Archive for June 2nd, 2010

The Nuclear Option?!

By Sheril Kirshenbaum | June 2, 2010 9:19 pm

On the road somewhere in Tennessee tonight, I read the present top story at the NYTimes:

Nuclear Option on Gulf Oil Spill? No Way, U.S. Says

The chatter began weeks ago as armchair engineers brainstormed for ways to stop the torrent of oil spilling into the Gulf of Mexico: What about nuking the well?

Decades ago, the Soviet Union reportedly used nuclear blasts to successfully seal off runaway gas wells, inserting a bomb deep underground and letting its fiery heat melt the surrounding rock to shut off the flow. Why not try it here?

Of course this won’t happen, but the idea isn’t actually all that far fetched. Furthermore, does anyone have a better suggestion? Now go read the article and let’s get an interesting discussion going in comments…

Are Bonobos Altruistic?

By Chris Mooney | June 2, 2010 9:05 am

Vanessa Woods CoverThis is a guest post from Vanessa Woods, author of the new book, Bonobo Handshake. Vanessa is a Research Scientist in Evolutionary Anthropology at Duke University and studies the cognition of chimpanzees and bonobos in Congo.

In my new book Bonobo Handshake, I talk about a bonobo called Mimi who throws herself over the dead body of another bonobo.

Lipopo was a seven year old bonobo who was new to the group. Mimi wasn’t particularly fond of him, she just kindof ignored him most of the time. When Lipopo died, Mimi stood over the body and wouldn’t let the keepers take him.

The keepers turned up with long poles to take the body away, a scary sight for any bonobo – they are usually quite shy. But Mimi would not give up the body. Read More

CATEGORIZED UNDER: Books

Seen Recently at the University of Cambridge

By Chris Mooney | June 2, 2010 6:01 am

I’m sure a lot of students are praying right now:

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