June 8th, 2010

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Signs of methane-based life found on Titan.

If methane-based life exists, scientists expect that it would consume hydrogen and acetylene, and that is what NASA is finding on Saturn's moon Titan.  Readings from NASA's Cassini probe show that hydrogen is being drawn from the atmosphere at the moon's surface, and acetylene is missing from the surface.  Acetylene would be used as food by organisms that use methane instead of water, scientists speculate.  "If these signs do turn out to be a sign of life, it would be doubly exciting because it would represent a second form of life independent from water-based life on Earth," says astrobiologist Chris McCay.  NASA is now trying to rule out nonliving explanations for the consumables.  If during the process of elimination, they find something using a process of elimination, that would be a good indication of life...  The origin of feces.

Space.com article.
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3rd Apple founder sold $22 billion stake for $800 because of cold feet.

Apple Computer Inc. was founded on April 1, 1976 by Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, and Ron Wayne.  For ten percent of the stock, Wayne had agreed to be the company's business manager, but after 12 days he got cold feet and sold his shares for $800.  He thought the company was going to go under and make him the target of creditors, but it didn't, and if he'd kept his shares, they'd be worth $22 billion today.  That's assuming his staying with the company wouldn't have caused the failure he anticipated.  His earlier venture in slot machines was a "traumatizing failure", and Wayne says, "That was before I realized I had no business being in business... It came to a disastrous end."  Now he lives on social security supplemented by selling coins, stamps, and gold out of his home.

Tribune Newspapers article.