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    <S&#079;NG>Ireckon we need a thread for us geeks and nerds. If you see a decent article post it here.</S&#079;NG>


    Giant fly-swat shaped “synthetic trees” line the road into the office, where blooms of algae grow in tubes up the walls and the roof reflects heat back into the sky — all reducing the effects of global warming.


    All this could be a familiar sight within the next two decades, under proposals devised by the Institution of Mechanical Engineers to alter the world’s climate with new technology.


    A day after John Prescott, the former Deputy Prime Minister and Environment Secretary, warned that negotiations for a global deal to cut carbon emissions were in danger of collapsing, the institution is recommending a series of technical fixes to “buy time” to avert dangerous levels of climate change.


    It says that the most promising solution is offered by artificial trees, devices that collect CO2 through their “leaves” and convert it to a form that can easily be collected and stored.Tim Fox, head of environment and climate change at the institution, said that the devices were thousands of times more effective at removing carbon from the atmosphere than real trees. &lt; =text/ src="/tol/js/picture-gallery.js"&gt; &lt; =text/&gt; function slideshowPopUp(url) { pictureGalleryPopupPic(url); return false; }
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    <LI>Unilever wants ice cream to ease global warming </LI>[/list]&lt; method=post name=relatedLinks =""&gt;</>
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    In the first report on such geo-engineering by practising engineers, the institution calculates that 100,000 artificial trees — which could fit into 600ha (1,500 acres) — would be enough to capture all emissions from Britain’s homes, transport and light industry. It says that five million would do the same for the whole world.


    Dr Fox said that prototypes had been shown to work using a technology, developed by Klaus Lackner of Columbia University in New York, that isolated CO2 using low levels of energy. “The technology is no more complex than what is used in cars or air-conditioning units,” he said.


    Professor Lackner estimates that in pro
    My computer thinks I'm gay
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    When all the people do all day
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    #2


    White Europeans could have evolved as recently as 5,500 years ago, according to research which suggests that the early humans who populated Britain and Scandinavia had dark skins for millenniums.


    It was only when early humans gave up hunter-gathering and switched to farming about 5,500 years ago that white skin began to be favoured, say the researchers.


    This is because farmed food was deficient in vitamin D, a vital nutrient. Humans can make this in their skin when exposed to sunlight, but dark skin is much less efficient at it.


    In places such as northern Europe, where sunlight levels are low, the ability to make vitamin D more efficiently could have been crucial to survival.


    Johan Moan, of the Institute of Physics at the University of Oslo, said in a research paper: “In England, from 5,500-5,200 years ago the food changed rapidly away from fish as an important food source. This led to a rapid development of ... light skin.”


    Moan, who worked with Richard Setlow, a biophysicist at Brookhaven National Laboratory in New York state, said vitamin D deficiency could be lethal. Research links it with heart disease, diabetes, arthritis and reduced immunity.


    Their research says: “Cold climates and high latitudes would speed up the need for skin lightening. Agricultural food was an insufficient source of vitamin D, and solar radiation was too low to produce enough vitamin D in dark skin.”


    Such findings need to be treated with caution. The history of the colonisation of Europe is highly complex because its climate has been dominated by a series of ice ages, punctuated by warm periods.


    This means early humans ventured to Europe not just once but many times over the past 700,000 years, returning each time the ice melted only to be driven back again when it returned.


    Furthermore, the ice ages coincided with, and may even have driven, the evolution of modern humans, with several species such as Neanderthals and Cro-Magnons appearing at various times.


    The idea that human evolution has often turned on chance mutations is well established. Some researchers have linked the entire evolution of language with mutations in a gene known as FoxP2 occcuring about 50,000 years ago.
    My computer thinks I'm gay
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    When all the people do all day
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    Comment


      #3


      Apocalypse not yet. A few years ago the idea of nanotechnology inspired a wave of hysteria about marauding “nanobots” self-replicating like tiny rabbits and turning the planet into porridge. Now it turns out that nanotechnology can be really rather handy in improving everyday life rather than putting an end to it.


