Web edition: June 15, 2004
Print edition: June 19, 2004; Vol.165 #25 (p. 399)
Using laser technology that has an apparent resolution of only about half a centimeter is somewhat laughable ("Laser scanners map rock art," SN: 4/3/04, p. 222: http://www.sciencenews.org/articles/20040403/note15.asp). I also wondered whether the "fresh coat of desert varnish" was an April fool joke. Actually, I really look forward to every new issue. You do a great job.
For images that weren't three-dimensional, the equipment produced detailed, 1-megapixel images, on par with many digital cameras. The "fresh" coat of desert varnish was several thousand years' of minerals deposited by the desert itself.S. Perkins
"Hooking the Gullible" (SN: 4/24/04,p. 264: http://www.sciencenews.org/articles/20040424/bob8.asp) reminded me of the old quote: "A fishing lure is any combination of metal, plastic, wood, feathers, hair, or other manmade or natural material attached to a hook (or hooks) and designed to attract fishermen." To wit: Decades ago, to impress an office associate who was a trout-fishing traditionalist as to how random were the criteria for successful lure designs, I concocted a device before his very eyes in about 5 minutes. The body was a remnant of a peel-off pencil eraser painted with Wite-Out, with hooks attached by a wire that also formed the loop for the line. That evening, I demonstrated the new design by landing two chain pickerel with it.
Marvin E. Kahn
Matching a lure's color scheme to the prevailing prey takes too much thought, besides which, most prey is camouflaged. What I think about when choosing a color are flash, fluorescence, color intensity, and color combinations. For all humans know, bass have something in their genetic makeup that is a complete color catalog of everything they can eat. Therefore, a perch-colored Rapala becomes lunch, even if that bass never has seen, much less munched, a perch. The bass' eyes and pea brain are geared toward color and contrast detection not to identify, but to detect. A pink worm will most times be more effective than a super-realistically colored worm. We may not always know exactly what a color looks like at the fish's eye level, but fluorescence and flash are predictable and visually attractive.