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"Forensic researchers at North Carolina State University have found a more accurate way to assess an individual's age at death, based on the bone mineral density of the femur. The technique could be used to help identify human remains.

"Current techniques for assessing an individual's age at death rely on reviewing the wear and tear on a skeleton's joint surfaces," says Ann Ross, a professor of biological sciences at NC State and corresponding author of a paper on the work. "But there is a lot of variability there, based on an individual's lifestyle and how a forensic practitioner interprets those skeletal features. Depending on the method being used, current approaches could list a deceased individual in his or her 40s as being anywhere from 27 to 70 years old.

"However, bone mineral content and density increase as we grow, then decline at a fairly steady rate once we reach adulthood - making it a potentially useful way of assessing age," Ross says.

While using bone mineral density to assess age is a concept that's been around for several years, the NC State team has found a way to fine-tune the practice.

Specifically, the researchers found that assessing bone mineral density at the neck of the femur provided the best sampling data for determining age.

In a study assessing the remains of 33 men and eight women, the researchers found that bone mineral density could be used to determine age within a 13-year margin of error.

"This, in itself, is a step in the right direction," Ross says. "But we think the method could be made even more accurate if we were able to significantly increase the sample size, including more women and more representatives from each age group."

The researchers found no significant difference between men and women based on the bone mineral density of the femur. However, they did find difference between sexes in the density of the skull".

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Cool "Doctor Who" spinoff!! It only got one season, but I don't know why. My daughter and I are loving it! A bit darker than Doctor Who, but still 😎😎

#Class #DoctorWho #TheDoctor

https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=PAycTsDzW-w

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Breaking down what is wrong with the Cavaliers http://nyp.st/2BoY6Qd

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America is no longer the second-most visited destination in the world https://www.nbcnews.com/business/travel/tourism-u-s-down-trump-took-office-costing-4-6-n840326 -via Flynx

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Former Mexican President Vicente Fox Bashes Trump and the Wall on The Opposition http://nym.ag/2E3vwa7

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China stands to take a profitable lead in satellite launches against competitors in Russia, the United States and France.

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Congratulations to our Cheerleader of the Week, Rookie DBC Allison! 🎊 #BeyondTheBoots #DBC2017

Read more on: bit.ly/2DFcfha

#Sports #NFL #Cheerleaders

(Credit: Denver Broncos Cheerleaders)

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Mueller wants to question Trump about Comey, Flynn firings http://nyp.st/2BmCqnH

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Apple shipped record 29 million iPhone X units in Q4 2017 out of which seven million were shipped in China.

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lakeside © Holger Nimtz
Berlin | Germany | 2018
https://www.holge.de

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Fuming in the Distance

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Floral silhouette

My portraits page https://www.paolodalprato.com/ritratti

#macrophotography #hqspmacro #hqspflowers #fotomaniaitalia #ilovephotography #wildflowers

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It is with great sorrow the I learned of the passing of the incomparable Ursula K LeGuin. No other author inspires me like she does. Through her books such as The Left Hand of Darkness, The Disposed and the Earthsea series, I've explored my own humanity. If you've never read her works I encourage you to pick one up. Her spin on science fiction is as unique as she is. Thank you Ms. Le Guin for your words, stories and insights.

an image inspired by the Earthsea series

#toy_photographers #xxsjc #lego

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"Scientists digging deep into the Earth's mantle recently made an unexpected discovery.

Five hundred and fifty kilometres below the Earth's surface, they found highly oxidized iron, similar to the rust we see on our planet's surface, within garnets found within diamonds.

The result surprised geoscientists around the globe because there is little opportunity for iron to become so highly oxidized deep below the Earth's surface".

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In October last year, astronomers were thrilled to witnessthe passage of an interstellar object through the Solar System for the first time. Oumuamua is now too far gone for new observations, but we will be processing what we saw for a long time. A collection of papers in progress have provided exciting, if speculative, deductions about the cosmic visitor.

Since we've never seen anything like Oumuamua before, it is easy to assume such visits must be very rare. However, we have only recently started scanning the skies with sufficient coverage and sensitivity to make detection of such an object likely.

If you enter a weekly lottery and win after only a few tries, you might just have been lucky, but it is more likely the odds are not all that long. Yale University's Professor Gregory Laughlin has used this principle to estimate the number of objects passing through the inner Solar System, and therefore their frequency in the galaxy (if it was not a fluke we happened to see one already).

