Try this: Solve a Kakuro

You will need

  • A copy of some Kakuro puzzles
  • Pencil and eraser

What to do

A Kakuro consists of a grid of boxes, some empty and some filled. Lines of empty boxes run across and down. These lines each have a clue – to the left of horizontal lines and above vertical ones. The aim is to write a digit from 1 to 9 in each empty box following two rules:

  • No two boxes in a line contain the same digit
  • Adding up all the digits in the line will equal the clue

There are a lot of tricks to this puzzle, so we’ll explain how to solve Puzzle A step by step: Continue reading Try this: Solve a Kakuro

Searching for the smallest, hardest Sudoku


This Sudoku has 30 clues, but enthusiasts have found examples with only 17.

Sudoku are popular puzzles that can be seen in newspapers and puzzle books all around the world. The aim is to have a number in each one of the 81 boxes that make up the puzzle, while following certain rules. Some of the boxes start out with numbers in them already to act as clues. These clues make sure there is only one solution to the puzzle.

Most Sudoku have around 25 clues, but enthusiasts have long been interested in how few clues a Sudoku could have and still lead to only one answer. There are several Sudoku with only 17 clues, but no one had ever found a 16 clue Sudoku, so Gary McGuire from University College Dublin decided to look for one.

His strategy was simple – write down every possible answer, and then check to see if any of them could be posed as a 16 clue puzzle. Although the strategy was simple, it wasn’t going to be easy – there are 6 670 903 752 021 072 936 960 different possible answer grids to be checked. Continue reading Searching for the smallest, hardest Sudoku

Do snake have ears?

SnakeWhenever we see snakes and when we notice their rapid movements there is one question that comes in our minds that whether snakes have ears or not? But this was one of the long-term myths that snakes are deaf and they cannot hear anything only the movement on the grounds can be sensed by them. But these points are no more exist able when it comes to rattle snakes where they can hear the rattling noise made by their tails.

A deep study has been carried out on this topic and analyses are made which proves that snakes do have internal ears and they can hear as well. Bruce Young is one of the neurobiologists and he made some new researches which can prove the mentioned points.

How humans inner ears are different from that of snakes? Human ears consists of several parts such as hair cells, bones and ear drum when there are sound waves that causes vibrations of tiny hair cells due to small movement of bones because of sound waves that hits the eardrum. These vibrations then reaches to the brain in the form of nerve impulses and this make us to hear the sounds. On the other hand snakes lacks these year drums and have totally different inner ear structures according to which their jawbone have a direct connection with their inner ears and the movements on the ground are received by their brain in the form of signals through their inner ears. Continue reading Do snake have ears?

Infrared Treatment May Prevent Blindness

Doctoral researchers in Australia have discovered a revolutionary treatment for damaged retinas. Using near infrared light, they have been able to both prevent damage and reverse sustained damage to the retinas through intense light damage. This new finding shows promise of helping to prevent blindness in people whose eyes have suffered light damage that can lead to blindness.

When the eyes are damaged by light, the vision cells become overly stressed and essentially shut down. Once they have shut themselves down, they eventually die. When vision cells have died, there is no way to recover them. Often what happens is one group of cells shuts down in the retina- a “hot-spot” of damaged cells, and then it spreads outward from that area.

With this new method of reversing damage using gentle, pain free infrared light, those damaged cells can be recovered before they die. Exposure to the near infrared light every day for less than a week shows incredible capabilities of healing damaged cells, and restoring vision.

In addition to providing treatment for eyes damaged from light, this process also shows promise for those suffering from Macular Degeneration, and even Dry Macular Degeneration- the leading cause of blindness in developed countries. The trick is providing treatment immediately after damage has ensued, or when a positive diagnosis of DMD is made. Once the cells have died, there is no way to get them back. Treating them when they are in the damaged phase- before death- can make the cells more resistant to stress and bring them back to a functioning status.

Not only is this an amazing treatment showing great promise- it is also affordable. The array of small LED lights the doctors use, make this process completely pain free and incredibly affordable. The researchers remark that the affordability is exciting in itself due to the high cost of blindness.

Researchers Successfully Track Quantum Sensor In Human Cells

Scientists track a single atom inside a human cell and foresee subsequent advances in drug development.
According to Professor Lloyd Hollenberg, a physicist at the University of Melbourne, the atom was encased in a nanodiamond shell. Researches used it to explore the human cell and they were excited to see how this quantum sensor experienced the environment of the cell’s interior.

Professor Hollenberg stated that this experiment would enable future researchers to create an entire class of these quantum devices and do more research in the nanoscale environment.

The quantum sensor was able to detect cell activity and the entrance and exit of chemicals. Understanding these processes is a crucial step in developing medicines targeted at the molecular level.

A team composed of members from various scientific departments at the University of Melbourne crafted the tools and technology to manipulate and monitor the atom inside its nanodiamond shell. When these proved successful, they inserted the quantum sensor into human cells kept in the laboratory and sought to track its movements there.

