Animal Kingdom

A deer no bigger than a hamster? Meet the tiny Java mouse-deer

A rare mini-Bambi born in a Spanish zoo in 2014 has put the tiny Java mouse-deer on the front page and in everyone's mind! Seldom seen in zoos, the miniature Java mouse-deer starts off the size of a hamster, weighing less than ¼ lb. When full grown, the tiny-hoofed critter will grow no bigger than a small Chihuahua dog, with legs the size of pencils, and weigh no more than 2 lbs. The tiny Java mouse-deer is extremely shy, intelligent, and although it has no antlers or horns, it does have cute little tusks sticking out from its upper jaw to help protect itself from terrifying beasts such as rabbits and house cats. The Java mouse-deer can be seen running around the tropical rainforests (they travel in herds just…
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Animal Kingdom

Rare (and super ugly) goblin shark caught in Florida

When shrimp captain Carl Moore caught it, he didn’t know what it was – and looking like a creature from the movie “Alien”, he refused to go near it. Luckily, he snapped a few photos before tossing the ugly Goblin shark back into the water so it could resume its primary objective of confusing scientists and terrorizing fishermen throughout the world. Moore was about half way through his 18-hour workday when he made the bizarre catch. He had just begun carrying a camera on his fishing expeditions, wanting to share what he does with his 4-year-old grandson Keaton.  What he didn't want to do however, was give his grandson nightmares so he instead took the pictures of the Goblin shark back to shore and handed…
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Medical

Yay, vampires are real! Wait, OMG, vampires are real!

Uh oh, this can’t be good. Two different sets of scientists released some pretty amazing news on Sunday. Seems that transfusing the blood of a young mouse into an old mouse can improve the old mouse's mental and physical capabilities. In other words, the scientists reversed aging in the muscles and brains of old mice simply by running the blood of young mice through their veins. Yes, vampires have had it right all along. Researchers at both Harvard and the University of California reached the same conclusion by taking the protein GDF11 from the blood of young mice and pumping it through a few old-timers. What they saw amazed them. Despite an eerie glazed look on their pale faces, the old mice could run longer…
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Archeology

New research proves clever trick Egyptians used to move those massive stones across the sand

It’s long plagued Egyptologists and mechanical engineers and created many sleepless nights for Reeko – how did the Egyptians move those massive 2 ½ ton stones that were used to create their magnificent pyramids? Scientists from the University of Amsterdam believe they have figured it out – and the answer has been right in front of our faces all along. Some scientists think Egyptians laid down huge logs and rolled the massive stones across the logs. But those scientists have never stood in the middle of the Egyptian desert, stared at the endless sea of sand, and notice that, hey, there are no trees here! Other scientists have theorized that ancient Egyptians hauled their heavy cargo using some kind of sled. But the problem with…
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History

Neanderthals may not be as duh, duh, dumb as we thought

What’s the first thing that comes to mind when you think about a Neanderthal? Most think of a slow, dimwitted, grunting gorilla-like person who allowed themselves to die out and become extinct at the hands of the much smarter breed of modern-day humans. But scientists at the University of Colorado Boulder have come to the defense of the Neanderthal and think our notion of stupid Neanderthals is, well, pretty dumb. They say there is really no scientific evidence to support such a belief. Were Neanderthals really dumb? Neanderthals lived about 40,000 to 350,000 years ago across the lands of Europe and Asia and are widely believed to have died out after modern-day humans crossed into the area from Africa. Until now, it’s been thought that…
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Physics and math

Scientific research reveals how to win at Rock-Paper-Scissors

Regular visitors to Reeko’s Mad Scientist Lab know that on occasion, Reeko likes to pull their leg (meaning he tricks them). Reeko doesn’t do this to confuse the little scientists but rather, to make sure they stay on their toes (meaning walking around on your toes makes it harder to have your leg pulled). What follows is a true news story and not one of Reeko's sneaky tricks. Chinese discover there is more to Rock-Paper-Scissors than meets the eye Scientists in China have studied the Rock-Paper-Scissors game and released findings that indicate the game is more than a simple game of chance. Indeed, there is a strategy that can be used to win at Rock-Paper-Scissors. Seriously, we’re not making this stuff up. We could discuss the…
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Technology

Remote island becomes self-sufficient using wind turbines and a giant lake-sized battery

Life can be inconvenient living on a tiny island out in the middle of the ocean. Sometimes you have to do without modern-day conveniences such as electricity. But not residents of the El Hierro island, located just off the coast of Spain. Islanders on El Hierro are completing an ingenious means of generating electricity using wind and a huge “battery” the size of a lake. On El Hierro island, they have built five huge wind turbines that will generate electricity using nothing more than the strong winds that blow across the island. The problem with wind generated power however, is what to do on days when the wind does not blow. Typically in small installations, a battery is installed which stores the wind generated power…
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Animal Kingdom

Lowly cheetah hides its head in shame – it may no longer be the fastest animal on earth

Never run behind a car (you’ll get “exhausted”). And it goes without saying that you should never run in front of a car either (you’ll get “tired”). And if you think you can outrun a car, Reeko has news for you – you’re not as fast as you think – and neither is the speedy cheetah who, depending on your definition of “fast”, may have just lost its throne as the fastest animal on earth. Using high-speed cameras to capture it in motion, scientists in California have discovered a tiny little mite, called Paratarsotomus macropalpis, that they say holds the record for the fastest land animal. This little guy is able to run 322 body lengths per second. If you were to scale this up to…
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Animal Kingdom

Don’t worry kids – it’s only a huge venomous snake that attacks you while you sleep

Reeko doesn’t want to make any kids have bad dreams but figures most people would like to know that the Australian mulga snake has been found to attack people in their sleep. Besides, most kids don’t live in Australia, where this sneaky snake lives, and for the Australian kids, well, Reeko figures Australians are so tough their parents will probably use this news as a bedtime story to help their little ones fall asleep. The Australian mulga snake is one of the longest venomous snakes in the world and can grow up to 10 feet in length. The mulga, also known as “Pilbara cobra” or the “king brown” lives in woodlands, grasslands, and sandy deserts – just about everywhere except for the rainforest. It not…
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Animal Kingdom

Do animals use tools? Dolphins do. They use sponges gripped in their mouth to catch fish.

Long known to be among the smartest members of the animal kingdom, researchers have discovered that dolphins, like people, use tools to help them hunt and capture their food. Researchers studying dolphins in Shark Bay off the coast of Australia, noticed that more than half of the dolphins hunted for food while holding sponges in their mouth. After capturing a sample collection of dolphins to study, they found that dolphins who used sponges to hunt for food had different diet profiles than dolphins who hunted the good old fashioned way (with bows and arrows). Apparently the dolphins prod the ocean floor with the sponge in order to stir up special types of fish. “We were blown away as to how strong the differences between tool…
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