His conclusion, published in Research Notes of the AAS, is that there are 2x1026interstellar objects whizzing around the galaxy, with a combined mass roughly 100 billion times that of Earth.

For an object to be given enough gravitational heft to be thrown from its solar system, it needs to encounter a large planet. Moreover, the closer such an encounter occurs to the star, the more massive the planet needs to be to do the throwing. Most planets we have discovered around other stars are either too small (super-Earths) or too close to the star (hot Jupiters) to be responsible.

Laughlin thinks most Oumuamua-like objects must have been sent on their way by planets at least 5 astronomical units (AU) from stars with masses similar to the Sun, or 1 AU for a red dwarf. If so, and they are as common as he suspects, there must be a lot of planets of Neptune-like mass lurking in the outer reaches of their star systems where we have little chance of detecting them using current methods. Laughlin is a proponent of planet nine, a local equivalent.

Mass and orbital distance of planets we have found around other stars. If Oumuamuas are common there must be many more planets in the top right than we have yet found. Laughlin and Batygin

Research Notes of the AAS is a newly revived project where astronomers post short works that may eventually be turned into full papers but are yet to be peer-reviewed.

Other notes confirm Oumuamua could not have come from our Solar System and is unlikely to have originated around any nearby star, despite speculation of possible sources. One of Oumuamua's distinctive features was its ratio of length to width, estimated as being around 10. We haven't seen it precisely enough to get an exact ratio, but confirmation of a minimum of 5.3 demonstrates this is a very unusual object.

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2018 features 2 Blue Moons — one Jan 31 & one in March (w/ no full moon in Feb).
Excerpts🔹🔹A Blue Moon is when two full moons happen in the same calendar month; lunar eclipses occur when the moon passes into Earth's shadow; and supermoons happen when the moon's perigee — its closest approach to Earth in a single orbit — coincides with a full moon. In this case, the supermoon also happens to be the day of the lunar eclipse.

Blue Moons are not as rare as the old saying "once in a blue moon" implies; they happen about once every 2.7 years, because the number of days in a lunation (new moon to new moon) is a bit less than the usual calendar month — 29.53 days as opposed to 31 or 30 days (except for February, which has 28 days, so a blue moon cannot occur). A sequence of 12 lunations adds up to 354.36 days, against the 365.24 days in a year. The discrepancy adds up over time, until a year will have 13 lunations as opposed to 12. For some observers, 2018 will feature two Blue Moons — one in January and one in March (with no full moon in February).

_

Unlike solar eclipses, which are only visible from specific places on Earth, lunar eclipses are visible from anywhere it is nighttime. Lunar eclipses don't occur every month because the plane of the lunar orbit is slightly tilted relative to the plane of the Earth's orbit, so the Earth, sun and moon don't always line up to put the moon in Earth's shadow. For the Jan. 31 lunar eclipse, viewers in some places will not be able to see the entire event because it starts near moonrise or moonset. Lunar eclipses are only visible on Earth's night side.

Observers in New York City will see the moon enter Earth's penumbra (the lighter, outer part of its shadow) at 5:51 a.m. on Jan. 31. The penumbra darkens the moon only a little; unless you're especially keen eyed, it is often difficult to notice. The moon will touch the umbra, the darker part of the shadow that gives the eclipse the distinctive look of darkening and reddening the moon, at 6:48 a.m. local time. But the moon sets only 16 minutes later, so New Yorkers will get to see only the first part of the eclipse. To see as much of the eclipse as possible, you'll want to be near a flat western horizon.

The situation gets better as you move west. Chicagoans will see the penumbra touch the moon at 4:51 a.m. local time, and it will still be a good 26.7 degrees above the horizon (about 53 times the apparent width of the full moon). The umbral eclipse will start at 5:48 a.m. local time, and by 6:16a.m., the moon will take on its characteristic blood-red color as it enters totality. Even so, it will set only minutes later, at 7:03 a.m., just as the sun rises.  

In Denver and points west, the eclipse will start at 3:51 a.m. local time, with the umbra reaching the moon's edge at 4:48 a.m. The point of maximum eclipse, when the moon is deepest in the shadow of the Earth, will occur at 6:29 a.m. For the Mile-High City, the moon will set after the lunar eclipse ends at 7:07 a.m. local time, when the moon exits the umbra. Moonset will follow at 7:10 a.m.

