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And You Thought You Were Old..

...Cairo Zoo is celebrating the 260th birthday of what could be the world's oldest tortoise, by putting a birthday cake on its back. Officials say they know the Galapagos Giant tortoise was born in 1742, but have had to estimate the month. A Guinness Book of Records spokeswoman told Ananova the oldest tortoise they know of is a Madagascan Radiated. It was presented to the Tongan Royal Family in 1777 and died in 1965 aged 188. The spokeswoman says Cairo Zoo hasn't yet contacted them. "We recommend they get in touch if they have the evidence. It certainly sounds as if it's older than what we list. We're interested in that," she added.

(Added on Thursday, August 01, 2002 @ 01:19:41 AM)

We Need A Slogan..

...I think we need a slogan... I tried "Little, Yellow, Different", but I ended up making all the colors green... So, it didn't really apply. :) Anyway, I looked around today, trying to find a good, suitable slogan for my page with remarkably little luck. I like things that are succinct (woo, big word, I know..) and to-the-point, so, slogans should be second nature to me. I dunno. Anyway, the best thing I was able to come up with on short notice was "Because Your Blogger Doesn't Have To Suck".. Fitting, is it not? :)

(Added on Wednesday, August 07, 2002 @ 06:36:44 PM)

Humans Are Weak

...In October classical chess world champion Vladimir Kramnik is scheduled to play Deep Fritz in Bahrain. Now Garry Kasparov, who lost his title to Kramnik in 2000, but is still ranked as the strongest player in the world, has announced that he will play the computer chess world champion Deep Junior in Jerusalem at almost exactly the same time. Both programs are distributed by ChessBase. In 1997 Kasparov lost his famous match against Deep Blue.

(Added on Thursday, August 08, 2002 @ 01:05:12 AM)

Air Traffic Affects Climate

...During the three-day commercial flight hiatus, when the artificial clouds known as contrails all but disappeared, the variations in high and low temperatures increased by 1.1 degrees Celsius (2 degrees Fahrenheit) each day, said meteorological researchers. While the temperature range is significant, whether the jet clouds have a net effect on global warming remains unknown. "I think what we've shown are that contrails are capable of affecting temperatures," said lead scientist David Travis of the University of Wisconsin, Whitewater. "Which direction, in terms of net heating or cooling, is still up in the air." In many ways, contrails behave in the same manner as cirrus clouds, thin high-altitude floaters that block out solar energy from above and trap in heat below. As a result, they help reduce the daily range in daytime highs and nighttime lows. Contrails, by providing additional insulation, further reduce the variability. With air traffic growing and contrails becoming more prevalent, the natural variation will further decline and could disrupt regional ecosystems, some scientists speculate. Certain trees, crops and insect species depend on specific daily temperature variations for their survival. In some ways, contrails differ from their natural brethren. Cirrus clouds let less heat out than in overall, producing a net increase in the Earth's temperatures, according to climate scientists. With contrail clouds, they said they are not so sure. "Contrails are denser and block sunlight much more than natural cirrus clouds," said Travis, who with colleagues reported the findings this week in the journal Nature. "And contrails are much more prevalent when the sun is out," he said. "When this is factored in, there is a possibility that they offset global warming, and this is what we are trying to determine now." The researchers plan more studies to tackle that question, but they said they expect to rely on circumstantial evidence only. "We can only hope that the September 11 tragedy never happens again," Travis said.

(Added on Thursday, August 08, 2002 @ 01:07:39 AM)