Old News
These are articles which previously were collected in the "New [Science] News" section of my home page. If a link has expired, please let me know.

Archived on 6 July 1997:

The San Diego Union-Tribune hosts Science City, an excellent collection of stories and articles. The current highlight is a twelve-part history of evolution.
Generating random numbers is hard for a computer, which can't do anything randomly (except crash). However, in an exciting development that harks back to the dawn of the computer age (well, the '70s, anyway), scientists have harnessed the power of Lava Lamps to generate random numbers.
Wierd things seem to be happening at the center of our galaxy. No, it's not exploding, as it does in Larry Niven's Known Space series, but it is sending out an Enormous Antimatter Beam. Fortunately not at us.
Organisms as diverse as robins and rhinos obey the same math laws governing the way size affects structure, plumbing and life history. Surprisingly (or maybe not), these laws are fractal. For example, an animals metabolic rate goes as mass3/4.
Quasicrystals, like perfect crystals (e.g., diamond), have long range order. Unlike crystals, they aren't periodic. This gives them some rather unique properties. Introduction to Quasicrystals will help you get caught up on this unusual form of matter. Don't forget to go to the bottom of this page and look for some (DOS) programs which will help you understand crystals and quasicrystals.

Penrose tiles are the two-dimensional analog of quasi-crystals -- long range order, but no periodicity. In addition, they are related to the Golden Mean. You can read about them, or use QuasiTiler to construct your own tiles. (Note: I've heard that you can buy Penrose tiles for your floors. If anyone has ever heard anything about this, please email me.) (Further note: I've also heard that you can get Penrose-tiled bathroom tissue -- and the Penrose is suing the company.)

Pi through the ages gives you a web based history of man's favorite dessert. Oh. Never mind. Anyway, this site tells you a lot more about pi than you may want to know. For the definitive history of pi, plus gratuitous attacts on hippies, Aristotle, and the Roman Empire, go to Borders and get a copy of Petr Beckmann's A Brief History of Pi.
Like to doodle with numbers? See the Recreational Math home page.
Jonathan's Space Report is a more-or-less weekly listing of every manned and unmanned orbital launch.
Are Quantum Computers on the horizon? Maybe sooner than you think. Using a "large thermal ensemble (such as a cup of coffee)", this sounds like something out of the Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy.
Speaking of the APS March meeting (I was, further back), you can read about some of the highlights online. If you are a real glutton for punishment, you can look at the abstract of my talk.
Is history a science? Doesn't matter. Take a look at past versions of this month and see what happened 25, 50, and 75 years ago.
Nature has a special section on cloning of sheep and, presumably, other things. There are news, opinions, commentaries, and letters. You may need to register, but it is free.

Archived on 23 March 1997:

It is now possible to measure very small forces. How small? Just enough to lift a protein molecule.
Two scientists think they know the region where the famed Martian Meteorite originated Unfortunately, they don't agree on the place. Split the difference?
One bit of memory, one electron -- you can't get much more compact than that.
Humans have lived in South America for 12,500 years -- and maybe a lot longer.
Once thought of as a high-tech flop, the Hubble Telescope is helping revolutionize astronomy. Now it's due for an upgrade.
The aerospike engine, rejected by NASA for the original shuttle, may power the next generation of orbiters.
MIT scientists are learning how to use quantum mechanics to put atoms to work, possibly replacing some lasers and gyroscopes.
Stiff neck? If a water bed helps your back, how about a water pillow?
The recent discovery of extrasolar planets has led to a renewed interest in the search for life beyond the Earth. (This is a New York Times article. You'll be asked to register before reading. It's free.)
Which really came first? Dinosaurs or Birds?
Will methane be our next fuel? There appears to be a lot of it.
A cure for the flu? It might even be a baum from Gilead.
Not just light: MIT researchers have shown how to construct a rubidium atom laser. ( Here is a popularization of the announcement.)
You've probably never seen this before: a scientific review of the new Keanu Reeves movie, Chain Reaction, a movie about sonoluminescence.
New studies show that genus Homo started using tools at least 2.6 million years ago.

Archived on 9 Feb 1997:

January 26 is the 58th anniversary of the announcement of uranium fusion by neutron bombardment.
Clyde Tombaugh, the astronomer who discovered Pluto, died on January 17.
It is believed that the Earth's core rotates faster than its surface. Johns Hopkins University scientists have developed a model which may explain this phenomena.

Archived on 29 Jan 1997:

This is what happens when you expose scientists to too much literature: Hamlet as an allegory for competition between cosmological models. It is unknown whether, or how far, the tongue was inserted into the cheek when this paper was read.
Scientists at Purdue and Japan's Laboratory for High Energy Physics have partially penetrated the " Virtual-Particle Curtain" around the electron to reveal some of its true structure.
The sun will come up tomorrow. But what about a million years from now? Does chaos rule the solar system?

Archived on 26 Jan 1997:

Galileo finds evidence of oceans and rivers on Europa.
Astronomers have recently discovered Jupiter-sized planets in Earth-like orbits around other stars. The planets can't support life as we know it, but possibly their moons can. To find out, we've got to Search for Habitable Moons.
We've been detecting high energy gamma ray bursts for years. Sometimes they've been mistaken for byproducts of nuclear weapons tests. But now, scientists at Marshall Space Flight center believe these gamma rays originate from the edge of the universe.
A new method for finding black holes has been suggested by a group at Stanford University.

Archived on 22 Jan 1997:

Douglas Adams said that the universe was weirder than you thought. We mean really wierd. A new survey of galaxies shows that we may live in a Three Dimensional Cosmic Chessboard. You might think I'm making this up, but it appears in Nature. But does this really mean anything, or is it merely our need to find patterns?
Remember the old story about a scientist "proving" that a bumblebee couldn't fly? Well, now we're a lot closer to discovering the secrets of insect flight.

Archived before 19 Jan 1997:

Astronomer and science writer/publicist Carl Sagan died on December 20. No matter what you think of his later science and politics, his doctoral thesis was at the cutting edge of planetary science in its time.

The Washington Post hosts a discussion of Sagan's life, career, and impact. The print edition of the post also has an obituary, as well as what the Post calls an "appreciation". Finally, here is a longer article from last May.

How long did homo erectus and homo sapiens coexists? Maybe quite a long time, according to one anthropologist.
Carbon buckyballs and nanotubes, a "new" form of carbon, are stronger than steel. Several years ago I wrote an article about this Buckystuff. Now, the technological potential of these materials is in the news.
Searching for a book online? If it's out of copyright, Project Gutenberg probably has it. If not, they need your help to get it onto the net.
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