Californians will have a better view of the end of totality, as the penumbral eclipse will start at 2:51 a.m. local time, and the partial eclipse will begin at 3:48 a.m. At 4:51 a.m. local time, the total phase will start, ending at 5:29 a.m. Totality will end at 6:07 a.m., and the moon will emerge from the umbra at 7:11 a.m. The penumbral shadow will pass after the moon is just below the horizon.

As one travels west across the Pacific, the lunar eclipse will occur earlier in the night; skywatchers in Hawaii will be able to see the entire thing from beginning to end, as will Alaskans and viewers in eastern Asia and Australia. On Jan. 31, people in Tokyo will see the lunar eclipse's penumbral phase start at 7:51 p.m. local time. The umbra will touch the moon at 8:48 p.m., and the maximum eclipse will be at 10:29 p.m. At 11:07 p.m., the moon will reach the opposite side of the umbra, and at 12:11 a.m. on Feb. 1, it will emerge and enter the penumbra. At 1:08 a.m., the eclipse will end for viewers in Tokyo.

People in eastern Europe and western Asia will see something like a mirror image of the eclipse that observers in the Americas will see, because instead of occurring near moonset, the eclipse will start before the moon rises.

Viewers in Moscow will see the moon make a dramatic entrance as it rises while it is still red and deep in Earth's shadow. Moonrise there is at 5:01 p.m. local time on Jan. 31, and the moon will reach the edge of the umbra at 5:07 p.m. The moon will emerge from the dark part of Earth's shadow at 6:07 p.m. In New Delhi, the moon will rise at 5:55 p.m. local time and will be fully covered by the umbra at 6:21 p.m., so it will turn red just as it reaches about a half a hand's width above the eastern horizon. 





🔹🔹

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Hey, remember Mars One? Yes, it was that proposal to send people on a one-way trip to Mars. No, it didn’t go well. Well, the guy behind the idea – Dutch entrepreneur Bas Lansdorp – is back! He says the company is back on track to take people to Mars, launching in 2031 and arriving in 2032, and also said a few things about colonizing Venus too.

“Mars won’t be the final destination for humans looking to set up permanent settlements away from Earth,” Lansdorp told The Independent in an interview. “After that, space explorers will be thinking about floating cities in the atmosphere of Venus in an extremely large balloon, or moving to one of Jupiter’s moons, or an asteroid.”

Lansdorp and his Mars One idea first hit the headlines in 2013 when they said they would hold open applications for people to go to Mars. Despite having no infrastructure, little to no money, and no expertise, Mars One said they could launch an uncrewed mission to Mars in 2016.

In case you didn’t notice, that didn’t happen. Actually, none of the stuff they said happened, apart from selecting a list of 100 astronaut finalists. The last we heard of them, people weren’t sure if the whole thing was a scam, or Lansdorp was just incredibly naive about what was required to go to Mars.

So we’re not quite sure why he’s back on the scene. Mars One is not going to send people to Mars, nor will it ever. Other companies might though, like SpaceX or NASA.

The Venus thing is at least kind of interesting. The possibility of colonizing Venus has been discussed before, as while the surface is hot enough to melt lead and thus uninhabitable, the atmosphere of the planet might be alluring.

At an altitude of about 50 kilometers (30 miles) above Venus, there exist some of the most Earth-like conditions seen outside of Earth. Here, the atmospheric pressure and the temperature are both similar to our planet. In theory, if you could float here, conditions wouldn’t be too bad.

We’ve actually sent balloons here before, the Vega 1 and 2 balloons from the Soviet Union in the 1980s. They were uncrewed, but they did return data on this region, confirming the Earth-like pressure and temperature.

Maybe we will colonize Venus one day, and Mars too. Mars One won’t have any part to play in it, though. Or maybe we're just naysayers.

Article by Johnathan O'Callaghan
23 January 2018

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N.C.A.A. Investigating Michigan State For Handling of Larry Nassar Case http://thecut.io/2E59lQH

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More improper, unprofessional, boorish behavior by Trump.

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An FBI informant has apparently informed Congress that a secret society at "The FBI was holding secret meetings off-site after the election of Donald Trump.

On Special Report with Bret Baier Tuesday evening, Senator Ron Johnson (R-Wisc.) called it "corruption of the highest levels of the FBI."

"That secret society — we have an informant that's talking about a group that were holding secret meetings off-site," Johnson said. "There is so much smoke here."
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