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Updated: 1 hour 27 min ago

Nightingales show off their fathering skills through song

June 18, 2015 - 5:32am
The song of the male nightingale tells females how good a father he will be, according to research. The study shows that better singers will feed their offspring more often, and that they advertise this to potential mates by singing in a more orderly way through repeating song sequences, and using more variable song, including many different 'buzz,' 'whistle' and 'trill' songs.

Nightingales show off their fathering skills through song

June 17, 2015 - 11:46pm
The song of the male nightingale tells females how good a father he will be, according to research published in the open access journal BMC Evolutionary Biology.

UPitt researchers find link between neighborhood quality and cellular aging

June 17, 2015 - 10:00pm
(University of Pittsburgh Schools of the Health Sciences) Regardless of chronological age, people who live in neighborhoods with high crime, noise, and vandalism are biologically more than a decade older than those who do not, according to a study led by researchers from the University of Pittsburgh. The findings were published online today in PLOS ONE.

Nothing escapes The Global Ear: Nuclear tests, volcanoes, earthquakes or meteors

June 17, 2015 - 5:22pm
From earthquakes in Nepal to volcanic eruptions in Chile, from meteors crashing to Earth to the songs of migrating whales in the Indian Ocean, The Global Ear hears all.

Giant 'Earth Stethoscope' Spies on Planet's Wonky Behavior

June 17, 2015 - 5:04pm
The planet is crawling with tiny spies: Hidden undersea microphones, instrument-clad satellites and infrared cameras are listening, watching and smelling all the action on planet Earth, from a migrating whale to a meteor crash.

Apple Music vs. Spotify. What's the difference? (+video)

June 17, 2015 - 2:47pm

Apple recently announced the June 30 launch of its new music streaming service, Apple Music. How does it differ from leading music streamer Spotify?

Elaborate egg shells help prevent forgery

June 17, 2015 - 2:24pm
Songbirds in the scrublands of southern Zambia are engaged in a high-stakes arms race that they wage with colors and patterns on their eggs. It's a battle that's probably being fought everywhere there are birds practicing what is known as 'brood parasitism' -- laying eggs in the nests of another bird species.

Apple to offer music-streaming service. Too late to the game? (+video)

June 17, 2015 - 12:31pm

Apple is expected to roll out a music-streaming service similar to Spotify and Pandora. Can Apple compete in such an crowded field?

Understanding how animals make sense of the auditory world

June 17, 2015 - 11:46am
Sit down with a friend in a quiet restaurant and begin talking, just before the dinner crowd’s arrival. Business is slow at first, but picks up quickly, just like the sound level. Discussions are everywhere, colliding and competing with the other noises. Sometimes called the cocktail party effect, the ability to tune out a noisy room to focus on one conversation, or auditory stream segregation, part of the larger field of auditory scene analysis, is apparently universal to all animals and serves as a critical survival mechanism.

The great 2016 Hyperloop race is on (but only if this loopy contraption works)

June 17, 2015 - 10:44am

Do you build futuristic, low-friction transit pods that can operate in a transit system that hasn’t been built yet? How about one that may not ever exist?

SpaceX, the aerospace manufacturer, is building a one-mile Hyperloop track adjacent to its headquarters in Hawthorne, Calif., so that on an as-yet-undetermined weekend next June, it can hold a race with experimental Hyperloop pods — sealed capsules that hold 28 people or 3 cars, and are propelled by magnets through Hyperloop tubes on a cushion of air, like a much, much faster version of a pneumatic tube system. The competition is open, though the entry form states a preference for “university students and independent engineering teams.” There appears to be no prize whatsoever, other than pure glory.

As a San Francisco resident, and a transit nerd, I have mixed feelings about this Hyperloop. SpaceX founder and solar panel/electric car magnate Elon Musk drew up the 58-page plan for it in 2013, partly in a fit of pique to show the world (but especially California) just how boring and non-futuristic modern transit has gotten.

At the time, I was enchanted by the sheer weirdness of the Hyperloop. I still am. It looks like something out of a sci-fi cartoon. Musk describes it as “a cross between a Concorde, a railgun, and an air hockey table” — three separate objects that I, for one, would very much like to see try to make babies with each other. It would be solar powered, and generate more power than it uses. It would be way cheaper than California’s high-speed rail project. It would get someone from San Francisco to Los Angeles in 30 minutes and for $20. It would leave every two minutes. A national Hyperloop network could make it easier to commute into a city in a whole other state than into a suburb of your own city. If the thing worked at all, that is.

After all, Musk made it clear that he didn’t want to build the Hyperloop himself, and he wasn’t even entirely sure how he would build it. He was just putting the idea out there so that someone else could build it, though he mentioned that he was “happy to work with the right partners” who shared the “philosophical goal of breakthrough tech done fast & w/o wasting money on BS.”

