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FEBRUARY 2016
February 14 - Valentine's Day
February 15 - Grammy Awards
February 15 - Presidents' Day USA
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Monday February 8, 2016     6:30 AM ET


Ellie's World Blogs
Monday Memos


  Super Bowl 2016: Broncos' defense dominates as Peyton Manning wins second title   CNN - February 8, 2016

  Syrian refugees: We did not flee for tents   CNN - February 8, 2016
Tantalizingly close to Turkish soil, thousands of Syrian refugees fleeing an upsurge in violence have gathered at their neighbor's border.

  Gunshots ring out at Mississippi Mardi Gras parade   CNN - February 8, 2016
Two people died and four others wounded in a shooting following a Mardi Gras celebration in the Mississippi Gulf town of Pass Christian on Sunday, police said.

  Airport workers seen with laptop used in Somalia in-flight jet blast   CNN - February 8, 2016

Early human ancestor didn't have the jaws of a nutcracker   Science Daily - February 8, 2016
South Africa's Australopithecus sediba, discovered in 2008 at the renowned archaeological site of Malapa in the Cradle of Humankind World Heritage Site, is again helping us to study and understand the origins of humans. Research published in 2012 garnered international attention by suggesting that a possible early human ancestor had lived on a diverse woodland diet including hard foods mixed in with tree bark, fruit, leaves and other plant products. But new research by an international team of researchers now shows that Australopithecus sediba didn't have the jaw and tooth structure necessary to exist on a steady diet of hard foods.

New device to get people with paralysis back on their feet   Science Daily - February 8, 2016
The brain machine interface consists of a stent-based electrode (stentrode), which is implanted within a blood vessel in the brain, and records the type of neural activity that has been shown in pre-clinical trials to move limbs through an exoskeleton or to control bionic limbs.

Death by Meteorite? India Tragedy May Be 1st in Recorded History   Live Science - February 8, 2016
For the first time in recorded history, a meteorite is reported to have killed a person. The incident happened Saturday (Feb. 6) when an object, thought to be a meteorite, hit a college campus in Tamil Nadu, a state in southern India, the Wall Street Journal reported. The impact killed a man and injured three others. Officials found a 4-feet-deep (1.2 meters) crater in the ground that contained "bluish black" rock fragments, G. Baskar, the college's principal in Tamil Nadu's Vellore district.

'Moon Glint' Magic: Astronaut's Photo Reveals Dreamy Patterns   Live Science - February 8, 2016
When an astronaut aboard the International Space Station trained a camera on a picturesque view of the northern Mediterranean Sea, the space flyer instead captured a unique effect created by the reflection of the moon on the surface of the water. The astronaut's "moon glint" photo shows the twinkling lights of coastal Italian towns and islands of the northern Mediterranean obscured by what looks like dark brushstrokes reminiscent of sweeping clouds. Sunlight can reflect off the surface of water or snow, and when the light hits at a certain angle, it creates a glare on the material's surface. This glare is something that scientists call "sun glint," and it happens according to a mathematical concept called the bidirectional reflectance distribution function (BRDF).

Comets May Not Explain 'Alien Megastructure' Star's Strange Flickering After All   Live Science - February 8, 2016
It's looking less likely that a swarm of comets or an "alien megastructure" can explain a faraway star's strange dimming. The star (nicknamed "Tabby's Star," after its discoverer, Tabetha Boyajian) made major headlines last October when Jason Wright, an astronomer at Pennsylvania State University, suggested that it could be surrounded by some type of alien megastructure. A more likely idea - one that's far less exciting - is that the star is orbited by a swarm of comets. But scientists can't be sure either way. Now, Bradley Schaefer, an astronomer at Louisiana State University, has probed the star's behavior over the past century by looking at old photographic plates. Not only does the star's random dipping date back more than a century, but it also has been gradually dimming over that period - a second constraint that makes it even harder to explain.

Man's Persistent Hiccups Were Caused by Large Tumor   Live Science - February 8, 2016
A man who suffered three bouts of persistent hiccups, lasting a few days each, over the span of one month finally learned the true reason for his health problems - a large tumor in the back of his neck, a new case report reveals. The case was unusual because it's fairly uncommon for the cause of such long-lasting hiccups to turn out to be a tumor. The reason the man had intractable hiccups - which are hiccups lasting longer than two days - was that his tumor was compressing his phrenic nerve, which is the neural pathway that goes to the diaphragm, the muscle just below the lungs that is involved in controlling breathing. The nerve was sending disturbed signals to the diaphragm, causing the muscle to contract involuntarily.

Innate teaching skills 'part of human nature', study says   PhysOrg - February 8, 2016

Some 40 years ago, Washington State University anthropologist Barry Hewlett noticed that when the Aka pygmies stopped to rest between hunts, parents would give their infants small axes, digging sticks and knives. To parents living in the developed world, this could be seen as irresponsible. But in all the intervening years, Hewlett has never seen an infant cut him- or herself. He has, however, seen the exercise as part of the Aka way of teaching, an activity that most researchers - from anthropologists to psychologists to biologists - consider rare or non-existent in such small-scale cultures. He has completed a small but novel study of the Aka, concluding that, teaching is part of the human genome.

