I have only a slow (48K/sec) dial-up modem and don't go in for net surfing,
so I haven't looked at it, but the first item below seems of potential
interest re the recent discussion on birds and spiders.
From: "ABC Science Online" <>
Date: Thu, 20 Mar 2008 16:10:18 +1000
Subject: ABC Science Updates, 20 March 2008
Science Updates is a weekly email alert from the Australian Broadcasting
== ORB WEAVERS ==
It?s late in the season for it, but recent warm weather in South Eastern
Australia is resulting in a web-spinning frenzy as orb weaver spiders
squeeze in the business of breeding before the cold weather bites.
== TOP STORIES FROM NEWS IN SCIENCE ==
BALL LIGHTNING BAMBOOZLES SCIENTISTS
Scientific theories and experiments have failed to convince a physicist
what's behind the mysterious natural phenomenon of ball lightning.
MUMS BRAVER, FASTER, MORE LAID BACK
Motherhood is good for the brain, causing neurological changes that make
females braver, faster and less stressed, a US researcher says.
ALPHA CENTAURI MAY HAVE EARTH-LIKE WORLDS
Astronomers have come up with an ambitious observational technique to detect
Earth-sized and perhaps habitable planets orbiting one of our nearest
MEGAHERBS FLOURISHED IN ANTARCTICA
Giant flowers found on Australia and New Zealand's sub-Antarctic islands are
probably survivors of lush forests that covered Antarctica before the
beginning of the last ice age nearly 2 million years ago, scientists say.
== IN THE SKY THIS WEEK == http://abcmail.net.au/t/111452/680980/1764/0/
The Full Moon is Saturday March 22. The evening sky in the north is
enlivened by bright Mars and Saturn. In the north-west Mars forms a
delightful broad triangle with the bright red stars Aldebaran and
Betelgeuse. In the north-east evening sky, Saturn can be seen near the
bright star Regulus. It is still a good time to observe this ringed world in
a small telescope. In the eastern morning sky Venus and Mercury continue
their dance in the twilight, just above the horizon.
Mercury approaches Venus during the week and is closest on the morning of
Tuesday 25 March.
== ABC HEALTH & WELLBEING == http://abcmail.net.au/t/111452/680980/1765/0/
== THE PULSE: PLUGGING THE LEAKS ==
There are plenty of treatments for incontinence in women, but few of them
actually work, US researchers have found.
== FACT BUSTER: CAN EATING CARROTS IMPROVE YOUR EYESIGHT? ==
Read the answer and tell us what you think.
== TRANSCRIPTS NOW ONLINE
ENERGY - WHAT ARE THE CHOICES? (In Conversation: 13/03/2008)
THE PSYCHE ON DEATH ROW (All In The Mind: 15/03/2008)
CLIMATE SHOWDOWN (Catalyst: 13/03/2008)
MEET DR MELANIE FITZPATRICK (Catalyst: 13/03/2008)
SOLAR SPACE POWER (Catalyst: 13/03/2008)
PHYTOPLANKTON MONITORING UNDER THREAT (Science Show: 15/03/2008)
VOYAGER SPACECRAFT ON THE OUTER EDGE OF THE SOLAR SYSTEM (Science Show:
DAWN ? MISSION TO ASTEROIDS VESTA AND CERES (Science Show: 15/03/2008)
HOW CHROMOSOMES SPLIT IN CELL DIVISION (Science Show: 15/03/2008)
SOLID LIGHT (Science Show: 15/03/2008)
QUANTUM ENTANGLEMENT (Science Show: 15/03/2008)
SHARKS EXTINCTION THREAT (Science Show: 15/03/2008)
BLUEFIN TUNA EXTINCTION THREAT (Science Show: 15/03/2008)
== COMING UP ON ABC RADIO == http://abcmail.net.au/t/111452/680980/1773/0/
SCIENCE SHOW - One Laptop per Child
Saturday 22 March, 12.05pm & Monday 24 March, 7.05pm RN
It was the ambition of Kevin Rudd during the last election and it is the
plan being realised by Nicholas Negroponte of MIT. The only way Professor
Negroponte can realise his dream is by having cheap laptops, costing $100
or, eventually, less. How is this done? And what difference do these
computers make in the villages of Africa, South America and Asia? Professor
Negroponte, founder of the Media Lab at MIT and author of the bestseller
Being Digital, talks to an audience in Boston, Massachusetts.
ALL IN THE MIND ? Your Inner Ape
Saturday 22 March, 1.05pm, & Monday 24 March, 1.05pm RN
Apes are our closest relatives ? nearly 99% of our genes are identical ? but
how do our inner lives compare? Culture, empathy, language, learning - do
chimps have the smarts to pull these off? Channel your ?inner ape? with the
world?s top primatologists as they unearth surprising results.
OCKHAM'S RAZOR - Public Policy: It?s so obvious
Sunday 23 March, 8.45am RN
Now Dean and Professor of the School of Criminal Justice at Rutgers
University in the US Adam Graycar was, until recently, a senior bureaucrat
in South Australia. His job was to provide policy advice so the government
could make the correct decisions. He discusses how many of the issues which
confronted him appeared, on the surface, to have obvious solutions.
However, in practice, things did not always work out as one would expect.
Sunday 23 March (0830hrs UT), Monday 24 March (1330 & 1705hrs UT), Wednesday
26 March (0430hrs UT), Radio Australia
A TV remote and hands-free phone combo for the vision impaired; machinery to
revolutionise farming methods in Asia; and a discovery about a devastating
chicken disease that costs the poultry industry millions. As well -- why
polygamous possums turn to pairing for life, which has much to do with us.
HEALTH REPORT ? Appetite Control
Monday 24 March, 8.30am and 8.05pm RN
This week the Health Report is about controlling your appetite. There's some
disturbing suggestive evidence about multivitamins in pregnant women and
appetite control in their offspring. We also hear about how appetite control
works in the brain.
IN CONVERSATION - Science as Politics.
Thursday 27 March, 7.35pm
Should scientists speak freely on issues beyond their academic competence -
or keep quiet? Richard Lewontin is a professor of genetics at Harvard and a
critic of those who conjure world systems out of faint biological trends.
The acquisitive habits of bower birds don't necessarily give insights on
American capitalism. The same sex behaviour of sheep doesn't tell you much
about Gay Pride. But Lewontin's late friend Steven Jay Gould, also of
Harvard, was often willing to tackle big issues, from religion to race. Did
he go too far?
== HIGHLIGHTS ON ABC TV == http://abcmail.net.au/t/111452/680980/1773/0/
ABC 1, Thursday 20 March, 8pm
Will gene therapy cure genetic diseases? Also, a top movie special effects
company and a scientist make a robot Tuatara; Funnel Web venom pesticide;
and meet Associate Professor Alex Barrett who is helping us to manage our
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