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Poopipedia

from Gizmodo

What Your Poop Is Trying to Tell You

by Andrew Tarantola

What the hell is that? Seriously, did that just come out of you or did it crawl up the pipe? If you’ve just exorcised a poo that looks nothing like what you’ve eaten recently, it could be a sign of a serious illness. It could also just be that curry from last Wednesday, so it’s good to know what to look for.

What Goes Into Your Dookie

Human feces goes by many names but is a universal byproduct of the human digestive tract. Yes even your girlfriend poops, even if you’ve never actually seen her do it. Stool is the body’s semi-solid waste product and is comprised of everything that the body could not absorb or otherwise had to expel. Which is to say “crap.”

This includes not just food waste, but also more heinous sounding stuff like dead blood cells, bile, and gastrointestinal bacteria, all covered in a mucus sheath that helps it slide out. Anytime you’ve strained and struggled to pass something that feels not only uncomfortable but actually impossible, you’ve experienced the discomfort of your body not producing enough mucus. It generally means you are dehydrated, so drink some water.

[ click to continue reading at Gizmodo ]

Posted on March 21, 2017 by Editor

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Gravity Re-done

from New Scientist

Rules of attraction: Why it’s time to rethink how gravity works

Fresh suspicions have reopened the case against dark matter, forcing a fundamental rethink of the familiar force that keeps our feet on the ground

By Mark Anderson

Gravity artworkJulien Pacaud

GRAVITY is supposed to be reliable. It’s the familiar force that keeps our feet on the ground and Earth’s atmosphere from hurtling into space. On grander scales, it has shaped the evolution of the universe. What a shame, then, that it sometimes lets you down. To square the whirligig rotations of galaxies and galaxy clusters with our picture of gravity, we have to invent a whole new form of matter that no one has ever seen: dark matter. To explain why the universe’s expansion is accelerating, we have to conjure up an equally mysterious essence known as dark energy.

But what if we never really knew gravity at all? What if out there, beyond where we can easily keep our eye on it, the universal force doesn’t stick to the rules?

It’s a heretical idea, if not an entirely novel one. Now though, renewed scrutiny of galaxies and surprises from the realm of quantum information theory are reinvigorating the quest to rethink gravity. Radical ideas are emerging that amount to a fundamental transformation of how we understand space-time – and what gravity really is. In this picture, dark matter ceases to exist. And dark energy, rather than being something that works against gravity, might be part of what creates it.

[ click to continue reading at New Scientist ]

Posted on March 18, 2017 by Editor

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Space War Coming

from The Washington Post

War in space is becoming a real threat

By David Ignatius

Among the memorabilia in Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. David Goldfein’s office is a fragment of the Wright brothers’ first airplane. But the most intriguing items may be two small plastic satellites on sticks that can be maneuvered to simulate a dogfight in space.

Space is now a potential battle zone, Goldfein explains in an interview. The Air Force wants to ensure “space superiority,” which he says means “freedom from attack and freedom to maneuver.”

If you think cyberwar raises some tricky issues, get your mind around this next big threat worrying the Pentagon. Similar problems exist in both the cyber and space domains: U.S. commercial and military interests are interwoven but deeply suspicious of each other; the technologies are borderless but are being weaponized by hostile nation-states; and attacks on satellites and other systems may be invisible and difficult to attribute.

Today’s digital world hangs on the satellite networks that invisibly circle the globe. They’re the wiring system for many commercial and military operations down below, and they’re highly vulnerable to attack. Russia has jammed GPS reception in Ukraine; China has hacked U.S. weather satellites; North Korea has jammed signals over the demilitarized zone.

The cloud overhead is thickening: As of mid-2016, the Union of Concerned Scientists counted 1,419 satellites orbiting the globe, including 576 from the United States, 181 from China and 140 from Russia. More than half are in low Earth orbit; most of the rest are geostationary, about 22,000 miles from Earth. Roughly 350 satellites, or 25 percent of the total, are for military use. At least 12 nations now have space-launch capability.

[ click to continue reading at WaPo ]

Posted on March 16, 2017 by Editor

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Save The Banana!

from WIRED

Humans Made the Banana Perfect—But Soon, It’ll Be Gone

by Rob Dunn

GETTY IMAGES

ON A PLATE, a single banana seems whimsical—yellow and sweet, contained in its own easy-to-open peel. It is a charming breakfast luxury as silly as it is delicious and ever-present. Yet when you eat a banana the flavor on your tongue has complex roots, equal parts sweetness and tragedy.

