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Mimi O’Donnell on Philip Seymour Hoffman

from Vogue

Mimi O’Donnell Reflects on the Loss of Philip Seymour Hoffman and the Devastation of Addiction

philip-seymour-hoffmanThe exceptional leading man Philip Seymour Hoffman, whose death in 2014 dealt a heartbreaking blow to American cultural life. Photographed by Anton Corbijn, 2012

The first time I met Phil, there was instant chemistry between us. It was the spring of 1999, and he was interviewing me to be the costume designer for a play he was directing—his first—for the Labyrinth Theater Company, In Arabia We’d All Be Kings. Even though I’d spent the five years since moving to New York designing costumes for Off-Broadway plays and had just been hired by Saturday Night Live, I was nervous, because I was in awe of his talent. I’d seen him in Boogie Nightsand Happiness, and he blew me out of the water with his willingness to make himself so vulnerable and to play fucked-up characters with such honesty and heart.

I remember walking into the interview and anxiously handing Phil my résumé. He studied it for a few moments, then looked up at me and, with complete sincerity and admiration, said, “You have more credits than I do.” I felt myself relax. He wanted to put me at ease and let me know that we would be working together as equals. After the meeting, I called my sister on one of those hilariously giant cell phones of the time, and after I had raved about Phil, she announced, “You’re going to marry him.”

Working with Phil felt seamless—our instincts were so similar, and we always seemed to be in sync. Though there was clearly a personal attraction, both of us were involved with other people, so we fell in love artistically first. Over the next two years, we continued to work together—I designed the costumes for everything he directed—and, along the way, I was invited to become a company member of Labyrinth, of which Phil was the artistic director. As an ensemble, we produced Jesus Hopped the ‘A’ Train, which put us on the map. Then, seven years to the day since I’d moved to the city, 9/11 happened. It was disorienting to be finding our place as the world seemed to be collapsing around us.

[ click to continue reading at Vogue ]

Posted on December 21, 2017 by Editor

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Earth Hum

from CBS News

Earth’s mysterious hum recorded underwater for 1st time

By MINDY WEISBERGER

 This photo from NASA’s Suomi NPP satellite shows the Eastern Hemisphere of Earth in “Blue Marble” view. NASA/NOAA

Far from the blaring cacophony of cities, towns and suburbs, there are far quieter soundtracks to be found — the murmurs of wind rustling grasses, rushing waves tumbling onto beaches, the creaking of tree branches and trunks.

But underneath all that is yet another soundscape, a permanent, low-frequency drone produced by Earth itself, from the vibrations of ongoing, subtle seismic movements that are not earthquakes and are too small to be detected without special equipment.

Earth is “humming.” You can’t hear it, but it’s ongoing. And now scientists have measured that persistent hum from the ocean floor, for the first time. [What’s That Noise? 11 Strange and Mysterious Sounds on Earth & Beyond]

Most of the movements in the ground under our feet aren’t dramatic enough for people to feel them. Earthquakes, of course, are the big exception, but Earth undergoes far more earthquakes globally than you might suspect — an estimated 500,000 per year, according to the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS). Of those, 100,000 are strong enough to be felt, and about 100 of those are powerful enough to cause damage.

But even in the quiet periods between earthquakes, there’s a whole lot of shaking going on.

Since the 1990s, researchers have known that Earth is constantly vibrating with microseismic activity, known as “free oscillation,” scientists reported in a new study describing new recordings of the phenomenon. Free oscillation creates a hum that can be detected anywhere on land by seismometers — equipment used to detect and record vibrations.

[ click to continue reading at CBS News ]

Posted on December 20, 2017 by Editor

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U2 Not Dead

from RealClearLife

Rock’n’Roll Won’t Die, No Matter What U2 Says

The music industry as we knew is gone, but rock will survive.

By Tim Sommer

Very recently, I saw some respectable men in their late fifties prancing around on TV. They were sitting shiva for rock’n’roll.

I generally give U2 the benefit of the doubt –they’ve worked hard, they energetically support decent causes, and their musical heart is rooted in the post-punk of my youth—but here they were on Saturday Night Live, shouting into bullhorns and cranking out mediocre versions of early ‘90s KROQ grunge riffs and generally sounding like they were doing a hazy imitation of Stone Temple Pilots. Also, in 1998 The International Court at The Hague determined that the Mekons would be the very last band ever allowed to use the word “rock’n’roll” in the chorus of a song.

