Booklift (Washington Post)
I am happy to report that, apparently, all those medieval manuscripts in Timbuktu, in Mali, were not destroyed by Islamist revolutionaries. The mayor thought they had been, but he had fled the city. It appears that the manuscripts, or the vast bulk of them, were smuggled out of harm's way by dedicated custodians of the museums. (Remember when Timbuktu was a by-word for "too far away to worry about"?)
Brainglow fish (ScienceNOW)
Zebrafish are little inch-long fish available in most pet shops. They are also a favorite experimental subject for brain researchers. But it's hard to get natural responses out of a fish (or anything else) when you have electrodes stuck in its head. So they have genetically engineered fish whose brains literally light up in the parts they are using. Baby zebrafish are transparent, so you can simply watch them swim around, their little brains twinkling as they learn. Is this cute or creepy?
Flying windmills (Discover Magazine)
Wind power is is getting big. But one problem with it is that the wind is proverbially changeable. One way around that is to put the windmills on flying wings. These unmanned aircraft are tethered and fly around in circles, high up where the winds are generally nice and constant. The energy that doesn't go into keeping them flying comes down the cable and goes into the grid.