On the Record

“We are seeking a jury of twelve — the most qualified and the most cynical.”

Engineers at Irish company Steorn are so convinced that they have developed a source of free energy, they are challenging scientists worldwide to prove them wrong.

“They're pretty small. Maybe we can bring in a ping-pong ball.”

Geza Gyuk on adding new planets to Chicago's Adler Planetarium.

Zoo news

Snap decision


As astronomers discuss the definition of planets, the Australian government has been considering what creatures to describe as fish. In a law meant to aid regulation of aquatic commerce, passed on 17 August, some were surprised to see that crocodiles made the grade, alongside prawns and scallops.

Preposterous piglets

Officials at the Copenhagen Zoo in Denmark were stunned last week when they discovered five piglets in the den of a babirusa, a wild hog native to Indonesia. The newborns apparently resulted from the animal's tryst with a domestic pig who kept it company in its cage. Zoologists say the two species are only remotely related, and the mating is equivalent to a cow and a goat producing offspring.

Number crunch

The ozone hole is recovering, but not very quickly...

29 million km2 was the maximum size of the Antarctic ozone hole in 2000 — the biggest ever.

27 million km2 was the maximum size of the ozone hole five years later.

59 years is how long it should take for the hole to close.

Sources: AP, World Meteorological Organization