      Nanotechnology is closer to microbiology than to physics. Physics is concerned overwhelmingly with the realm of the very large (eg, on the scale of the Universe) and the very small (God particles and the like). Physicists of a technological bent dream of sucking the energy out of whole planets or stars and — at the other end of the scale — building quantum computers out of pure light. But we are a long way from getting any of these bright ideas up and running. Meanwhile, the nanometre — a billionth of a metre — is poised between cosmic and quantum and is more accessible than either. Thousands of nanoparticles can fit, rather like angels, on the head of a pin. But nano-engineers are working on mimicking the natural realm at a strictly terrestrial level and are already getting their products out on the high street.


      In the not-quite-there-yet category comes an ingenious system of instant colour printing from South Korea. Poets have long been impressed by the iridescent colours of, for example, kingfishers, peacocks and dragonflies. “As kingfishers catch fire, dragonflies draw flame”: so Gerard Manley Hopkins once neatly put it. Scientists have pinned the shimmering effect down to the interaction of photons with melanin rods. Now a team at Seoul University has succeeded in replicating these “structural colours” with their “M-ink”, involving magnetic nanoparticles 100 to 200 nanometres across. When a magnetic field is applied to the ink, the nanoparticles snap into different structures and produce different colours as they interact with light, depending on the strength of the field — so making Kall Kwik a lot kwiker and, possibly, cheaper.


      Nanotechnology has already slipped almost unnoticed into the pharmacy and the factory. Some sunblocks now contain particles — extremely small but with a large total surface area — capable of efficiently deflecting the most destructive rays. Those annoying scratches on your car will soon be a thing of the past when self-repairing paint, modelled on a material found in crab shells, is sprayed as standard. You can kiss goodbye to smelly socks too, thanks to stink-proof nanofibres. Personally I need to buy a stain-resistant suit that is capable of repelling spaghetti sauce. Contrary to our initial fears, it seems as if nanotechnology is capable of eradicating the threat of “grey goo” — or any other colour of goo.


      In the realm of medicine, we don’t yet have troops of nanodocs swarming through our veins, scouring out cancers and sewing up torn tissue. But we are getting close. For example, Rice University, in Houston, Texas, is working on “nano-shells”, micro-orbs of glass and gold that attach themselves to tumours and act like a lens for a near infra-red light torch to burn them out.


      My sons tell me that there is an 007 computer game, Everything or Nothing, in which the villains use nanotechnology to take over the world (if they get their way). But it looks as if we may have to change our fond paranoid ideas and start to see nano-engineers as the heroes, going about the planet doing good things.


      There is still an anxiety factor attached to nanotechnology though, something we may have to call nanophobia. We fear very small things we cannot see floating about and getting into us and multiplying. But, of course, they already do that, organically, even without rubbing nanocosmetics on to our skin.


      Specialists in nanotextiles are working on fibres that would filter out all the bad stuff. Perhaps the M&amp;S suit of the future will be “smart” in more ways than one, and will not only not need dry cleaning but will also stop you catching swine flu.


      Andy Martin is the au
      My computer thinks I'm gay
      What's the difference anyway
      When all the people do all day
      Is stare into a phone

      Comment


        #4
        Pays my mortgage and then some
        My computer thinks I'm gay
        What's the difference anyway
        When all the people do all day
        Is stare into a phone

        Comment


          #5
          DINOSAURS SOUNDED LIKE SCOUSERS, SAY EXPERTS


          THE steaming Jurassic jungles were alive with the sound of dinosaurs
          that sounded like aggrieved Scousers, paleontologists have claimed.

          <s&#111;ng><div ="mosimage" style="float: right; width: 270px;" align="center"><div ="mosimage_capti&#111;n" style="text-align: center;" align="center">The fossilised skull of the Arkidosaurus </div></div></s&#111;ng>Professor
          Henry Brubaker, of the Institute for Studies, has examined the throats
          of major breeds of dinosaur and insists they would have produced a
          noise similar to a rusty wheel spinning in a tuba full of phlegm.


