World’s Strangest

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Now That’s Rocket Science: An Interview with JPL’s Steve Collins

A couple weeks ago, I promised a couple interviews with members of the JPL Curiosity Rover team. Today we start with attitude control engineer Steve Collins, who’s been working for NASA for the last 20 years, starting with the failed Mars Observer orbiter, launched in 1992. Since that time, JPL has been responsible for numerous [...]

Medieval Manuscript Gives Clue about Mysterious Radiation Spike

Tree ring data indicates that sometime around 774 or 775 A.D., an intense burst of radiation hit the Earth. What was its source? Scientists were uncertain, but it was probably a supernova. Unfortunately, there were no records of such event. But Jonathon Allen, a biochemistry student at University of California, Santa Cruz, realized that researchers [...]

Why the Honor Till Works

The Famous Honor Till of Swanton Berry Farm Photo: revger/Flickr Just north of Santa Cruz, California, there’s a farm that’s famous for its good food and its rather peculiar method of accepting payment. You [...]

What Killed Giant Insects That Ruled The Skies of Ancient Earth?

A fossilized insect wing from the species Stephanotypus schneideri and it is about 300 million years old. The wing is about 7.5 inches (19 centimeters long), substantially smaller than the largest fossil insect [...]

Towards Thee I Roll, Thou All-Destroying But Unconquering Whale

(Video Link) Kayakers and a surfer were enjoying a leisurely day off Santa Cruz, California when a humpback whale suddenly surfaced in pursuit of a school of anchovies. Barb Roettger caught this amazing scene on camera. -via Boing Boing

Tool-Using Fish Captured on Video

That’s one smart fish! An orange-dotted turkfish was captured for the first time on video digging a clam out of the sand, then repeatedly throwing it against a rock to crush it. "The animal excavates [...]

Pig with "human face" born after UFO sighting

Santa Cruz El Chol has been the scene of a mysterious birth following sightings of strange lights. Residents of the South American village are convinc…

Predictive Policing: The Minority Report in Real Life?

In Philip K. Dick’s sci-fi novel The Minority Report (which was later made into the blockbuster movie starring Tom Cruise), Precrime officers apprehend would-be criminals before they can commit crimes. Well, it turns out that the Santa Cruz police department has a similar program. No, they don’t utilize mutant precogs, instead they have something even cooler: [...]

Bad Girls Club: Women of the FBI’s Ten Most Wanted List

Around 500 people have appeared on the FBI’s Ten Most Wanted Fugitives list since its inception in 1949. But only eight of those fugitives have been women. Let’s take a look at these dangerous women’s stories. 1. Ruth Eisemann-Schier FBI authorities probably knew that it would take a doozy of a crime for a woman to [...]

The Kingdom of Boomeria

The Kingdom of Boomeria is a magical place of just one hectare hidden in the forest in Bonny Doon, California. Students who graduate from San Lorenzo Valley High School go out into the world and tell tales of their adventure in the Kingdom of Boomeria and find that no one believes them. After all, how [...]