Water pollution is making birds gay

Water pollution is posing a threat to bird ­populations by causing males to mate with each other. Scientists believe poisonous metal compounds entering the food chain can affect sexuality, causing a reduction in offspring. They found that even relatively low levels of methylmercury in the diet of male white ibises caused the birds to pair … [Read the full story]

Asteroid will be close to hitting Earth in 2036

An asteroid may come uncomfortably close to Earth in 2036 and the United Nations should assume responsibility for a space mission to deflect it, a group of astronauts, engineers and scientists said. The 20-million-tonne asteroid could be heading the way towards Kamchatkans and Venezuelans. Californians have even more reason to worry the asteroid is more … [Read the full story]

Some thoughts ON the Environment

With the elections looming, expect to hear the same old bullshit about green policies. But when we take a close look at our environment, the spaces around us and our neighbours we realise things are not as they should be. If we look further and deeper at the spaces occupied by other people in other … [Read the full story]

On this day…in 1799

American Astronomer, Andrew Elliott Douglass, witnesses the Leonids meteor shower from a ship off the Florida Keys. Douglass wrote in his journal that the ‘ whole heaven appeared as if illuminated with sky rockets, flying in an infinity of directions, and I was in constant expectation of some of them falling on the ship. They … [Read the full story]

Penis hotpots and snake blood on the menu

Holding aloft a half-metre long horse penis, chef Xiao Shan confidently declares it “the most delicious” of the ingredients in a Chinese hotpot of male genitalia, one of many supposed Asian remedies to boost the libido. Penises and testicles from donkey, goat, dog, bull and deer, the other contributors to the $200 feast, are laid … [Read the full story]

Drumming in a circle is dangerous…and shit

A recent report has found that drum circles could be dangerous to the health of participants. The feature is based on the case of a young woman from New Hampshire who fell ill and then tested positive for anthrax after being hospitalised with severe flu-like symptoms, nausea, vomiting and abdominal cramps. It was found that … [Read the full story]

Listening to new music is good for the brain

A new study has discovered that listening to new music is good for the brain. A team of Canadian scientists have used MRI scans to establish that areas of the reward centre of the brain become active when people hear a new song for the first time. A report published in the Science journal explains … [Read the full story]

First book in America up for auction for $30m

A tiny hymnal from 1640 believed to be the first book ever printed in what is now the United States is going up for auction, and it could sell for as much as $30 million. Only 11 copies of the Bay Psalm Book survive in varying degrees of completeness. Members of Boston’s Old South Church … [Read the full story]

On this day…in 1900

German physicist Max Planck publishes his groundbreaking study of the effect of radiation on a “blackbody” substance, and the quantum theory of modern physics is born. Through physical experiments, Planck demonstrated that energy, in certain situations, can exhibit characteristics of physical matter. According to theories of classical physics, energy is solely a continuous wave-like phenomenon, … [Read the full story]

We’re safe…the world won’t end this year

Three Guatemalan sages burned wood resin, seeds, fruits and flowers on a beach outside Havana in a ceremony marking the end of a Mayan calendar cycle that some have wrongly interpreted as a prediction of a looming apocalypse. Raising their hands to the sky and praying in their indigenous language, they kissed each offering before … [Read the full story]

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