Monday, October 31, 2011
"Fright night just got a little bit spookier. Pregnant women have their own little trick on Halloween – they seem able to time the delivery of their baby to avoid giving birth on this day. Rebecca Levy at Yale School of Public Health and colleagues examined 1.8 million US birth records from 1996 to 2006, and found that birth rates dropped by 11.3 per cent on 31 October, when compared with the two-week window surrounding the date. The significant declines in deliveries on Halloween applied to natural births as well as scheduled caesarean and induced births. "The study raises the possibility that the assumption underlying the term 'spontaneous birth', namely, that births are outside the control of pregnant women, is erroneous," says Levy. She says a psychological influence over hormonal activity may be at work."
Photograph: Erik De Castro/AFP/Getty Images"The world's seven billionth baby has been born in a packed government-run hospital in the Philippines. Weighing 2.5kg (5.5lb), Danica May Camacho was chosen by the United Nations to be one of several children around the world who will symbolically represent the global population milestone. She was delivered just before midnight on Sunday amid an explosion of press camera flashes at Manila's Jose Fabella Memorial Hospital."
The Guardian / more
Sunday, October 30, 2011
By Forrest Wickman /Slate Magazine / more
A 20 million ton asteroid is currently hurtling through space at 23,000 miles per hour, on a collision course with Earth.
"When Paul Chodas and Steve Chesley arrived at Nasa’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory, in a valley beneath the slopes of California’s San Gabriel Mountains, on October 6 2008, they assumed it would be a normal day. But it would prove to be anything but. The scientists worked for the space administration’s Near Earth Object (NEO) programme, a team tasked with identifying comets, asteroids and meteors that potentially pose a threat to Earth. A normal day meant scanning their screens for small white dots in our solar system — the vast majority of which were either too far away to ever be a problem or so small they would burn up in our atmosphere long before they could ever do any serious damage. On that Monday morning, however, Chodas noticed an asteroid about the size of a truck beyond the moon’s orbit. It was on a collision course with Earth."
Saturday, October 29, 2011
Friday, October 28, 2011
Until late Tuesday night, that is: an employee found the missing feline in an airport customs room. The cat has been taken to a Queens veterinarian hospital where's he's being treated for dehydration.
American Airlines has issued a public apology to Pasco and Jack, and even offered the cat a free flight to California to be reunited with his owner. However, after his ordeal, we can't imagine Jack wants to go near an airport anytime soon."