science: January 2008 Archives

Most depressing day of the year

(Odd News) Scientists have calculated that Monday 24 January is going to be the most depressing day of 2008.

Poor weather, credit card bills from christmas and failed new year resolutions all add up to a pretty depressing day says Cliff Arnalls, a tutor at  Cardiff University.

He has even produced an equation (1/8W+(D-d) 3/8xTQ MxNA) which explains why today will be a dark day for many.

Suicide tree can be seen from space

Botanists have discovered a new kind of Palm so big it can be seen from space.

The gigantic Tahina spectabilis, found by accident in Madagascar, grows over 18m high and it's leaves can each measure 5m in diameter.

But the plant has an unusual and spectacular life-cycle, after growing to dizzying heights it bursts into branches of hundreds of tiny flowers using so much energy it dies.

Black is the new black

Boffins have developed a new shade of black  30 times darker than the current benchmark for the colour.

For years a carbon substance has been kept by the US National Institute of Standards and Technology as the international guide for black, but now scientists have created one so black it absorbs 99.9 percent of light.

Normal black paints, by contrast, only absorbs around 90 percent of light - meaning that most of us can hardly imagine the darkness of the new black.

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