          His theory, confirmed by Wikipedia, suggests the extinction of the
          dinosaurs may have been caused by mass suicide after the giant
          creatures could no longer bear to listen to themselves.

          He
          added: "Dinosaurs existed for 160 million years. So anyone who's used
          the Euston to Liverpool train - a journey time of just three hours -
          can fully appreciate the true horror."

          Archaeological digs in
          Arizona have uncovered the partial remains of a Velociraptor signing a
          book of condolence and what was previously thought to be fossilised
          scales surrounding bones is probably change stolen from a child
          dinosaur's piggy-bank.

          Professor Brubaker explained: "The
          primordial plains would have sounded like the outside of Yates' Wine
          Lodge after last orders.

          "Imagine watching Jurassic Park while dragging your nails down a blackboard and having your DVD player nicked at the same time. Something like that."


          Despite Hollywood frequently being criticised for scientific
          inaccuracy, Brubaker feels the Spielberg blockbuster echoes his theory
          exactly.

          "Some of the dinosaurs were portrayed as slow-moving,
          dimwitted and prone to s**tting where they stood. But most were sneaky,
          vicious b*****ds that would wreck your house and bite your face off if
          they weren't behind bars.

          "So, in other words, Bootle on a Saturday night."
          Stand up and fight

          Comment


            #6
            [img]smileys/lol.gif[/img]
            My computer thinks I'm gay
            What's the difference anyway
            When all the people do all day
            Is stare into a phone

            Comment


              #7
              Originally posted by sparks
              DINOSAURS SOUNDED LIKE SCOUSERS, SAY EXPERTS


              THE steaming Jurassic jungles were alive with the sound of dinosaurs that sounded like aggrieved Scousers, paleontologists have claimed.

              <S&#111;NG>
              <DIV style="FLOAT: right; WIDTH: 270px" align=center ="mosimage">
              <DIV style="TEXT-ALIGN: center" align=center ="mosimage_capti&#111;n">The fossilised skull of the Arkidosaurus </DIV></DIV>
              <DIV></S&#111;NG>Professor Henry Brubaker, of the Institute for Studies, has examined the throats of major breeds of dinosaur and insists they would have produced a noise similar to a rusty wheel spinning in a tuba full of phlegm.

              His theory, confirmed by Wikipedia, suggests the extinction of the dinosaurs may have been caused by mass suicide after the giant creatures could no longer bear to listen to themselves.

              He added: "Dinosaurs existed for 160 million years. So anyone who's used the Euston to Liverpool train - a journey time of just three hours - can fully appreciate the true horror."

              Archaeological digs in Arizona have uncovered the partial remains of a Velociraptor signing a book of condolence and what was previously thought to be fossilised scales surrounding bones is probably change stolen from a child dinosaur's piggy-bank.

              Professor Brubaker explained: "The primordial plains would have sounded like the outside of Yates' Wine Lodge after last orders.

              "Imagine watching Jurassic Park while dragging your nails down a blackboard and having your DVD player nicked at the same time. Something like that."

              Despite Hollywood frequently being criticised for scientific inaccuracy, Brubaker feels the Spielberg blockbuster echoes his theory exactly.

              "Some of the dinosaurs were portrayed as slow-moving, dimwitted and prone to s**tting where they stood. But most were sneaky, vicious b*****ds that would wreck your house and bite your face off if they weren't behind bars.

              "So, in other words, Bootle on a Saturday night."
              </DIV>
              <DIV></DIV>
              <DIV>Sounds like a segment from "The Colbert Report"</DIV>
              To err is human - but to really screw up you need a computer.

              Comment


                #8

                Sewa this should have you in stitches:


                A DAFFODIL who accused a Bumblebee of groping it in a public park was asking for it, the bee claimed last night.



                <s&#111;ng></s&#111;ng><div style="float: right; width: 270px;" align="center"><div style="text-align: center;" align="center">Skank</div></div>According
                to the bee it was flying on its normal route collecting pollen when it
                suddenly caught sight of bright yellow shape waving at it in the breeze.

