Tuesday, August 30, 2005


By Stockton

Scientists have discovered that the Earth's core may spin faster than the Earth's crust.

By RANDOLPH E. SCHMID, AP Science Writer Thu Aug 25, 2:40 PM ET
WASHINGTON - The giant iron ball at the center of the Earth appears to be spinning a bit faster than the rest of the planet.

The solid core that measures about 1,500 miles in diameter is spinning about one-quarter to one-half degree faster, per year, than the rest of the world, scientists from Columbia University's Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory and the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign report in Friday's issue of the journal Science.

The spin of the Earth's core is an important part of the dynamo that created the planet's magnetic field, and researcher Xiaodong Song said he believes magnetic interaction is responsible for the different rates of spin.

This phenomenon is known as the "Earth's core may spin faster than the Earth's crust" effect. What does this mean for the average person walking the globe today? Says researcher Song, "Not much really. In fact nothing. It could make you a few minutes late for an appointment so give yourself a few extra minutes."

In related news:

Man Launches Ice Cream Stick Viking Ship

By TOBY STERLING, Associated Press Writer Tue Aug 16

AMSTERDAM, Netherlands - A former Hollywood stunt man now living in the Netherlands launched his greatest project to date Tuesday: a 45-foot replica Viking ship made of millions of wooden ice cream sticks and more than a ton of glue.

Rob McDonald named the ship the "Mjollnir" after the hammer of the mythic Norse god of thunder, Thor. After the 13 ton boat was lifted into the water by crane, "Captain Rob," as he is known, stood calmly on the stern as a team of volunteers rowed the apparently sturdy vessel around the IJ River behind the city's central station.

"I have a dream to show children they can do anything," McDonald said before the launch. "If they can dream it, they can do it."

McDonald's father fondly recalls saying the same thing to his son, Rob. "I told the little tyke that he could do anything he wanted to do. If you can dream it, you can do it! I had no idea the asshole was going to build a ship out of popsicle sticks. What a fucking waste of time."

McDonald spent months researching Viking history before building his ship. Ice Cream sticks were not his first choice of material but after his Lincoln Log and Tinker Toy ship floundered at sea he settled on ice cream sticks.

McDonald's research revealed that a Norseman, Thror Throrsonsonson, discovered the New World in 1188 while sailing in a boat constructed of popsicle sticks.

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