Young adults who used marijuana only recreationally showed significant abnormalities in two key brain regions that are important in emotion and motivation, scientists report. The study was a collaboration between Northwestern Medicine® and Massachusetts General Hospital/Harvard Medical School.
Image #2 caption: “Silhouettes showing approximate sizes of representative theropods. / A, Nanuqsaurus hoglundi, B, Tyrannosaurus rex, based on FMNH PR2081. / C, Tyrannosaurus rex, based on AMNH 5027. / D, Daspletosaurus torosus / E, Albertosaurus sarcophagus/ F, Troodon formosus, lower latitude individual based on multiple sources and size estimates; / G, Troodon sp., North Slope individual based on extrapolation from measurements of multiple dental specimens . Scale bar equals 1 m.”
Scientists have discovered a new species of dinosaur that called the Arctic home 70 million years ago.
Nanuqsaurus hoglundi was a — relatively — tiny cousin of the Tyrannosaurus rex.
The unidentified fossilized fragments of the skull and jaw were found in northern Alaska almost eight years ago, in an area known as the Kikak-Tegoseak quarry, on the North Slope close to the Yukon border.
“The big difference between Tyrannosaurus rex and Nanuqsaurus, and Tarbosaurus for example, which is the Asian tyrannosaur, is that Nanuqsaurus is about half the size,” said Tony Fiorillo of the Perot Museum of Nature and Science in Texas.
“We feel that’s an adaptation to life in the North.”
Nanuqsaurus — named for the native Inupiat word for polar bear — had a skull about 64 centimetres long and stood about two metres high at the hip.
He inhabited a drastically different Arctic than the one we know today. During the Cretaceous period, the area was a coastal plain that, like now, had the Arctic Ocean to the north and snow-capped mountains to the south. But the Arctic was much warmer, and the area was covered in tall, conifer forests and flowering plants. The temperature would have been similar to western Canada today.
Although Alberta is world-famous for its dinosaur bone beds, Fiorillo said the Arctic remains largely uncharted territory. The 2006 dig produced not one, but two new dinosaur species. Fiorillo and his colleagues have also identified a new species of horned dinosaur from the Kikak-Tegoseak quarry, east of the massive Colville River.
“I can tell you that it’s absolutely mind blowing that out of the very same hole in the ground we got not one, but two brand new dinosaurs,” he said.
The team also discovered the Pachyrhinosaurus, a cousin of the triceratops.
Did these dinos calls Canada home?
At the time, the Brooks range was likely even bigger than it is today and would have blocked the creatures from going south. But there was a coastal plain that would have connected to Canada, Fiorillo said.
“So it’s entirely possible to expect to see some of these North Slope dinosaurs into that part of Canada,” he said.
Grant Zazula, paleontologist for the Yukon government, said northern Alaska appears to be “littered” with dinosaur fossils.
The neighbouring territory has a number of sites that are also 65 to 70 million years old but few have been explored.
The territory is known for fossils of ice-age mammals, such as the woolly mammoth, but dinosaurs have been more elusive. Until a few years ago only five fossil bones of dinosaurs had been found along with some dinosaur footprints preserved in the bedrock near the Ross River.
Then a team of paleontologists from Carlton University found the fossil of a plesiosaur, an ancient marine reptile, in the bedrock near the Peel River in northern Yukon.
“But nothing like what they have in Alaska,” Zazula said. “We’re thoroughly jealous.”
Zazula said he hopes the finding shines a light on the paleo potential of the Arctic.
“Alaska is huge, the Arctic of Canada is huge, and there’s been so few boots on the ground looking for stuff like this. I think finding a new species like this will just pave the way for future research in the North,” he said.
The study is published in the latest edition of the scientific journal PLoS One.
“My superior is a gamer.” Sister Helena Burns said, laughing. “You know you’re a media nun when your superior is a gamer.”
You might not expect nuns to be experts on Twitter, Facebook, and multi-player video games, but Burns defies all expectations. With 13,790 Twitter followers and counting, the Daughter of St. Paul calls herself a “media nun”: A woman religious with a calling to communicate the word of Christ, in any way she can.
And yes, there is a gamer-superior in her convent.
“She has this souped-up computer,” Burns continued. “She gets her own little ministry out there. Once people get to know she’s a nun, they have questions, or they ask for prayers. But you do have to clean up your language when Sister Irene’s out there.”
I imagine Sister Irene sitting in front of a sleek desktop with neon LED backlights, wearing her bright yellow Grado headphones and concentrating intensely on a multi-player RPG. It’s a funny image—there’s such a symbolic disconnect between the stereotypical idea of a nun and a basement-dwelling teenager who loves World of Warcraft. That’s what’s so fascinating about these sisters and their order: They defy stereotypes about who participates in Internet culture, and how.
So how does a nun use social media?
Read more. [Image courtesy of Helena Burns]
Lucid dream [is] a phenomenon in which the dreamer becomes aware they are dreaming and can potentially control their actions as well as the content and context of the dream. Lucid dreams are generally understood to occur exclusively during REM, the final phase of the sleep cycle that is most closely related to wakefulness and the one generally associated with dreams. Research on the prevalence of lucid dreamers suggests that if you’ve never had a lucid dream, you may be in the minority.
[Studies indicate] that practicing a physical activity during a lucid dream could improve performance in waking life.
The strategy laid out for actively training yourself to lucid dream [in the] 1991 book, Exploring the World of Lucid Dreaming … boils down to are identifying discrepancies from reality that can help you realize you are dreaming and, hopefully, gain conscious control of your dream. The first step, therefore, is to spend a few weeks recording your dreams and identifying these themes.
“While some webcomics deliver a quick joke or the latest installment in a long-form story, many comics floating around the Internet have something to teach us about the world. Here are some of our favorite comics that delve into science, history, philosophy, and more.”
See the full list at io9.
Great list. I almost feel like calling them “comics” is an injustice to their intellectual stimulation-ness.
Should you take the latest security scare seriously? I do, and here is what I am doing about it.
When light travels through areas of different air density, it bends. You’ve probably noticed the way distant pavement seems to shimmer on a hot day, or the way stars appear to twinkle. You’re seeing light that has been distorted as it passes through varying air densities, which are in turn created by varying temperatures and pressures.
Schlieren Flow Visualization can be used to visually capture these changes in density: the rising heat from a candle, the turbulence around an airplane wing, the plume of a sneeze … even sound. Special thanks to Mike Hargather, a professor of mechanical engineering at New Mexico Tech, who kindly provided a lot of these videos.
Tumblr Tuesday: Poetry Month
Academy of American Poets
Eighty years old and 9,000 strong, these are the people that brought you National Poetry Month. April would be useless without them.
Structure and Style
Amazing poetry, and an amazing place to discuss and critique poetry. Rebecca Hazelwood and Savannah Sipple are your hosts.
Fresh work from poet Scherezade Siobhan, who has a Pushcart Prize nomination and a name that is poetry itself.
GIF via Poetry Bomb