Wednesday, 13 December 2017

Terrorism is way, way down, except in countries torn apart by civil war, often where the US has sent occupying troops

Terrorism is way, way down, except in countries torn apart by civil war, often where the US has sent occupying troops

Terrorism is way, way down, except in countries torn apart by civil war, often where the US has sent occupying troops

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A “Post-Verbal” World

A “Post-Verbal” World

I was walking with a friend recently, and we were discussing the limitations of language, especially in trying to explain complex concepts like philosophy, a deep experience, or a new idea. In short, on the topic of language, what we were discussing was just how clumsy verbal or written communication is in spreading what exists in one head into another — that, instead of transmutation of a concept or idea, like how a cold might spread, communicating an idea or viewpoint through language is actually quite difficult and oftentimes impossible.

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This plane is drawing a giant Christmas tree in the sky

This plane is drawing a giant Christmas tree in the sky

Who said flying is a drag? One bold and inspired pilot brought seasonal joy to the world by drawing a giant Christmas tree in the sky on a flight path over Germany while doing a test flight of an Airbus A380 aircraft for Emirates.

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Scientists are slowly unlocking the secrets of the Earth's mysterious hum

Scientists are slowly unlocking the secrets of the Earth's mysterious hum

A ceaseless drone of unclear origin rolls imperceptibly beneath our feet, and might unlock great secrets if we understood it better.

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NASA Confirms Astronauts Will Watch 'Star Wars: The Last Jedi' in Space

NASA Confirms Astronauts Will Watch 'Star Wars: The Last Jedi' in Space

There's no topping this.

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Wildcats, butterflies, tortoises: all are endangered by Trump’s border wall

Wildcats, butterflies, tortoises: all are endangered by Trump’s border wall

In the Rio Grande Valley, close to the border with Mexico, the president’s proposed barrier spells danger for the region’s plentiful wildlife. By Les Carpenter.

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The Great Red Spot Plunge

The Great Red Spot Plunge

NASA

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World Bank to stop funding oil, gas projects from 2019

World Bank to stop funding oil, gas projects from 2019

The World Bank will stop financing oil and gas exploration and extraction from 2019, it announced Tuesday at a climate summit seeking to boost the global economy's shift to cleaner energy. "The World Bank Group will no longer finance upstream oil and gas, after 2019," it said in a statement in Paris, where world leaders sought to unlock more money for the shift away from Earth-warming fossil fuels.

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Is Planet Nine Even Real?

Is Planet Nine Even Real?

A year and a half after it was proposed, astronomers are still debating whether the giant mystery planet actually exists.  By Ramin Skibba.

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Deadly Valentine

Deadly Valentine

Charlotte Gainsbourg

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Tuesday, 12 December 2017

Modern science tackles a biblical secret -- the mystery ingredient in holy incense

Modern science tackles a biblical secret -- the mystery ingredient in holy incense

The four ingredients for holy incense are listed in the Old Testament, but there was much debate over the origin of one of them -- onycha. Scientists think they've now confirmed the source.

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Imagining the Jellyfish Apocalypse

Imagining the Jellyfish Apocalypse

The stinging, gelatinous blobs could take over the world’s oceans.

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Giant Prehistoric Penguins Once Swam Off The Coast Of New Zealand

Giant Prehistoric Penguins Once Swam Off The Coast Of New Zealand

Scientists have uncovered the fossil of an ancestral penguin off the east coast of New Zealand. It was one of the earliest known species of penguin and also one of the largest.

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Tick that fed on dinosaurs found preserved on its host’s fossilized feather

Tick that fed on dinosaurs found preserved on its host’s fossilized feather

Trapped in 100-million-year-old amber, the fossils are the first ever evidence linking ticks to a dinosaur host. In a discovery that seems straight out of Jurassic Park, researchers have identified a 99-million-year-old fossilized tick on a dinosaur feather.

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New study smashes myths about “embodied” energy in wind and solar

New study smashes myths about “embodied” energy in wind and solar

Critics have argued renewable energies could come with high hidden greenhouse gas emissions that would negate their benefits to the climate. A new study shows the opposite is true.

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First image of an irritable bowel

First image of an irritable bowel

Just a few years ago many in the medical profession thought that the common intestinal malady irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) was psychological – with its origins in the head, not the gut. But Norwegian medical researchers have shown that the intestines of IBS patients do react to food in a special way.