In 1950, most bananas were exported from Central America. Guatemala in particular was a key piece of a vast empire of banana plantations run by the American-owned United Fruit Company. United Fruit Company paid Guatemala’s government modest sums in exchange for land. With the land, United Fruit planted bananas and then did as it pleased. It exercised absolute control not only over what workers did but also over how and where they lived. In addition, it controlled transportation, constructing, for example, the first railway in the country, one that was designed to be as useless as possible for the people of Guatemala and as useful as possible for transporting bananas. The company’s profits were immense. In 1950, its revenues were twice the gross domestic product of the entire country of Guatemala. Yet while the United Fruit Company invested greatly in its ability to move bananas, little was invested in understanding the biology of bananas themselves.

[ click to continue reading at WIRED ]

Posted on March 15, 2017 by Editor

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Crystallizing Time

from NATURE

The quest to crystallize time

Bizarre forms of matter called time crystals were supposed to be physically impossible. Now they’re not.

by Elizabeth Gibney

Nik Spencer/Nature

Christopher Monroe spends his life poking at atoms with light. He arranges them into rings and chains and then massages them with lasers to explore their properties and make basic quantum computers. Last year, he decided to try something seemingly impossible: to create a time crystal.

The name sounds like a prop from Doctor Who, but it has roots in actual physics. Time crystals are hypothetical structures that pulse without requiring any energy — like a ticking clock that never needs winding. The pattern repeats in time in much the same way that the atoms of a crystal repeat in space. The idea was so challenging that when Nobel prizewinning physicist Frank Wilczek proposed the provocative concept1 in 2012, other researchers quickly proved there was no way to create time crystals.

But there was a loophole — and researchers in a separate branch of physics found a way to exploit the gap. Monroe, a physicist at the University of Maryland in College Park, and his team used chains of atoms they had constructed for other purposes to make a version of a time crystal2 (see ‘How to create a time crystal’). “I would say it sort of fell in our laps,” says Monroe.

[ click to continue reading at NATURE ]

Posted on March 14, 2017 by Editor

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Money Macks

Posted on March 9, 2017 by Editor

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Buy This Dude’s Book – “The Pilgrim’s Ladder”

from KRCR

Climber reveals survival tale after 2,000 ft. fall from mountain

By: Kelli Saam

PARADISE, Calif. – A mountain climber from Butte County survived two days in the snow after falling about 2,000 feet from a mountain summit in Colorado. Doctors in Colorado told his family it’s a fall no one would be expected to survive.

Ryan Montoya, 23, of Paradise, is recovering in a Denver hospital. He went missing Sunday while climbing alone trying to summit Pyramid Peak, a 14,000 foot peak near Aspen, Colorado.

Montoya’s mother said he was about 40 feet from the summit when the ice he stepped on collapsed, sending him sliding down the mountain. She shared what he told her about how he survived.

Montoya slid an estimated 1,500-2,000 feet down East face of the mountain, later telling his mother he fell long enough “to do a lot of talking, thinking and yelling all the way down.”

His mother said two weeks ago he published a book available on Amazon. The book is called ‘The Pilgrim’s Ladder.’  It is about climbing, life, the search for beauty and truth, with some philosophical musings. Montoya is an avid climber and has traveled to the mountains of Nepal.

On facebook, his mother quipped “It would be nice if he sold enough copies for pay for a new climbing helmet!”

[ click to read full article at KRCR ]
[ click to purchase Ryan’s book at Amazon ]

Posted on March 8, 2017 by Editor

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Life Keeps Getting Older

from Science News

Oldest microfossils suggest life thrived on Earth about 4 billion years ago

Ancient microbes were spewed from deep-sea hydrothermal vents, study claims

BY MEGHAN ROSEN

hematiteSIGNS OF LIFE  In rocks left over from ancient hydrothermal vents, these microscopic tubes of hematite, an ore of iron, may be remnants of early microbes. / M. DODD

Tiny, iron-rich fossils exhumed from the depths of an ancient ocean could reveal the cradle of life.

These micrometer-scale structures are probably remnants of microorganisms that once lived amidst ancient hydrothermal vents, researchers suggest March 1 in Nature.

“In a nutshell, what we’ve found are the oldest microfossils on Earth,” says study coauthor Matthew Dodd, a biogeochemist at University College London. The rocks that hold the fossils came from Quebec and date to somewhere between 4.28 billion and 3.77 billion years old — when Earth was still a baby. The next oldest microfossils reported are just under 3.5 billion years old, though their validity has been debated (SN: 2/8/14, p.16).

If Dodd’s structures truly are remnants of microbes, “it’s fantastic. I love it,” says astrobiologist Martin Van Kranendonk of the University of New South Wales in Sydney. But he’s not convinced. In fact, he says, “there’s just not definitive proof that any of the textures or the minerals or features they have is unique of life.”