Since then, two years have passed.  A crew of about 200 engineers began collaborating on plans for the Hyperloop online. A company called Hyperloop Transportation Technologies announced plans to build a five-mile track as part of an improbable-sounding housing development in the Quay Valley. Now Musk and SpaceX are holding this competition — though, they insist, they are still not building anyone a Hyperloop. Just a tiny one, for competition purposes.

In terms of feasibility the Hyperloop strikes this reporter as right up there with the Alameda-Weehawken Burrito Tunnel. In the meantime, while the bullet train languishes, and the Hyperloop pods race each other in Los Angeles County, what if California experimented with the forms of transit it already has between San Francisco and Los Angeles? The internet — and the ability to telecommute — has made speed of transit less important to a whole genre of workers.

What if, for example, someone revived the overnight trains, like the Lark and the Owl, that used to run between the two cities? The infrastructure’s already there (well, mostly — if you pretend that leaving from Emeryville is close enough to leaving from San Francisco). This reporter would ride one, especially if it had strong wireless and a way to bring my bicycle. In a better world, California could be as creative with the technology of its past as it is with the technology of its future.


Filed under: Article, Business & Technology, Cities

400,000-year-old dental tartar provides earliest evidence of manmade pollution

June 17, 2015 - 9:42am
Most dentists recommend a proper teeth cleaning every six months to prevent, among other things, the implacable buildup of calculus or tartar—hardened dental plaque. Routine calculus buildup can only be removed through the use of ultrasonic tools or dental hand instruments. But what of 400,000-year-old dental tartar?

Apple Music to enter the streaming game (+video)

June 17, 2015 - 9:32am

As digital music downloads take a backseat to streaming sites, Apple's newest service is set to launch on Monday.

6.1-Magnitude Earthquake Strikes Mid-Atlantic Ridge

June 17, 2015 - 7:55am

CBS San Francisco Connect With Us At KPIX 5 PROGRAM GUIDE: KPIX 5 TV Schedule WATCH: A Glimpse Inside The Working KPIX 5 Newsroom Breaking News Send news tips, video & photos, and video to the KPIX 5 [...] CONNECT WITH KCBS Welcome to KCBS All News 740AM & 106.9FM on CBSSanFrancisco.com! LISTEN LIVE RIGHT NOW: KCBS Live Audio Stream LIKE KCBS Radio On Facebook: KCBS is the Bay Area's only all news station, serving [...] - The U.S. Geological Survey says a moderate earthquake struck in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean Wednesday morning. The 6.1-magnitude quake struck at 4:51 a.m. with its epicenter about 308 miles northwest of Edinburgh of the Seven Seas, Saint Helena and 1708 miles southeast of Arraial do Cabo, Brazil.

Elaborate egg shells help prevent forgery

June 16, 2015 - 10:00pm
(Duke University) Songbirds in the scrublands of southern Zambia are engaged in a high-stakes arms race that they wage with colors and patterns on their eggs. It's a battle that's probably being fought everywhere there are birds practicing what is known as 'brood parasitism' -- laying eggs in the nests of another bird species.

In cricket sex songs, males feel the caloric burn, study finds

June 16, 2015 - 2:07pm
Male tree crickets may be a hunk of burning love when they're belting out their different mating songs, but they're all burning the same amount of calories no matter how they do it, a Dartmouth College study finds.

This drone footage of an iceberg collapsing is sad, cool

June 16, 2015 - 11:58am

As we chronicle the death of the world’s ice in high-def, we may want to enlist Canadian teen Kelan Poole as our next James Cameron. In his first oceanic drone flight, the high-school junior captured an iceberg calving apart in dramatic, explosive fashion. He then set footage to the type of swelling strings that usually accompany the death of a beloved hero meant for great things, but cut down in his prime. Watch it … for the Watch.

Go to CBC for the story.


Filed under: Climate & Energy, Science

In cricket sex songs, males feel the caloric burn, study finds

June 16, 2015 - 10:37am
Male tree crickets may be a hunk of burning love when they're belting out their different mating songs, but they're all burning the same amount of calories no matter how they do it, a study finds.

When a sudden boost in status at work isn't all good

June 16, 2015 - 10:31am
Imagine getting a sudden boost in status at work that changes you from a largely ignored worker to someone that others turn to for advice and help. Sounds great, doesn’t it? But a new study finds that an unanticipated gain in status can come with some negative baggage – if you did not earn the boost.

'Noisy' Perth Canyon awash with underwater chorus

June 16, 2015 - 7:10am
The Perth Canyon—the underwater chasm that is twice as deep as the Grand Canyon—is teeming with noises made by whales, fish, the weather and passing ships according to a long-running study.

Public hearing continued on injection well

June 16, 2015 - 2:47am

Battlement Mesa and Parachute residents will have another opportunity June 22 to weigh in on a proposed wastewater injection well before an expected vote on the application by the Garfield County commissioners. Commissioners continued a public hearing on the matter Monday after gathering input from concerned residents and officials from Ursa Resources Group, the operator proposing the well.