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Science

¡Viva la Science!

When tiny arms became crooked legs

Big Bird is a terrible example to us all, at least when it comes to bird anatomy. Check out those gams and you’ll see why. Like humans, real birds are bipedal, but their legs aren’t straight up and down. Instead, bird legs zigzag in such a way that birds are essentially in a permanent crouch, using their muscles to resist gravity. We humans don’t have to do that―our weight is borne passively on our straighter frames.

But of course, we can’t fly. The crouching posture peculiar to birds, says a recent study published in Nature, has everything to do with their evolution from dinosaur ancestors into animals capable of flight.

Previously, it was believed that the bird stance came about as a way for bird bodies to balance as massive T-Rex-style tails disappeared. Using 3-D digital reconstruction, however, the authors of the study determined that the key change was actually in the size of those adorable dinosaur arms. According to co-author John R. Hutchinson:

The tail is the most obvious change if you look at dinosaur bodies. But as we analyzed, and reanalyzed, and punishingly scrutinized our data, we gradually realized that everyone had forgotten to check what influence the forelimbs had on balance and posture, and that this influence was greater than that of the tail or other parts of the body.

Read more about the evolutionary adaptation that made bird flight possible here.

News

The Daily Word in BP, poorest president and Pong

BP's looking at a $4.5 billion fine and criminal charges against staff members.

The gap between rich and poor in New Mexico is the widest in the nation.

Pit bull terriers killed a Chihuahua and sent her owner to the hospital.

Debbie O'Malley might remain on the Council and take a seat on the County Commission.

Remember when 48 women training for the military said they'd been sexually assaulted or harassed by their instructors? The Air Force has a weird solution: Trainees must have a wingman all the time.

Nonstop flights from Albuquerque to New York.

FBI investigates death threats against the guy holding the coyote-killing contest in Los Lunas.

The poorest president in the world. "If you don't have many possessions, then you don't need to work all your life like a slave to sustain them."

Violence escalates in Gaza and Israel. Rockets kill 15 Palestinians and three Israelis.

Louisiana governor is the first Republican to denounce Mitt Romney's notion that he lost the election because President Obama gave gifts to minorities and youth.

5-Hour Energy shot-like drink blamed for 13 deaths.

Colorado Visitors Bureau plans NOT to capitalize on legal recreational marijuana.

Science looks at rappers' brains to find the basis of improvisation.

Pong is 40-years-old and no one has topped it, says this guy.

How to become as observant as Sherlock Holmes. (Also, "Sherlock," the BBC miniseries available on Netflix instawatch, is dope.)

news

The Daily Word in Bill Clinton, Genesis and Zozobra

I-25 / Paseo overhaul will be on the ballot in November.

Are you going to Zozobra tonight?

Doug Vaughan sentenced to 12 years for Ponzi scheme.

UNM considers making Lobo Village booze-free.

Ex-President Clinton at the DNC, a recap.

Wheelchair rugby players are rock stars.

Does email cause stress?

Freddie Mercury’s private cultural identity.

Prog awards honor Genesis.

Hungarian artist makes a subway stop magical.

Voyager’s getting close to the edge of the solar system.

Sun burp.

NASA’s Sunita Williams fixes the International Space Station with a toothbrush.

Jennifer Aniston’s going to be in a movie shooting in New Mexico soon.

news

The Daily Word in Martinez at the RNC, onion nuggets and megalopolises

Hurricane Isaac is grows weaker and heads inland, leaving a soggy mess in its wake.

Someone was keeping a military-grade rocket launcher in a Los Lunas storage unit.

The full text of Gov. Susana Martinez’ speech at the convention last night.

Theft is a big problem at UNM.

100-year-old driver injures kids in L.A.

Do vegetarians and vegans think they’re better than you?

McDonald’s archivistyes, that’s a real jobsays before chicken nuggets, there were onion nuggets.

23 musicians share their paintings. (Results are marginally better than when famous actors record albums.)

Speaking of, here’s cell-phone video of Johnny Depp playing guitar at the Lone Ranger wrap party.

Awkward political candidates: How do they happen?

China’s megalopolises are not fun to inhabit.

Space telescope spots millions of supermassive black holes.

How to listen.

Subscribe to this service and get boxes full of things.

news

The Daily Word in Olympic bodies, X-Files, the future

Behold! The surface of Mars. Looks strangely … familiar.

Someone robs an elderly woman in the South Valley, so two APD officers help her out with gift cards and cash.

Want to buy an APS barrack? (No. But I'll take a gold bar.)

13-year-old shoots a camera-phone video of her bus driver touching girls, saves the day.

How Olympic bodies have changed over time.

The oldest person competing in the Olympics.

Dumbest Olympic dive.

Mulder and Scully might be dating.

Young Sikh Americans speak out.

U.S. starts to clean up Agent Orange in Vietnam. You know. The birth-defect causing chemical our military dumped there more than 30 years ago.

Christina Hendricks issurprise to the reporter!way smart.