                As
                it flew over to take a closer look, the bee said the daffodil started
                to sway sexily from side to side before it opened up its petals and
                flashed its stamen.

                The bee said: "I was just flying around
                minding my own business. Yes, I was looking for a bit of pollen if
                there was any on offer, but you tell me, what bee isn’t?

                "I
                didn’t make the first move, it wasn’t me standing there with me bits
                flapping around in the air for everyone to see, filthy tart.

                "If
                they aren’t up for a bit of action they shouldn’t flaunt themselves
                like that. I’m a normal red-blooded male. I was aroused. She led me on.
                I couldn’t stop myself."



                Nikki Quinn, chair of the flower rights
                group Reclaim the Park, said bees had to recognise that when a daffodil
                said no, it meant no.

                She said: "Every flower has to right to
                flap where it pleases, when it pleases, with as many stamens showing as
                it wants, without being pestered and molested by these pervert bees.

                "We
                just do not accept that a bee is incapable of a little self-control,
                whatever the temptation, and if it is, then it can always go and visit
                those dirty begonias by the boating pool."




                I found this bit really funny:

                As
                it flew over to take a closer look, the bee said the daffodil started
                to sway sexily from side to side before it opened up its petals and
                flashed its stamen.




                Stand up and fight

                Comment


                  #9


                  Sewa, nice title, but hey....!


                  You know our beloved government is vocal in its' support of 'Science' but in reality they haven't a clue (if they have they're negligent). And worse - it's a hindrance to being employed. The only person in our househiold who has a permanent, pensionable position has a (pass..) arts degree fron UCD. No problem with that, but what about a 2:1 from UCC (Science), 2:1 from UL (Science), Cum Laudae from NUIG (Science)...? Well of those last 3 the best paid works in a bar in central Cork........! One doesn't and the other has a month-on-month contract for a little over the min. wage. Not exactly the best recommendation to do a pure Maths or Theoretical Physics course/degree.


                  Reckon you just got lucky S..!


                  BTW, I have a major problem with some of those wo are 'making decisions' in this area in this country. Ignorance isn't bliss....... But Power is...





                  Comment


                    #10


                    Sparks, That's a lovely parable....[img]smileys/wink.gif[/img]


                    Just wish I could flap my petals (or wings..) like that Daff.....[img]smileys/shock.gif[/img]

                    Comment


                      #11


                      I agree 99. Its badly organised and support after your degree is non existent. That said it is possible to make a good career in it if you know how. Drop me a Pm and I will see ifI can help in any way. The most important thing is to get some experience even if you are making sweet FA in wages.
                      My computer thinks I'm gay
                      What's the difference anyway
                      When all the people do all day
                      Is stare into a phone

                      Comment


                        #12
                        Sewa How about starting an Engineering Thread?

                        Comment


                          #13
                          Originally posted by sewa


                          I agree 99. Its badly organised and support after your degree is non existent. That said it is possible to make a good career in it if you know how. Drop me a Pm and I will see ifI can help in any way. The most important thing is to get some experience even if you are making sweet FA in wages.


                          Sewa, I'm up to my eyeballs in stuff right now, but I do appreciate the offer. I'm fed up dealing with (government employees) who don't know the difference between a lauded Masters and a PLC for those who don't want to take their PJs off before sunset.


                          Might be in touch in a few days - I've a 7oc start 2moro.....!

                          Comment


                            #14


                            http://www.hubblesite.org/newscenter/


                            Some cracking images / videos of space.
                            My computer thinks I'm gay
                            What's the difference anyway
                            When all the people do all day
                            Is stare into a phone

                            Comment


                              #15


                              http://www.hubblesite.org/newscenter...eleases/2009/2 5/


                              After you get past the BS there is some savage images on this
                              My computer thinks I'm gay
                              What's the difference anyway
                              When all the people do all day
                              Is stare into a phone

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