A tiny slowdown in Earth's rotation next year could trigger more earthquakes than usual, new research suggests. Past periods of slow rotation over the last 100 years have coincided with more earthquakes than average, according to research presented last month at the annual meeting of the Geological Society of America. "The numbers of earthquakes that have occurred each year in the past century are well known. The changes in Earth's rotation rate are also well known," study co-author Roger Bilham, a geophysicist at the University of Colorado Boulder, said in an email to Live Science. "All we have done is to compare these two well-known lists of numbers and report an interesting and useful relationship." read more
Alice's Restaurant," Arlo Guthrie's beloved musical ode to garbage, small town policing, and military conscription, celebrates many anniversaries. The song its full name is "Alice's Restaurant Massacree" has its conception on Thanksgiving Day, 1965, when Guthrie, then 18, and friend Rick Robbins, 19, were clearing out the Stockbridge, Massachusetts, home of Alice and Ray Brock.
The Coney-Island-born Guthrie, son of folk icon Woody Guthrie (who named him Arlo because it seemed "a good name for a professional"), attended the private coed boarding school where Alice was a librarian; Ray taught carpentry. Drawn to the Brocks's laissez-faire lifestyle, Guthrie and other students spent much of their free time at their home, a former church. Eventually, Alice, a Brooklyn native like Guthrie himself, opened a small restaurant just off Stockbridge's main street.
This week Thanksgiving tables across the nation will be laden with that most American of birds, the turkey. But while certain turkeys are native to this country, the holiday bird commonly eaten today is typically American in a way many people don't suspect -- it's descended from immigrants.
"These are essentially Mexican birds, arrived in the U.S. by way of Europe," explains archaeologist Erin Thornton, who studies turkey husbandry among the ancient Maya.
Genetic studies show that M. gallopavo gallopavo, the South Mexican wild turkey, is the ancestor of all today's domestic turkeys. Bones from these birds were present as early as 300 B.C. at the Maya city of El Mirador in Petén, Guatemala, which is a site outside their natural range. This suggests that they were being traded by humans and raised in captivity. read more
Mozilla's latest browser -- Firefox Quantum -- is lightning fast, sleek, and ready to handle all six zillion of your tabs after almost two months in beta.
Nick Nguyen, Firefox's vice president of product, told Mashable his biggest fear: Will the Internet full of Google Chrome-enthusiasts give it a chance?
"My biggest fear is that people won't try it," he said. "It's like any release -- you do this to make people's lives better. If people aren't using your product, you don't have an opportunity to do that."
And the folks at Firefox have big plans. Nguyen won't rest until Quantum overtakes Google Chrome to become the average internet user's primary browser. "Today, people use Firefox as their secondary browser," he told Mashable. "We think it's good enough to be your first browser." read more
UCLA basketball player LiAngelo Ball and two other Bruins were taken into police custody in Hangzhou, China, after reportedly being accused of shoplifting. The Pac-12 says that several UCLA players were "reportedly arrested."
The players in question -- Ball, Jalen Hill and Cody Riley -- have been released on bail, ESPN reports, adding that the three "were questioned about stealing from a Louis Vuitton store next to the team's hotel in Hangzhou."
All three players are freshmen; Ball is a younger brother of NBA player Lonzo Ball. read more