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Trump wants to send astronauts back to the moon, but his proposed budget cuts NASA funding close to an all-time low

Trump wants to send astronauts back to the moon, but his proposed budget cuts NASA funding close to an all-time low

President Trump is asking NASA to put a 'footprint' in outer space in a way the agency hasn't in 45 years.

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President Signs New Space Policy Directive

President Signs New Space Policy Directive

President Donald Trump is sending astronauts back to the Moon. The president Monday signed at the White House Space Policy Directive 1, a change in national space policy that provides for a U.S.-led, integrated program with private sector partners for a human return to the Moon, followed by missions to Mars and beyond.

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Major cause of dementia discovered

Major cause of dementia discovered

An international team of scientists have confirmed the discovery of a major cause of dementia, with important implications for possible treatment and diagnosis.

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Social phobia linked to autism and schizophrenia

Social phobia linked to autism and schizophrenia

New Swinburne research shows that people who find social situations difficult tend to have similar brain responses to those with schizophrenia or autism. The research, published in Psychiatry Research: Neuroimaging, found the areas of the brain that show increased response when exposed to unexpected speech sounds or ‘phonemes’ are associated with the processing of social information and linked with spectrum conditions such as autism or schizophrenia.

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Nasa to hold major press conference after telescope discovers something in space

Nasa to hold major press conference after telescope discovers something in space

Nasa is holding a major press conference after its planet-hunting telescope made a new breakthrough. The Kepler space telescope is operated by Nasa to discover other earths, some of which could support life. And its latest discovery is significant enough to bring with it a huge press conference.

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Universities spend millions on accessing results of publicly funded research

Universities spend millions on accessing results of publicly funded research

Universities in New Zealand spent close to US$15 million on subscriptions to just four publishers in 2016, data that was only released following a request to the Ombudsman.

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Urban Air Pollution Negates Health Benefits Of A Long Walk On City Streets

Urban Air Pollution Negates Health Benefits Of A Long Walk On City Streets

Air pollution on city streets can wipe out the beneficial health effects of exercise for people aged 60 and older, according to a new study led by scientists at Duke University and Imperial College London. Short-term exposure to traffic exhaust in built-up areas like New York City’s Broadway or Chicago’s Michigan Avenue can cancel out the positive effects a two-hour walk would otherwise have on the hearts and lungs of these older adults, according to the findings, published Tuesday in medical journal The Lancet.

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Monday, 11 December 2017

Free online psychology & neuroscience courses.

Free online psychology & neuroscience courses.

Get free psychology courses online from the world's leading universities. You can download these audio & video courses straight to your computer or mp3 player. For more online courses, visit our complete collection of free courses.

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The 'utopian' currency Bitcoin is a potentially catastrophic energy guzzler

The 'utopian' currency Bitcoin is a potentially catastrophic energy guzzler

Bitcoin has been viewed as a liberating path out of the corporate monetary system. But the process of 'mining' the cryptocurrency is a massive energy drain - and potential environmental disaster.

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Canadian-backed company's biotech breakthrough: tiny, beating hearts made from stem cells

Canadian-backed company's biotech breakthrough: tiny, beating hearts made from stem cells

Beating rhythmically and suspended in a jar, tiny heart-like structures made from stem cells are the latest innovation for drug testing — technology that has the potential to save pharmaceutical companies money. They're developed by Canadian-backed biotech firm Novoheart Ltd., which hopes to revolutionize how drugs make it to market.

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Astronomers to Check Mysterious Interstellar Object for Signs of Technology

Astronomers to Check Mysterious Interstellar Object for Signs of Technology

Russian billionaire Yuri Milner says if the space rock 'Oumuamua is giving off radio signals, his team will be able to detect them—and they may get the results within days. 

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Scientists trace 2002 Sars virus to colony of cave-dwelling bats in China

Scientists trace 2002 Sars virus to colony of cave-dwelling bats in China

Scientists have pinpointed a population of virus-infected bats, which they have linked to the mysterious outbreak of Sars disease 15 years ago. Hundreds died as the virus spread around the globe but its source was never traced.

