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Aurora over the Earth. JPL.

Rocky Planet

Is Earth's Magnetic Field Heading for a 'Big Flip'? Probably Not (Right Now)

By Erik Klemetti | March 13, 2018 7:56 am

Before we get started, let’s have a cheer for Earth’s magnetic field! I would guess most of you never give it a second thought, unless you’re watching the Northern Lights or maybe using a compass. However, things would be very different on Earth if we didn’t have a magnetic field. But some people fear that the Earth’s magnetic field might be headed for a big change that could bring chaos to modern society, but are their fears well-founded?

To tackle that question we need to start with a d …

Seriously, Science?

Dogs Prefer You Talk to Them in 'Dog Talk'

By Seriously Science | March 13, 2018 6:00 am

Do you talk to your dog differently than you would to a person? Have you ever wondered why? Maybe it’s because he or she seem to prefer that kind of “dog baby talk”. These researchers found that dogs prefer this “dog-directed speech” – both because of its sound and also because of the “dog-relevant content words.” See, you’re such a good boy. Such a good boy! Does Fido want a bone? Does he? Does he?!?

‘Who’s a good boy?!’ Dogs prefer naturalistic dog-directed speech

“Infant-dire …

CATEGORIZED UNDER: fun with animals, Top Posts
MORE ABOUT: animals


Empathy: Part Choice, Part Genetics

By Charlotte Hu | March 12, 2018 4:47 pm

Empathy is widely agreed upon to be one of the most human emotions that we possess. Seriously, no one’s ever complained about too much empathy.

It facilitates human relationships by allowing us to examine, understand and process the feelings and emotions of others. The absence of empathy is often linked to disruptive behavioral problems. Given its import in society, a group of scientists from the University of Cambridge and Institut Pasteur analyzed the results from 46,000 23andMe custome …

CATEGORIZED UNDER: Living World, top posts
MORE ABOUT: emotions, genetics


Come Hell or Supervolcano, Humanity Will Be Alright

By Nathaniel Scharping | March 12, 2018 4:10 pm

Every year or so, a fresh rash of concern about the Yellowstone supervolcano spreads across the internet. While the likelihood of an eruption there remains remote, if the caldera were to blow, it could be devastating. Previous eruptions there covered much of North America in choking ash, and likely caused sharp drops in temperature that would decimate crops today.

Living through a supervolcano eruption certainly qualifies as a doomsday scenario. But, humanity might fare better than we thi …

CATEGORIZED UNDER: Environment, top posts


Here's what real science says about the role of CO2 as Earth's preeminent climatic thermostat

By Tom Yulsman | March 12, 2018 2:07 pm

Whenever I post something here at ImaGeo involving climate change, it’s a good bet that I’ll get a spectrum of critical responses in the comments section. These range from skepticism about the urgency of the problem to outright dismissal of humankind’s influence on climate through our emissions of greenhouse gases.

A recent post here about thawing permafrost releasing climate-warming carbon dioxide into the atmosphere was no exception. For the story, I reviewed dozens scientific researc …


Your Weekly Attenborough: Acisoma attenboroughi

By Nathaniel Scharping | March 9, 2018 4:20 pm

Klaas-Douwe Dijkstra is no stranger to new insects. The prolific odonatologist has dozens to his name, thanks in large part to a sweeping 2015 paper cataloguing the results of 15 years of work in Africa. That effort added 60 dragonflies and damselflies to the scientific record, and was met with general acclaim from critics.

Most people would be content to coast on the success of a mainstream breakthrough, but Dijkstra returned just months later, dropping a brand new, albeit smaller, col …

CATEGORIZED UNDER: Living World, top posts

The Crux

Daylight Saving Time Has a Dark Side

By David Wagner, University of Oregon | March 9, 2018 3:26 pm

A train hurtled around a corner at 82 mph, eventually coming off the rails and killing four passengers.

Decades earlier, faulty decision-making resulted in the deaths of the seven-person crew of the Space Shuttle Challenger.

Years before these events, a stuck valve regulating the supply of coolant to a nuclear reactor nearly resulted in the meltdown of a nuclear plant in Pennsylvania. In each of these cases, poor or inadequate sleep was one of the factors that contributed to the f …

CATEGORIZED UNDER: Health & Medicine, Top Posts


Say what? This is the storm-tossed north pole of Jupiter?

By Tom Yulsman | March 9, 2018 2:54 pm

NASA’s Juno mission to Jupiter has produced some wild imagery of the giant planet, showing massive swirling cyclones with a 3D effect

When I first glanced at the image above, I thought I was looking at the surface of the Sun. But no, these really are mega cyclones swirling with winds up to 220 miles per hour around Jupiter’s north and south poles, as seen by NASA’s Juno spacecraft.

According to new research, they are long-lasting features unlike anything else seen before in our sola …


What Does Any Part of the Brain Do?

By Neuroskeptic | March 9, 2018 2:43 pm

How can we know the function of a region of the brain? Have we been approaching the problem in the wrong way? An interesting new paper from German neuroscientists Sarah Genon and colleagues explores these questions.

According to Genon et al., neuroscientists have generally approached the brain from the standpoint of behavior. We ask: what is the neural basis of this behavioral or psychological function?
Traditionally, assigning functions to brain regions has mainly been based on conc …

CATEGORIZED UNDER: fMRI, methods, select, Top Posts

Seriously, Science?

Flashback Friday: Monkey on Deer Sex...It Happens

By Seriously Science | March 9, 2018 6:00 am

If you’re looking for weird interspecies sex, look no further than Japan. Not only do Japanese macaques like to ride deer (!), but according to this study, at least one male Japanese macaque likes to have sex with them… and some of the deer let him do it. Apparently, interspecies sex is really rare in the wild. In fact, the only previous report was that of “sexual harassment of king penguins by an Antarctic fur seal.” As they say, “Whatever spanks your monkey!”.

Interspecies  …


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