New smartphone battery charges in 30 seconds • Programmable nanobots injected into cockroaches I for one welcome our etc etc • MIT unveils shape-shifting furniture • Windtraps from Dune I mean the Smithsonian announces towers that distill water out of air • Body heat may soon power wearable gadgets • US Navy converts seawater to fuel
Discoveries spanning five continents and three oceans cap the United Nations' International Year of Biodiversity (Many of which are little things [list of the described species]) [more inside]
A new species of monkey turned up in India [NYTimes or Rediff]. Though the monkeys are new to science, people in the area are quite familiar with them. They call them "mun zala" or deep forest monkeys. It's a stocky, short-tailed, brown-haired creature they have named the Macaca munzala, or Arunachal macaque. Maybe not that excting for those of us not excited by, uh, mokeys, but did you know this year there have been other new things discovered? A new species of plec and one of Neon goby, even more exciting, a new electric fish was found as well. A quick search turned up dozens of new fish this year. ABC News says 178 new things found in the oceans this year alone, raising the number of life-forms found in the world's oceans to about 230,000. The big question is, of course, how many of those will Taste Like Chicken? The bad news on the little critter front is 1 in 10 bird species could vanish within 100 years, and I bet they all taste like chicken.
The moon landing of its day. Between 1768 and 1771, Captain James Cook and his ship, HMS Endeavour, circumnavigated the globe on the first exclusively scientific voyage. This site presents most of the botanical drawings and engravings prepared by artist Sydney Parkinson before his untimely death at sea, and by other artists back in England working from Parkinson's initial sketches.