Announcement Thursday on Einstein's gravitational waves   PhysOrg - February 8, 2016
Scientists are set to make a major announcement Thursday on efforts to pinpoint the existence of gravitational waves, or ripples of space and time that transport energy across the universe.

Fossil discovery: Extraordinary 'big-mouthed' fish from Cretaceous Period   PhysOrg - February 8, 2016
n international team of scientists have discovered two new plankton-eating fossil fish species of the genus called Rhinconichthys (Rink-O-nik-thees) from the oceans of the Cretaceous Period, about 92 million years ago, when dinosaurs roamed the planet.

A step closer to understanding fertilization   PhysOrg - February 8, 2016
Researchers in Sweden have taken a step closer to understanding the mechanism that leads to the fusion of egg and sperm at fertilization. Using the technique X-ray crystallography, they have determined the 3D structure of Juno, a mammalian egg protein essential for triggering gamete fusion. Their findings are not only interesting from an evolutionary perspective, but also reveal the shape of a possible target for future non-hormonal contraceptives.

Search engines will know what you want ... sooner   PhysOrg - February 8, 2016
If you enter "Oklahoma" in a search engine, you might get a travelogue, news about the oil industry, Oklahoma State football scores or an article on Rodgers and Hammerstein musicals. What appears at the top of the list might Š and should - depend on what you were actually looking for.

Study examines evolution of cancer   Medical Express - February 8, 2016
A novel Yale study answers age-old questions about how cancers spread by applying tools from evolutionary biology. The new insights will help scientists better understand the genetic origins of tumor metastases, and lead to more effective targets for treatment, said the researchers.

Mouse Killed by 150-Year-Old Trap in English Museum Display   Epoch Times - February 8, 2016
A mouse was apparently killed by a 150-year-old trap inside a museum display in the United Kingdom, officials said.

A sigh's not just a sigh - it's a fundamental life-sustaining reflex   The Guardian - February 8, 2016
Research reveals that sighing is more than a sign of depression or despair: itÕs a reflex that happens a several times an hour and helps preserve lung function

How easily distracted are you?   Daily Mail - February 8, 2016

How quickly you can spot the letter O in these grids reveals your powers of concentration.




Today's Events, Birthdays and Quotes


Year of the Monkey




Mardi Gras

Mardi Gras Google News

Mardi Gras, French for Fat Tuesday of Shrove Tuesday, is the day
before Ash Wednesday. Some of the cities most famous for their
Mardi Gras celebrations: New Orleans, Rio de Janeiro, and Venice.


Ash Wednesday
First Day of Lent




February 8, 1953

Mary Steenburgen

  Mary Steenburgen Google Videos

Mary Steenburgen is an award winning
American actress. Filmography


Playing the love interest of a time traveler twice

made me wonder about the nature of time and reality.

Mary Steenburgen Quotes




February 8, 1969

Mary McCormack

  Mary McCormack Google Videos

Mary McCormack is an American actress. Filmography


Nietzsche was right. We come into this world alone and we go out of it alone.
Perhaps that explains why we spend our time here on Earth so infuriatingly dependent on others.

Mary McCormack - "In Plain Sight"

Mary McCormack Quote




February 8, 1941

Nick Nolte

  Nick Nolte Google Videos

Nick Nolte is an award winning American
actor and film producer. Filmography


If you're older you want to tell stories about the pool of human life and living

to communicate not only to your age group but to an age group that can begin to understand,

that has enough experience far beyond the normal taste of life.

Nick Nolte Quotes




February 8, 1974

Seth Green

  Seth Green Google Videos

Seth Green is an award winning American actor, comedian,
voice actor, and television producer. Filmography


The failures keep you humble and sane.
They make you realize how fleeting any form of success is.

Seth Green Quotes




February 8, 1940

Ted Koppel

  Ted Koppel Google Videos

Ted Koppel is an American broadcast journalist
best known as the anchor for Nightline.


History is a tool used by politicians to justify their intentions.
Our society finds truth too strong a medicine to digest undiluted.

In its purest form, truth is not a polite tap on the shoulder.
It is a howling reproach.

Ted Koppel Quotes




February 8, 1932

John Towner Williams

  John Williams Google Videos

John Towner Williams is an award winning
American composer, conductor, and pianist.
Discography -- Film and TV


The thing about music is that you don't ever retire from it.
It's like literature; you're always discovering new things.


John Towner Williams




February 8, 1931 - September 30, 1955

James Dean

  James Dean Google Videos

James Byron Dean was an award winning
American film and stage actor. Filmography


Every generation will produce its own set of rebels and dramas.

James Dean Quotes




February 8, 412 - April 17, 485

Proclus

  Proclus Google Videos

Proclus was a Greek Neoplatonist philosopher.


Wherever there is number, there is beauty.


Proclus




February 8, 1828 - March 24, 1905

Jules Verne

  Jules Verne Google Videos

Jules Verne was a French author and
pioneer of the science-fiction genre.


Whatever one man is capable of conceiving,
other men will be able to achieve.

Jules Verne Quotes 1

Jules Verne Quotes 2