Archive for Monday, February 16, 2004


February 16, 2004


Los Angeles

NASA's Spirit rover examines 'Mimi' rock

NASA's Spirit rover stopped to examine an unusual, flaky rock on the surface of Mars Sunday as scientists prepared to send it on a trek that would more than double its one-day distance record.

The Mars Explorer team hopes the rover will travel about 82 feet this morning and make the same distance again during the afternoon. Spirit's longest previous trek was 70 feet in a day, the record for any robot on the Martian surface.

Before setting out on today's trek, Spirit is examining the flaky rock, dubbed "Mimi."

Mission manager Jim Erickson said scientists would like to know why Mimi is flaky but its neighboring rocks are not. He said flakiness may indicate layering, an indication that a rock was formed over time instead of all at once, as might be the case with rock produced by a volcanic eruption.


Ballistics tests confirm highway shootings link

Ballistics testing has confirmed that a Saturday morning shooting was the 24th in a series in the Columbus area, investigators said Sunday. No one was injured in that shooting.

The bullet recovered from the battery of a sport utility vehicle struck on Interstate 70 matches eight others recovered during the investigation, including the one that killed a woman in November, according to a press release. The others have been linked by factors including location and circumstances.

Experts said the shooter was becoming bolder after evading capture for three months.

"He's sending a message to police: 'You're not as close as you think you are,'" said Jack Levin, a criminologist and director of the Brudnick Center on Violence at Northeastern University.


Daily diet can quench body's thirst for water

For most healthy people, thirst is the best guide for letting them know they are low on water, according to a report issued by the Institute of Medicine.

The institute, part of the National Academy of Sciences, issued its recommendations for daily intake of water, as well as potassium and sodium, as part of an ongoing series of studies on the nutrition needs of Americans and Canadians.

Last week's report warned that Americans were getting far too much salt and too little potassium, a combination that contributes to the millions of cases of high blood pressure in the nation.

In general, the panel reported, women appear to be adequately hydrated by consuming an average of 91 ounces of water from all beverages and foods each day. For men, the average is 125 ounces a day.

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