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16. November 2004  
New claim on location of Atlantis

Computerized AtlantisAmerican researchers claim to have found convincing evidence that locates the site of the lost kingdom of Atlantis off the coast of Cyprus.
The team spent six days scanning the Mediterranean sea bed between Cyprus and Syria using sonar technology.

They believe they found evidence of massive, manmade structures beneath the ocean floor, including two straight, 2-km (1.25 mile) long walls on a hill.

They say their discoveries match accounts of the city written by Plato.

'Greatest coincidence'

Team leader Robert Sarmast said the walls appear to be sited on a flat-topped hill where the temples of Atlantis once stood.

He intends to use the sonar data to make a three-dimensional computer image of the site, 1.5km below sea level, before returning for further research.

"The hill, as a whole, basically looks like a walled, hillside territory and this hillside territory matches Plato's description of the Acropolis hill with perfect precision," he said.

"Even the dimensions are exactly perfect, so if all these things are coincidental, I mean, we have the world's greatest coincidence going on."

However, Mr Sarmast and his team are not alone in believing they have found the lost city of Atlantis.

Other researchers have placed it off the coast of Spain, Cuba and the south west of England, as well as under the South China Sea.
The story of Atlantis, a fabled utopia destroyed in ancient times, has captured the imagination of scholars ever since it was first described by the philosopher Plato.

Writing more than 2,000 years ago, he depicted a land of fabulous wealth, advanced civilisation and natural beauty.

Via BBC News.

Science [15:03]   TrackBack (0)


26. Mars 2004  
E-ink book coming in april

Sony elpaperSony plans to begin selling the world's first consumer electronic paper unit in Japan in April. LIBRIe will be about the size of a paperback book and cost $375. The screen's 6-inch display has a resolution of 800 pixels by 600 pixels, but most importantly, it promises to offer a "truly paper-like reading experience with contrast that is the same as newsprint." This sounds like a major step forward in what could be the end of the newsPAPER as we know it.

"The Electronic Paper Display is reflective and can be easily read in bright sunlight or dimly lit environments while being able to be seen at virtually any angle - just like paper," Sony says. "Its black and white ink-on-paper look, combined with a resolution in excess of most portable devices at approximately 170 pixels per inch (PPI), gives an appearance similar to that of the most widely read material on the planet - newspaper. Because the display uses power only when an image is changed, a user can read more than 10,000 pages before the four AAA Alkaline batteries need to be replaced. The unique technology also results in a compact and lightweight form factor allowing it to be ideal for highly portable applications."


Science [14:11]   TrackBack (0)


17. Mars 2004  
A long way from home

Earth as viewed from Mars

Sometimes when you feel you're a long way from home, think of this image. Rover Spirit took this image from Mars facing Earth. No wonder psychologists say that one of the main psychic problems facing astronauts landing on Mars is not necessarily the long journey, but the image of the Earth as just an other shiny spot in the night sky.

Science [16:54]   TrackBack (0)


1. Mars 2004  
Cassini approaching Saturn

Click to EnlargeIn these glory days of Mars exploration, let's not forget about Cassini.

Cassini, then one of the most sophisticated planetary spacecraft ever built, was launched on October 15, 1997 from Cape Canaveral. Its ultimate mission is a thorough, in-depth, 4-year-long exploration of the Saturn system which will begin when Cassini arrives there, after a 7 year journey across the solar system, in july 2004. A 3.4 billion kilometer looping voyage across the solar system. That's a long journey!

Cassini's approach to Saturn has begun, and today the Imaging Team is marking the event with the release of a color composite of the ringed planet made from images taken on February 9, 2004.

Via CICLOPS (Cassini Imaging Central Laboratory for Operations). Read more about Cassini there.

Science [15:44]   TrackBack (0)


20. Februar 2004  
Norwegian expert to check possible Viking ship

oseberg.jpgA Norwegian professor is traveling to investigate the discovery of what could be the first Viking ship found on English soil, newspaper Dagsavisen reports. Enthusiasts using metal detectors found coins, swords and ship's nails dating from the ninth century in a Yorkshire field.