U2 were posturing themselves as saviors of their genre because this is what rich old white rockers do. In reality, they are actually saying, “It’s already dead and we are the only survivors, so we better bring in some EDM producers, because, you know, that’s what the kids like now, and my GOD, we wanna be relevant!” They also spit out a bunch of fuzzy and meaningless slogans – “Put your hands in the air/Hold up the sky/Could be too late, but we still gotta try” – boy, that is sure going to get a lot of people to turn out in next year’s midterm elections! And I have little doubt that “Will you be our sanctuary Refu-Jesus?” will lead to a productive dialogue between England and the European England about how to handle the looming Ireland/Northern Ireland border crisis.

First of all, rock is most certainly not dead. Truly. I think that’s an ugly myth created by people who are unable to distinguish music from the music industry. Music is fireworks, pearly supernovas in migraine fugue rainbow colors that turn a deep blue 10 p.m. sky the shade of summertime 4:44 a.m. purple; music pulls oohs and aaaahs unconsciously out of the most cynical, it massages old memories and provides mnemonics for new ones, it screams when it whispers and it whispers when it screams. And rock’n’roll is something intensely social and deeply personal, it is the sound of America’s disenfranchised made electric, and it is the reason you got on that train that took you away from your low, leafy suburb and into the spires of the city; and in that city (and your city could just be a college town, a city is any place of escape and social refuge!), you found friends because of rock’n’roll: rock’n’roll made you welcome in the Kingdom of Outsiders. Deep down, a part of you never left that place.

The music industry as we knew it died. Dead. Gone. But the music did not die. This is the profound mistake so many people make; they have comingled the artform and the economics that were a part of that art form. But the music industry is an ugly old Fireworks shack on a two-lane blacktop on the sun-burnt wrong side of a South Carolina beach town, waiting to be blown over by some September storm, washed out to the marshes. Even if the shack is destroyed, there’s still a Fourth of July.

[ click to continue reading at RealClearLife ]

Posted on December 19, 2017 by Editor

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Snip-snip

from McClatchy

Here’s how to shut down the internet: Snip undersea fiber-optic cables

BY TIM JOHNSON

A crewman pulls on undersea cable that will be laid in the Caribbean in this 2001 photo from the Port of Miami. The crewman stands in a cable well holding 120 miles of cable.A crewman pulls on undersea cable that will be laid in the Caribbean in this 2001 photo from the Port of Miami. The crewman stands in a cable well holding 120 miles of cable. Charles Trainor Jr. Miami Herald

Hundreds of thousands of miles of fiber-optic cable lay on the ocean floors, a crucial part of the global internet’s backbone, and only rarely do ship anchors, undersea landslides or saboteurs disrupt them.

Still, a few voices now call for stronger global mechanisms and even military action to protect the cables against future malicious activity by states, saboteurs or extremists.

“The infrastructure that underpins the internet – these undersea cables – are clearly vulnerable,” said Rishi Sunak, a British member of Parliament and champion of more vigorous action to protect submarine networks. “They underpin pretty much everything that we do.”

Undersea cables conduct nearly 97 percent of all global communications, and every day an estimated $10 trillion in financial transfers and vast amounts of data pass through the seabed routes. Satellites, once crucial but now limited in speed and bandwidth, handle only a tiny percentage of global communications.

[ click to continue reading at McClatchy ]

Posted on December 18, 2017 by Editor

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Massive Penis-shaped Space Rock Befuddles

from The Atlantic

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.

by MARINA KOREN

An artist’s impression of the interstellar asteroid 'OumuamuaAn artist’s impression of the interstellar asteroid ‘OumuamuaESO / M. Kornmesser

The email about “a most peculiar object” in the solar system arrived in Yuri Milner’s inbox last week.

Milner, the Russian billionaire behind Breakthrough Listen, a $100 million search for intelligent extraterrestrial life, had already heard about the peculiar object. ‘Oumuamua barreled into view in October, the first interstellar object seen in our solar system.

Astronomers around the world chased after the mysterious space rock with their telescopes, collecting as much data as they could as it sped away. Their observations revealed a truly unusual object with puzzling properties. Scientists have long predicted an interstellar visitor would someday coast into our corner of the universe, but not something like this.

