Friday, an asteroid the size of a football field buzzed Earth. As a completely unexpected "extra," a meteor the size of a large room (50 ft? They're not sure yet.) Came streaking over Russia and exploded, causing hundreds of people to be injured by flying glass, etc. We are told this is a coincidence.
Yeah, right. It's true that the Russian bolide (the name for meteors that explode in mid-air) was not the same thing as the fly-by asteroid, and apparently the Russian bolide came in at a completely different angle, but I am still skeptical. When two similar big surprises happen at once, there's usually a connection. Perhaps the asteroid was the largest member of a small swarm, and a smaller member (the bolide) arrived a little earlier, swung around in a close orbit (changing direction), and then slammed into Russia. Just my suspicion.
Cosmic ray-tracing (New Scientist)
We have known about cosmic rays for a hundred years - protons whizzing in from deep space, from random directions, and near light-speed. The directions are random because protons are electrically charged and so get deflected by magnetic fields. We thought the rays probably came from supernovae, but there wasn't much evidence. Now we have some. Astronomers have been able to match bursts of cosmic rays with bursts of gamma rays from recently observed supernovae.
Prosthetic retina (Scientific American)
The FDA has approved the use of a retinal implant for people suffering from retinitis pigmentosa, a disease in which the sensitive cells of the retina degenerate. The implant replaces those cells with a grid of little electrodes. It's not as good as natural sight, but it's better than the blindness, and this is just the first try.
Fish on meds (ScienceNOW)
When we take drugs, they ultimately wind up back in the water, if they don't have some way to break down. Recent tests on fish have found oxazepam, an antidepressant, can affect their behavior, making them less cautious and more active in hunting. The concentrations necessary are high but comparable those found in some rivers. They don't know how many rivers, though.