West Collects. (art newswest collectslavinia tribiani)


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Dino-era water trapped under impact crater

Dino-era water trapped under impact crater

By Tim Wall

Published November 19, 2013

Discovery News 

 If you’ve ever searched for dinos on the Internet, chances are, you’ve come across the drawings of Nobu Tamura. What began as a hobby in 2006, when he realized most dinosaurs on Wikipedia had no photos due to copyright, Tamura is now one of the most prolific producers of up-to-date paleo critters on the web. He’s shared with us his 19 favorite. For his complete works, check out his blog.

More than one kilometer beneath the Chesapeake Bay in Virginia, geologists discovered 100- to 150-million-year-old water from the Atlantic Ocean’s infancy. The ancient water hid under a more recent 56-mile-wide crater left after a massive rock or block of ice nailed the Earth near what is now the entrance to the bay.

U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) hydrologists didn’t know the water beneath the crater dated from dino days until they analyzed the chemicals in the water. The water held forms of chloride and bromide, along with other chemicals, that allowed the scientists to estimate the water’s age. And while older water is known from Canada, the Chesapeake Bay impact water is now the oldest large body of water known on the planet.

“Previous evidence for temperature and salinity levels of geologic-era oceans around the globe have been estimated indirectly from various types of evidence in deep sediment cores,” said lead author Ward Sanford, USGS research hydrologist, in a press release. “In contrast, our study identifies ancient seawater that remains in place in its geologic setting, enabling us to provide a direct estimate of its age and salinity.” Sanford and colleagues published their findings in the journal Nature.

The ancient water contained twice the salt content of the modern ocean and dates from the early Cretaceous Period, when dinosaurs dominated the planet and the newborn north Atlantic was more of a lake than an ocean.

In the late Jurassic Period, 150 million years ago, pieces of the Earth’s crust, called tectonic plates, split to divide Europe from North America and Africa. This split formed a rift basin filled with extremely salty water that would later become the Atlantic Ocean. However the Atlantic would have to wait 50 million years until the mid-Cretaceous for a space to open between what is now Central and South America, just as the narrow Strait of Gibraltar now allows the Atlantic Ocean and Mediterranean Sea to mingle.

Before the north Atlantic connected with the rest of the world’s waters, some of that briny water became trapped underground beneath a coastal plain and isolated. The water remained largely unchanged until approximately 35 million years ago when a meteor or comet slammed into the Earth during the late Eocene Epoch. That impact created massive tsunamis that swept far inland and devastated the Atlantic coast of North America, yet helped to preserve the Cretaceous ocean water.

The process that made the infant north Atlantic so salty can still be seen today. The Dead Sea contains extremely salt water because more water evaporates out of the sea than flows into it. The Uyuni salt flats of Bolivia serve as an example of what happens when an inland sea completely dries out. Even the Mediterranean nearly became a salt flat during a period from 5.96 to 5.33 million years ago when the sea’s connection to the Atlantic intermittently closed.


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