“The more I study this object, the more unusual it appears, making me wonder whether it might be an artificially made probe which was sent by an alien civilization,” Avi Loeb, the chair of Harvard’s astronomy department and one of Milner’s advisers on Breakthrough Listen, wrote in the email to Milner.

[ click to continue reading at The Atlantic ]

Posted on December 17, 2017 by Editor

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ED Reality

Posted on December 16, 2017 by Editor

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Half of us are in, at least.

from Reuters via Yahoo! News

Are Earthlings alone? Half of humans believe in alien life

AMSTERDAM (Reuters) – Nearly half of humans believe in alien life and want to make contact, a survey in 24 countries has found, in what researchers said helps to explain the lasting popularity of the “Star Wars” franchise 40 years after the first movie was screened.

On the eve of the release of “The Last Jedi”, researchers published findings that 47 percent of more than 26,000 respondents believe “in the existence of intelligent alien civilizations in the universe”.

An even greater 61 percent said “yes” when asked if they believe in “some form of life on other planets”. Roughly a quarter said they do not.

[ click to continue reading at Yahoo! ]

Posted on December 15, 2017 by Editor

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Awesome.

Posted on December 14, 2017 by Editor

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Damien Freed

from The New Yorker

The False Narrative of Damien Hirst’s Rise and Fall

By Felix Salmon

Photograph by Francesco Guidicini / The Sunday Times / News Syndication / Redux

The artist Damien Hirst is fundamentally a maker of luxury goods, and that is why he confounds the expectations of art-world cynics and romantics alike.

The rise and fall of Damien Hirst is an oft-told tale of hubris and nemesis. An art-world superstar in the nineteen-nineties and early two-thousands, Hirst made white-hot works—the most infamous of which involved animals immersed in formaldehyde—whose prices only ever went up. He got rich, his galleries got rich, his collectors got rich, everybody was happy. But, then, in 2008, he got a bit too cocky when he auctioned off two hundred million dollars’ worth of art, fresh from his studio, at Sotheby’s, bypassing dealers entirely. That auction marked the end of Hirst as an art-market darling: his auction volumes and prices dropped, and bitter collectors who had spent millions on his art were left with work worth much less than what they had paid for it.

These days, though, those collectors don’t seem to be so bitter after all. Hirst says that sales from his latest show, in Venice, reached a jaw-dropping three hundred and thirty million dollars as of early November. Even accounting for inflation, that’s substantially more than the two hundred million dollars he racked up at the Sotheby’s auction in 2008. Maybe that day didn’t mark the top of the Hirst market after all.

So why do many knowledgeable observers—from Sarah Thornton in The Economist, in 2012, to Robin Pogrebin in the Times, this past February—think that Hirst became a persona non grata in the art world, stripped of his relevance and power?

[ click to continue reading at The New Yorker ]

Posted on December 13, 2017 by Editor

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We Aren’t Going To See Them Coming At First

from The Daily Star

Asteroid that could’ve obliterated NYC skimmed past Earth – and NASA didn’t notice

A MASSIVE asteroid that could have destroyed New York City skimmed past Earth – and NASA had no clue.

By Rachel O’Donoghue

The large space rock – dubbed 2017 VL2 – passed the planet on November 9 at an astonishing distance of just 73,000 miles, which is considered tiny in space terms.

Space boffins think that if the rock measuring between 16 and 32 metres had hit, it could’ve wiped a major city such as New York off the map.

The rock belongs to the Apollo group of asteroids and was first seen at ATLAS-MLO observatory in Hawaii a day later.

It was travelling at a speed of 8.73km/s and would have caused catastrophic damage if it had made impact.

[ click to continue reading at The Daily Star ]

Posted on December 12, 2017 by Editor

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Chip Hack

from The Telegraph

Employee used crisp packet as ‘Faraday cage’ to hide his whereabouts during work

by Jonathan Pearlman

A man in Australia was sacked after he relied on a 180-year-old scientific discovery to help prevent his colleagues discovering his whereabouts while he played golf during work hours.

Tom Colella, a 60-year-old  electrician in Perth, lost his job after an anonymous letter to his firm claimed that he left work to play golf at least 140 times over the last two years.

