The discovery of fairy circles in Australia earlier this year has hardly put to rest the controversy over how these mysterious structures form. " Fairy circles " are regular, repeating patches of dirt in remote grasslands that, when viewed from above, look like whimsical rings that were scattered across a landscape. Despite their fanciful appearance, the patterns have been a source of serious scientific debate for the last four decades. While some have argued that the geometric patterns are the work of termites , others have postulated that the circles form naturally as vegetation self-organizes in competition for scarce water and other nutrients. Previously, these patches had been observed only in southeastern Africa, mostly Namibia, but in March, a group of researchers announced that they had identified fairy circles in satellite images and during fieldwork in Western Australia. [ See Stunning Photos of Fairy Circles in Australia ] Led by ecological modeler … [Read more...] about Are ‘Fairy Circles’ Just the ‘Ghosts’ of Termite Nests?
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Close Samsung Galaxy S21 FE NEW DELHI: Samsung Galaxy S21 FE the much-awaited Galaxy S21 series smartphone is expected to launch early next year. Now a new online report reveals that the smartphone maker is planning to launch the smartphone around the same date in India as the global launch. Samsung is expected to launch the smartphone during the CES 2022 . According to a report by 91Mobiles, Samsung is said to launch the smartphone at the same time in India. The report reveals that the Samsung Galaxy S21 FE is said to launch in January in India. The smartphone was earlier expected to launch at the October Galaxy Unpacked event. The report also claims that the smartphone will be available in limited quantities initially due to the ongoing global chip shortage. The online report further suggests that the smartphone could come in four colour options -- black, white, pink and green. Samsung Galaxy S21 FE expected specifications … [Read more...] about Samsung Galaxy S21 FE expected to launch in January in India: Report
Back in July 2020, in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic and vaccines still six months away, the CTA (Consumer Technology Association) announced that its upcoming CES 2021 show would be an all-digital experience . Come January 2021, the Las Vegas exhibition venues, normally packed with stands from companies large and small, remained empty; keynotes and product demos were relayed online, with no in-person audiences; and the normal hectic round of face-to-face meetings and chance encounters on the show floor simply didn't happen. Basically, CES 2021 mirrored its audience, which was busy working remotely, under varying levels of social-distancing measures depending on the local or regional state of the pandemic. The tech industry still managed to discuss and demonstrate new technologies and products at CES 2021, but it was inevitably a smaller show, although still claimed by the CTA as 'the largest digital tech event' . As CES 2022 approaches, the coronavirus pandemic is still … [Read more...] about CES 2022 preview: Crowds set to return to Las Vegas, but digital element remains
Tien Shan mountains, China Almost half the world's population gets its water from glaciers and rainfall in Asia's highest mountains and deserts. Geologist Aaron Putnam of Columbia University's Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory, his father David Putnam, an archaeologist at the University of Maine at Presque Isle, and their colleagues recently visited some of these areas on study expeditions, snapping these striking photos.Above: Looking north toward the high Tien Shan mountains of western China. At center is the highest peak in the Tien Shan: Tomur peak (or Jengish Chokusu in Khirgiz). Mountains in Bhutan Snow on high peaks above Thampe Chhu, Bhutan. Boulder sampling Tshewang Rigzin (Department of Hydromet Services, Royal Government of Bhutan) and guides sampling boulder on moraine. Weather station Tshewang Rigzin (Department of Hydromet Services, Royal Government of Bhutan) and Aaron Putnam (Columbia) tinkering with a weather station. Glacier, Bhutan … [Read more...] about Stunning scenes: From the Himalayas to the Taklamakan Desert
The feral child — a child raised by wild animals — is common in myth and folklore. Feral children are typically thought of as having been raised without human parental contact. A boy or girl raised by wolves — or bears or apes — is the original "wild child," often having little or no language ability or manners. Because feral children lack socialization, they are sometimes considered to represent a pure natural human state. Stories of feral children date back at least to Romulus and Remus, the twin brothers of Roman mythology rescued from certain death and raised by a wolf. In modern times, the feral child image evokes a strong romanticism for many people. This was especially true at the turn of the last century. Rudyard Kipling made a hero of the feral child Mowgli — an Indian boy raised by wolves — in his classic and wildly popular 1894 collection of stories "The Jungle Book." Writer Edgar Rice Burroughs created Tarzan, a boy raised by African apes, in the early 1900s, and his … [Read more...] about Feral Children: Lore of the Wild Child
Dragons have the ultimate built-in defense: They can breathe fire, smiting their enemies by turning them into charred husks. But though historic and modern-day literature is rich with dragon lore (we're looking at you, "Game of Thrones"), there isn't any reputable physical evidence that these legendary creatures exist. That said, are there any living creatures that can breathe fire like the mythical dragon? The short answer is no, but there are some astonishingly creative animals that can spew noxious fumes, toxins and goo from their bodies. And there are even crafty raptors that spread fire so they can smoke out tasty prey. [ Top 10 Beasts and Dragons: How Reality Made Myth ] The main reason fire-breathing animals don't exist? Well, a flame could cause a nasty boo-boo. "There are no real animals that are flame resistant or flame immune," Rachel Keeffe, a doctoral student studying reptiles and amphibians at the University of Florida, said in a statement … [Read more...] about Can any animal breathe fire like the mythical dragon?
