Amazing Fossils, Dead and Alive

first_imgAustralia’s oldest bird tracks with dinosaurs, “living fossil” sponges and other strange and wonderful findings accentuate the news on natural history.Cretaceous bird tracks:  The oldest bird tracks in Australia, claimed 105 million years old, were reported by Science Daily.  Anthony Martin (Emory U) commented, “These tracks are evidence that we had sizeable, flying birds living alongside other kinds of dinosaurs on these polar, river floodplains, about 105 million years ago.”  The tracks show skidmarks of landing, as if made by large birds like herons or egrets.  Martin said, “I immediately knew what it was — a flight landing track — because I’ve seen many similar tracks made by egrets and herons on the sandy beaches of Georgia.”  Megan Gannon at Live Science noted a conundrum: “The bird tracks were found very close to another footprint that looks like it was left by a non-avian theropod, possibly one of the coelurosaurs, the group of dinosaurs most closely related to birds that includes beasts like the Tyrannosaurus rex” (see 10/25/13).  The abstract of the paper in Palaeontology says these are “the oldest known fossil bird tracks in Australia and the only Early Cretaceous ones from Gondwana.”  Watermark:  The timing of this news fits perfectly with a recent article on Creation Ministries International about museum displays misleading the public by failing to point out that bird and dinosaur fossils are often found together.Living fossil sponges:  Glass sponges are among the oldest multicellular animals in the evolutionary chronology, but they’re doing just fine near Canada, reported National Geographic about the “First-ever Submarine Dive on Vancouver’s ‘Living Fossils’ Glass Sponge Reef.”  What a surprise it was:“It was like discovering a herd of dinosaurs on land,” says Manfred Krautter, a paleobiologist at the University of Stuttgart in Germany. “It was like going back in time because I had been looking at the fossil sponges for decades, and here they were alive.“The area covers 280 square miles.  “It’s an oasis,” Sally Leys [U of Alberta] said . “You come along in the mud [on the seafloor] and then all of a sudden, kapoof, it’s life.”  The first such reef was discovered in 1986.  In the evolutionary scenario 160 million years ago, these reefs were the largest in earth history.Had hadrosaur:  An early Cretaceous hadrosaur in China was announced on PhysOrg.  Although the discoverers claimed this fossil “can elucidate the evolution of hadrosauroids, especially the origin of hadrosaurids,” the article made it clear it’s an evolutionary mystery: “The origin of hadrosaurid dinosaurs is far from clear, mainly due to the paucity of their early Late Cretaceous close relatives” (compare with the story of tyrannosaur origins, 10/256/13).Lost and found world:  Another “lost world” habitat has been found at the summit of Cape Melville by scientists from the University of Queensland, reported PhysOrg.  So far, a leaf-tailed gecko, a speckled frog and a gold-colored skink have been identified, but the team believes more species, perhaps small mammals, remain to be discovered. “Finding three new, obviously distinct vertebrates would be surprising enough in somewhere poorly explored like New Guinea, let alone in Australia, a country we think we’ve explored pretty well.”  It’s been hard to reach because “The virtually impassable mountain range is home to millions of black granite boulders the size of cars and houses piled hundreds of metres high, eroded in places after being thrust up through the earth millions of years ago.”  The article did not explain how these species avoided finding migration paths for millions of years, but one of the researchers made this remark:“All the animals from Cape Melville are incredible just for their ability to persist for millions of years in the same area and not go extinct. It’s just mind-blowing,” [Conrad] Hoskin said.Fossils under skyscrapers:  PhysOrg described the ongoing work at La Brea Tar Pits in Century City, near Los Angeles – a fossil graveyard so vast, it could take another century to excavate.   You are reading material from  Of interest is the fact that more Pleistocene fossils turn up every time there is a dig for a new parking lot or skyscraper in the area, outside the designated tar pit area.  The article presents the usual slow-and-gradual entrapment story, but admits this mystery:Despite a century of digging, scientists still can’t agree on how the Ice Age beasts became extinct. Some suggested that the prehistoric predators may have competed with humans for similar prey and that carnivores ate carcasses out of desperation. But Larisa DeSantis of Vanderbilt University said dental studies of saber-toothed cats and other carnivores suggest they were “living the good life” before they became extinct.The Canaanite crisis:  Pollen grains are being used to piece together a story of the collapse of Bronze Age civilization in the land of Israel, a story in PhysOrg explains: “More than 3,200 years ago, the thriving civilizations in and around modern-day Israel suddenly collapsed for reasons that have long been a mystery.”  Pollen, “the most enduring organic substance in nature,” is being radiocarbon dated in sediment cores dug from the Sea of Galilee.  The study is being conducted by Israel Finkelstein, a well-known critic of Biblical chronology.  What does he attribute the collapse to?  “climate change” between 1250-1100 BC, but not due to anthropogenic chariot driving or Joshua.  “After the devastation came a wet period of recovery and resettlement, according to the researchers, eventually giving rising to the kingdoms of biblical times, including ancient Israel and Judah.”We hope you enjoyed these reports brought to you by Creation-Evolution Headlines.  Have you given us your Feedback?  Please let us know from time to time what you think of the news and commentary here, using either the general Feedback line about this site, or the Comments for your thoughts a particular article.  As we showed in our 10/27/13 article, the secularists and evolutionists continue to be surprised by empirical data that, when cleansed of evolutionary assumptions, are not that unexpected from a Biblical viewpoint.  That’s because advocates of Biblical history doubt the “Kapoof, it’s life” theory of evolution with its tales of birds evolving from their contemporaries, animals sitting unevolved for 160 million years, and stories made up out of lack of evidence (i.e., thin air, hot air, or both).  Too much “mind-blowing” on evolutionary fumes can be bad for one’s mental health, e.g., “incredible just for their ability to persist for millions of years in the same area and not go extinct. It’s just mind-blowing!” (Visited 19 times, 1 visits today)FacebookTwitterPinterestSave分享0last_img read more

