the guardian science

400-year-old Greenland shark is the oldest vertebrate animal

She was born during the reign of James I, was a youngster when René Descartes set out his rules of thought and the great fire of London raged, saw out her adolescent years as George II ascended the throne, reached adulthood around the time that the American revolution kicked off, and lived through two world wars. Living to an estimated age of nearly 400 years, a female Greenland shark has set a new record for longevity, scientists have revealed.

And you’ll never guess how old she has to be before reaching sexual maturity…

Read more about this discovery >>>

Photograph: Paul Nicklen/National Geographic Creative/Getty Images

something that always struck me as odd about the prequels is how palpatine was able to forge a relationship with anakin in the first place.

this is definitely my biggest problem with the jedi, in relation to anakin: they let palpatine, a middle aged man, get anakin, a child, alone. the fact that palpatine’s even insistent on it at all should be ringing alarm bells. there should be Stranger Danger warnings going off, people! you’re dropping the ball, men!

and i understand that, according to the comics, palpatine threw his political weight around, saying that the senate has total control over the jedi. that you can’t deny the chancellor. but that’s incorrect - the republic is corrupt, but it’s not a dictatorship yet. as anakin’s legal guardians, the council has the full right to refuse palpatine access to anakin - it doesn’t matter who’s knocking at your door, you’re supposed to protect your charge. 

but the jedi handed him over. the second palpatine pressed, they folded; and no one tried to curb anakin’s interaction with palpatine, even though it should be clear that an old man wanting to talk with a minor day after day after day is suspicious. especially since the jedi were suspicious of palpatine anyway

theguardian.com
The fossil fuel industry's invisible colonization of academia
Corporate capture of academic research by the fossil fuel industry is an elephant in the room and a threat to tackling climate change.
By Geoffrey Supran

Fossil fuel interests – oil, gas, and coal companies, fossil-fueled utilities, and fossil fuel investors - have colonized nearly every nook and cranny of energy and climate policy research in American universities, and much of energy science too. And they have done so quietly, without the general public’s knowledge.

Did you know that spiders can 'tune' their webs for love?

Spiders can control the tension and stiffness of their webs to optimize their sensory powers, helping them locate and identify prey as well as partners, according to researchers at Oxford University.

Much in same way that notes travel along a plucked guitar string, spider silk transmits vibrations in different frequencies, sending information back to the spider.

“A lot of males will actually generate a very specific kind of musical pattern which the females can use to determine not only that they’re a male but they’re the right species and whether she might want to mate with them as well.”

Photograph: EPA/Alamy