Amazon Storm Killed Half a Billion Trees

Amazon Storm Killed Half a Billion TreesA violent storm ripped through the Amazon forest in 2005 and single-handedly killed half a billion trees, a new study reveals.

The study is the first to produce an actual tree body count after an Amazon storm.

An estimated 441 million to 663 million trees were destroyed across the whole Amazon basin during the 2005 storm, a much greater number than previously suspected.

World Cup 2010: Octopus to retire after successful World Cup

World Cup 2010: Octopus to retire after successful World CupPaul, the English-born octopus turned mystic sensation is going to retire after correctly predicting the outcome of as many World Cup matches as he has legs, including last night's final.

The intuitive invertebrate will "step back from the official oracle business," said Tanja Munzig, a spokeswoman for the Sea Life aquarium in Oberhausen, Germany where Paul resides.

Insects as Model Animals

Insects as Model AnimalsJeremy Niven spends his days at Cambridge University running locusts across ladders and through mazes, trying to figure out how bugs think. Dr. Niven, 34, studies the evolution of brains and neurons in insects and other animals, like humans. We spoke during a break in last month's World Science Festival in New York, where he was a guest presenter, and then again later via telephone. An edited version of the two conversations follows:

Stargazers in awe as total eclipse arcs across Pacific

Stargazers in awe as total eclipse arcs across PacificANGA ROA, Chile (AFP) A total solar eclipse drew an 11,000-kilometer (6,800-mile) arc over the Pacific Sunday, plunging remote territories into darkness, but drawing thousands of curious tourists and their dollars.

The skies grew black in the middle of the day as the Moon slipped in front of the Sun and aligned with the Earth, blotting out the sunshine that just moments earlier had swathed the island's silent, ancient stone guardians.

David Robbins: Do we always have to have a dream come true?

David Robbins: Do we always have to have a dream come true?A solid, square farmhouse stands dark in the night in the Scottish Borders. Inside, the woman of the house is dreaming.

She dreams that her favourite horse, who is sleeping in a field outside, is dead. She is not used to dreaming -- or maybe she dreams but never remembers. This dream, however, makes her sit bolt upright in bed.