Professor Arne Emil Christensen, supervisor of the Viking ship finds now on display in Bygdoey, Oslo, is considered one of Europe's leading experts in the field. He was headed to Yorkshire to assess the find.

"If it is truly a ship from the Viking age it is very exciting. There are just a few - three or four - well preserved finds of ships in the world," archeologist Knut Paasche told Dagsavisen.

English archeologist Simon Holmes told The Guardian that he was "95 percent certain it is a boat burial".

Paasche believes that dating the find should go quickly and fears that the ship itself may be destroyed if the burial mound has been removed.

Paasche said that the ship's origin can also be determined by an analysis of various factors, including the weapons, the building technique and surviving wood from the structure.

The picture shows the famed Oseberg ship on display at the Viking ship museum in Bygdoey, Oslo. (Photo: Erik Thorberg/SCANPIX)

Via Aftenposten News in English.

Science [08:48]   TrackBack (0)


9. Februar 2004  
'Titantic' hunters set sights on Amundsen's wreck

Roald AmundsenNorwegian polar hero Roald Amundsen disappeared in 1928, along with all on board the seaplane that was taking them, ironically enough, on a rescue mission of their own. Now the German TV firm that aided the search for the Titanic is keen on hunting for the wreckage of Amundsen's plane.

The seaplane Latham took off from the northern Norwegian city of Tromsoe on June 18, 1928. Amundsen and five others were on board, heading for Svalbard to search themselves for Italian polar explorer Umberto Nobile, whose airship Italia was believed to have crashed.

The Latham never made it to Svalbard. One theory maintained that the seaplane crashed just north of Tromsoe, but last year a group of experts concluded that the Latham probably crashed into the sea northwest of the island known as Bjoernoeya.

The group recommended a search for the wreckage be launched, and a Norwegian aviation museum (Norsk Luftfartsmuseum) has hoped to use the military diving vessel Tyr to launch the effort. Newspaper Aftenposten reported over the weekend that the government minister in charge of fisheries has personally involved himself in the project.

Now German company Context TV has expressed interest in the project, and Kjell Lutnes of the museum is encouraged.

"It's a tempting thought," Lutnes told Norwegian Broadcasting (NRK). "It's exciting and positive that they're interested."

Context TV, which searched for both the Titanic and the Bismarck, uses a minisub that could be appropriate for the search. The sub, however, needs a mother ship from which it can operate.

Via Aftenposten News in English.

Science [17:50]   TrackBack (0)


2. Februar 2004  
Rover Spirit recovered!

Spirit recoveredNASA's Mars Exploration Rover Spirit is healthy again, the result of recovery work by mission engineers since the robot developed computer-memory and communications problems 10 days ago.

"We have confirmed that Spirit is booting up normally. Tomorrow we'll be doing some preventive maintenance," Dr. Mark Adler, mission manager at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, Calif., said Sunday morning.

Spirit's twin, Opportunity, which drove off its lander platform early Saturday, will be commanded tonight to reach out with its robot arm early Monday, said JPL's Matt Wallace, mission manager. Opportunity will examine the soil in front of it over the next few days with a microscope and with a pair of spectrometer instruments for determining what elements and minerals are present.

Read the story at Jet Propulsion Laboratories.

Science [09:40]   TrackBack (0)


29. Januar 2004  
Is it life out there?

Evaporating worldThe first direct detection of oxygen and carbon in the atmosphere of a planet outside our Solar System has been made using the Hubble Telescope. Astronomers say the planet - called HD 209458b - orbits a yellow, Sun-like star and is situated 150 light-years away in the constellation of Pegasus.

It is a gas-giant world like Jupiter and scientists can see that it is being slowly destroyed by its parent star.

An international team has sent its results to the Astrophysical Journal.

The Hubble observations were made in October and November 2003.

They were carried out by astronomers from the University of Arizona and the Jet Propulsion Laboratory in the US; York University in Canada; and the Paris Observatory and the Geneva Observatory in Europe.

Read the article in BBC News - Science/Nature.

