Tesla wins!

To my utter astonishment, as little as nine years ago, New York’s venerable Consolidated Edison Company had six thousand DC customers.

This has come to light by Con Ed’s press release (linked to in the title) announcing the ending of DC service from their Pearl Street plant, 125 years after it was opened by Edison himself.

Practically the only thing we remember about Nikola Tesla now was his falling out with his patron Edison over the superiority of alternating over direct current. Edison, though he would become an immensely wealthy man through his power companies, backed DC, but Tesla and Edison’s great commercial rival Westinghouse backed AC, which quickly won.

UPDATE: At the mysterious paddleguy’s prompting, I’ve corected the spelling of Tesla’s first name.

New, improved Ambulocetans

Artist Carl Buell has a lovely picture of the Ambulocetans natans, a progenitor of the whale, which is updated with the latest scientific information. You can see it on his photostream on flickr.

Update: The Flickr photo is offline, so here is a similar image from National Geographic: The Walking Whale.

A furred, whiskered swimmimg mammal, ancestor of the whale

Ambulocetans, a transitional whale fossil


Here’s an image by Carl Buell from the University of New Zealand’s marine mammals wesbsite: Artist’s impression of Ambulocetans natans, courtesy of Carl Buell.

Here’s a different image by Carl Buell, from an evolution website.

A long, slender, swimming mammal attacking a deer-like animal from the water

Ambulocetans natans in action by Carl Buell

Human flying squirrels

tiny human figure with webbing between legs and arms flies over the edge of a mountainI am never going to try this, but it is amazing just to watch: the mountain wingsuit demo by Espin Jones and friends.

(Hat tip to LotStreetWiz at Road of Iron for the link)

Monorail cats: out of service

Monorail cats have retired for the evening.

Source of a myth: tree-man might be cured

Indonesian tree-man has bad warts: his hands and feet look like tree roots.

He’s immunochallenged and warts, plus excess skin growth, overwhelm him.

Cyclone Sidr heads for Bangladesh

Cyclone Sidr is a category 4 hurricane on its way to low-lying Bangladesh and gainin g strength on the way. Hundreds of thousands of people may die in it? So why haven’t Iheard about it except through other science bloggers. Science blogs are the newspapers we would have if everyone were like me. Chris Mooney has the story: time to panic, and he makes a good point: we should be readying the succour and rescue teams, hospital ships, air relief, or whatever.

Finally, here is a note on Alertnet, with a link to an interactive map of Bangladesh. The CBC has finally picked it up:

Sidr, currently a Category 4 storm, is on a “really similar track” as Cyclone Bhola, a storm that devastated the region in 1970, CBC meteorologist Nick Czernkovich said.

Bhola, which made landfall as a Category 3 cyclone, was the deadliest tropical cyclone ever recorded, resulting in the deaths of more than 500,000 people.

Cyclone Sidr alert:

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