The Sideshow
  • (Apple/

    Need more proof Apple maps are unreliable?

    Police in Australia are urging motorists not to rely on the company's new maps application after several people using its directions became stranded inside a national park in scorching heat.

    Authorities in Mildura, Australia say Apple Maps lists the town of 30,000 as being inside Murray-Sunset National Park--or 45 miles from its actual location. According to the Guardian newspaper, one man was stranded for 24 hours. Three others had to be rescued.

    Mildura's mayor is reportedly outraged.

    "We are the center of the universe here in Mildura but apparently not everyone, including Apple, has worked it out yet," Mildura Mayor Glenn Milner told The Australian.

    Apple says it has redrawn its maps as a result of the complaints.

    The Cupertino, Calif.-based tech giant dropped Google Maps when it launched the iPhone 5 and iOS operating system in September. A week later, Apple's chief executive Tim Cook issued a public apology and fired the developer responsible for the maps blunder.

    Read More »from Apple maps sending motorists to bush, Australian police warn
  • An image of maggot therapy in action (Wikicommons)Maggot slime and healing balm are not usually associated with each other. But ScienceNOW reports there's growing evidence that maggots not only help remove necrotic flesh, but also that their excretions can reduce inflammation by suppressing the immune system.

    Maggot therapy works essentially by having the larvae consume infected and necrotic flesh while largely ignoring healthy tissue. Of course, patients are discouraged from attempting the treatment on their own, as it can lead to uncontrolled maggot infestations and infections.

    The research was published in the latest issue of Wound Repair and Regeneration. In their work, Dr. Gwendolyn Cazander of Leiden University Medical Center in the Netherlands and her team tested the effects of maggot secretion.

    They deposited the secretions into donated human blood samples and found that the samples contained lower levels of complement proteins. They also found that the maggot secretions were highly durable, even increasing in effectiveness

    Read More »from The healing power of maggot slime
  • The Obamadon watches as a larger lizard hunts its prey (Carl Buell)The scientific community has come up with an unusual way of honoring President Barack Obama after his re-election--by naming an extinct lizard after him.

    "I was seriously thinking, if the election had gone the other way, I would have yanked it," Yale paleontologist Nicholas Longrich told the Boston Globe. "It might have seemed like we were mocking it, naming a lizard that goes extinct after that, seemed kind of cruel."

    The newly named Obamadon gracilis was a small lizard that fed off of insects and was about a foot long before going extinct about 65 million years ago.

    But Longrich and his peers say no one should read any political commentary into the choice. "We're just having fun with taxonomy," he said.

    And as NBC's Cosmic Log points out, this is actually the third organism named after Obama, including a fish (Etheostoma obama) and lichen (Caloplaca obamae).

    Researchers from Yale and Harvard have been re-examining fossil collections in an ongoing effort to better understand what

    Read More »from Scientists name extinct lizard after President Obama


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