Science News Archive - September 26, 2008

WASHINGTON - Cosmonauts aboard the International Space Station are preparing to return home next month aboard a Soyuz spacecraft, while Russian engineers believe they've isolated the glitch that sent the last two landings careening off-course, mission managers said Thursday. Expedition 17 station commander Sergei Volkov and flight engineer Oleg Kononenko are due to land on Oct.

An area of the Pacific Ocean once thought to be cold and barren is warmer than scientists thought, a new study finds.

Facebook profiles can tell you more than just peoples' birthdays and what movies they like - they can reveal the self-adoring, a new study suggests. Researchers at the University of Georgia gave personality questionnaires to nearly 130 Facebook users and analyzed the content of their online profiles.

Scientists have found a new huge and well-preserved fossil of a goose and duck relative that swam around what is now England 50 million years ago flashing sharp, toothy smiles. The skull, discovered on the Isle of Sheppey off the southeast coast of England in the Thames Estuary, belonged to a huge ancient bird in the extinct genus Dasornis, which had a whopping 16-foot (5-meter) wingspan. "Imagine a bird like an ocean-going goose almost the size of a small plane!" said Gerald Mayr of the Senckenberg Research Institute in Germany and a member of the team that studied the skull.

By Lisa Vernon-Sparks Officials take a look at procedures after lower-than-expected scores on standardized state exams. Three school districts -- East Greenwich, Exeter-West Greenwich and Coventry -- typically are among the sharper performers on standardized state tests.

By Linda Borg The Vartan Gregorian, Robert Kennedy and Martin Luther King Jr. elementary schools score well above their urban peers in statewide tests.

The Sun Journal editorial opposing legal protection for Atlantic salmon in the Androscoggin River (Sept. 8) does a great disservice to the people of the Androscoggin River valley.

By GORMAN, Paul Polluting farmers should be jailed, says Environment Minister Trevor Mallard. He told the Water and Wastes Association conference in Christchurch this week that he supported tougher sentences and even jail for serious water polluters.

Word of the Day
  • The horn of a unicorn considered as a medical or pharmacological ingredient.
  • A winged horse with a single horn on its head; a winged unicorn.
The word 'alicorn' comes from Italian alicorno, already associated with unicorns and reinterpreted, popularized by Bearing an Hourglass (1984) and other fantasy novels by Piers Anthony.