Published online 6 February 2008 | Nature 451, 616 (2008) | doi:10.1038/451616a

News in Brief: Sidelines


Scribbles on the margins of science.

On the record

“Richard Dawkins has proven to be one of the most wicked human beings to ever walk the earth.”

Hardline Creationists behind the website attempt to justify their decision to hold a mock funeral for their ideological enemy.

Number Crunch

4 is the number of Internet cables damaged in a spate of incidents that has left much of the Middle East and India without telecommunications.

100% is the reported loss of Internet connection in Iran. Israel and Iraq were unaffected, leading some bloggers to suspect a conspiracy …

1 is the number of ships accused of causing the most serious incident — it is still unclear whether an errant anchor off the Egyptian coast accidentally cut the first two cables.



Back to bleak

Deputy administrator of the US Environmental Protection Agency Marcus Peacock raised eyebrows by using his official blog to draw the all-too-obvious parallels between environmental degradation and the much-publicized drug addiction of British singer Amy Winehouse.


Beetle's new release

Staying with singers, the late, great Roy Orbison has received a new accolade — he's the inspiration behind the name of the newly discovered whirligig beetle Orectochilus orbisonorum.

Sources: Guardian,,,  

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