After 65 years, plane to come up
Salvagers are getting ready to recover a World War II Navy dive bomber that has been on the bottom of a San Diego reservoir for more than six decades. Nelson Manville, a city assistant lakes manager, says permits have been obtained for a recovery effort in Lower Otay Reservoir. The $125,000 salvage operation could take place in the next few weeks. The sunken SB2C-4 Helldiver was ditched on May 28, 1945, after its engine failed during a practice run. The pilot and gunner swam to shore. The plane was forgotten until last year, when a fisherman using an electronic fish finder spotted its outline in 85 feet of water. The Florida-based National Naval Aviation Museum wants to recover and restore the plane.
Ranking of Florida drivers in a rules-of-the-road survey conducted by GMAC Insurance. Florida drivers scored 75.2 percent. Kansas was No. 1 at 82.3 percent, edging out Oregon at 82.1. New York and New Jersey were at the bottom at 70 and 70.5 percent. The average was 76.2 percent, meaning we are a bit below average.
A suicide with collateral damage
Police in Chile say an apparent suicide caused another death as well when a woman jumping from a tall building landed on a cleaning lady below. Police in Antofogasta, Chile, say Josefina Venizela jumped from the window of a 12th floor of an office building in an apparent suicide, but caused the death of another woman when she landed on 56-year-old Luisa Almendares, who happened to be taking out the trash in the patio of the building next door. The mother of four was 40 minutes from finishing her shift.
Is 'Ardi' on our family tree?
Last fall, a fossil skeleton named "Ardi" shook up the field of human evolution. Now, some scientists are raising doubts about what exactly the creature from Ethiopia was and what kind of landscape it inhabited.
New critiques question whether Ardi really belongs on the human branch of the evolutionary tree and whether it really lived in woodlands. That second question has implications for theories about what kind of environment spurred early human evolution.
The work is being published by the journal Science, which last year declared the original presentation of the 4.4 million-year-old fossil to be the magazine's breakthrough of the year.
Ardi, short for Ardipithecus ramidus, is a million years older than the famous "Lucy" fossil. Last October, it was hailed as a window on early human evolution.
Researchers concluded that "Ardi" walked upright rather than on its knuckles like chimps, for example, and that it lived in woodlands rather than open grasslands. It didn't look much like today's chimps, our closest living relatives.
Esteban Sarmiento of the Human Evolution Foundation in East Brunswick, N.J., wrote in the new analysis that he's not convinced Ardi belongs on the evolutionary tree branch leading to modern humans. He thinks it came along earlier, before that human branch split off from the ancestors of chimps and gorillas.
Tim White of the University of California at Berkeley, one of the scientists who described Ardi last year in Science, said he isn't surprised by this week's debate. "Any time you have something that is as different as Ardi, you're probably going to have it," he said, adding that he disagreed with Sarmiento's conclusions.