[ click to continue reading at Science News ]

Posted on March 5, 2017 by Editor

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Space Junk Threat

from Bloomberg

Earth’s Orbiting Junkyard Threatens the Space Economy

Rocket and satellite litter is endangering private space commerce. Enter the cosmic debris tracking industry.

by Justin Bachman

A depiction of orbital debris in low-earth orbit. NASA

You never see it in those lovely NASA pictures of Earth, but the space surrounding our pale blue dot is a cosmic junkyard. Debris abounds, moving at ludicrous speeds and presenting plenty of hassles for satellite operators who do business in orbit.

This pollution poses an existential risk for greater commercialization of space, from the grand ambitions of Elon Musk’s SpaceX Corp. and Jeff Bezos’s Blue Origin LLC to other players who see promising futures for an array of space activities, from tourism, to imaging, to pharmaceutical research.

In low-earth orbit, space debris travels at velocities approaching 5 miles per second—roughly 18,000 mph—which gives even the tiniest bits of junk enormous destructive energy. A 1-centimeter-wide aluminum sphere in low-earth orbit packs the kinetic equivalent of a safe moving at 60 mph. If it hits your satellite, well, that could ruin the whole day.

Aggregate too much debris in certain areas, and low-earth orbit becomes an increasingly difficult and far costlier environment for commercial companies. Today, satellite operators periodically maneuver their birds to avoid object strikes just as NASA must do with the International Space Station. The key, however, is knowing what’s headed your way.

[ click to continue reading at Bloomberg ]

Posted on March 4, 2017 by Editor

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Look down, not up.

from Express

What is this 2.5mile long object moving under the Pacific Ocean?

A MASSIVE circular structure has been spotted slowly crawling across the Pacific sea floor 3000 feet below the surface.

By PAUL BALDWIN

The object, which observers say looks man-made rather than natural, is estimated to measure more than 2.5miles in diameter and is surrounded by what look like massive tank tracks.

Other observers suggest the tracks may be trenches or fortifications.

But the most baffling thing is the circular object which appears to have left a 41 mile track in its wake as it trundled across the floor of the North Pacific off the Californian coast .

The object was brought to the attention of alien investigators SecureTeam10

Tyler, who helps run the internet investigations site, said: “There are certain areas of the ocean that are obviously blurred out. But what better place would there be for another race or another group of beings to hide than in the deep of our own oceans?

“While we are up staring at the sky all day and worrying about what’s up there we have 90 per cent of our oceans unchartered.

[ click to continue reading at Express ]

Posted on March 2, 2017 by Editor

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Stray meteor nearly wipes out Dallas

from the Dallas News

Thunderous meteor rattles West Texas sky with sonic boom

by Liz Farmer

A booming meteor rocketed over Texas this weekend, rattling houses with a sonic boom, according to reports.

Authorities in West Texas and beyond received calls about possible explosions Sunday night.

It turned out to be a very bright meteor, according to the American Meteor Society.

About 40 people reported on the nonprofit group’s website that they’d seen the fiery meteor in Texas, Oklahoma, Kansas and Colorado about 9 p.m.

Deputy Fire Marshal Nathan Hines said he heard what sounded like thunder in Snyder, about 80 miles west of Abilene, the Lubbock Avalanche-Journal reports.

“You could see a flash, like if an electrical transformer flashes at night, up to our northwest,” Hines said. “But it was cloudy here — kinda rainy — so we didn’t actually see any kind of fireball or anything.”

[ click to continue reading at Dallas News ]

Posted on March 1, 2017 by Editor

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Musk To The Moon

from SPACE.com

SpaceX to Fly Passengers On Private Trip Around the Moon in 2018

By Calla Cofield

SpaceX will fly two private citizens on a trip around the moon in 2018, the company’s founder Elon Musk announced Monday (Feb. 27).

The private spaceflight company will use its Falcon Heavy rocket to send the two paying passengers into space aboard one of the company’s Dragon spacecraft. The two private citizens, who have not yet been named, approached SpaceX about taking a trip around the moon, and have “already paid a significant deposit” for the cost of the mission, according to a statement from the company. The names of the two individuals will be announced later, pending the result of initial health tests to ensure their fitness for the mission, the statement said. [SpaceX’s Crew Dragon Spacecraft in Pictures]

“Like the Apollo astronauts before them, these individuals will travel into space carrying the hopes and dreams of all humankind, driven by the universal human spirit of exploration,” SpaceX representatives said in the statement.

The two passengers will be the only people on board what is expected to be about a weeklong trip around the moon, according to Musk, who spoke with reporters during a phone conference today.