According to Dr Yan Yan of the Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering Department, the sensor they developed can provide important information about movement inside a human cell. Since drug delivery depends on the interactions of similarly-sized particles inside cells, the information gathered will be useful in new drug development.

Liam McGuiness, a physicist from the school of Physics at the University of Melbourne, also noted the significance of this achievement. The ability to monitor the movement of such a small sensor in a microscopic environment was not previously possible, he says, except in controlled environments inside physics labs.

Following these initial experiments, scientists involved in the effort hope to develop more of the same
technology in the coming years. These tools may enable the creation of previously impossible drug developments.

Working for Lower Pay – Women in Science

The following is a piece of a sales ad, created to entice additional women in science. Work and study hard, get good grades and earn an engineering degree or a science degree, and you will be rewarded with a great-paying career in your selected field. However, as stated by the new United States Government analysis, the “reward” involves working for lower pay, about 12% lower than women’s male equivalents.

“Women in ‘STEM’: A Gender Gap to Innovation,” developed and it is a report consisting of eleven pages, which is the initial study about women who are employed in technical environments, distributed by the CDESA, otherwise known as the ESA (Commerce Dept.’s Economic/Statistics Admin. “STEM” – science – technology – engineering – mathematics. The analysis is founded on information from a survey performed in the early 2000’s, an American Community Review, and it is a continuous opinion poll conducted by the USCB (United States Census Bureau) that complements the past ten years census.

The information’s general assumption is that women in science are working for lower pay and they are undersold in the United States Science, Technology, and Engineering & Math labor force – maintaining around 24 percent of all “S.T.E.M.” occupations whilst encompassing 48 percent of all employees – will not be surprising to any individual who tracks the subject. However, they might view the nonexistence of development decreasing: “Throughout the previous ten years, this understated instance regarding women in science and working for lower pay continues to be moderately continuous, even while the female’s portion of college cultured labor force has enlarged,” clarifies a branch official news statement on the analysis, released recently.

Rebecca Blank, a current secretary with Commerce and Ph.D. Economist, supervises both the Census Bureau as well as the CDESA. Rebecca attempted to add the best twist on the income difference amid women and men in science and other fields. Ms. Blank said, “There is a femininity/masculinity salary gap throughout the country.” She continued, saying, “However, it is essentially lower in Technology, engineering, science and math fields, meaning educated women working for lower pay.” Nevertheless, she recognized that the wages gap fosters bigger questions. “In reality, an individual might believe that the lower pay gap may essentially attract more women into engineering and/or science. Therefore, it enhances the mystery of what it is that everyone is doing within our colleges and our households that makes “S.T.E.M.” occupations apparently less appealing to the female population.”

Rebecca Blank continued by saying that the survey did not examine the gender hole by job setting, like academia as opposed to industry. “Hence, we failed to look at the hole by jobs,” she comments. “And what is intriguing is that manufacturing/engineering, which holds the lowermost fraction of women, really has the bottom gender gap. It is just seven cents.”

Rebecca stated that the gender salary gap “is, and continues to be, one of the largest research queries in money matters (otherwise referred to as economics). Why does this gap happen, even when you regulate for seemingly what are every one of the production characteristics?” Nonetheless, Ms. Blank is enthusiastic about risking a guess. One response, she states, is that women in science, engineering, math and/or technology do not appear to receive the same amount of workplace advancements and raises as men do.”

Women in Science Work for Less Money, Jeffrey Mervis (August 4, 2011, 11:47 AM), Retrieved August 9, 2011 from

Man-Eating Lions

Did you know that lions are most likely to attack people sometime during the 10 days following a full moon? This is the period of time that puts people and the big cats at the greatest risk of encounter: when humans are out at night and when the lions are the hungriest. Between the years of 1988 and 2009, over 1000 people were attacked in Tanzania and over 700 were killed and either partially or wholly eaten.

Efforts have been taken to protect the people of the country against these brutal attacks. Through research and education, scientists hope to cut down on the number of people ambushed by ravenous lions. According to an article on, ‘Man Eating Lions Attack by the Dark of the Moon’, people at the greatest risk are those in rural areas who tend to spend the night in their fields to protect their crops. Bush pigs can wreak havoc on the livelihood of these farmers but the pigs are also a healthy source of food for the lions. As lions stalk the bush pigs, they often stumble upon sleeping farmers who make much easier prey than the wily hogs.

It has been studied and shown that the majority of attacks occur between the hours of 6pm and 9:45pm, with the instance of attack four times greater during the 10 days after the full moon. The reason for this is that, during this period, the moon rises later than normal, leaving these hours darker than any other time of the year. The movie ‘The Ghost and the Darkness’ (1996) dramatizes one of these events which took place in 1898. Two lions were reported to have killed about 35 people on a man-eating rampage in Kenya.

While scientists are trying to educate the rural people of Tanzania, it may be difficult. The poverty stricken people are often left with no choice than to protect their crops from destruction. To not do so would through them into near destitution. Researchers also hope that their studies will dispel the myths surrounding the moon, showing people that there is a very real basis for the correlation between the full moon and the time frame of attacks.

