In a new set of guidelines, Pope Francis softens the church stance on divorcees and cohabitation of unmarried couples, but holds the line against homosexuality. —> Read More
Author Archives: phenomenica
Watch bulletproof FOAM turn gunshot to dust: Material can also block radiation and could lead to lightweight body armour
Engineers at North Carolina State University have developed a composite metal foam from steel. Less than an inch of the material can stop an armour piercing round fired from 16ft away. —> Read More
Have we reached peak Facebook? We now share less personal information on the site in favour of posting links and videos
Reports suggest the California-based social network’s 1.6 billion users are choosing to use the site to share news and links from other websites rather than divulging personal details. —> Read More
Unrepresentative samples were behind the opinion polls’ failure to identify the Conservative’s lead over Labour during the 2015 General Election Campaign, according to a major report by the independent Inquiry into the 2015 General Election polls. —> Read More
A ‘halo’ of water ice is seen orbiting a distant star: Crystals may signal the birth of a solar system 320 million light years away
The team, led by Mitsuhiko Honda at Kurume University in Japan used near infrared telescope imaging of the star’s protoplanetary disc (pictured), which hints at water. —> Read More
Experts said that by studying the health of identical twins, they concluded that a person’s environment and relationships can seriously affect their chance of developing dementia. —> Read More
Where in the world is Sam the stuffed dog?
Students from Morecambe Bay Primary School in northwest England sent the cuddly toy to the edge of space on Tuesday. They hooked the stuffed animal to a helium balloon and watched him soar.
The youngsters monitored the toy dog’s location via GPS tracking equipment as he beamed back beautiful images showing the curvature of the Earth.
But when the balloon popped around 15 miles above Earth, Sam detached from the tracker and camera. The equipment plummeted back down to terra firma and was discovered in a field in Burnley, some 48 miles southeast of the launch site.
The stuffed canine astronaut was nowhere to be found.
Was he abducted by aliens? Had he hitched a ride on the International Space Station? Sadly, there’s likely a less fanciful explanation.
“Our footage indicates that one of the helium balloon tethers got tangled with the mascot when it burst at peak altitude and the free fall part of the flight commenced,” Chris Rose, from SentIntoSpace.com, told the Burnley Express.
“We do not have any data on the aerodynamics of a toy dog or its terminal velocity, but we’re pretty sure Sam landed within a 40-50 mile radius of Burnley,” he added. “He could have landed in North Lancashire or as far afield as York, Sheffield or the Peak District.”
A manhunt, or toy dog hunt, is now underway to locate the stuffed animal.
The Midland Hotel, where the launch took place, is now offering a free stay as a reward for the toy’s safe return.
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Incompatibilities in the DNA of Neanderthals and modern humans may have limited the extent of interbreeding between the two groups. —> Read More
Steve Julian is a morning anchor for KPCC-FM in Los Angeles, a playwright and a former cop. His communities are legion, and all cared deeply when he got his terminal diagnosis. How best to reach out?
The SpaceX Dragon capsule (pictured ahead of launch) is scheduled to launch on a Falcon 9 rocket from Space Launch Complex 40 at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida. —> Read More