Friday, April 24, 2009
Capturing rain may be one of humanity's most ancient methods of acquiring water, but now it's coming back in vogue. Rather than press their luck with drought, conservation-conscious homeowners are setting up rudimentary rain barrels and elaborate rainwater storage systems to catch precipitation for nondrinking purposes, such as watering their lawns.
But while rainwater may seem like a global common, nowadays it depends on where you live: By capturing rainwater, some homeowners are breaking the law. This has put city and state governments in an awkward position—smack in the middle of competing water users and advocates, often from within their own agencies, of conserving water to protect supplies.
Read the whole thing.
What people think of as "flying dinosaurs" but are technically giant reptiles didn't launch into the air like birds. They leapt into the air off all four legs, said Mike Habib, of the university's Center for Functional Anatomy and Evolution. Only vampire bats do something like that.
The flying creatures are called pterosaurs (the "p" is silent). They were a group of flying reptiles that could weigh more than 500 pounds and have bus-sized wingspans. Last year, researchers tried to figure out how they got off the ground by looking at the largest bird now flying, the albatross. They concluded that anything much bigger couldn't get off the ground the same way.
But Habib said pterosaurs shouldn't be compared to birds.More here.