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Derby Sex, booze and strange animal tricks: You had to know the Weird Science Awards would hit on those themes. After all, past award winners have included scientists' successful quest to reattach rabbit penisesa 2,year-old marijuana stash and glow-in-the-dark kitties.
Click ahead to count down the top 10 selections, plus some bonus picks. Are we having doomsday yet? Some folks say the ancient Maya calendar's "Long Count" runs out on Dec.
Other folks, including the modern-day Mayasay that's just a load of llama crap And then there's Gerardo Aldana, a professor at the University of California at Santa Barbara, who says they're all probably wrong.
Aldana contends that the calculations we've used to match up the Maya calendar to our modern reckoning could be off by as much as 50 to years, and that the Long Count may have already ended.
If Aldana is right, the timetable for the apocalypse may already be up. Which might explain why "Apocalypto" director Mel Gibson's been acting so weird lately.
Why it's OK for birds to be gay Dreamstime Nearly one-fifth of all long-term greylag geese couples are gay, composed of two males. Scientists have found more than bird species that engage in some sort of same-sex hanky-panky — and the males in some of those species, such as penguins and greylag geese, occasionally form long-term sexual relationships with each other.
That's presented a puzzle for some evolutionary biologists, because same-sex relationships would seem to reduce the birds' chances of reproductive success.
Believe it or not, gay birds are quite a research topic Geoff MacFarlane, a biologist at the University of Newcastle in Australia, and colleagues reviewed studies of 93 bird species and suggested that there was a relationship between the rearing of young and same-sex mating.
Male homosexual behavior would be likelier if the females of the species took care of the chicks. Are you still curious? Find out why some scientists think mercury pollution may spark bird homosexualityand learn more about the bizarre study of a homosexual necrophiliac duck.
The race to create A. What do you think? Puss-Bob is not amused: He's heard the reports claiming that Pentagon-funded scientists are trying to create an artificial brain as intelligent as a catof course, but he realizes this is a grossly oversimplified description of the SyNAPSE project.
He knows the real point of the research is to build electronic networks that mimic biological brains, using new types of devices known as memristors. Such networks could "learn" by taking in additional information from the environment and adapting accordingly.
The technology could produce smarter robotic scout vehicles for the U. But Puss-Bob highly doubts that memristor-based neural networks will ever match the intelligence of cats. The Mona Lisa is one of the great masterpieces of the art world, but it's also a great generator of weird science.
In past years, researchers have said that they've tracked down the inspiration for Leonardo da Vinci's portrait, found a nude version of the painting and figured out what Mona Lisa's voice sounded like. InItaly's national committee for cultural heritage claimed that Leonardo painted tiny, almost invisible letters in Mona Lisa's eyes.
The committee's president, Silvano Vinceti, said the lines in one eye appear to form the initials "LV," perhaps standing for the artist's name.Environmental Research Letters covers all of environmental science, providing a coherent and integrated approach including research articles, perspectives and review articles..
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