Highlights from Geocaching Leap Day 2016

first_img SharePrint RelatedGeocaching Year in ReviewJanuary 4, 2013In “Française” Leap Day – Leaps into the Record BooksMarch 2, 2012In “Community”Groundspeak Weekly Newsletter – February 22, 2012February 14, 2012In “Groundspeak’s Weekly Newsletter” Loading… Share with your Friends:Morelast_img

A Microsoft ‘Xbox Surface’ Tablet Could Bridge PC-Mobile-Console Gaming

first_imgMicrosoft is reportedly building its own “Xbox Surface” gaming tablet, which could give the company a true mobile gaming strategy.Microsoft officials declined to comment, but the rumored 7-inch tablet could incorporate a custom ARM processor as well as “high-bandwidth RAM suitable for gaming tasks,” The Verge reported on Tuesday. In June, the site published what it believed to be the specs of the device, which included 288MB of RLDRAM 2 and a screen resolution of 1280 x 720.Microsoft is also reportedly considering a Surface phone, according to the rival BGR site. If the reports are true, an “Xbox Surface” tablet would give Microsoft something of a head-to-head competitor to the Sony PlayStation Vita and the Nintendo 3DS. Technically, Microsoft already has a mobile gaming platfrom: Windows Phone, which is moving into Windows Phone 8. Games like Dragon’s Blade and Dungeon Stalker take advantage of Windows Phone 7 (and 8), providing the platform with entertainment for Windows Phone users to enjoy on the subway or an airplane. But the quality of the games pales to what Microsoft’s game console, the Xbox 360, offers; gaming sites like PocketGamer usually give short shrift to Microsoft’s phone games. Mobile Gaming On The RiseStatistically, the rise of mobile gaming clearly justifies a Microsoft foray into the market. In September, analyst group NPD (which provides reports ranking the various game consoles and games by unit sales) said that the number of “mobile gamers” climbed 9% from a year ago, to a total of 23%  of the 211.5 million U.S. gamers, or a total of 46.53 million mobile gamers. Since the number of total gamers actually decreased 5%, that means that mobile gamers are growing both in absolute numbers as well as a percentage of the whole.What NPD doesn’t do – publicly, at least – is break out the numbers for each console. However, a recent report from the Associated Press does a nice snapshot of how console makers are faring. Microsoft, for example, says it shipped 1.7 million Xbox 360 consoles during the latest quarter, down 26% from 2.3 million a year earlier. Sony shipped a total of 3.5 million PlayStation 2 and PlayStation 3 units for the quarter, down from 4.9 million a year ago. And Nintendo said it sold 1.32 million Wiis for the six-month period ending in September, down from 3.35 million a year ago.The mobile market is a bit more vague. Nintendo didn’t break out its portable shipments, and Sony said it sold 1.6 million portable PlayStation units (possibly including the Vita) versus 1.7 million units a year ago. That probably means that there’s a market opportunity for Microsoft, if it chooses to head down that path. What Games Would An Xbox Surface Run?But there’s a simple question that hasn’t yet been answered: Would an Xbox Surface tablet actually run Xbox games?Currently, the Xbox 360 is powered by the so-called Xenon chip, a triple-core IBM PowerPC chip. That’s an entirely different architecture than the ARM processor found within the Apple iPhone5 or all Android phones. And that, in turn, means that games written for a custom ARM processor in an Xbox Surface tablet would require a