Australia’s Fair Work Commission, a workplace tribunal, heard that Mr Colella blocked his whereabouts by storing his personal digital assistant, a phone-like device that has a GPS inside, in an empty foil packet of Twisties, a puffy cheese-based snack that is popular in Australia.

[ click to continue reading at The Telegraph ]

Posted on December 11, 2017 by Editor

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Faux-Toblerone

from EATER

Toblerone in Chocolate War With UK Copycat Who Stole Original Design

‘Twin Peaks’ bars bear a striking resemblance to the classic Swiss chocolate

by Greg Morabito

Toblerone photo via Getty; Twin Peak photo via Facebook/Poundland

A UK company is capitalizing on the near-disastrous redesign of the classic Toblerone bar by making an homage to the old version, much to the chagrin of the company that popularized the ridged Swiss chocolate treat.

Over the summer, British discount grocery chain Poundland created Twin Peaks, a Toblerone copycat with a gold wrapper, red lettering, and bar that mimicked the old, chunkier design of the candy. The biggest difference here is that the ridges have a V shape cut into the top of each peak. If Toblerone’s design mimicked the contours of the Swiss Alps, Poundland argued that its bars resembled two famous peaks near the Welsh border. And, in a wise business move, this new candy weighed as much as the old Toblerone before its slimmed-down redesign — and it was cheaper than its inspiration, too.

[ click to continue reading at EATER ]

Posted on December 10, 2017 by Editor

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Bitcoin Causing Global Warming

from grist

Bitcoin could cost us our clean-energy future

By Eric Holthaus

If you’re like me, you’ve probably been ignoring the bitcoin phenomenon for years — because it seemed too complex, far-fetched, or maybe even too libertarian. But if you have any interest in a future where the world moves beyond fossil fuels, you and I should both start paying attention now.

Last week, the value of a single bitcoin broke the $10,000 barrier for the first time. Over the weekend, the price nearly hit $12,000. At the beginning of this year, it was less than $1,000.

If you had bought $100 in bitcoin back in 2011, your investment would be worth nearly $4 million today. All over the internet there are stories of people who treated their friends to lunch a few years ago and, as a novelty, paid with bitcoin. Those same people are now realizing that if they’d just paid in cash and held onto their digital currency, they’d now have enough money to buy a house.

But the rise of bitcoin is also happening at a specific moment in history: Humanity is decades behind schedule on counteracting climate change, and every action in this era should be evaluated on its net impact on the climate. Increasingly, bitcoin is failing the test.

Digital financial transactions come with a real-world price: The tremendous growth of cryptocurrencies has created an exponential demand for computing power. As bitcoin grows, the math problems computers must solve to make more bitcoin (a process called “mining”) get more and more difficult — a wrinkle designed to control the currency’s supply.

Today, each bitcoin transaction requires the same amount of energy used to power nine homes in the U.S. for one day. And miners are constantly installing more and faster computers. Already, the aggregate computing power of the bitcoin network isnearly 100,000 times larger than the world’s 500 fastest supercomputers combined.

The total energy use of this web of hardware is huge — an estimated 31 terawatt-hours per year. More than 150 individual countries in the world consume less energy annually. And that power-hungry network is currently increasing its energy use every day by about 450 gigawatt-hours, roughly the same amount of electricity the entire country of Haiti uses in a year.

[ click to read full article at grist ]

Posted on December 9, 2017 by Editor

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Falcon Drones

from Bloomberg

The Military Is Using Falcons to Build a Drone Killer

A raptor’s approach to targeting prey may one day help protect soldiers and even airports, Air Force-funded research shows.

By Justin Bachman

Throughout history, humans have employed falcons as lethal hunters of other animals. Now those raptors are being sent after drones.

It turns out that many of the skills feathered predators use to find a tasty lunch can be applied to the developing field of drone defense. A U.S. Air Force-funded study by zoology researchers at Oxford University suggests that the means by which a peregrine falcon tracks its quarry could be effective in defending against drones that threaten troops, police or airports.

The researchers fitted the falcons with miniature video cameras and GPS receivers to track their angle and method of attack on other birds, or on bait being towed through the air by a drone. In a paper published Monday in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the U.S., the falcons’ approach to intercepting its target aligned closely with the rules of proportional navigation, a guidance system used by visually-directed missiles.

The principle is such that a missile—or a falcon on the hunt—will reach a target as long as its line-of-sight remains unobstructed while it closes in. The earliest AIM-9 Sidewinder heat-seeking missiles, dating to the 1950s, used this technique with a rotating mirror to “see” the target.

