Salvo NEWS links, updated frequently

The three articles linked to in our NEWS section on the Salvo website are especially interesting so I thought I’d link to them here as well.

Venom is Komodo dragon’s lethal weapon

The Komodo dragon is not just the largest living lizard, but one of the most venomous creatures on earth, scientists have found.

The huge, carnivorous lizards, which can tear their prey apart, kill their victims with venom rather than bacteria-laden bites, as scientists have always believed.

. . .

Until now, despite the fact that the dragon’s venom gland visibly runs along its jawline, scientists had not realised it was even poisonous.

“That’s because no one bothered to look,” sid Dr Fry, who noted the gland during his work with captive Komodos at Singapore zoo.

Wow. I really don’t want to be labeled “anti-science” or anything but, as someone commented, “how do they know anything about a lizard that died out 400,000 years ago if they didn’t know that?”

Moving on. A new search engine, but much different than google.

Wolfram Alpha: The online ‘computational knowledge engine’ calculates answers, unlike Google, which searches for information that already exists.

With Wolfram Alpha, the online “computational knowledge engine” that launched Monday, the answer — 75 minutes — can be found in a fraction of a second.

Web users can submit customized questions to the service, and Wolfram Alpha will try to work out the answer on the fly. The chance that a healthy 35-year-old woman will contract heart disease in the next 10 years? One in 167. The temperature in Washington, D.C., during the July 1976 bicentennial? An average of 74 degrees.

Try googling WolframAlpha and then try wolframalpha-ing(?) Google to see the differences. It’s pretty impressive.

And the last fun item posted on our homepage in the NEWS link section is:

The Hidden Cost of a Solar Power Plant

This expanse of desert land in Ivanpah Valley, southeastern California, is slated to be cleared and replaced with a solar power plant. It’s a controversial project, pitting environmentalists against each other.

The Salvo site is updated daily with new featured articles and news links, so check back often!


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