custom port to the tablet by the developer itself. It also means, however, that Windows Phone games should work without too much trouble. Designing a tablet around a custom Intel chip seems to make more sense, as it would likely provide the X86 compatibility needed to run true Windows apps, which have already begun straddling the Xbox console and PC anyway.An ARM-powered Xbox Surface tablet might resemble the Surface RT: a low-cost, specialized platform that would require custom apps. That doesn’t mean those apps wouldn’t be written, but it would require additional development effort (and most likely financial incentives from Microsoft) to start building an app ecosystem for the Xbox Surface. And would PC-quality games run well on a tablet? Doubtful.Other PossibilitiesThere are a couple of other possibilities: Sony recently bought Gaikai, a cloud-gaming company that is being assimilated into the PlayStation space. Microsoft has already announced that its latest Halo 4 offering is being powered by its Azure cloud software; it’s not too far-fetched to think that Microsoft could be planning some form of streamed offering, either using the Xbox 360 console for local processing or going all the way back to its own in-house servers. Either way, that would help Microsoft circumvent the limits of an Xbox Surgace tablet.This could also simply be a blown-up marketing effort. Both Sony and Microsoft have released “custom” Xbox hardware tied to a specific game; it’s possible that this could simply be an “Xbox” branded Surface tablet with the SmartGlass “second screen” app front and center.A Microsoft bet on mobile gaming is certainly risky. But as tablets usurp PCs, an Xbox Surface could also be seen as ahead of the curve. Related Posts 9 Books That Make Perfect Gifts for Industry Ex… markhachman 12 Unique Gifts for the Hard-to-Shop-for People…center_img 4 Keys to a Kid-Safe App 5 Outdoor Activities for Beating Office Burnout Tags:#gaming#Microsoft#Surface#tablet#Xbox last_img read more

Lingard – I believe in this team

first_imgManchester United forward Jesse Lingard has urged his team-mates to replicate their last season victory at the Etihad by claiming all three points in Sunday’s Manchester derby.Jesse Lingard is fired up and ready for the Manchester derby, challenging his United teammates to produce another classic performance at the Etihad.In recent years, United have a strong record at City. They have won 7 of their last 15 away games and they have not lost there since November 2014.Jose Mourinho’s side pulled off an incredible comeback victory at the Etihad last season after trailing 2-0 at half-time, to win 3-2 at fulltime.“The win last season there was a mad feeling and, hopefully, we can do it again,” Lingard told MUTV.“We’ve done well there and it’s just about fine margins sometimes. We kept our mental state last season and got the win in the end.norwich city, manchester city, premier leagueReport: City are stunned by Norwich George Patchias – September 14, 2019 Manchester City was stunned by Norwich City in todays Premier League clash.Much has been made in recent days of the potential impact of Aymeric…“The way the fans were supporting us, even at 2-0 down, they stayed with us and backed us throughout the game and that spurred us on.”“I think these big games are what you play for.“The more pressure there is, you fire off that pressure. They’re the games you want to be involved in, like everyone else.“The most important thing is to believe, in ourselves, that we can do it. I believe in this team.”last_img read more