[ click to continue reading at SPACE.com ]

Posted on February 27, 2017 by Editor

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UFO Hunter Copiously Vomited Black Fluid Before Death

from The Mirror

Police to quiz girlfriend over British UFO conspiracy theorist’s mystery death after he vomited two litres of black fluid

BY BRADLEY JOLLY

A science fiction writer will be quizzed by police on suspicion of killing a British conspiracy theorist who died suddenly on her sofa.

Max Spiers, 39, sought to expose government cover-ups and investigated UFO sightings — after, his mum says, he saw “the darker side” as a child.

The dad-of-two, from Canterbury, Kent, visited Poland to speak at a conference before he died at partner Monika Duval’s home 24 hours later in July 2016.

He vomited two litres of a black fluid before he died, his inquest heard in December.

Now prosecutors have opened an investigation into involuntary manslaughter and want to speak to his girlfriend, who was present at the time of Mr Spiers’s death.

[ click to continue reading at The Mirror ]

Posted on February 25, 2017 by Editor

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Noah California

from The San Francisco Chronicle

Is California overdue for biblical, catastrophic flooding? History says it could be

By Katie Dowd

Sacramento underwater due to floods in an 1862 rendering that ran in local papers.

Californians are always talking about the coming Big One, but what if the big one is a flood, not an earthquake?

With this recent cavalcade of rainstorms, there’s been renewed interest in a 2011 USGS study on the so-called “ARkStorm.” In it, the USGS lays out a case for a hypothetical “megastorm,” one that could cause up to $725 billion in damage and impact a quarter of California’s homes.

The ARkStorm would bring with it catastrophic rains, hurricane-force winds and hundreds of landslides. Central Valley flooding alone is projected to span 300 miles.

If that sounds far-fetched, there’s historic precedent: Geological evidence indicates that California endures massive flooding caused by atmospheric rivers every 100-200 years. And settlers who moved to California after the Gold Rush soon found what the native population had known for centuries: Northern California is prime flooding territory.

The most prominent example is the Great Flood of 1862, a natural disaster that still ranks as the largest flood in the history of the American West. Between Dec. 1861 and Jan. 1862, the West Coast received a near-constant deluge of rain. Sacramento received a stunning 23 inches in that period, turning the city into a watery ghost town.

“The people are leaving the city as rats would a sinking ship” the Red Bluff Independent wrote on Jan. 14.

[ click to continue reading at SFGate.com ]

Posted on February 13, 2017 by Editor

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Apocalypse at Oroville

from The Sacramento Bee

Oroville Dam’s untested emergency spillway activated. Flows to continue ‘40 to 56 hours’

BY DALE KASLER

Water began pouring over the emergency spillway at Oroville Dam early Saturday for the first time in its 48-year history. State officials continued to say they don’t expect the situation to result in flooding in the town of Oroville or other communities downstream.

Unable to release enough water from the dam’s heavily damaged main spillway, officials with the California Department of Water Resources announced that water from the storm-swollen reservoir started flowing over the adjacent emergency spillway at around 8 a.m. Department spokesman Doug Carlson said water was pouring over the emergency structure in what initially was a steady, relatively gentle flow.

[ click to continue reading at SacBee.com ]

Posted on February 12, 2017 by Editor

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They’re Beginning To Wander

from CBS News

Army drone missing from Arizona found in Colorado

A drone like the one that disappeared is seen in this image provided by the U.S. Army / U.S. ARMY/CBS DENVER

DENVER — An Army drone that disappeared on a training flight in southern Arizona has been found about 600 miles away in Colorado, and the military is trying to figure out how it got there.

Officials at Fort Huachuca, Arizona, say a hiker found the $1.5 million Shadow drone stuck in a tree in the mountains west of Denver Thursday. It was missing a wing.

Soldiers lost contact with the drone at Fort Huachuca nine days earlier. A search failed to find it, and the Army concluded it probably crashed and disintegrated in the area.

[ click to continue reading at CBS Denver ]

Posted on February 10, 2017 by Editor

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The Bombing Of The L.A. Times

from KCET

Infernal Machines: The Bombing of the Los Angeles Times and L.A.’s First ‘Crime of the Century’

by Hadley Meares

timesbombing.jpgBombed-out building of the Los Angeles Times at First Street and Broadway, 1910 | Security Pacific National Bank Collection, Los Angeles Public Library

It never fails to astound me. The tales we remember collectively. And the stories we forget. I first learned of the 1910 bombing of the Los Angeles Times on a walk around Hollywood Forever Cemetery. There, next to graves of the Otises and Chandlers, is a grand monument to “Our martyred men,” the 20 employees of the Los Angeles Times who had lost their lives in the early morning hours of Saturday, October 1, 1910. There is a list of the deceased, fourteen of whose remains are buried beneath the monument. They had been hard at work at the Times’ headquarters, often called “The Fortress,” on the northeast corner of First and Broadway, when a series of dry blasts starting at 1:07 a.m. shook downtown Los Angeles to its foundations.

