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Science News Archive - December 26, 2008

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This Christmas, it is unlikely that the global recession has completely dampened the enthusiasm for people's interest in new gadgets. However, for the cash-strapped individual, with a new cell phone in their possession, there is a way of making money from their old phones.

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Thanks to new imaging technology, scientists are able to see neurons that are critical to how people and animals learn from experience.

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Much like Steve Jobs of Apple Computers and the creators of the Google search engine, hobbyists are now working at home with the basic building blocks of life itself.

The Kilauea volcano on the big island of Hawaii took a three-day break this week from its 26-year eruption. Scientists said that lava stopped flowing at what is known as the Thanksgiving Eve Breakout on Monday and started up again on Christmas Eve, the Honolulu Advertiser reported Friday. Jim Kauahikaua, head of the Hawaiian Volcano Observatory of the U.S.

Winter's bitter cold can stall wind turbine blades, congeal biodiesel and render solar panels useless, say U.S. power developers. As renewable energy assumes a larger role in the U.S.

A $4.4 billion canal that would stretch from the Red Sea to the Dead Sea would provide an abundance of power and fresh water, Jordanian officials say. The proposed canal also would keep the Dead Sea from drying up and disappearing within 50 years, said Adnan Zoubi, a spokesman for the Jordanian water

Snapping turtles in Ontario are on the decline and at risk because they don't mate until they are 15 years old, say Canadian officials. The provincial government has named the snapping turtle a species at risk over concerns they produce few offspring and have a high mortality rate, The Toronto Sun reported

Environmental advocates concerned about global climate change say they're preparing for what is coming rather than focusing on stopping it. In a way, we're protecting the stage, while the actors may change over time, said Andy Finton, a director at The Nature Conservancy. That means, for example, accepting that some species, such as moose and loons, may not be part of the Massachusetts' wildlife in the future, The Boston Globe reported Friday. The old model is -- let's protect a certain species or natural community, said Finton.

Word of the Day
cock-a-hoop
  • Exultant; jubilant; triumphant; on the high horse.
  • Tipsy; slightly intoxicated.
This word may come from the phrase 'to set cock on hoop,' or 'to drink festively.' Its origin otherwise is unclear. A theory, according to the Word Detective, is that it's a 'transliteration of the French phrase 'coq a huppe,' meaning a rooster displaying its crest ('huppe') in a pose of proud defiance.' Therefore, 'cock-a-hoop' would 'liken a drunken man to a boastful and aggressive rooster.'
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