Watch Falcons Close in on Their Prey as Part of Air Force-Funded Drone Research

[ click to continue reading at Bloomberg ]

Posted on December 8, 2017 by Editor

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EAT, BRAINS, LOVE Cast

from Deadline

Jake Cannavale, Angelique Rivera To Star In ‘Eat, Brains, Love’

by Amanda N’Duka

Rex/Shutterstock
Jake Cannavale (Nurse Jackie), Angelique Rivera (American Crime), and Sarah Yarkin (American Horror Story) have been tapped to star in the indie comedy, Eat, Brains, Love, the Rodman Flender-directed film adaptation of Jeff Hart’s zombie road trip novel. In addition, Jim Titus, Patrick Fabian, Ty Headlee,  Kristin Daniel, and Kym Jackson round out the cast.
The script hails from writing duo Mike Herro and David Strauss. Gunpowder & Sky developed the project with DIGA Studios, an independent production studio founded by former MTV President Tony DiSanto, and Full Fathom Five.
[ click to read full article at Deadline ]

Posted on December 7, 2017 by Editor

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Johnny Hallyday Gone

from BBC News

Johnny Hallyday: France’s ‘Elvis Presley’ dies at 74

France’s biggest rock star Johnny Hallyday has died after a battle with lung cancer. He was 74.

The singer sold about 100 million records and starred in a number of films in a career that began in 1960.

He was made a Chevalier of the Legion D’Honneur by President Jacques Chirac in 1997.

The French simply called him “Our Johnny”. However, outside the Francophone zone, Hallyday was virtually unknown.

In a statement, his wife Laeticia said: “Johnny Hallyday has left us. I write these words without believing them. But yet, it’s true. My man is no longer with us.

“He left us tonight as he lived his whole life, with courage and dignity.”

Hallyday, whose real name was Jean-Philippe Smet, decided he wanted to be a singer after seeing Elvis Presley on screen in 1957. Hallyday was nicknamed the “French Presley” by his numerous fans.

[ click to continue reading at BBC ]

Posted on December 6, 2017 by Editor

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Quantum Reality Really

from Nautilus

Is Quantum Theory About Reality or What We Know?

BY JAMES OWEN WEATHERALL

Physicists know how to use quantum theory—your phone and computer give plenty of evidence of that. But knowing how to use it is a far cry from fully understanding the world the theory describes—or even what the various mathematical devices scientists use in the theory are supposed to mean. One such mathematical object, whose status physicists have long debated, is known as the quantum state.

One of the most striking features of quantum theory is that its predictions are, under virtually all circumstances, probabilistic. If you set up an experiment in a laboratory, and then you use quantum theory to predict the outcomes of various measurements you might perform, the best the theory can offer is probabilities—say, a 50 percent chance that you’ll get one outcome, and a 50 percent chance that you’ll get a different one. The role the quantum state plays in the theory is to determine, or at least encode, these probabilities. If you know the quantum state, then you can compute the probability of getting any possible outcome to any possible experiment.

But does the quantum state ultimately represent some objective aspect of reality, or is it a way of characterizing something about us, namely, something about what some person knows about reality? This question stretches back to the earliest history of quantum theory, but has recently become an active topic again, inspiring a slew of new theoretical results and even some experimental tests.

[ click to continue reading at Nautilus ]

Posted on December 5, 2017 by Editor

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Up In Hudson

Posted on December 4, 2017 by Editor

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DIY Waffles

from The Atlanta Journal-Constitution

Waffle House customer cooks his own meal after finding staff sleeping

by Theresa Seiger

A hungry, slightly inebriated man knew just what to do when he stopped by a South Carolina Waffle House early Thursday only to find the restaurant’s staff snoozing: He cooked up his own meal, snapping selfies along the way.

Alex Bowen said in a Facebook post that he stopped by a Waffle House in West Columbia because he couldn’t sleep.

The restaurant’s employees apparently did not have the same problem.

“I walked back outside to my car to look for employees,” Bowen told WIS. “No one in sight.”

It wasn’t until he walked back inside the restaurant that he noticed an employee snoozing in a corner booth.