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Excitement as trial shows Huntington's drug could slow progress of disease

Excitement as trial shows Huntington's drug could slow progress of disease

Hailed as ‘enormously significant’, results in groundbreaking trial are first time a drug has been shown to suppress effects of Huntington’s genetic mutation

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Nobel Peace Prize winners warn nuclear war is 'a tantrum away'

Nobel Peace Prize winners warn nuclear war is 'a tantrum away'

Mankind's destruction caused by a nuclear war is just one "impulsive tantrum away", the winners of the Nobel Peace Prize, the International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons (ICAN), warned on Sunday as the United States and North Korea exchange threats over the nation's nuclear tests. "Will it be the end of nuclear weapons, or will it be the end of us?" ICAN head Beatrice Fihn said in a speech after receiving the peace prize on behalf of the anti-nuclear group.

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'Prevent the end of us': Nuclear powers urged to ban the bomb

'Prevent the end of us': Nuclear powers urged to ban the bomb

The leader of the group that won this year's Nobel Peace Prize has urged nuclear nations to adopt a United Nations treaty banning atomic weapons in order to prevent "the end of us". The International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons (ICAN) was awarded the prize by a Nobel committee that cited the spread of nuclear weapons and the growing risk of an atomic war.

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The 11 Weirdest Animal Stories of 2017

The 11 Weirdest Animal Stories of 2017

From cannibalistic chimps to a new species of purple frog, here are our picks for Mother Nature’s best gifts of 2017. By Christine Dell’Amore. [Autoplay]

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Industrial Revolution left a damaging psychological ‘imprint’ on today’s populations

Industrial Revolution left a damaging psychological ‘imprint’ on today’s populations

Study finds people in areas historically reliant on coal-based industries have more ‘negative’ personality traits. Psychologists suggest this cognitive die may well have been cast at the dawn of the industrial age. People living in the former industrial heartlands of England and Wales are more disposed to negative emotions such as anxiety and depressive moods, more impulsive and more likely to struggle with planning and self-motivation, according to a new study of almost 400,000 personality tests.

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Meet Your New Boss: An Algorithm

Meet Your New Boss: An Algorithm

Traditional employers like General Electric are using artificial intelligence and other elements of the work-on-demand business model to manage traditional full-time workforces.

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Global championship of driverless cars

Global championship of driverless cars

Autonomous cars compete in driving algorithms on Formula E tracks

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Humanity Has Peaked And It's All Downhill From Here, Says Study

Humanity Has Peaked And It's All Downhill From Here, Says Study

Sorry, folks. This is it. If new research is correct, this could be the best it's going to get for humanity in terms of physical fitness. According to the paper, humans have biological limitations - and there may be no more improvements for the sp

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Iter nuclear fusion project reaches key halfway milestone

Iter nuclear fusion project reaches key halfway milestone

An international project to generate energy from nuclear fusion has reached a key milestone, with half of the infrastructure required now built. Bernard Bigot, the director-general of the International Thermonuclear Experimental Reactor (Iter), the main facility of which is based in southern France, said the completion of half of the project meant the effort was back on track, after a series of difficulties. This would mean that power could be produced from the experimental site from 2025.

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Bitcoin could cost us our clean-energy future

Bitcoin could cost us our clean-energy future

The digital currency is slowing our effort to achieve a rapid transition away from fossil fuels.

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Sunday, 10 December 2017

NASA to Unveil Exoplanet Discovery Thursday

NASA to Unveil Exoplanet Discovery Thursday

NASA is about to announce some more big alien-planet news. The agency will hold a news conference Thursday (Dec. 14) at 1 p.m. EST (1800 GMT) to reveal a new discovery made by its prolific Kepler space telescope, which has been searching the heavens for alien worlds since 2009. Space.com will air the briefing live, courtesy of NASA.

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Water music of Vanuatu

Water music of Vanuatu

Female musicians from the northern islands of Vanuatu use the water surface as an instrument to create a variety of unique sounds.

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New form of matter ‘excitonium’ discovered

New form of matter ‘excitonium’ discovered

Scientists have proven the existence of new form of matter called excitonium - which was first theorised almost 50 years ago. Researchers from University of California and University of Illinois studied non-doped crystals of a transition metal— dichalcogenide titanium diselenide (1T-TiSe2). Excitonium exhibits macroscopic quantum phenomena, like a superconductor and is made up of excitons, particles that are formed in a very strange quantum mechanical pairing.

