Tech Net News 09-01-2018

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Meerkats are cute, cuddly, and lethal.  The piranhas of the desert! Credit: Dominic Cram

Don’t forget that the next club meeting is this Tuesday, and we’re looking for folks who can contribute to the show-and-tell. It’s easy to miss a meeting by accident when it’s on the first day of the work week. I’ve done it…don’t let it happen to you.

The Meeting on the Air and RACES Net will be tomorrow night, too; it might not feel like a Sunday, but it really is.

There’s nothing too surprising on the contest calendar this weekend, but we’ve got two state QSO parties. Alabama’s party ends tonight, and the Tennessee QSO Party is Sunday-only.

In news from the world of ham radio:

A 32-meter monster dish will be active for EME this weekend! If you’re trying that most difficult of all modes…this could be your chance.

The FCC has started a new podcast, “More than Seven Dirty Words.” Will it make communications policy seem more interesting? You’ll have to try it and see.

In news from the world of science:

Don’t forget to put out water for birds! Dry weather is a problem across most of north Texas; even bees will use water, if you set it out.

American Coots are beginning to head south for the winter. They’re pretty crazy birds; you can get to know more about them at This is a great time of year to help out migrating birds, in general.

A roving killbot is patrolling the Great Barrier Reef. Divers are safe, but the plague of starfish? Not so much.

A study of meerkat aging shows that it’s good to be the king. Or really, for meerkats, it’s good to be the queen. The stress of being in charge is more than made up for by the protection you get of always getting a little help from your friends. Scientists were hoping to find special anti-aging genes; instead, they found that teamwork provides a lot of survival benefits.

And finally, if meerkats aren’t cute enough for you, you should learn more about genetics by reading about foxes. A world-famous Soviet and Russian study of how domesticating foxes has changed them has yielded some new genetic results.

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