Monday, January 4, 2010
The English scientist was born especially tiny but grew into a massive intellect and still looms large, thanks to his findings on gravity, light, motion, mathematics, and more.
Legend has it that Isaac Newton formulated gravitational theory in 1665 or 1666 after watching an apple fall and asking why the apple fell straight down, rather than sideways or even upward.
"He showed that the force that makes the apple fall and that holds us on the ground is the same as the force that keeps the moon and planets in their orbits," said Martin Rees, President of Britain's Royal Society, the United Kingdom's national academy of science, which was once headed by Newton himself.
"His theory of gravity wouldn't have got us global positioning satellites," said Jeremy Gray, a mathematical historian at the Milton Keynes, U.K-based Open University. "But it was enough to develop space travel."
Hundreds of circles, squares, and other geometric shapes once hidden by forest hint at a previously unknown ancient society that flourished in the Amazon, a new study says.
Satellite images of the upper Amazon Basin taken since 1999 have revealed more than 200 geometric earthworks spanning a distance greater than 155 miles (250 kilometers).
Now researchers estimate that nearly ten times as many such structures—of unknown purpose—may exist undetected under the Amazon's forest cover.
At least one of the sites has been dated to around A.D. 1283, although others may date as far back as A.D. 200 to 300, said study co-author Denise Schaan, an anthropologist at the Federal University of Pará in Belém, Brazil.
The discovery adds to evidence that the hinterlands of the Amazon once teemed with complex societies, which were largely wiped out by diseases brought to South America by European colonists in the 15th and 16th centuries, Schaan said.
Getting to the bottom of it
Brown Wardle, Whitworth, Lancashire, about 24 hours ago
Image: Howard Maunders, Beautiful Britain On this Day
Today, when hundreds of schools in the north are closed due to ice, you may recall that the Met Office forecast a mild winter. (That prediction came after the Met forecast a "barbecue" summer; as you may have noticed we experienced more than 40 sodden days of rain.) These predictions were part of the Met's insistence on global warming, and reflect poorly on its grasp of the weather.
Emails from East Anglia's Hadley Climatic Research Centre suggest that Brits have been involved in covering up lack of scientific support for manmade global warming.
But a number of stalwart Brits have been involved in uncovering the scientific evidence that there is no manmade global warming. Christopher Booker , Lord Monckton and Philip Foster come happily to mind. Richard North has written a devastating series on the global warming financial scam. All worth reading if you are interested in the future.
WILLIE BROWN ON CALIFORNIA’S PROBLEMS: “If we as a state want to make a New Year’s resolution, I suggest taking a good look at the California we have created. From our out-of-sync tax system to our out-of-control civil service, it’s time for politicians to begin an honest dialogue about what we’ve become. . . . Talking about this is politically unpopular and potentially even career suicide for most officeholders. But at some point, someone is going to have to get honest about the fact that 80 percent of the state, county and city budget deficits are due to employee costs.”
Temps Plunge to Record as Cold Snap Freezes North, East States...
Vermont sets 'all-time record for one snowstorm'...
Iowa temps 'a solid 30 degrees below normal'...
Peru's mountain people 'face extinction because of cold conditions'...
Beijing -- coldest in 40 years...
World copes with Arctic weather...
ACTION / REACTION: Obama Moving America To The Right? “Only a fourth of all Americans approve of the direction Obama and Congress are taking the country, according to a Gallup survey. A similarly dismal proportion approve of the job being done by Congress under the leadership of Reid and Pelosi. Nearly three-fourths of those surveyed prefer that Congress do nothing to reform health care rather than take final action on either the Senate or House versions of Obamacare. And 79 percent of Americans view government corruption as the most important issue facing the country.”