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Mars atmosphere well protected from the solar wind

Mars atmosphere well protected from the solar wind

Despite the absence of a global Earth-like magnetic dipole, the Martian atmosphere is well protected from the effects of the solar wind on ion escape from the planet. New research shows this using measurements from the Swedish particle instrument ASPERA-3 on the Mars Express spacecraft. The results have recently been presented in a doctoral thesis by Robin Ramstad, Swedish Institute of Space Physics and Umeå University, Sweden.

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The Virus That Kills Drug-Resistant Superbugs

The Virus That Kills Drug-Resistant Superbugs

Antibiotic-resistant bacteria kill 23,000 people every year in the United States, and the United Nations estimates that by 2050, more people will die from antibiotic-resistant infections than currently die from cancer. Discovered 100 years ago, bacteriophages—viruses that eat bacteria—might provide an answer. But phage therapy has only been approved for use on humans in the former Soviet Union. Motherboard travels to Georgia to meet the doctors using phage therapy today, and meets with the American scientists trying to normalize phage therapy in the United States.

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9 robot animals built from nature's best-kept secrets.

9 robot animals built from nature's best-kept secrets.

Millions of years of evolution have allowed animals to develop some elegant and highly efficient solutions to problems like locomotion, flight, and dexterity. Here’s a rundown of nine recent robots that borrow from nature and why.

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Scientists have created orange vitamin-A rich bananas that could save hundreds of thousands of children

Scientists have created orange vitamin-A rich bananas that could save hundreds of thousands of children

Scientists in Australia have created golden-orange-fleshed bananas rich in pro-vitamin A that could save the lives of hundreds of thousands of children who die from a deficiency of this vitamin every year. The “biofortified” bananas were developed by taking genes from a species of banana from Papua New Guinea, which is high in provitamin A but only produces small bunches, and combined it with that of a Cavendish banana, the high-yielding species most people are familiar with. Provitamin A is converted by the body into vitamin A.

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Archaeologists discover 2 ancient tombs in Egypt's Luxor

Archaeologists discover 2 ancient tombs in Egypt's Luxor

Egypt on Saturday announced the discovery of two small ancient tombs in the southern city Luxor dating back some 3,500 years and hoped it will help the country's efforts to revive its ailing tourism sector. The tombs, located on the west bank of the river Nile in a cemetery for noblemen and top officials, are the latest discovery in the city famed for its temples and tombs spanning different dynasties of ancient Egyptian history.

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Scientists just transferred quantum data between two different materials in major breakthrough

Scientists just transferred quantum data between two different materials in major breakthrough

For the first time ever, scientists have just transferred quantum data between a solid crystal and a cold atomic gas, using photons. The new research can take us a step closer to developing functional quantum computers and even a quantum internet. A team of researchers at the The Institute of Photonic Sciences (The Institut de Ciències Fotòniques or IFCO) in Spain achieved a hybrid quantum network link by passing the data between two types of storage "nodes" that were placed in different laboratories.

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Business Insider: How the Boeing jet no one wanted became the plane airlines scour the planet for

Business Insider: How the Boeing jet no one wanted became the plane airlines scour the planet for

On May 23, 2006, Boeing delivered the last two 717-200 jetliners to customers at its Long Beach, California factory. It marked to the end of a program filled with promise but that had ultimately failed to capture the interest of airlines. Even Boeing's well-oiled sales operation could only manage to muster up 156 orders for the little 100-seat, short-haul-airliner. Currently, the 717 is operated primarily by four airlines; Delta, Hawaiian, Qantas, and Spanish low-cost carrier Volotea. With 91 of the planes in its fleet, Delta is the by far the type's largest operator.

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Saturday, 9 December 2017

UN signals 'end' of throwaway plastic

UN signals 'end' of throwaway plastic

The end of the era of throwaway plastic has been signalled by UN environment ministers meeting in Kenya. They signed off a document stating that the flow of plastic into the ocean must be stopped. Scientists welcomed the statement, but were unhappy the agreement was only based in principle, with no firm targets or timetables.

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Transient

Transient

Dustin Farrell

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