July 23, 2012
Amelia Earhart

Amelia Earhart     Photo: Nationaal Archief/Flickr

TIGHAR Ends Earhart Aircraft Search

Blames technical issues, topography

The International Group for Historic Aircraft Recovery has ended a much publicized search for Amelia Earhart's aircraft after being stymied by technical issues and difficult underwater topography. "After discussion and analysis of the results so far, they have decided that there is very little point in extending the trip," Patricia Thrasher, the group's president, said. She cited the difficulty of searching the steep underwater reef off of the island of Nikumaroro, where the group suspects Earhart and her navigator Fred Noonan may have crashed 75 years ago. Earlier in the search, TIGHAR staff had located two objects that they suspected might be the missing plane, only to later identify them as a coral boulder and a piece of a nearby wreck, the Norwich City.

Via Discovery


    Photo: Jans Canon/Flickr

Bradley Wiggins Wins Tour de France

Mark Cavendish takes the final stage

The Tour de France wrapped up Sunday with Mark Cavendish rocketing to a stage win on the Champs-Elysees and Bradley Wiggins taking the overall title by three minutes and 21 seconds over teammate Chris Froome. Wiggins, riding in the style of the five-time Tour winner Miguel Indurain, built his lead in the time trials and rode a steady tempo on the climbs to become to first Brit to take the yellow jersey. According to many pundits, Froome proved to be the stronger climber, easily gapping Wiggins in the high mountains, but Froome was no match for Wiggins in the time trials. Their 1-2 finish was the first time since 1996 that two teammates took the top spots on the podium. Defending Tour champion Cadel Evans dropped to seventh overall, behind his American teammate Tejay van Garderen who also took the best young rider’s jersey. French favorite Thomas Voeckler took the climber’s jersey and Peter Sagan, in his first Tour appearance, took the sprinter’s jersey. Despite missing out on the sprinter’s jersey, Cavendish took three stage wins and his fourth win on the Champs-Elysees in four appearances. Team RadioShack Nissan Trek, the embattled squad of Johan Bruyneel and Frank Schleck, won the best team competition. 

Via Cyclingnews


Frank Schleck denies doiping     Photo: Edwin Vermaas

Frank Schleck's B Sample Tests Positive

Confirms presence of banned diuretic

A positive backup sample has confirmed the presence of a banned substance in Luxembourgish rider Frank Schleck at the Tour de France. Schleck was pulled from the Tour last Tuesday after a positive test for the diuretic Xipamide on July 14. “The result of the counter test was positive but for me nothing changes: I just know that I did nothing wrong,” Schleck said in a statement. “I will therefore continue my search to find out how the substance could have entered my body.” Schleck previously suggested he may have been poisoned. Xipamide is typically used to mask banned performance enhancers, or as a supplement for weight loss. Classified as a "specified substance" by the World Anti-Doping Agency Code, the presence of Xipamide in an athlete's test does not require a provisional suspension. 



    Photo: Walt Morgan/Flickr

21 Burned in Tony Robbins Hot Coal Walk

Firefighters treated third-degree burns

A Tony Robbins seminar in San Jose, California left at least 21 participants badly burned after a motivational hot-coal walk went awry. Around 6,000 paying attendees at the "Unleash the Power Within" seminar were lined up to walk an eight-foot path of coals heated to betwen 1,200 and 2,000 degrees. Participants were told that the hot coals were a metaphor for facing their fears. "I just heard these screams of agony," one participant told the Associated Press. "People were in pain. It sounded like people were being tortured." At least three participants were sent to the hospital with third-degree burns.

Via Los Angeles Times


Giant Ocean Wave

Jaws, in Maui, where waves reach heights of more than 50 feet via Shutterstock     Photo: Epic Stock Media

Scientists Build Live-Cell Robot Jellyfish

Precisely matches real thing

Scientists have bioengineered a jellyfish made of silicone and live cells that can be controlled using pulses of electricity. The jellyfish, nicknamed "Medusoid," is made from a silicone polymer and the muscle cells from a rat heart. "We coaxed them to self-organize so that they matched the [muscle] architecture of a jellyfish precisely," Dr. Kevin Kit Parker, the study's co-author, said. The robot is designed to swim through the water in response to electrical currents, which cause the muscle tissue to contract. The hope is that the technology may one day be used to bioengineer human organs. The research team now plans to create a jellyfish that can activate the muscle contractions internally and gather food on its own.

Via Wall Street Journal