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The Good Virus

Scientists have modified a virus that, injected into the bloodstream, attacks only cancer cells:

Mother and Child

A poignant story, beautifully told in pictures and captions, of a mother whale and her calf on the Klamath River:

Thinking About the Box

The Life Cube starts out as a box 5 feet square and sets up in 3 minutes into a 10' by 12' structure. It comes complete with a solar panel, stereo with DVD player, stove, toilet, cell phone charger, lighting, and solid plastic floor, among other things (video):

Baby, You Can Drive My Car

There are now more than 1 billion vehicles on the roads of the world (not including off-road, heavy-duty vehicles):

Harry Potter and the Remote Control

Who wants to use a boring old remote control when you can change channels with a flick of your very own wand (13 and 3/4s, faux walnut, triple-A core ...)?:

It's New to US!

Ornithologists have discovered the first new species of bird in the U.S. in almost 40 years:

Brave New World

For the college class of 2015,  Frank Zappa has always been dead, "PC" has always meant just "personal computer," the Communist Party has never been the official party of Russia, and music has always been available as free downloads. Discover more eye-opening frames of reference at Beloit College's Mindset List:

A Picture Lives Forever ...

Some beautiful portraits of animals on the edge of extinction:

Do Unto Your Neighbor

According to statistics from the Corporation for National and Community Service, volunteers served almost 8.1 billion hours in 2010. The breakdown (especially the one by state, which shows the center of the country leading the coasts by a very wide margin) is interesting:

Very Fine Art

Jason Padgett hand draws fractals!:

Fill 'Er Up With Greenhouse Gas

Is it possible to turn the carbon dioxide that would otherwise be sullying our atmosphere into fuel to power our vehicles? Some think it is, with the help of new technology, and they're working on it:

Will It Blow?

The Alaska Volcano Observatory has rated the Cleveland volcano Orange, which means "Volcano is exhibiting heightened or escalating unrest with increased potential of eruption, timeframe uncertain, OR eruption is underway with no or minor volcanic-ash emissions":

Thin Skin

Scientists have invented an ultra-thin electronic skin patch that stretches, bends, and can include things like "sensors, LEDs, transistors, radio frequency capacitors, wireless antennas, and conductive coils and solar cells for power":


Why would people confess to doing things they hadn't? And yet, disturbingly, many do:

A Tale of Two Cities

On August 13, 1961, East German soldiers began building the wall that would divide Berlin for almost 30 years. A brief overview of its history (video):

What a Doll(house)

Barbie's new abode is very modern and very green:
The winner, by Ting Li and Maja Paklar

Wild Child

In 1725, a child was found, alone and naked, in a forest in Germany and was brought to the court of King George I of England. His inability to speak, walk upright, and learn manners led to much speculation about the nature of being human. Now, analysis of a portrait made of him at the time is leading people to speculate that he may have had a rare genetic disorder known as Pitt-Hopkins Syndrome:

What's the Matter?

There is apparently a layer of antimatter around Earth, trapped by magnetism between the Van Allen belts, and it could potentially be used to power rockets:

Islam 101

In this month of Ramadan, a blogger suggests 15 books that explain Islam:

Hot Enough Fer Ya?

The Natural Resources Defense Council's maps showing change in average number of days of heat, flooding, and other climate-related issues:

Things to Do ~ August 4 & Beyond

Aug. 4, Twilight Dance Series, "Cirque du Soleil Presents Rock of the Bay," Santa Monica Pier:

Aug. 6, Kinetic Theory Theater, Skirball Cultural Center:

Aug. 6, B Movies and Bad Science: The Valley of Gwangi, Page Museum, La Brea Tar Pits:

Aug. 6-7, Garden Concerts for Kids: Lucky Diaz and the Family Jam Band, Getty Center:

Aug. 7, Children's Concerts: HOLA, Levitt Pavilion, MacArthur Park, Los Angeles:

Aug. 7, American Indian Culture Day, the Autry, Griffith Park, Los Angeles:

Aug. 7, Cool Your Heels in the Shade concert, California African American Museum, Exposition Park, Los Angeles:

Aug. 7, Family Flicks: Toby Tyler, Hammer Museum, Westwood:

Aug. 7, International Family Festival, Bowers Museum, Santa Ana:

Aug. 7, Living History Tour, Rancho Los Cerritos, Long Beach:

Aug. 8, Special, "kid-friendly" Joint Meeting of Optical Society of America and Los Angeles Astronomical Society, Leonard Nimoy Event Horizon Theater, Griffith Observatory:

Aug. 8, Free Movie Mondays: The King and I, Segerstrom Center for the Arts, Costa Mesa:

Aug. 10: Museum Munchies, Heritage Museum of Orange Country, Santa Ana:

Aug. 11, Thursday Summer Fun: "Exciting India: Dancing Ganesh," Norton Simon Museum, Pasadena:

Aug. 11, LAPL Kids: International Dances, Palms-Rancho Park Branch Library:

Aug. 11, the Beatles tribute band 4 Lads from Liverpool, Culver City City Hall courtyard:

Aug. 11, Twilight Dance Series, "La Monica Ballroom Then and Now," Santa Monica Pier:

FWIW ~ Happiest Students

The Princeton Review has ranked the colleges and universities with the happiest students:

The Air Up There

—Image courtesy A. Dupree (CfA), R. Gilliland (STScI), NASA

After decades of looking (and one brief glimpse), scientists have seen oxygen molecules in space, in a star-forming area in Orion:

Dancing on the Ceiling

A brief history and explanation of the U.S. debt ceiling (video):
The ceiling hit a trillion in September 1981, under Ronald Reagan (1981-1989). How the federal debt limit has grown from its inception in 1917, by the numbers: