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Strange Science: The Rocky Road to Modern Paleontology and Biology

Ever wonder how people figured out there used to be such things as dinosaurs? Curious about how scientists learned to reconstruct fossil skeletons? The knowledge we take for granted today was slow in coming, and along the way, scientists and scholars had some weird ideas. New: From Apelike to Us New in the Goof Gallery Featured in the Goof Gallery

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Journal home : Nature Raphael Lis, Charles C. Karrasch, Michael G. Poulos, Balvir Kunar, David Redmond, Jose G. Barcia Duran, Chaitanya R. How do rappers freestyle on the spot? Freestyle rappers such as Eminem and Philadelphia's Cassidy make up and bust out rhymes on the spot — a hugely challenging art form. Now, however, researchers have learned how the brain does it. A new study finds that when rappers improvise, parts of their brains linked to motivation, organization and integration get active, while portions responsible for self-monitoring and control get quiet. New species of ancient crocodile discovered A University of Missouri researcher has identified a new species of prehistoric crocodile. The extinct creature, nicknamed "Shieldcroc" due to a thick-skinned shield on its head, is an ancestor of today's crocodiles. Its discovery provides scientists with additional information about the evolution of crocodiles and how scientists can gain insight into ways to protect the species' environment and help prevent extinction.

Image of the Day: The Oldest Supernova Explosion Ever Detected Astronomers have discovered the oldest and farthest supernova ever detected -- a massive star that exploded 11 billion years ago. Scientists compared several years of images taken from one portion of the sky, which let them look for objects that changed in brightness over time -- “subtracting” the changes from the original image –- which erased the entire galaxy save for the supernova, which had changed. “What we’re looking for are things that were there one year, but which weren’t there the next,” said Mark Sullivan, an astronomer from the University of Oxford in the UK and one of the authors of the study, in a separate BBC report. Prior to this discovery, NASA’s Swift Observatory had detected a 13-billion-year-old gamma-ray burst, most likely from a supernova near the beginning of the Universe.

Strange Science: Dinosaurs and Dragons Despised in the West and revered in the East, dragons have a long history in human mythology. How did the myth start? No one knows the exact answer, but some myths may have been inspired by living reptiles, and some "dragon" bones probably belonged to animals long extinct — in some cases dinosaurs, in others, fossil mammals. Starting in the early 19th century, scientists began to find a new kind of monster, one that had gone extinct tens of millions of years before the first humans evolved. Because the first fragments found looked lizard-like, paleontologists assumed they had found giant lizards, but more bones revealed animals like nothing on earth today. Did these terrible lizards ever coexist with people?

What's That Stuff? You might ask yourself... What's That Stuff? Ever wondered about what's really in hair coloring, Silly Putty, Cheese Wiz, artificial snow, or self-tanners? C&EN presents a collection of articles that gives you a look at the chemistry behind a wide variety of everyday products. Sort: Alphabetically (Text Only) | Most Recent 100 Incredible Lectures from the World's Top Scientists Posted on Thursday June 18, 2009 by Staff Writers By Sarah Russel Unless you’re enrolled at one of the best online colleges or are an elite member of the science and engineering inner circle, you’re probably left out of most of the exciting research explored by the world’s greatest scientists. But thanks to the Internet and the generosity of many universities and online colleges, you’ve now got access to the cutting edge theories and projects that are changing the world in this list below. If you’re looking for even more amazing lectures, check out our updated list for 2012 with more talks from great minds.

190-million-year-old dinosaur nesting site found - Technology & Science A Canadian-led team of international researchers has unearthed the 190-million-year-old nesting site of the prosauropod dinosaur Massospondylus — predating previously known nesting grounds by 100 million years — at an excavation site in South Africa. The finding was published Monday in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. The study led by Robert Reisz, a paleontologist and professor of biology at the University of Toronto's Mississauga campus, describes clutches of eggs, many with embryos, as well as tiny dinosaur footprints. Resurrecting the Woolly Mammoth? Scientists Plan to Clone the Extinct Creature Good news for anyone who wishes we could revert to prehistoric times, or really, anyone who thinks woolly mammoths are awesome. Scientists in Asia have announced plans to recreate the giant creature that stomped around the Earth some 4,500 years ago. On Tuesday, scientist Hwang Woo-suk of South Korea’s Sooam Biotech Research Foundation signed an agreement with Vasily Vasiliev of Russia’s North-Eastern Federal University to clone a mammoth, AFP reports.

Physics Flash Animations We have been increasingly using Flash animations for illustrating Physics content. This page provides access to those animations which may be of general interest. The animations will appear in a separate window. The animations are sorted by category, and the file size of each animation is included in the listing. Also included is the minimum version of the Flash player that is required; the player is available free from The categories are: In addition, I have prepared a small tutorial in using Flash to do Physics animations.

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