Science [10:13]   TrackBack (0)


11. Desember 2003  
Student Finds Largest Known Prime Number

I remember when I saw my company's first IBM mainframe, a 370 model 155. It had the most glorious control panel ever seen! We could sit and stare at all the lights blinking and numbers rapidly shifting and was deeply impressed by technology's progress. And it was fast, real fast. At least in those days it was. But we knew it was only calculating, although we actually could produce something meaningful from those calulations.

This story about the student who, with a little help from his friends, found the largest prime number ever, reminded me of those days. I will admit that I don't understand the scientific signicance of the discovery. But wasn't this why computers originally was invented? To crunch numbers? So is it a big deal or not?

Read the story in BBC News!

Science [09:34]   TrackBack (0)


19. November 2003  
Darwinism vs creationism

I thought it was accepted, at least here in well-informed, educated Norway, that evolution brought us here. But no, there are still well-educated people that deny this and really believe we were created, based on the biblical account.

Medical student John David Johannessen and the leader of the Christian Medical Students Circle have petitioned the medical faculty at the University of Oslo for lectures "that not only argue the cause for evolution, but also the evidence against", student newspaper Universitas reports.

"The theory of evolution doesn't stand up and does not present enough convincing facts. It is one theory among many, but in education it is discussed as if it is accepted by everyone," Johannessen said.

Johannessen is a believer in creationism, based on the biblical account.

"Of course one has to know the theory of evolution, it is after all part of the curriculum. But certain lecturers demand that one believe it as well. Then it becomes a question of faith and not subject," Johannessen said.

Johannessen told the newspaper that he and his fellows are often compared to American extremists. Besides not being taken seriously or being able to debate the topic relevantly, Johannessen said that 'evolutionists' practically harass those who do not agree with them.

Read the complete article in Aftenposten.

Science [14:23]   TrackBack (0)


7. November 2003  
Intelligence ages well

Kamato Hong (died at 116 - click to enlarge)There is no basis in the belief that one's brain power diminishes with age. A new Norwegian research project has charted the progress of 100 subjects for 70 years, and their findings are encouraging, newspaper Dagsavisen reports.

Age in itself is no obstacle to an active and intellectual life, with mental capacity holding up well towards the age of 80.

"Of course there are going to be individual variations, but largely age does not lead to changes that affect how one, for example functions mentally at work," said Per Kristian Haugen, specialist psychologist at the Norwegian Centre for Dementia Research.

Science [14:44]   TrackBack (0)


23. Oktober 2003  
Another vikingship?

The Oseberg ShipPulse levels are rising among Norwegian researchers who think they may have found the country's fourth intact Viking ship buried in a mound near Tnsberg. The site is just next to the spot where the famed Oseberg ship was found in 1880.

The Oseberg Ship (photo), one of three now on display in Oslo's Viking Ships Museum, was also found in Vestfold County.

Researchers from the University of Oslo have been using radar to examine the Viking burial site. Photos have revealed an oval shape lying about a meter under the pile of stones atop the mound, called a "gravrys" in Norwegian.

Norwegian newspaper VG reported Tuesday that the pictures may denote another Viking longship buried with its owners' possessions in the traditional manner.

Researchers also think the ship may be intact. Clay in the area preserved the Oseberg Ship for more than a thousand years, so it's entirely possible that conditions have allowed the perservation of another ship as well.

Science [16:04]   TrackBack (0)


7. Oktober 2003  
More e-paper

A dramatically simple idea may finally make "electronic paper" displays a realistic prospect. If so, animated versions of a newspaper could, one day, be unfurled like a roller-blind on a flexible wireless display.

Until now, attempts to make e-paper have been dogged by sluggish pixels -- the paper cannot switch from showing one image to the next fast enough to display video or animations. And their brightness has been disappointing, especially for colour images. But now Robert Hayes and BJ Feenstra at the Philips Research Lab in Eindhoven, the Netherlands, have unveiled an idea that they say overcomes both problems at a stroke.

Read about it in New Scientist.

Science [10:09]   TrackBack (0)


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