When I was growing up my father ran a paper and a printing press. I spent many happy nighttime hours at the press — running in and out of the revolving doors of the dark room and climbing on the great rolls of newspaper. I can still remember the smell of the ink, the clanging rhythm of the insert machine, and the dark ink smudges on the pressmen’s shirts. There was a sense of camaraderie among the folks who worked at the paper — the odd hours, the stress of deadlines, and the constant noise. Perhaps these memories are why this story so resonates with me.

At the current home of The Los Angeles Times on Spring Street, faded and half empty, there are few references to the bombing. There is a brief blurb about it in a historical timeline exhibit in the lobby. There is the cornerstone laid in 1934 by Harry Chandler, which contains a copper box with a list of the dead and other mementos. The words “True Industrial Freedom” are etched into the building’s façade, a reference lost to most casual pedestrians.

Across the street is an empty lot where “The Fortress” and its immediate successor had once approximately stood. The day I visit, there is a faint smell of urine and trash, and the detritus of the city clogs the lot’s chain link fence. Weathered signs proclaim that the block will soon be a city park, and flowering bushes have already reclaimed much of the area. Stray sheets of newspapers blow through high, rustling weeds. The ruins of a later government building are visible, and a desk and chair sit on ghostly guard at the top of a set of stairs overgrown with weeds. Rumor has it that the future park’s retaining walls were made with the debris of “The Fortress,” but it is only a rumor. The truth is there’s nothing much left of the disaster that once gripped the nation and dramatically capped off decades of class warfare and labor struggle. There are just scattered pieces of remembrance, here and there.

[ click to continue reading at KCET ]

Posted on February 9, 2017 by Editor

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2017 BS32

from The Sun

NOT SO FAR AWAY – Asteroid 2017 BS32 will zoom past Earth TONIGHT in fourth close shave of the year

Scientists spotted space rock from ‘potentially hazardous’ Aten asteroid group on Monday

BY MARGI MURPHY

Asteroids generally have an irregular appearance due to their small sizePA.PRESS ASSOCIATION

SCIENTISTS have just spotted an asteroid which will brush past Earth this evening.

Asteroid 2017 BS32 will fly past at around 161,280 km from our planet, according to stargazers.

2017 BS32  is expected to hurtle past at around 8.30pm Thursday.

The space rock – estimated to be around 82ft in size – belongs to the Aten group of asteroids.

Several of the thousands of Atens have been classed as “potentially hazardous” because of their proximity to Earth.

It was only spotted on Monday by astronomers and is the fourth Near-Earth Asteroid to pass this year, according to eagle-eyed asteroid watchers.

[ click to continue reading at The Sun ]

Posted on February 8, 2017 by Editor

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Spin

from WIRED

THE MIND-BENDING PHYSICS OF A TENNIS BALL’S SPIN

by 

GETTY IMAGES

TENNIS HAS BEEN called the game of inches, of kings, of poets, of love, of errors, of endurance, of a lifetime. But those are mostly metaphors. Really, tennis is the game of spin.

Watch Novak Djokovic send arcing yellow streaks from beyond his baseline to the bleeding edge of his opponent’s backcourt. Watch Rafael Nadal’s ground strokes cross a foot or more above the net, then drop like tactical bombs to the competition’s ad corner. Watch Serena’s opponents go crosseyed staring down her barrel-rolling 126 mph first serves. Go to any court in any city and you will find players at every level squatting, twisting, grunting—trying to find that spin.

It’s fairly easy to figure out what spin does: It wins tennis matches. How it works—or rather, how it’s created—on the other hand, is about as complicated a physics question you can set about solving without invoking subatomic particles. The variables include squishy balls, stiff racquets, taut strings, thrusting knees, twisting hips, swinging shoulders, and rotating elbows. But all those mechanics are made possible by a pair of equipment innovations.

[ click to continue reading at WIRED ]

Posted on February 7, 2017 by Editor

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More Moon Mining

from CNBC

Billionaire closer to mining the moon for trillions of dollars in riches

Moon Express, the first private company in history to receive government permission to travel beyond Earth’s orbit, announced Tuesday that it raised another $20 million in private equity financing to fund its maiden lunar mission to take place in late 2017. This brings the total amount of private investment to $45 million from investors that include Peter Thiel‘s Founders Fund, Collaborative Fund and Autodesk.