Biomedical Research Prizes

Centuries ago the British government offered a monetary prize to anyone who could develop an exact method of determining the longitude of a ship. A British cabinetmaker invented a clock for the purpose and won the £20,000 prize, the first offered for scientific research. Once again, offering a prize for accomplishments in the technical or scientific fields are in vogue. Multimillion dollar prizes offered by the X-Prize Foundation are mainly responsible for the current interest in handing out prizes for projects such as manned spaceflight and DNA sequencing. Now the United States government is coming on board with the Department of Defense and NASA offering prizes for technical goals or advances in research. The National Institutes of Health–the NIH–however, the usual benefactor of biomedical research prizes, has so far not entered the game, although that may change soon.

During a recent meeting on the Bethesda, Maryland campus of the NIH, several private organizations as well as government agencies reported their success with offering research prizes. Those reports spurred speculation as to whether the NIH will begin their own offers of prizes. At this meeting, it was reported that Francis Collins, NIH Director, will sign contracts soon that ensure NIH compliance with the America COMPETES Act. Under this Act, federal agencies are authorized to offer cash to researchers who will take on the harder high-risk projects in research. Although grants exists for such research, it is apparently not enough incentive to entice potential researchers and scientists to spend time on the riskier projects.

The 2007 America COMPETES Act allows Federal agencies to present a problem on, to research teams or individuals, appraise the results, and award prizes for the best solution. Called incentives research, this was just one subject discussed during the crowdsourcing conference. Participants also looked at other ways to use the power of many willing brains. Tim O’Reilly, media guru, pointed out how the Internet collects massive amounts of information and data. Although not all information is collected in a scientific way, he believes scientists should mine the Internet for the newest and best ideas in this global brain. If cash incentives produce needed solutions, conference attendees felt it is money well spent.

Clouds can not continue to cool the Earth

On a global scale clouds affect the climate by cooling the planet, however, as the global warming progresses the clouds cooling capacity will be lost, according to a study by the Texas A&M University published in the Science journal. The study supports current thinking on how atmospheric carbon dioxide affects global temperature.

Clouds can have both, negative and positive influence on climate and this leads to much insecurity about the amount of warming that will occur in the atmosphere due to increased carbon dioxide concentrations. Continue reading Clouds can not continue to cool the Earth

NASA announces discovery of extraterrestrial life

The National Aeronautics and Space (NASA) of America today, Thursday, will announce an astrobiology discovery that could prove the theory that there is extraterrestrial life.

The findings will be presented at a press conference on Thursday at 13:00 in NASA headquarters in Washington by experts in astrobiology, described as science which studies the origin, evolution, distribution and future of life in universe. Continue reading NASA announces discovery of extraterrestrial life


WA: Celebrate International Year of Biodiversity

If you live in Western Australia, it’s time to celebrate the International Year of Biodiversity. Head down to the Western Australian Museum to hear Andrew Hosie, the curator of aquatic zoology, talk about what species have been discovered in Western Australia over the last ten years. Find out what lives in the Dampier Archipelago, Northwest Atolls and the Kimberley.

  • When: 6 pm, Friday 7 May 2010
  • Where: NWS Shipping Theatre, Western Australian Maritime Museum , Fremantle

Entry by gold coin donation. Bookings essential on (08) 9427 2845.
More information on this lecture and a range of other lectures at the Western Australian Museum’s website.

Did you know?

Batteries often use potentially toxic chemicals such as nickel and cadmium to create electricity. It is estimated that around 94 per cent of dead batteries end up in landfill, which could lead to water pollution and damage soil microorganisms.

The National Solar Energy Centre (NSEC) in Newcastle is the only multi-collector facility of its type in Australia and home to the largest high-concentration solar array in the Southern Hemisphere.

Be aware of your water footprint. It can take as much as 16 000 litres of fresh water to produce one kilogram of beef.

Of all of the rubbish that makes it to the ocean, 15 per cent floats on the surface, 15 per cent remains near the shore and the rest sinks to the floor.

Of the 8000 animal-related insurance claims made to NRMA in NSW during 2008, over 6000 were caused by kangaroos. Motorists should drive carefully in country areas at dusk and dawn to reduce these casualties.

Shredded tyres contain metal and can not be reused as rubber without substantial expense. This problem is a key reason for the low percentage of tyres currently used for rubber recovery, despite worldwide demand.

One in four Australians buys a new television each year. If current trends continue, by 2020 the energy used by televisions in this country will double that used by refrigerators.

Places on the Earth’s crust that conduct heat from below are called ‘hot rocks’. Australia has some of the richest sources of hot rocks in the world, in the form of high-heat producing granites. These could prove to be useful energy sources in the future.

Buy recycled paper. Every tonne of recycled paper can save 17 trees, 32 000 litres of water and enough electricity to heat a house for six months.

There is clear evidence that feral cats have had a heavy impact on the fauna of many Australian islands, and have probably contributed to the extinction of a number of native species.

Kangaroos use 5000 kilojoules per day while sheep require 15000 kilojoules. Lower energy requirements mean that kangaroos have less environmental impact and therefore may be better for human and pet food. Continue reading Did you know?