“Then it was go time,” Bowen told WIS. “(I) got hot on the grill with a double Texas bacon cheesesteak with extra pickles. When I was done I cleaned the grill, collected my ill-gotten sandwich and rolled out.”

[ click to continue reading at AJC ]

Posted on December 3, 2017 by Editor

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It’s All In The Wiring

from StudyFinds

A Smarter Person’s Brain Is Simply Wired Better, Study Finds

by Daniel Steingold

FRANKFURT, Germany — Brainiacs happen to have thinking organs that are physically designed to outperform, a new study finds.

Researchers at Goethe University Frankfurt in Germany looked at brain scans of more than 300 participants, while simultaneously consulting graph theoretical network analysis methods, to try to determine what helps form human intelligence.

Explaining how the brain’s many regions interact with others to varying degrees — think of smaller social groups within broader society— the researchers more specifically sought to understand whether the wiring of certain regions was different among people depending on their level of intelligence.

“This is similar to a social network which consists of multiple sub-networks (e.g., families or circles of friends). Within these sub-networks or modules, the members of one family are more strongly interconnected than they are with people from other families or circles of friends. Our brain is functionally organized in a very similar way,” the researchers explain in a university release.

They found that in more intelligent individuals, two regions associated with the cognitive processing of task-relevant information — the anterior insula and the anterior cingulate cortex — were more tightly connected to other functional areas of the brain.

[ click to continue reading at StudyFinds ]

Posted on December 2, 2017 by Editor

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India To Luna

from Business Insider

India is preparing to land on the moon for the first time in the country’s history

by Hilary Brueck

ISRO chandrayaan 2 mission to the moon

The last time any country put boots or, rather, little metal feet, on the moon was in 2013, when China landed its Yutu rover there.

Before that, you’d have to look back to the 1970s to find anything built by Earthlings that camped out on the surface of the Moon.

But in 2018, India says it’ll be ready to join the ranks of the moon lander. The Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO) is getting ready to land its very first lunar rover by the end of March 2018, as part of its Chandrayaan-2 mission.

‘Chaand’ is the word for moon in Hindi, so Chandrayaan literally means ‘moon vehicle’ or ‘moon journey.’

[ click to continue reading at Business Insider ]

Posted on December 1, 2017 by Editor

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Moon Express

from CNBC

Moon Express says first launch is ‘definitely’ happening in 2018

by Arjun Kharpal

Moon Express, a company planning to mine material on the moon, is “definitely” going to launch its first mission next year, and could have human colonies there within five years, Chairman Naveen Jain told CNBC on Thursday.

In January, the company said that it was targeting a date in late 2017 to send its lander to the moon. But that has been pushed back until 2018.

“It’s definitely going to be next year, we are in the final stretches of it. And as you can imagine it’s rocket science,” Jain told CNBC in a TV interview from the Slush technology conference in Helsinki, Finland.

“We are really looking good and we are still hoping to launch the lander next year. And when we launch and land on the moon, not only (do) we become the first company to do so, we actually symbolically become the fourth superpower. And imagine the entrepreneurs doing things that only the three superpowers have done before.”

Superpowers such as the U.S. and Russia have previously landed on the moon.

Moon Express is the first private company to get U.S. government approval to go to the moon. Landing there would be a historic feat.

[ click to continue reading at CNBC ]

Posted on November 30, 2017 by Editor

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Super Eruption

from The Mirror

Cataclysmic ‘super eruption’ is MUCH closer than we thought, warns latest research

Scientists at Bristol University have analysed geological records from the last 100,000 years

By Stephen Beech

(Image: Moment RF)

We may be much nearer to a cataclysmic volcanic ‘super-eruption’ than previously thought, warns new research.

That is the conclusion of Bristol University scientists after analysing a database of geological records dated within the last 100,000 years.

They discovered the average time between so-called volcanic super-eruptions is actually much less than previously understood.

Volcanoes and ‘bolides’ – such as asteroids – are geohazards powerful enough to be destructive on a global scale.

One recent assessment described them as capable of returning humanity to a ‘pre-civilisation’ state.

The largest explosive eruptions are termed ‘super-eruptions’, and produce in excess of 1,000 gigatons of erupted mass – enough to blanket an entire continent with volcanic ash, and change global weather patterns for decades.

