On July 21, 1969, Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin propped an array of reflectors in the lunar soil - one of several science experiments they deployed a day after becoming the first humans to set foot on the moon.
A month later, a small group of astronomers bounced a pulse of laser light off the reflectors and caught the return signal with a telescope at Lick Observatory near San Jose, in Northern California. By measuring the time it took for the pulse traveling at the speed of light to return, scientists could determine the distance between the Earth and moon.
Q: We have a funky little screened-in porch off the kitchen of our new
house. I'd like to make it more attractive, but we don't want to spend
much money (it is a rental). What can we do, short of expensive
A: Contrary to the saying, occasionally, beauty
really is only surface deep. Think paint. It's quick and cheap, and you
can always return things to their original gray when you move, if your
The bottom of the ocean can be a dark, cold and muddy place, but this
forbidding environment could hold life-saving antibiotics derived from
organisms that scientists have never seen.
Now the University of
California San Diego will soon undertake an ambitious effort to
fast-track the process of discovering new compounds from the sea floor
to turn them into antibiotics. University officials will draw from
talent at their Scripps Institution of Oceanography and their schools
of pharmacy and medicine. They also will enlist the support of San
Diego County's biotech community and venture capitalists.
Q: My husband's daughter has triplet boys, now almost 8 years old. We
love to have them come visit, but staying over for any length of time
is becoming a problem as they get bigger and threaten to outgrow the
sleeper in the den. We've decided to turn the whole den over to them,
make it "their" fun place when they come. But it's been a long time
since I decorated for kids. Suggestions would be welcome.
Ivor van Heerden, deputy director of the Louisiana State University
Hurricane Center, has studied the geography of southeast Louisiana for
decades. Long before last summer, he told state, local and federal
officials that New Orleans would be vulnerable to a direct-hit
hurricane. Much of what he feared would happen came true when Katrina
struck in August.
The state of Louisiana later named the LSU
Hurricane Center to lead an investigation of Katrina levee failures.
Van Heerden heads a team of engineers and coastal scientists who are
analyzing storm-surge levels and levee construction.
The new Mustang is a memory machine: retro done right.
modern and functional, even comfortable for a sporty car. The doors are
not too large for entry and exit in a crowded mall parking.
swoop of the roofline doesn't cramp views that are enabled by the
quarter windows in the sail panels. The wide trunk will handle far more
than groceries, and with the convertible there's luggage room even when
the top is folded inside.
Q: Our huge living room has 14-foot ceilings that dwarf all the furniture we moved in from our previous house. I added a big chandelier and bought the largest painting I could find for over the sofa, but still we don't feel comfortable sitting in there. I'm guessing the answer might be a giant armoire or tall bookcases, but we are more strapped than we expected after the move. What else can we do to cozy-up this space? Paint stripes on the walls or what?
A: Nix stripes, unless you paint them sideways, going around the room horizontally. That would lower your sights and keep the center of attention more or less at eye level.
It's a subject you need to brush up on this fall for your favorite
fashion classes: layering 101. As more and more of our wardrobes have
to work harder and harder, carrying us through season after season in
all kinds of weather, the fashion basics have become the starting point
to a wardrobe that gets an A-plus.
But the course in putting it
all together is not easy. As consumers insist on being creative and
expressing their own individual style, designers are offering "pieces"
that work on their own or "layered," especially in cooler weather, with
a variety of fashion statements that give the wearer that unique,
one-of-a-kind look - the look that says: "Yes, I've mastered this
layering thing. I can put it all together myself."
If your idea of sun protection is a quick coating of sunscreen, it's time to rethink your defense strategy.
solely on a dollop of sunscreen to protect your skin from the ravages
of the sun is a little like counting on a lap seat belt to completely
protect you in a car crash. While both are necessary and can help
minimize damage, they're only a part of a smart protection plan.
people don't apply sunscreen often enough or in a large enough quantity
to really give protection," says Dr. Kimberly Butterwick, a San Diego
dermatologist. "If people would double-up and triple-up on their sun
protection - wear clothing, hats and sunglasses, in addition to
sunscreen - they could manage to get the kind of sun protection they
When everybody is going by the book, it's really easy to know how to break the rules.
Dalton Russell (Clive Owen) in the Spike Lee-directed action-thriller
"Inside Man" (Universal, 3 stars). He knows the book. He knows exactly
how New York cops will respond when he and his crew walk into the
Manhattan Trust Bank and hold the place up.
Romantic ideas of archaeology tend to be outdoors in nature,
adventurous excursions to lost cities, ancient tombs and, occasionally,
temples of doom. Chemistry, by contrast, rarely conjures up such
notions: Laboratory all-nighters with centrifuges whirring just aren't
But the relatively young marriage of these two
sciences - only a few decades old - has developed into a deep and
sometimes revealing relationship.
It was radiocarbon dating,
invented by University of Chicago chemist Willard Libby in 1949, that
gave archaeologists the ability to determine the "absolute age" of
If you think bitter-tasting wheatgrass juice or pungent herbal tea
concoctions are your only healthy beverage choices, it's time to wake
up and taste the coffee. A good ol' cup of joe or two may be just what
the doctor ordered.
Once believed to stunt growth, cause cancer
and trigger heart attacks, recent research indicates that coffee may be
a powerful elixir. Our favorite brew has been shown to prevent
diabetes, liver damage and gallstones, plus it may also improve
physical endurance and pump up your brain power.
"Not only is coffee not bad for our health, as once believed, coffee
may actually have a healthy protective effect," says Cheryl Rock,
researcher and professor of nutrition at University of California San
Diego's School of Medicine.
Somewhere deep in the video vaults there must be a movie about a
loveable ragtag bunch of losers who band together to play the bad guys
in a game of something or other - and get the living snot beaten out of
them. No victory, not even a moral one. Just loss and further
humiliation and the hands of bullies.
The first thing we need to understand is this is not your father's
"Shaggy Dog" (Disney, 2.5 stars). That one was made in 1959 and was
terrific for its time, what with a cast led by Fred MacMurray, Kirk
Russell, Annette Funicello and Tim Considine.
That was a classic Disney family movie (back when Disney and "family" were synonymous).
Don't let the heat and humidity dampen your summer wardrobe. Just add a
warm splash of red to freshen up this season's wardrobe and you'll be
ahead of this fall's fashion scene that touts red as one of its hottest
Here are a few ways to wear red now and into fall:
GO FOR ACCENTS: Got a black or white dress that you're wearing
now, but doesn't quite have that punch you need? Wrap it up with red as
a rich accent to your waist. Cinch your middle with a wide obi-style
sash dripping with fringe or a thick red leather belt decorated with
The Honda Civic coupe seems all grown up now, ready to please adults with its confidence and style.
used to be that this little two-door was fit for a first-time buyer,
but the eighth generation 2006 model has been fleshed out in size,
substance and safety. It's a good choice as a refined and stylish high-mileage commuter car.
When summer clearance sales start waning, and fall merchandise starts
trickling into stores, will you be one of the first ones to pull on
those leggings and step out in your pumped-up platform booties?
Well, if you're one of the careful few who love to get a leg up on the
latest trends early, but still like to shop the end-of-season markdowns
with a sharp eye looking for clothes you'll wear for several seasons to
come, you'll be way ahead of the crowd if you know what fashion
favorites have the longest "shelf life" in the months ahead.