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  • New age for ancient man

    It has taken longer than previously credited for the kind of people now on earth to rise to become what we know as modern man. Evidence now is that man and his cultures extend beyond two million years into the past. Radioactive dating has given new time determinations for human ancestors and evolution in the dim anthropological past. The latest “clock” or dating method measures the amount of...

    02/22/2013 - 10:24
  • SN Online

    SN Online

    CULTURE BEAKER Read Rachel Ehrenberg’s column “In Hollywood, buzz beats star power when it comes to predicting box office take.”

    MIND & BRAIN See a video showing a test of a baby’s motor control (right) in “Newborn babies walk the walk.”

    EARTH See video of the meteor that struck Russia on February 15 in “Meteor explodes over Russia.”


    02/21/2013 - 09:00
  • Science Future

    Upcoming events

    March 15 Learn about the 1989 “discovery” of cold fusion, later disproved, at a screening of the documentary film The Believers at Fermilab, near Chicago. A discussion with physicists and the directors follows. See

    March 16 – 23 Try science activities, help clean up the coast and get teaching ideas at the San Diego Festival of Science and Engineering. See

    02/21/2013 - 08:56
  • People

    Exploring NASA’s quirky places

    View zoomable JPL mapOne building houses what has been deemed the NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory’s “best bathroom.” Another, an atomic clock. And naturally the scientists and engineers at the Pasadena, Calif., lab that built the Curiosity rover have a Mars Yard that simulates the surface of the Red Planet, complete with rocks and sand.

    Luke Johnson (right), a graphic...

    02/21/2013 - 08:44 Humans & Society
  • Letters to the Editor

    Letters to the editor

    Scrutinizing baseball’s streaks My family owned the Oakland A’s, formerly the Kansas City Athletics, from 1960 to 1980. During this period, our team won three consecutive World Series (1972 – 74) and five consecutive division titles (1971 – 75). I personally witnessed that one player would be on a streak and his attitude appeared to raise his teammates’ spirits “Hitting streaks may be...

    02/21/2013 - 08:38
  • Reviews & Previews

    BOOK REVIEW: Fabricated: The New World of 3D Printing by Hod Lipson and Melba Kurman

    The first chapter of Fabricated is set a few decades in the future: In your kitchen a 3-D printer outfitted with food cartridges cooks up breakfast, while across the street a giant printing nozzle oozes out the concrete foundation of a new home. At work, you’re investigating the bioprinting black market, wherein counterfeiters sell sloppily printed organs for transplants. The scenario seems...

    02/21/2013 - 08:35
  • Reviews & Previews

    BOOK REVIEW: The Visioneers: How a Group of Elite Scientists Pursued Space Colonies, Nanotechnologies, and a Limitless Future by W. Patrick McCray

    In the wake of the Manhattan Project and the Apollo program, almost anything seemed possible. And some scientists of the late 20th century went beyond the fanciful notions of futurists and science fiction writers to seriously explore where technology might take humans, society and culture.

    McCray chronicles the main players in two trends that captured imaginations at the...

    02/21/2013 - 08:31
  • Reviews & Previews

    Fifty Machines That Changed the Course of History by Eric Chaline

    Review key inventions of the 19th and 20th centuries, from bicycles to the Underwood typewriter.

    Firefly, 2012, 224 p., $29.95

    02/21/2013 - 08:28
  • Reviews & Previews

    Near-Earth Objects: Finding Them Before They Find Us by Donald K. Yeomans

    The head of NASA’s Near-Earth Object Program Office describes the planet’s risk of being smacked by a comet or asteroid and what can be done to prevent such a fate.

    Prince­ton Univ., 2012, 172 p., $24.95

    02/21/2013 - 08:17
  • Reviews & Previews

    A Little History of Science by William Bynum

    This abridged version of the human search for knowledge covers major discoveries in medicine, astronomy and other fields.

    Yale Univ., 2012, 263 p., $25

    02/21/2013 - 07:48