The possibility of robot workers raises a certain type of futurey allure combined with a sense of danger — in a variety of settings, they could help humans work better and faster, but they could also replace us, or worse, maim us. So how are we supposed to feel about the news of a new troupe of robot prison guards? It’s awesome. And terrifying.
Some unknown terrible person shot a defenseless pilot whale last month, leaving it to swim the Atlantic in agony for weeks before it finally beached itself on the New Jersey shore and died. Authorities are still looking for the shooter. The bullet wound caused a fulminant infection in the whale's jaw that prevented it from eating, so it basically starved to death. This was determined during a necropsy, an autopsy for animals.
Along with sympathy for the poor creature, this debacle aroused an interesting question: How does one autopsy a whale? With four-ton meat hooks, whaling knives and bone saws, actually. Michael Moore, a veterinarian and whale biologist at the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, does it all the time.
A Utah man involved in a 16-hour standoff with police Friday night posted status updates about the ordeal on Facebook, sharing photos of himself with the woman police said he had taken hostage. He even got some help from his friends, who could now face charges of obstructing justice, according to the Associated Press.
One Facebook user warned Jason Valdez that a SWAT officer was hiding in the bushes outside the motel room where he was holed up with a hostage.
A new fingerprint analysis method will make it easier for forensic investigators to study old, dry fingerprints, potentially unmasking new evidence in cold cases. Using gold nanoparticles, researchers were able to target amino acids on non-porous surfaces, which will allow better analysis of latent fingerprints.
It's a scene familiar from a plethora of TV shows and movies: the crime scene photographer, carefully stalking around a taped-off area, meticulously documenting each piece of evidence as they lie beneath neon markers, noting the precise placement of each item as he snaps away. Well, thanks to a new procedure developed by Spanish scientists, that crime scene photographer is going to have a lot less work on his hands.
Of the remaining mysteries surrounding the Watergate break-in, none confound conspiracy buffs more than the 18 and a half minutes of tape deleted from the June 20th, 1972 meeting in the Oval Office. Now, after 37 years and several forensic analyses of the audio tape itself, the National Archives will turn its attention to the only physical notes taken during that meeting in the hope of extracting more information about the famous recording gap.