A burn scar left by a wildfire in Western Australia is so massive, it's visible from space, according to images captured by a NASA satellite. But fires that leave immense scars in their wake — such as this one in the Gibson Desert, just 50 miles (80 kilometers) southwest of Lake Mackay — aren't entirely unexpected, NASA said. That's because the native Aboriginal people who once routinely set fire to their land no longer live there, allowing desert grasses to grow out of control and into a colossal tinderbox. "For tens of thousands of years, nomadic Aboriginal people traveled the harsh landscape around Lake Mackay looking for food and water," NASA's Earth Observatory said in a statement . "That nomadic lifestyle was transformed when the British military began missile tests in the region in [the] 1950s; most of the Pintupi people [an Australian Aboriginal group] living in the area ended up in small settlements such as Kiwirrkurra" — located in the Gibson Desert. [ Top 10 … [Read more...] about Burn Scar from Massive Australian Wildfire Visible from Space
Australia's massive wildfires have sparked billowing pyrocumulus clouds — menacing columns of water vapor and smoke that tower over raging firestorms. Just like thunderstorms, the anvil-shaped clouds appear when warm air rises from the ground. But instead of summertime heat spurring the convection, it's the raging fire that forces hot air upward. Higher in the atmosphere, the air then cools, and water vapor condenses into pyrocumulus clouds , explained Glenn Yue, an atmospheric scientist at NASA Langley Research Center in Hampton, Va. Sometimes, the pyrocumulus clouds become storms, with strong winds, lightning and even rain, Yue said. "These clouds can influence local weather, and when they're very large, they can last for days," Yue told LiveScience. Downdrafts from the clouds — when winds rush downward and outward from a storm — can also create hazardous fire conditions for firefighters battling wildfires. Australia's intense fires were forecast to generate … [Read more...] about Tower of Power: Australia Fires Spawn Pyrocumulus Clouds
When a falcon swoops through the air and spots a flock of birds, these crafty predators use a special aerial attack strategy to capture prey in midflight, according to a new study. To gain insight into the hunting practices of falcons , researchers at Haverford College in Haverford, Pa., outfitted falcons across the United States and Europe with miniature helmet- and backpack-mounted video cameras to record footage of raptor attacks in action. The resulting video footage revealed that falcons stalk their prey by maneuvering through the air in such a way that the target appears stationary in their field of view. This lethal attack strategy , described online today (Jan. 15) in The Journal of Experimental Biology, helps falcons effectively intercept their prey without having to tail closely behind their victims. [ See video footage of falcons' aerial "dogfight" tactics ] The researchers initially set out to examine the opposite effect: How animals react to the … [Read more...] about Attack! How Falcons Stalk Their Prey in Flight
Rumor mill: Netflix-style gaming may be coming to the PlayStation 5 next year. News has leaked that Sony plans to merge PlayStation Plus and PS Now subscriptions into one service. The move could be an attempt to become more competitive with Microsoft's Xbox Game Pass Ultimate. In an apparent attempt to compete with Xbox Game Pass, Sony plans to launch a similar subscription service next year. According to anonymous PlayStation insiders speaking with Bloomberg, the service, codenamed "Sparticus," will bundle PlayStation Plus with PS Now. Currently, the two services offer different features. PlayStation Plus is $60 per year (or $9 per month) and gives subscribers discounts, and a collection of free games with at least two new titles added every month. It also allows online multiplayer gaming. Sony's PS Now is its cloud gaming service with the same rates as PlayStation Plus. It was first launched in 2014 with game streaming as its only option and at the time playing from the … [Read more...] about PlayStation planning to roll out bundled subscription service similar to Xbox Game Pass