Memorial Day Meals: Expert Tips for Packing a Healthy Picnic

Memorial Day is considered the unofficial start of summer and perhaps the unofficial start of the outdoor eating season. Picnics are appealing, especially to people in colder climates who don't get many chances to eat outside in nice weather and enjoy a slow, relaxing meal, and they could also bring back childhood memories, said Sara Haas, a dietitian and chef in Chicago and a spokeswoman for the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. So pack up the red-checkered tablecloth, coolers and picnic basket, and bring along family and friends.

Posted on 23 May 2015 | 2:49 pm

See Jupiter and the Moon in Night Sky Spectacle Tonight

See Jupiter and the Moon in Night Sky Spectacle TonightThere, about half way up from the south-southwest horizon to the overhead point, you’ll see an eye-catching sight for the Memorial Day weekend: Jupiter and the moon in a celestial display. Tonight, a rather wide crescent moon, 34-percent illuminated will be visible against the darkening sky and hovering about 3 degrees almost directly above this lunar sliver will be a brilliant silvery white "star." But this isn't a star, but the planet identified with the supreme sky-god, Jupiter. To judge how far apart Jupiter and the moon will appear in the sky, remember that your clenched fist, correctly held, will measure 10 degrees of the night sky.

Posted on 23 May 2015 | 9:06 am

Squid 'Sees' with Its Skin (No Eyes Needed)

Squid, cuttlefish and octopuses are masters of camouflage, capable of changing their skin colors and patterns in the blink of an eye. Two new studies, published this week in the Journal of Experimental Biology, find that cephalopod skin is chock-full of light-sensing cells typically found in eyes that help them "see." The cells likely send signals to alter skin coloration without involving the central nervous system, the researchers said. "It may be that the patterning is just generated directly on the spot, just by the cells," said Tom Cronin, a biologist at the University of Maryland and an author of one of the studies.

Posted on 23 May 2015 | 8:24 am

Record-Breaking Energy Unleashed in Largest Atom Smasher

Record-Breaking Energy Unleashed in Largest Atom SmasherThe world's largest atom smasher is really cranking now: Protons zipped around the giant underground ring at near light-speed and collided head on, releasing record-breaking energies. The beauty of the fallout from these powerful particle smash-ups can be seen in images released yesterday (May 21) by the European Organization for Nuclear Research (CERN), which oversees the 17-mile-long (27 kilometers) Large Hadron Collider (LHC). This week during a test run, the protons sped into each other with energies of 13 tera-electronvolts (TeV), or double the collider's previous power.

Posted on 23 May 2015 | 8:02 am

What Are Those Bright Spots on Ceres? Go Vote!

What Are Those Bright Spots on Ceres? Go Vote!The puzzling white spots on the surface of the dwarf planet Ceres are definitely reflecting sunlight, scientists said, but the cause of the marks remains a mystery. The newest batch of images from the Dawn spacecraft, which began orbiting Ceres on March 6, was released May 15. With the release of these new images, NASA has asked the public to submit a guess for what is creating the spots: volcanos, geysers, rocks, ice, salt deposits, or "other." As of this writing, 37 percent of people who took NASA's poll for what the white spots might be said "other." Alien colonies, perhaps?

Posted on 22 May 2015 | 2:33 pm

Prosecutors: Professor offered China data on US-made device

PHILADELPHIA (AP) — The chairman of Temple University's physics department schemed to provide U.S. technology secrets to China in exchange for prestigious appointments for himself, federal authorities said in charging him with four counts of wire fraud.

Posted on 22 May 2015 | 12:16 pm

SpaceX capsule splashes down in Pacific with space station cargo

The SpaceX Dragon commercial cargo craft is grappled by the Canadarm2 robotic arm at the International Space Station in this NASA handout photoBy Irene Klotz CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. (Reuters) - A Space Exploration Technologies Dragon cargo capsule made a parachute splashdown into the Pacific Ocean on Thursday, wrapping up a five-week stay at the International Space Station. The capsule blasted off on April 14 aboard a Falcon 9 rocket from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida and arrived at the orbiting outpost three days later with more than 4,300 pounds (1,950 kg) of food, supplies and science experiments for the live-aboard crew. It was repacked with 3,100 pounds of science samples and other equipment and released back into orbit at 7:04 a.m. EDT (1104 GMT) on Thursday for a return trip to Earth, a NASA TV broadcast showed.

Posted on 22 May 2015 | 11:15 am

Feds: Temple professor offered China data on US-made device

The chairman of Temple University's physics department was arrested in what prosecutors said was a scheme to provide U.S. technology secrets to China in exchange for prestigious appointments. Xi Xiaoxing, ...

Posted on 22 May 2015 | 10:23 am

Lockheed-Boeing rocket venture needs commercial orders to survive

By Andrea Shalal WASHINGTON (Reuters) - United Launch Alliance, a 50-50 joint venture of Lockheed Martin Corp and Boeing Co, on Thursday said it would go out of business unless it won commercial and civil satellite launch orders to offset an expected slump in U.S. military and spy launches. ULA President Tory Bruno said the company must attract those kind of orders to remain a "viable economic entity" so it is scrambling to restructure and develop a new rocket that in seven or eight years could launch satellites twice as fast at half the current cost. Formed by the two largest U.S. weapons makers in 2006, ULA has long been the sole company able to launch U.S. military and intelligence satellites into orbit.

Posted on 21 May 2015 | 4:54 pm

Scientists want you to know plankton is not just whale food

Handout of scientists aboard the Tara Oceans vessel use plankton nets to strain microbes from seawaterBy Will Dunham WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Scientists on Thursday unveiled the most comprehensive analysis ever undertaken of the world's ocean plankton, the tiny organisms that serve as food for marine creatures such as the blue whale, but also provide half the oxygen we breathe. Plankton include microscopic plants and animals, fish larvae, bacteria, viruses and other microorganisms that drift in the oceans. "Plankton are much more than just food for the whales," said Chris Bowler, a research director at France's National Center for Scientific Research, and one of the scientists involved in the study published in the journal Science.

Posted on 21 May 2015 | 3:05 pm