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2009-03-26 15:42:50

Exquisitely sensitive microwave amplifier increases nano-scale measurement accuracy; could lead to quantum computing breakthroughs In the weird world of quantum mechanics, sub-atomic particles such as electrons and photons behave in strange ways that make no sense on the human scale. One of the counter-intuitive concepts of quantum mechanics is the uncertainty principle, which says that you can't pin a particle down. That means at any given moment, you can't know exactly both a particle's...

2009-01-19 15:59:16

A new device to stop fleeing drivers was modeled after and named for the ocean squid, says the U.S. Department of Homeland Security. The Safe Quick Undercarriage Immobilization Device -- SQUID -- is about the size of a small tire and costs under $1,000, the department said in a statement. When deployed, the device becomes a mass of tentacles entangling the axle of vehicles large and small, said Martin Martinez, president of Engineering Science Analysis Corp. of Tempe, Ariz., which designed...

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2008-12-16 15:21:00

Researchers say the elevated carbon dioxide levels expected to be found in the world's oceans by 2100 will likely lead to physiological impairments of jumbo (or Humboldt) squid. The squids' lifestyle could be strongly influenced by changes in ocean acidity, the researchers Wrote in the journal PNAS. Oceans are becoming more acidic as a result of absorbing the carbon dioxide released by human activities, according to climate models. Rises in acidity have already been shown to affect shellfish...

2008-10-21 00:00:17

Experts said the hundreds of Humboldt squid that have washed up on Oregon beaches during the past few days died because they ventured too far north for food. Keith Chandler, general manager of the Seaside Aquarium, said the 3 1/2-foot-long squid are native to the waters of Southern California and Mexico but traveled north with the Humboldt current to seek out herring and other food sources, The (Portland) Oregonian reported Monday. "Cold upwellings of the Pacific can occur very quickly,"...

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2008-10-16 11:00:00

Researchers at the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) and JILA, a joint institute of NIST and the University of Colorado (CU) at Boulder, have made the first tunable "noiseless" amplifier. By significantly reducing the uncertainty in delicate measurements of microwave signals, the new amplifier could boost the speed and precision of quantum computing and communications systems. Conventional amplifiers add unwanted "noise," or random fluctuations, when they measure and boost...

2008-10-02 03:00:25

By Rach, Nina M Exploration and development of petroleum resources in deep water requires extreme engineering. Often equated with the technical demands of working in space, the high pressures and low temperatures of the deep ocean's extreme conditions require highly engineered robotics and thermal protection systems. Images provided by remotely operated vehicles 1-2 miles below the ocean surface give us a glimpse of unusual creatures and ecosystems. ROVs run by Oceaneering International...

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2008-06-10 09:40:00

Contamination of the deep oceanic food web is occurring, new study reportsNew evidence that chemical contaminants are finding their way into the deep-sea food web has been found in deep-sea squids and octopods, including the strange-looking "vampire squid". These species are food for deep-diving toothed whales and other predators.In a study to be published in the journal Marine Pollution Bulletin, Michael Vecchione of NOAA Fisheries' National Systematics Laboratory and colleagues Michael...

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2008-05-15 11:40:00

Under the sea, predatory pilot whales take part in high-speed chases as they track down their prey.The cetaceans have been observed reaching such high speeds that scientists have likened their hunting technique to that of the cheetah, according to researchers in the Journal of Animal Ecology.Their findings may dispel the common notion of whales as large slow creatures.The research is the first to document the remarkable "burst-speed" of the pilot whale."As far as we know, no other whale has...

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2008-04-30 12:10:00

Researchers at the Museum of New Zealand Te Papa reported the eye size of the world's largest squid, adding that they may be the largest animal eyes ever discovered.With a diameter larger than a football, the eyes measure about 11 inches across, but could have been even larger when the colossal squid was still alive."These are truly amazing eyes," said Eric Warrant, an expert on animal vision from the University of Lund in Sweden."In the collapsed state we see here, they measure 25cm...

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2008-04-28 16:05:00

Scientists in New Zealand have begun thawing a colossal squid specimen on Monday in hopes to learn more about the rare and mysterious ocean creatures.The squid is more than 34 feet long and weighs half a ton and is currently thawing in a bath of saltwater. Scientists in Wellington then plan to dissect it in order to learn about the species, which live largely in the cold Antarctic waters and can grow up to 50 feet long."They're incredibly rare"”this is probably one of maybe six...


Word of the Day
callithump
  • A somewhat riotous parade, accompanied with the blowing of tin horns, and other discordant noises; also, a burlesque serenade; a charivari.
'Callithump' is a back-formation of 'callithumpian,' a 'fanciful formation' according to the Oxford English Dictionary. However, the English Dialect Dictionary, says 'Gallithumpians' is a Dorset and Devon word from the 1790s that refers to 'a society of radical social reformers' or 'noisy disturbers of elections and meetings.'
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