What may have added impetus to investor interest in Moon Express is President Trump’s picks for the NASA transition team — Charles Miller and Chris Shank — and the leading candidate to become the next NASA administrator, GOP Rep. Jim Bridenstine. All support commercial space ventures and manned exploration — including lunar missions.

If successful, the new MX-1 lunar lander from Moon Express would not only win the $20 million Google Lunar XPRIZE, it would also help jump-start a new era of space exploration. Up until now, only government-funded missions from the United States, China and Russia have landed on the moon.

[ click to continue reading at CNBC ]

Posted on February 6, 2017 by Editor

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Leaping Sans The ‘chute

Posted on February 5, 2017 by Editor

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Skankin’ Dogs

from BBC News

Dogs ‘prefer reggae and soft rock’ to other music genres, research suggests

Dogs appear to prefer reggae and soft rock over other genres of music, according to researchers.

The Scottish SPCA and the University of Glasgow have published a paper which suggests music affects dogs’ behaviour.

Researchers played a variety of music to dogs at a rehoming centre in Dumbarton and assessed physiological and behavioural changes.

Prof Neil Evans said the most positive behaviour changes were seen when the dogs were played reggae and soft rock.

All though these genres stood out, he said the study suggested each dog had its own music tastes.

Prof Evans said: “Overall, the response to different genres was mixed highlighting the possibility that like humans, our canine friends have their own individual music preferences.”

The dogs were played five different genres of music: soft rock, Motown, pop, reggae and classical.

The study suggested that dogs spent “significantly more time lying and significantly less time standing” when music was played, regardless of genre.

By measuring the dogs’ heart rate, researchers said they showed a decrease in stress levels when played music – particularly when it was soft rock or reggae.

[ click to continue reading at BBC ]

Posted on February 4, 2017 by Editor

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Breaking Down Reality

from New Scientist 

Essence of reality: Hunting the universe’s most basic ingredient

Drill down past molecules, atoms, and fundamental particles and where do you end up? We might finally be about to find out

By Anil Ananthaswamy

face artworkHarriet Lee-Merrion

STRETCH out your hand. Ever wonder what it’s made of? The skin masks flesh, blood and bone sure enough. But those tissues are made of molecules, which are made of atoms. And atoms are made of electrons, protons and neutrons. It’s only when we drill down to fundamental particles and energy that we reach bedrock.

Or do we? The history of physics certainly gives us pause. For more than 300 years we have been asking ourselves about the true nature of reality – what, ultimately, stuff is made of. Time and again, we have found another layer beneath what we thought was the lowest. What’s more, with each new depth we plumb, our old understanding of reality is swept aside.

Now we could be on the cusp of another revolution, thanks to efforts to reconcile our two most successful but incompatible theories of reality. Not particles, energy, space,time or anything else we might think of as fundamental truly is: instead, the essence of reality is a thing whose workings we’re only just beginning to grasp.

Every age has had its own list of reality’s basic elements. For the philosopher Democritus, everything was made of atoms. For Aristotle, it was earth, air, water and fire. In the late 19th century, all the talk was of the luminiferous ether, a medium which was thought to carry light.

For most of the past three centuries, however, Newton guided our thoughts on what all things are made of. He thought that reality had three elementary components: time, a cosmic clock ticking away in the background; particles with mass; and a space in

[ click to read at New Scientist ]

Posted on February 3, 2017 by Editor

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Boom Star Born

from The Telegraph

Spectacular collision of suns will create new star in night sky in 2022

by Sarah Knapton, science editor

At the beginning of the 3rd century civil war raged in Britain as the Roman emperor Septimius Severus sought to quell unrest in the north.

But unknown to the fighting cohorts and Caledonian tribes, high above their heads two stars were coming together in a huge cataclysmic explosion.

Now 1800 years later the light from that collision will finally arrive on Earth creating a new star in the night sky – dubbed the ‘Boom Star – in an incredibly rare event which is usually only spotted through telescopes.

Before their meeting the two stars were too dim to be seen by the naked eye, but in 2022, the newly formed Red Nova will burn so brightly in the constellation Cygnus that everyone will be able to to see it.

“For the first time in history, parents will be able to point to a dark spot in the sky and say, ‘Watch, kids, there’s a star hiding in there, but soon it’s going to light up,” said Dr Matt Walhout, dean for research and scholarship at Calvin College, Michigan, where the prediction was made.

