Wednesday 22 February 2012

News & Science: Science News Digest (22nd Feb)

Silene stenophylla after 30,000 years
Image from BBC News
Most amazing news in science today, is the discovery of a 30,000-year-old seed which has grown into a beautiful plant!!!

Woolly mammoth
Image from Wikipedia
According to BBC news, "The fruit was found in the banks of the Kolyma River in Siberia, a top site for people looking for mammoth bones"

If mammoths also lived there, maybe there are some freshly frozen mammoth DNAs!!

They have Siberian flower, China has 300-million-year-old fossilised Chinese Pompeii! Many times older than the one reported in BBC. The difference is, you can't grow the latter.

Lab beef
Image from BBC News
Then another news from the BBC, meat from animals aren't going to be enough for human consumption, and so we now have to move on to lab-grown beef! Although this sounds disgusting and I do not really want to try it, I don't think it is dangerous to eat, since in the lab, scientists can really control every gene in order to maintain its cleanliness. Any possible cancer-causing cells which might appear in the natural beef can be removed or not even produced during the process. If the technology is mature enough, it might just be the safest beef on Earth for consumption!

Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter detected tectonic activity
within the last 50 million years
Image from Discovery News

Next on Discovery News, the moon behaves just like our Earth, with magma, earthquakes and tectonic plate movements! We call it earthquakes, and on the moon, it will naturally be called "moonquake", sounds like "mooncake". Anyway, scientists can't be sure if the movements are still happening now or has come to a halt millions of years ago. I would be thrilled to know that it is still moving like our Earth does should that be confirmed one day.
Image from Wikipedia
Talking about the moon, when watching the Bollywood (from Bombay + Hollywood) movie 3 Idiots, the professor had a line saying something like, "Everybody remembers the first man on the moon, who will remember the second?" So I want to be that person who knows it, and here's my answer.
Buzz Lightyear
Image from drjeffadams
The first man on the moon is of course, Neil Armstrong, the second man on the moon, 20 minutes later than the first, is Buzz, not the one above, but the one below, on the right, Buzz Aldrin; Steve Jobs might just know how important the second person on the moon can be as much as the first. So I guess now, you will never forget.
The Apollo 11 crew portrait.
Neil Armstrong(left) , Buzz Aldrin.(right), Michael Collins (middle)
Image from Wikipedia
Do you remember what Neil Armstrong's famous quote is when he first stepped on the moon?

That's one small step for man, one giant leap for mankind. -- Neil Armstrong

Beautifully said, but the English grammarians did not let him go with his grammatical mistakes. There should have been an "a" to be grammatically correct, so it should have been,

That's one small step for [a] man, one giant leap for mankind. -- Neil Armstrong

And the funny thing is, Neil said he did that on purpose, an Australian programmer said Neil actually did say an "a" but it was disrupted by the poor receptions at that time. You can listen to it yourself using the link below.

For me, an English teacher, I would say, does it matter? It was the best moment of man / mankind and no one had ever been on such a dreamland, couldn't Neil Armstrong be over-excited that he made a simple harmless grammatical hiccup? Why can't these grammarians just embrace the beauty of his words?

And lastly, guess what this is going to be?
Image from ibtimes
Very iconic? Isn't it? An adaptation of Neil Armstrong's words. When is it coming?

This will make Rovio big money... again!!!

mammoth -- (n)[C] is any species of the extinct genus Mammuthus, proboscideans commonly equipped with long, curved tusks and, in northern species, a covering of long hair.
fossilize -- (adj) to become a fossil
tectonic --  (adj) specialized relating to the structure of the surface of the Earth and the way it is formed, changed and moved by forces inside it
thrilled -- (adj) extremely pleased
Bollywood -- (n) [U] from Bombay + Hollywood,  informal term popularly used for the Hindi-language film industry based in Mumbai (formerly known as Bombay), Maharashtra, India. The term is often incorrectly used to refer to the whole of Indian cinema; it is only a part of the total Indian film industry, which includes other production centers producing films in regional languages.
hiccup -- (n)[C usually plural] a loud noise made in the throat caused by a sudden uncontrollable tightening of a muscle just below the chest, usually happening repeatedly over a short period
embrace -- (vb) [T] formal to accept something enthusiastically
iconic -- (adj) formal very famous or popular, especially being considered to represent particular opinions or a particular time
adaptation -- (n) [U] the process of changing to suit different conditions

Ancient plants back to life after 30,000 frozen years @ BBC News

Lab-grown meat is first step to artificial hamburger @ BBC News

300-million-year-old 'Chinese Pompeii' found buried under volcanic ash @ The Christian Science Monitor

Antibiotic-Resistant MRSA in Livestock May Spread to Humans @ ABC News


Angry Birds Space Launch March 22: New Birds, Super Powers, Zero Gravity and Many More @ International Business Times

Neil Armstrong @ Wikipedia

Angry Birds Space - Teaser #1 @ YouTube