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Archeologists plan to use small U.S. drone to map Mawchu Llacta ruins in Peru

Archeologists in Peru plan to use a US-made drone to survey ancient Andean ruins, in the latest civilian application of the unmanned aerial vehicles used to hunt militants in the world’s war zones. The device, which can fit in a backpack, is due to be tested later this month at…

‘Tears of St. Lawrence’ annual meteor shower reaches peak this weekend

The annual Perseid meteor shower — dubbed “the tears of St. Lawrence” in honour of a martyred Christian saint — reaches its peak this weekend, astronomers said on Friday. Cloud-free skies permitting, the show of shooting stars should be an above-average spectacle this year as the Moon is in a…

10,000-square-mile volcanic rock cluster found floating near New Zealand

A huge cluster of floating volcanic rocks covering almost 26,000 square kilometres (10,000 square miles) has been found drifting in the Pacific, the New Zealand navy said Friday. The strange phenomenon, which witnesses said resembled a polar ice shelf, was made up of lightweight pumice expelled from an underwater volcano,…

NASA’s test Moon lander crashes and burns

MIAMI — NASA’s experimental Moon lander crashed and burst into flames seconds after takeoff due to a hardware fault, the US space agency said, prompting an investigation but no casualties. The low-cost Project Morpheus lander prototype, designed to carry cargo to the Moon and other space destinations, lifted off the…

Residents of former asbestos mining town die in droves as government dickers over remediation plan

Death knows the small town of Prieska all too well. A poisonous legacy of South Africa’s years as a global blue asbestos hub, the Grim Reaper has snaked through here for decades, wiping out families and striking down neighbours with deadly precision. “In most of the houses in our street,…

1806 shipwreck may be pirate treasure ship

Divers in Tonga have discovered a shipwreck believed to be a pirate vessel that folklore says sank in the 19th century with a hold full of treasure, officials in the Pacific nation said Thursday. The Port-au-Prince, a British privateer, was attacked by local warriors in 1806 after arriving in Tonga…

Curiosity’s second day on Mars ‘flawless’: NASA

NASA rover Curiosity’s second day on Mars went “flawlessly,” NASA said, confirming the antennas, communication links and generator on the $2.5 billion robot are all working well. “We feel very confident we have a lot of data capacity now, that we have all these links, and that was one of…

Most young adults expect marriage for life: study

WASHINGTON — Eighty-six percent of young adults in the United States expect their marriages to last a lifetime, even though half of all marriages end in divorce, a study released Wednesday suggests. The Clark University Poll of Emerging Adults also found that 57 percent of Americans aged 18 to 29…

Early Man was not alone: study

PARIS — Modern man’s forerunners shared the planet with at least two related species nearly two million years ago, scientists said on Wednesday, pointing to newly-unearthed pieces in a 40-year-old fossil puzzle. Findings published in the journal Nature touch on the odyssey of our ancestor, the upright-walking early human known…

Cognitive researchers find truth in Colbert’s ‘truthiness’

Scientists in New Zealand and Canada have found Stephen Colbert’s concept of “truthiness” isn’t just a late-night ruse to get laughs; the concept can also help explain how the human brain evaluates claims. “We wanted to examine how the kinds of photos people see every day — the ones that…

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