No one can steal Pussy Riot's inner freedom.

A timeline of the future.

news

The Daily Word in Judo, Annan and Doctor Who

A smiling tribute to American blubber was stolen from Dairy Queen.

Horse owners like N.M. horse slaughterhouse.

Ex-APD officer who kicked a suspect in the head a bunch of times wants his job back.

Kofi Annan quits gig as Syrian peace envoy because no one's got his back.

Bone marrow transplants eradicate HIV.

What Robyn Lawleythe prestigious plus-size lacy underpants modeleats.

The lady who takes pictures of babies dressed like flowers and peas and things is totally nuts. (Satire)

The Olympic rings as fascinating infographics for nerds like me.

Is being an Olympic gymnast any fun anymore?

Swimmer Ryan Lochte digs one night stands, says his mom.

Kayla Harrison becomes the first American to win the gold in Judo.

How not to write about female musicians.

"Doctor Who" trailer for series 7 features dinosaurs.

news

The Daily Word in Olympic fonts and shrunken heads

Food prices set to rise as a result of drought.

Jon Stewart breaks down Obama's "you didn't build that" controversy.

Los Angeles city council bans marijuana dispensaries.

USDA apologizes for suggesting that maybe one day a week you cool it with the meat.

What's going on at Michael Jackson's house?

Police standoff in Mountainair.

How to deal with your terrible editorial department coworkers.

Cal Ripken's mom safe at home after kidnapping.

Man sued for downloading porn countersues for defamation.

Designers reveal the Rio 2016 Olympics typeface.

Please tell me you didn't buy one of those tortilla bowl pans.

Scientists prove shrunken heads are real, with science.

Happy Birthday Vivian Vance!!!

News

The Daily Word in $3 gas, dirty veggies and peaceful Iceland

Firefighters gain the upper hand in the Bosque.

Taliban attacks a hotel in Kabul.

Gas might go back down to $3 per gallon.

The Sandusky jury deliberates without hearing accusations from his foster son.

The highest temperatures on record in the U.S.

Dirty dozen list shows fruits and veggies with the most pesticides.

Police officers in Santa Fe who lie or participate in sexual misconduct can be fired immediately under a new policy.

What has come true from Blade Runner?

Find out where the rich keep their private islands.

Denham Fouts inspired his lovers and benefactors with cool disinterest.

Iceland is the most peaceful country in the world.

Cat shreds despite earthquake.

Science. It's a girl thing. Like sexiness and makeup.

The British Monarchy is hiring.

news

The Daily Word in racist comics, staff cuts for Newt and Winrock revitalization

Why is a there an effort to smear the reputation of Trayvon Martin?

Construction to revitalize Winrock Mall begins next week.

Dude, this racist cartoon is pretty racist, even for Texas.

Guess which Republican Presidential candidate just let go of a third of his full-time staff?

Magdalena's only grocery store is closing.

Fox News hoodies disappear from online store and somehow it's not a conspiracy.

New species of hammerhead shark discovered.

'Dinosaur' and 'dancing' are some of the 50 forbidden words to be removed from standardized tests in New York.

JFK airport employees responsible for 200 thefts per day.

Pharmacies are lying to teenagers about emergency contraception.

Sometimes it's hard being an asshole atheist.

Taiwanese woman chats with Facebook friends as she kills herself.

According to a new study, rubbing toothpaste onto your teeth with your fingers will increase fluoride protection by a whopping 400%.

Someone's got a case of the Mondays.

How to work for a micromanager.

Watch 130 'Simpsons' openings at the same time, for science.

Fish McBites are a real thing, so is Chicken-n-Waffles-flavored syrup.

Jethro Tull's Ian Anderson says "Thick as a Brick 2" is coming.

Trailer for a new "Lupin the 3rd" TV series.

Laugh at these treadmill fails.

De-porn your browser before your mom comes to visit.

Hey, remember Luscious Jackson?

Happy Birthday Reba McEntire!!!

news

The Daily Word in heavy baby, Icelandic incest and yoga

Belen police chief: "It always raises a red flag for us when we see a sex offender trying to get into the girls bathroom."

Some APD officers make more than the mayor.

Have you seen this missing girl?

JFK mistress speaks out in book form.

15.5 pound baby born in China.

Mickey D's minty green Shamrock Shake goes nationwide.

The ancestor to all animals.

R.I.P. Florence Green, the last WWI
veteran.

Can porn be copyrighted?

A website in Iceland helps residents avoid accidental incest.

Maps of stereotypes.

Some yoga is dangerous, but it's mostly awesome, says some guy in his new book.

V.21 No.4 | 1/26/2012
Dr. Rick Strassman

Talking Points

Made of Bright Light

Scientist reflects on his psychedelic research

Over the course of five years in the early ’90s, Dr. Rick Strassman dosed 400 volunteers with DMT at the University of New Mexico. He spoke with us about his study, the Old Testament and alien abduction, among other things.

