While the whole world may not celebrate the spooky holiday of Halloween, ghosts and ghouls excluded in many nations’ October attractions, the cosmos appears to be celebrating a bit early, and everyone’s dressing up. It appears that this Halloween we’re going back to the basics, and all of your favorite planets will be there. Mars will be Plymouth Rock, Earth will be a ball of fire, the moon has opted for a blood red werewolf, and the sun will apparently be a jack-o-lantern
It’s October, which to most means it’s time to break out the steins and German beers to celebrate the festival of Oktoberfest. But when you’re drinking your brew and you whiff that intoxicating familiar “fresh beer smell”, you’re actually smelling an evolutionary trick that has helped a common bacteria thrive. Thanks to fruit flies, no less!
Discovered in 1900 when a team of sponge divers, led by captain Dimitrios Kontos, unexpectedly returned with the arm of a bronze statue, the Antikythera shipwreck has since then become a mystery only solvable by modern science. Lying 55m beneath the surface of the sea, the shipwreck has been all but unobtainable to man, who is limited by the slow progression of scuba and diving equipment in recent years and the lack of light beneath the surface of the crystal blue shores. But now, the way in which researchers are tackling the mystery has changed.
While humans are limited by our relatively small ability to adapt, other species have discovered innovative ways of achieving the unachievable, and are able to forage and explore even the highest peaks and lowest depths with relatively no problems. And modern robotics would like to know how.
Developed by a team at Georgia Tech, researchers recently described their findings in this week’s issue of the journal Science, which tested a robotic snake look-alike to the real thing. Running both real and robotic snakes through identical sandy obstacle slopes, the researchers were able to view the sidewinder rattlesnake’s movement in an entirely new light, shedding insight on how to harness that movement to make robotics even better.
For many years, free divers attempted to reach the depths with little to no avail, as man fought our limitations against power of the water. And as technology has aided in aquatic exploration, advancements in scuba gear and breathing apparatuses have helped that task tremendously. But even then, precious minutes mark the divers’ time at the ocean floor of the Aegean Sea, and full exploration of the shipwreck has not been achievable. That is, until now.
Over a hundred years ago, in 1900, sponge divers swimming at the bottom of the sea nearest the island of Antikythera in southern Greece unearthed an extraordinary treasure from the wreckage of a once sea-ferrying ship. Known simply as the Antikythera shipwreck, over the years many artifacts have been discovered bringing to light the culture and the technology of the time the ship sank, and this year excavation efforts have revealed even more.
While the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service has put forth every effort in protecting and trying to help the natural populations of the rare Mexican Wolf grow through their recovery program, they have seen great setbacks since their protection began in 1977. Poachers and anti-wolf activists have created a dangerous environment in which these natural predators live, and the once common wolves have dwindled down to less than 83 suspected in the wild. And this week, the number drops by one.