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They Blinded Chicagoist With Science

By Sean Corbett in News on Oct 10, 2006 1:55PM


Chicagoist was intrigued by the discovery of an extinct race of hobbit-like people in modern-day Indonesia. The name homo floresiensis defines a species of three-and-a-half-foot-tall hominids. Scientists from UIC, U of C, and the Field Museum want to spoil the fun by disproving this claim of a new species. The hobbits may actually just be the fossilized remains of some very short people, one of whom had a genetic condition known as microcephaly, which describes people with very small heads.

Paleontologists and biologists at the University of Chicago and the University of California at Berkeley recently published a paper detailing the geographical origins of many species of oysters, clams and other mollusks and how those species eventually migrated around the globe. This study leads to an estimate that 75% of all species of animals in the world originated in the tropics (between 23.5 degrees latitude north and 23.5 degrees south of the equator) and later moved to their current habitats. The scientists suggest this phenomenon is due to the longer growing season and abundance of sunlight in the tropics as compared to the rest of the globe. One can only hope that work like this will quiet the nonsensical babbling being done by the figureheads of intelligent design and other crazies.

Physicists, also at the University of Chicago, have discovered a new behavior in bubbles of air in water. Apparently bubbles of one fluid in another fluid can break apart into smaller bubbles in an asymmetrical fashion. It looks a lot like the bubble is being torn in two, like tearing a sheet of paper. These findings have implications for equations of fluid dynamics and may change the way we understand a variety of phenomena, from stars exploding in space to the motion of particles inside of an atom.

Photo by sectionz.