[ click to continue reading at The Telegraph ]

Posted on January 30, 2017 by Editor

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The Great Gig In The Yoko

Posted on January 29, 2017 by Editor

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Prepare.

from The Guardian

Earth woefully unprepared for surprise comet or asteroid, Nasa scientist warns

Scientist recommended Nasa build an interceptor rocket, with periodic testing, alongside an observer spacecraft to stop catastrophic fireballs from hitting us

by  in San Francisco

Large and potentially dangerous asteroids and comets are extremely rare, scientists said – ‘But on the other hand they are the extinction-level events.’Large and potentially dangerous asteroids and comets are extremely rare, scientists said – ‘But on the other hand they are the extinction-level events.’ Photograph: Mopic / Alamy/Alamy

Humans are woefully unprepared for a surprise asteroid or comet, a Nasa scientist warned on Monday, at a presentation with nuclear scientists into how humans might deflect cosmic dangers hurtling toward Earth.

“The biggest problem, basically, is there’s not a hell of a lot we can do about it at the moment,” said Dr Joseph Nuth, a researcher with Nasa’s Goddard Space Flight Center.

Speaking at the annual meeting of American Geophysical Union, Nuth noted that large and potentially dangerous asteroids and comets are extremely rare, compared to the small objects that occasionally explode in Earth’s sky or strike its surface. “But on the other hand they are the extinction-level events, things like dinosaur killers, they’re 50 to 60 million years apart, essentially. You could say, of course, we’re due, but it’s a random course at that point.”

Comets follow distant paths from Earth but sometimes get knocked into the neighborhood. Nuth said that the Earth had “a close encounter” in 1996, when an aberrant comet flew into Jupiter, and then again in 2014, when a comet passed “within cosmic spitting distance of Mars”. That second comet was only discovered 22 months before its brush with a planet: not nearly enough time to launch a deflection mission, had it been on a course for Earth.

[ click to continue reading at The Guardian ]

Posted on January 27, 2017 by Editor

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NASA Hiding Things.

from The Independent IE

NASA ‘cuts live feed from international space station’ after mysterious object appears on camera

A self-styled alien hunter believes he has spotted a UFO during a live feed from the International Space Station.

John Craddick, from Wolverhampton in the UK, claims he has never seen anything like it before.

He told the Mirror: “I’ve been watching it [the live feed] for years but never seen any UFOs on it before.

“I was showing a friend how it worked at around 11.30pm when the feed cut out, and 35 seconds after it came back on, this object appeared.
“At first it was really small and then it grew bigger, lasting for about 25 seconds,” he said.

Mr Craddick claims that it must be alien because “nothing human can fly that high”

[ click to continue reading The Independent ]

Posted on January 25, 2017 by Editor

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Space Bling Psyche To Destroy World Economy

from The Daily Star

NASA to explore space rock worth so much money it would DESTROY world economy

THE American space agency is planning to send a spacecraft to a lump of metal in space worth quadrillions of dollars.

By Peter Truman

expensive space rockARIZONA STATE UNIVERSITY / BLING: The metal in the asteroid is worth more than the world’s economy

The 200km-wide asteroid is currently orbiting the sun between Mars and Jupiter.

It is made up of various precious metals such as iron, nickel and gold.

Experts believe the iron alone in the rock would be worth $10,000 quadrillion – enough to cause the world’s economy, worth $73.7 trillion, to promptly collapse altogether.

[ click to continue reading at The Daily Star ]

Posted on January 20, 2017 by Editor

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Facebook Kills Again

from CBS Denver

Maserati Driver Killed In Crash Remembered As ‘Wonderful Young Man’

By Kelly Werthmann

(credit: CBS)(credit: CBS)

HIGHLANDS RANCH, Colo. (CBS4) – Investigators have identified the driver of a Maserati killed in a crash in Douglas County.

Brandon Gionapoulos, 24, died when the blue Maserati he was driving landed in a ditch near C-470 and Lucent Boulevard. The mangled car was spotted by a passerby around 10 a.m. Saturday, but it’s not yet clear when the crash occurred.

Gionapoulos was a sales employee for the Mike Ward Maserati and Infiniti dealership and part of his job gave him access to the high-performance vehicles, authorities told CBS4. The dealership is located just about a mile from where the crash happened.

Hours before, around 7:25 p.m. Friday, Gionapoulos posted a Facebook Live video showing the dashboard of a Maserati. The short video shows the vehicle going from zero to 111 miles per hour in just about 20 seconds, and then ends.

[ click to read full article at CBS Denver ]

Posted on January 18, 2017 by Editor

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The Big Magnet

from New Scientist

The paradox powering Earth’s magnetic field

Our planet’s protective force field appears to be billions of years older than the mechanism that got it going. So what really made Earth magnetic?

