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    On the Record

    “Nobody cares about contaminating the Moon. It's like New Jersey.”

    Astrobiologist Chris McKay explains why early exploration missions will test technologies on the Moon, rather than on Mars.

    “I'm kind of disappointed, but I guess I did OK.”

    Fifteen-year-old Gaurav Rajav fails to break a North American record for reciting the digits of pi. He masters 8,784 digits.

    Sources: News@nature; AP


    Stuffed animals

    The yeti crab, recently discovered in the South Pacific deeps, is honoured with its own sewing pattern — letting you recreate it as a plush toy.


    The Chinese government adds a 5% tax to disposable wooden chopsticks, in an attempt to slow deforestation.


    Europe restricts the building of pipe organs, saying the instruments violate a European Union directive to limit the amount of lead contained in products that work on electricity.

    Number Crunch

    Nobel-prizewinning physicist Carl Wieman announced last week that he is leaving the University of Colorado, where he has worked for 22 years, and joining the University of British Columbia. Why?

    $227,000 is Wieman's base salary at Colorado.

    $3 million is the amount paid to Colorado's football coach after he was fired following several scandal-laden seasons.

    $10 million is the amount the Canadian university has promised Wieman for his science-education efforts. Wieman is taking a salary cut to go there, but says that at least British Columbia values academics as highly as athletes.

    Sources: Rocky Mountain News, Colorado Daily

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