People aren’t the only species happily anticipating the end of 2011…
So ready for the New Year and all that it brings!
Oh yeah, they are pretty excited!
[via Daily Mail] Say cheese! Smiley, happy animals greet the New Year with a grin
From a shark flashing a toothy grin to a macaque caught monkeying around, these hilarious pictures reveal that some animals know how to have a laugh.
Beaming broadly from ear to ear as they bring in 2012, these creatures prove they have a sense of humour as they pose happily for the camera.
Among the cheery creatures are a happy hippo and an exuberant Gibraltar ape, who is clearly more than happy to pose for a picture or two.
A delighted Dumpy Tree Frog gives a wry smile while a shy panda opts for a modest smile.
The animals pictured all seem delighted to be welcoming in the New Year, posing with remarkable ease for the camera.
Pleased to meet you: This barbary macaque looks like it is having a ball at the Upper Rock Nature reserve on the island of Gilbraltar, while Otis the hippo gives the camera a toothy grin
A posing penguin, pictured with its youngster, looks rather pleased with itself and even a deadly Lemon Shark manages to flash a smile for the camera.
Got something to smile about? This shark smirks at the camera while a California tiger salamander grins from ear to ear [Read More]
Though probably NOT for the same reason I am.
As I am pretty excited myself and so ready for all the great things that are sure to come to pass, and all of the revelations which will surely come with them!
I know, at least when it comes to science?
That the New Year will bring some amazing discoveries!
[via Nobel Intent]…These are the gifts that are just going to keep giving.
Neutrinos can’t slow down: Neutrinos have always had a surly streak. Invented as a placeholder to balance the energy books for nuclear decays, these particles eluded detection for decades, and then couldn’t be found at the numbers we expected. That turned out to be because every neutrino is a mix of several identities, and oscillates among them, a feat that requires that the particles have masses—something very few people expected. This year, neutrinos from a beam produced at CERN thumbed their anthropomorphized noses at physicists yet again, and appeared to arrive at a detector in Italy faster than light would. A flurry of excellent jokes ensued, but so has some serious physics, as everyone tries to understand what the folks in Italy might be doing wrong.
Why you should wait until next year: The finding set off an explosion of submissions to the arXiv preprint server, and the year ahead is when all of this will hit the buzz saw of peer review. The OPERA team behind the findings has already started answering the first questions about possible sources of experimental errors, and the more serious outstanding issues should be handled if they can be. Meanwhile, the theorists will be having a field day. There are already submissions that suggest the results are impossible, and others that show that they can be incorporated into existing theoretical frameworks—but only if we break some other important things. The best of these should start being published next year, provided OPERA doesn’t discover a goof in the meantime.
Kepler’s exoplanet bonanza: How big a story was NASA’s planet-hunting telescope this year? The team behind it made three major announcements—in December alone. The objects spotted by Kepler have completely changed our picture of what’s typical for exoplanets; we now know that Neptune-like bodies are very common, and we’re just starting to get a better picture of Earth-like bodies. It’s also finding some things that sound more like science fiction material, such as planets that were once swallowed by a red giant, but reemerged once it shrunk. It’s pretty rare for a single instrument to completely change our understanding of the Universe, but Kepler’s delivered exactly what it’s designed to do. And the scary thing is that it’s just getting started.
Why you should wait until next year: The simplest answer can be found on the upper right of the Kepler home page. There, you’ll find that there are 33 confirmed Kepler exoplanets. Hover your mouse over that, and you’ll see that there are another 2,300 candidates waiting confirmation. That’s rather a lot of potential for further amazement. And, even as astronomers scramble for instrument time to pursue follow-up observations, Kepler will keep adding candidates—the longer it works, the further out from the host star the planets will be. Next year, many of the new candidates should be squarely within the habitable zone of their host stars. [Read More - Click Here For More Discoveries!]
And given what all we learned in science, all the new discoveries this year alone…
I cannot WAIT to see what new discoveries await us all in 2012!