By Marcus Woo

magnet leadEarth Science and Remote Sensing Unit, NASA Johnson Space Center

IT IS Earth’s silent defender. Without it, a constant onslaught of charged particles would bombard our planet’s atmosphere, changing its chemistry and disrupting our electronic infrastructure. Assuming any of that stuff was even there to disrupt. In Earth’s infancy, our guardian may have prevented the sun’s action from stripping away the protective bubble of gas surrounding our planet entirely, and so allowed life – and eventually intelligent life – to flourish.

This silent defender is Earth’s magnetic field, a force field whose source lies in the churning molten iron that forms the planet’s core. Electrons flowing through this fluid generate an electric current, which in turn creates a magnetic field. The core is a giant, self-sustaining electromagnet: a dynamo.

[ click to continue reading at New Scientist ]

Posted on January 17, 2017 by Editor

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Dark Matter Dying

from WIRED

The Man Who’s Trying to Kill Dark Matter

by NATALIE WOLCHOVER

The Dutch theoretical physicist Erik Verlinde argues that dark matter does not exist.ILVY NJIOKIKTJIEN/QUANTA MAGAZINE

FOR 80 YEARS, scientists have puzzled over the way galaxies and other cosmic structures appear to gravitate toward something they cannot see. This hypothetical “dark matter” seems to outweigh all visible matter by a startling ratio of five to one, suggesting that we barely know our own universe. Thousands of physicists are doggedly searching for these invisible particles.

But the dark matter hypothesis assumes scientists know how matter in the sky ought to move in the first place. At the end of 2016, a series of developments has revived a long-disfavored argument that dark matter doesn’t exist after all. In this view, no missing matter is needed to explain the errant motions of the heavenly bodies; rather, on cosmic scales, gravity itself works in a different way than either Isaac Newton or Albert Einstein predicted.

The latest attempt to explain away dark matter is a much-discussed proposal by Erik Verlinde, a theoretical physicist at the University of Amsterdam who is known for bold and prescient, if sometimes imperfect, ideas. In a dense 51-page paper posted online on Nov. 7, Verlinde casts gravity as a byproduct of quantum interactions and suggests that the extra gravity attributed to dark matter is an effect of “dark energy”—the background energy woven into the space-time fabric of the universe.

Instead of hordes of invisible particles, “dark matter is an interplay between ordinary matter and dark energy,” Verlinde said.

[ click to continue reading at WIRED ]

Posted on January 14, 2017 by Editor

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Nostrageddon

from The New York Post

500-year-old ‘Italian Nostradamus’ prediction says the world is about to end

By Natalie Keegan

500-year-old ‘Italian Nostradamus’ prediction says the world is about to end
Shutterstock

Could the end of the world be looming?

According to a prophecy from the “Italian Nostradamus,” Armageddon is just around the corner.

It all comes down to the snow that has been hitting Italian resort town Salento for the last two days.

Philosopher Matteo Tafuri, who lived between 1492 and 1582, warned that two consecutive days of snow in the town would lead to the apocalypse.

The region is known for its mild climate but has been left blanketed by icy falls of late.

Tafuri predicted: “Salento of palm trees and mild south wind, snowy Salento but never after the touch.

“Two days of snow, two flashes in the sky, I know the world ends, but I do not yearn.”

This week snow has blanketed some parts of southern Italy – leading some superstitious observers to believe Tafuri’s predictions will soon come true.

[ click to continue reading at NYPost.com ]

Posted on January 11, 2017 by Editor

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Chile Seeking Alpha Centauri

from Reuters via Yahoo! News

Giant telescope in Chile to seek habitable planets in Alpha Centauri

An artist’s impression shows the planet orbiting the star Alpha Centauri B, a member of the triple star system that is the closest to EarthThis artist’s impression shows the planet orbiting the star Alpha Centauri B, a member of the triple star system that is the closest to Earth in this image released on October 17, 2012. REUTERS/ESO/L. Calcada/N. Risinger

SANTIAGO (Reuters) – The European Southern Observatory’s Very Large Telescope in Chile will be modified in order to allow it to search more effectively for potentially habitable planets in Alpha Centauri, the nearest star system to Earth.

The ESO said it has signed a deal with Breakthrough Starshot, a venture that aims to deploy thousands of tiny spacecraft to travel to the system and send back pictures.

Starshot, which is backed by internet billionaire Yuri Milner and physicist Stephen Hawking, will provide funding to allow equipment on the Very Large Telescope that studies in the mid-infrared to be adapted to better detect faint planets, the ESO said in a statement on Monday.

The adaption will have the effect of reducing bright stellar light that drowns out relatively dim planets, improving the chances of finding them, it said.

[ click to continue reading at Yahoo! News ]

Posted on January 10, 2017 by Editor

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