Pray, tell, rain

I read that sm_corona_virus.jpgthe Orthodox Church of Cypres has ordered priests to pray for rain on December the 2nd of this year. It appears that this is a routine that has been done before, most recently when a comparable drought struck the island 9 years ago.

BBC also reports that scientists have created a detailed map of Antartica. The images come (primarily) from the Landsat spacecraft and there are plans to make the data available for use in software like ‘Virtual Earth’ and ‘Google Earth’. You may want to view the results right at LIMA, that is, if you can get through the bottleneck (yeah, yeah, it’s a popular site this week).

And last but not least, an excellent (long) article about retrovirusses at The Newyorker. The article discusses the influence virusses had (and have) on our body’s immune system and cancer, and (particularly) about how retrovirusses have become part of our DNA. There’s some interesting commentary about new approaches to tackle HIV (a retrovirus), for example, by accelerating its life cycle (the faster a cell reproduces the more errors it makes, eventually passing non-threatening DNA to future generated cells.). Mind-blowing read. You can read the follow-up discussing over at MetaFilter.

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