[ more >> ] [ permalink ]

News

DMT researcher in person tonight at the Guild

Dr. Rick Strassman
Dr. Rick Strassman

In the issue that begins hitting stands today, I interview Dr. Rick Strassman, who dosed volunteers with DMT, a powerful psychedelic, at UNM in the early '90s.

Tonight, there will be two showings (6 p.m. and 8 p.m.) of a documentary called The Spirit Molecule about his five-year study. Strassman will be on hand at the Guild Cinema to talk about his work and answer questions after each screening.

The article will be available online at alibi.com this evening. But until then, here's a preview:

What would another round of experiments look like today?

I don't know about any more DMT studies. I just gave so much DMT. ..

I think it would be interesting to give DMT to scientists who are doing studies with parallel universes and string theory and dark matter and things like that. I do speculate at the end of the book that that could be the location of this other state, this freestanding, apparently independent state. I think it would be interesting to get their opinion on what this seems like to them based on all of their thinking and their computer models.

Do you see therapeutic potential in psychedelics?

Oh yeah, for sure. That's ongoing right now. There's a study out of Hopkins a few years back causing mystical experiences with psilocybin. There was a study a few years ago by UCLA, giving psilocybin to the terminally ill, and it was quite helpful.

There are some alcoholism studies using psilocybin that are either underway or close to being started. There's quite a few studies of ayahuasca being helpful with psychological problems and substance abuse problems.

Did you ever hear from Timothy Leary about any of your work?

Tim was in Santa Fe for a talk in the early 1990s, and I was living in Tijeras at the time. Someone called and asked if I wanted to meet Tim. It was in the middle of the week. I wasn't that interested in meeting him, to tell you the truth. So I passed.

NEWS

The Daily Word in politics, human to animal contact and TALKING IN ALL CAPS

Again with the debt ceiling.

Kim Jong-il's two-day funeral begins.

Yes, Congress really is as bad as you think.

Rick Santorum promises to pack up and go home if he comes in last in Iowa.

Democrat Ben Nelson is retiring from the Senate.

No New Mexico float in the Rose Parade this year.

Surprise! Newt Girgrich's divorce papers contradict his claims about the split.

Questions are being asked about Jerry Sandusky's wife.

Mayor Berry reviews the first half of his term.

China has its own GPS.

Vladimir Putin is too cool for vote rigging.

Two killed in a shootout at a Church's Chicken in Chicago.

Tweeting the phrase human to animal contact will attract the attention of the Department of Homeland Security.

Where old Christmas light go to die.

A $25 computer about to begin production.

The great exploding churro lawsuit has been settled.

Toys R Us sued over loose wagon wheel.

ANIMALS TALKING IN ALL CAPS is exactly as awesome as the name implies.

The 50 most entered BitTorrent phrases of 2011 are…

Adorable anti-gender marketing rant from a 4-year-old.

2011s best animal videos.

When will the Co-op get a man aisle?

SETI to search the moon for alien footprints.

The Grand Canyon Burger sounds awesome!

Save cash and avoid airport impulse buys.

The true weight of the internet is somewhere between a grain of salt and a strawberry.

The best and worst video games of 2011.

R.I.P. Cheetah the chimpanzee.

Former Saturday Night Live writer dead of apparent suicide.

Sweet old computer magazine covers from the 70s/80s.

Happy Birthday Leaping Lanny Poffo!!!

Thanks E!!!

News

The Daily Word in Pearl Harbor, occupied housing, Mumia and Justin Bieber

It's the 70th anniversary of the attack on Pearl Harbor. Surprisingly, the Japanese admiral who masterminded it didn't want to go to war in the first place.

Brick by brick, wall by wall, they freed dropped the death penalty on Mumia Abu-Jamal.

Occupiers succesfully "liberate" a forclosed house in Brooklyn.

U.S. health official overrules her own experts on the morning-after pill.

Four words that should never, never, never go together: Justin Bieber steampunk Christmas.

Four words that go suprisingly well together: DIY animatronic firebreathing pony.

Wrap your presents in hamburger.

BP says Halliburton destroyed evidence that makes them culpable in the Gulf oil spill.

Procatinator is your new best friend. Or it's trying to kill you. Whatever.

Former Albuquerque Pride director is headed to the White House.

Snapshots from Nick Brown's kids' school science fair.

Salvador Disney and other films that actually happened.

What the Interwebs were atwitter about in 2011.

There's a vaccine for Ebola now.

Great Danes love kittens.

Albuquerque thieves are after your toilet paper.

Florida thieves are after a romantic dinner at home.

Thanks to E.J., Nick and Sarah for the links!

3 p.m. Slump

Rick Perry on food

Play Youtube Video

Science confirmed yesterday that late afternoon sucks. (Also, that the world collectively experiences emotion over days, weeks and seasons. Scientists tracked it with social media.)

With that in mind, I give you this video, guaranteed to make your 3:30 p.m. a little easier. The Alibi’s got your back.

More Videos

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