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Submission + - Poll Idea

Cap'nPedro writes: Which is your favourite of Pluto's moons?
CoyboyNeal's Mom

4-Billion-Pixel Panorama View From Curiosity Rover 101

SternisheFan points out that there is a great new panorama made from shots from the Curiosity Rover. "Sweep your gaze around Gale Crater on Mars, where NASA's Curiosity rover is currently exploring, with this 4-billion-pixel panorama stitched together from 295 images. ...The entire image stretches 90,000 by 45,000 pixels and uses pictures taken by the rover's two MastCams. The best way to enjoy it is to go into fullscreen mode and slowly soak up the scenery — from the distant high edges of the crater to the enormous and looming Mount Sharp, the rover's eventual destination."

Comment Re:Impact energy not the same for small objects (Score 2) 186

I had a quick look through some journals and this is the closest thing I could find:
Mating Behavior as a Possible Cause of Bat Fatalities at Wind Turbines, Paul M. Cryan, The Journal of Wildlife Management, Vol. 72, No. 3 (Apr., 2008), pp. 845-849, Allen Press
Article Stable URL:

Bats are killed by wind turbines in North America and Europe in large numbers, yet a satisfactory explanation for this phenomenon remains elusive. Most bat fatalities at turbines thus far occur during late summer and autumn and involve species that roost in trees. In this commentary I draw on existing literature to illustrate how previous behavioral observations of the affected species might help explain these fatalities. I hypothesize that tree bats collide with turbines while engaging in mating behaviors that center on the tallest trees in a landscape, and that such behaviors stem from 2 different mating systems (resource defense polygyny and lekking). Bats use vision to move across landscapes and might react to the visual stimulus of turbines as they do to tall trees. This scenario has serious conservation and management implications. If mating bats are drawn to turbines, wind energy facilities may act as population sinks and risk may be hard to assess before turbines are built. Researchers could observe bat behavior and experimentally manipulate trees, turbines, or other tall structures to test the hypothesis that tree bats mate at the tallest trees. If this hypothesis is supported, management actions aimed at decreasing the attractiveness of turbines to tree bats may help alleviate the problem.

The Mating System of Tadarida brasiliensis (Chiroptera: Molossidae) in a Large Highway Bridge Colony, Annika T. H. Keeley and Brian W. Keeley, Journal of Mammalogy , Vol. 85, No. 1 (Feb., 2004), pp. 113-119, American Society of Mammalogists
Article Stable URL:

Focal animal sampling at a highway bridge revealed an aggressive and a passive male copulation strategy that may function as adaptations to different roost conditions. During aggressive copulation, the male separates a female from a roost cluster and restricts her movements during mating while he emits characteristic calls. During passive copulation, the male moves very slowly onto a female that roosts in a dense cluster. Passive copulations occur without resistance from the female and without male vocalizations. Both males and females mate with multiple partners, suggesting that mating is promiscuous.

I'm an electronic engineering student, not a biologist, so someone else may find better information!

Comment Re:Play favorites? I believe it (Score 1) 323

The first test was six definitions and one problem involving steam. All but one person in the class used the Ideal Gas Law to solve it. And he marked us all wrong, because -he- hadn't taught us the Ideal Gas Law yet. (Never mind that you had to have two semesters of Physics to take Thermo...)

Maybe I'm misunderstanding you here... But you were wrong. Steam can not be approximated to an ideal gas. You need to use your equations of state/heat capacity equations with a set of steam tables.

Comment Re:People seem confused about Virgin, let me clari (Score 1) 258

You forgot that after using the service at full speed for more than 45 minutes (I was on the M package), you go over your download quota and are throttled to 25% speed for five hours. I've just moved and instead of Virgin 10Mbit cable I'm on Sky DSL. I get 9Mbit max down, but my average speed is much higher than 2.5Mbit. I'd get fibre if it were available, but my money will not go into VM's pockets again - this older, "inferior" DSL technology gives me a better experience because of the lack of VM's shitty traffic management policies.

Comment Re:School bus (Score 1) 240

In the UK there aren't generally school buses for college (age 16 to 18), I used public transport (service buses) or cycled. Through secondary school (age 11 to 16) there were school-buses which would leave immediately after lessons finished however a mini-bus occasionally took people home doing after school activities. If that wasn't available you could either use public transport or do as I did and walk home (I only lived 5 miles from my secondary school).

Comment Re:Students without broadband (Score 2) 240

Wikipedia tells me that "twelfth grade (12) [is] for 16–19-year-olds". When I was 16 and in college I was using the college library every day. I think that an effective education must involve independent learning, which will often involve a library. Younger students can't be expected to be learning independently, but once a student is 15 or 16, they should be in the library most days anyway.

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