Science & Technology


Why horses are as good as babies at counting

Horses can count, a study has shown - and they do it just as well as monkeys and even human babies.

The first experiment of its kind showed that horses can pick out a bucket containing more apples than another.

They have a rudimentary ability to count, process the information and make a decision, according to psychologist Claudia Uller.

Seismologist's Project Uses Public's Laptops To Monitor And Predict Earthquakes

A simple idea for monitoring earthquakes that Elizabeth Cochran, a seismologist at UC Riverside, came up with in 2006 is being realized today, and has the potential to save lives in case an earthquake strikes.

How the Aztecs could count hand on heart

Sketches of hearts, hands, bones and arrows have been identified as examples of Aztec mathematics, which was quite different from the kind we use today.

The Aztecs lived in Mexico in the 14th, 15th and 16th centuries and are most famous for their human sacrifices, notably by heart removal.

Oztoticpac Lands Map
©Library of Congress
Drawn in 1540 CE, the Oztoticpac Lands Map despicts property dimensions of lands near Texcoco

Archaeologist find pre-Clovis human DNA

Human DNA from dried excrement recovered from Oregon's Paisley Caves is the oldest found yet in the New World -- dating to 14,300 years ago, some 1,200 years before Clovis culture -- and provides apparent genetic ties to Siberia or Asia, according to an international team of 13 scientists.

Among the researchers is Dennis L. Jenkins, a senior archaeologist with the University of Oregon's Museum of Natural and Cultural History, whose summer field expeditions over two summers uncovered a variety of artifacts in caves that had caught the scientific attention of the UO's Luther Cressman in the 1930s.

Jenkins is shown holding a piece of the human caprolite (dried feces) that dates to 14,300 years ago.

Scientists create material one atom thick

The foundations of the universe have been glimpsed in Manchester by scientists who have created the thinnest possible material.

Flat, parallel sheets of carbon atoms in the graphite of pencil lead have been peeled apart by the scientists to yield a sheet a single atom thick that has peculiar properties which made the fundamental feat possible.

How to deflect an asteroid

By now, we have all heard about a handful of asteroids that are big enough to level a city or two and have a small but non-negligible chance of hitting Earth. Should we find one heading straight at Earth, what can we do about it, if anything at all?

Fish 'trained to catch themselves'

Thousands of people across the world spend their leisure time on the banks of rivers and lakes engaging in the epic battle of human against fish, but the contest could soon become embarrassingly one-sided.

Perhaps inspired by spending too many days sitting in the cold and rain without getting a single bite, a team of researchers in the US is attempting to teach fish to catch themselves.

Comment: Replace the word 'fish' for 'human beings' and you would have a pretty good description of how this planet works.


The offline cost of an online life

The technology we use is accounting for more and more of the energy we consume, says Bill Thompson. And we need to know just how much. The next time you want to search for something on the web, try going to instead of your usual search engine. The page you get looks remarkably like Google, and queries are fed through to Google, but there's one obvious difference.

Instead of the generous amount of white space which has characterised Google's home page since its 1998 launch, the page is mostly black.

US man gets $2.6m for domain name

A US man has sold the domain name for $2.6m (£1.3m) - after maintaining the site for just $20 a year since 1994. Chris Clark, 43, accepted the offer from an anonymous bidder after a week-long online auction.

"It's crazy, it's just crazy," Mr Clark, who lives in North Potomac, Maryland, was quoted as saying by the Baltimore Sun newspaper. "It will make a significant difference in my life, for sure," he added.
Evil Rays

Cell Phone Boosters Coming for the Home

Verizon Wireless is joining Sprint Nextel Corp. (S) in jumping on the latest craze in the wireless world: little boxes called femtocells that boost cell-phone coverage in subscribers' homes.