[ click to continue reading at The Mirror ]

Posted on November 29, 2017 by Editor

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Supermoon

from USA Today

The only supermoon of the year will rise Sunday evening

by Doyle Rice

The only supermoon of 2017 will appear in a sky near you Sunday night … weather permitting.

Bigger and brighter than a typical full moon, the term “supermoon” was coined in 1979 by astrologer Richard Nolle. According to NASA, it’s used by the media today to describe what astronomers would call a perigean full moon: a full moon occurring near or at the time when the moon is at its closest point in its orbit around Earth.

A supermoon can appear as much as 14% bigger and 30% brighter than when a full moon is at its farthest distance from Earth, NASA said.

The astronomical term for a supermoon is “perigee syzygy.” (Syzygy is when the sun, moon and Earth are all aligned in a straight line.)

The exact moment of the full moon is the morning of Dec. 3 at 10:46 a.m. ET, (9:46 a.m. CT, 8:46 a.m. MT, and 7:46 a.m. PT), Space.com said.

[ click to continue reading at USAT ]

Posted on November 28, 2017 by Editor

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Missing Magritte

from artnet news

Researchers Uncover the Final Piece of a Missing Magritte, Solving an 85-Year-Old Mystery

The artist once cut apart a critically acclaimed work and painted over the pieces. Now, the final piece has been recovered.

René Magritte, The Enchanted Pose with restored colors. © Succession René Magritte c/o SABAM © ULiège.René Magritte, The Enchanted Pose with restored colors. © Succession René Magritte c/o SABAM © ULiège.

Researchers in Belgium have come upon a René Magritte painting that harbors a long-sought secret.

In the early 1930s, the Belgian artist was poor enough that he reused canvases, painting over one work with another. In one case, he cut one of his paintings—The Enchanted Pose (1927)—into four pieces and painted over each one to create discrete new works. Now, researchers have discovered the fourth and final piece of the original work, solving an 85-year-old mystery.

The work was unearthed at none other than the Magritte Museum, in Brussels, Belgium, where researchers were inspecting all the paintings in the collection as part of a larger research project.

“I screamed something like ‘Oh my gosh!’ but less polite,” said Catherine Defeyt, a researcher at the University of Liège’s European Center for Archaeometry, of the moment of the discovery.

Pieces of the puzzle have been coming to light for four years; the three other pieces were found in three other major museums.

The first piece, The Portrait (1935), was uncovered by curator Anne Umland and conservator Michael Duffy at New York’s Museum of Modern Art in 2013. It shows two identical female nudes side by side, each with an arm resting on a broken column.

The whereabouts of the original painting were listed in the Magritte catalogue raisonné as unknown; the only existing photo of it was in black and white. Umland and Duffy were inspecting The Portrait by way of conservation research in preparation for an exhibition there.

[ click to continue reading at artnet ]

Posted on November 27, 2017 by Editor

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Quantum Bullshit

from Real Clear Science

The Worst Theoretical Prediction in the History of Physics

By Ross Pomeroy

Quantum mechanics has a dark energy problem.

When it comes to scientifically mysterious concepts that begin with the word “dark,” dark matter attracts most of the public attention. Dark energy, however, constitutes 68.3% of the mass of the universe compared to dark matter’s paltry 26.8% (and normal matter’s minuscule 4.9%). It is truly the more consequential of the two “dark” concepts.

Yet we’ll never likely be able to “catch” a particle of dark energy as scientists are striving to do with dark matter. That’s because dark energy is – most likely – just the energy inherent to space, itself, perhaps arising from Quantum foam, composed of virtual particles that flit in and out of existence. As Einstein reminds us, the energy delivered by these virtual particles briefly protruding into space has mass.

When astronomers attempt to measure dark energy’s density in space, they come up with roughly 10^−9 joules per cubic meter, a microscopic but influential amount. However, this observed value, known as the cosmological constant, isn’t remotely close to that which is predicted by the time-tested quantum field theory. As detailed in the textbook General Relativity: An Introduction for Physicists:

[ click to continue reading at RCS ]

Posted on November 26, 2017 by Editor

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AI Decides Who Dies

from USA Today

Self-driving cars programmed to decide who dies in a crash

by Todd Spangler, Detroit Free Press

WASHINGTON — Consider this hypothetical:

It’s a bright, sunny day and you’re alone in your spanking new self-driving vehicle, sprinting along the two-lane Tunnel of Trees on M-119 high above Lake Michigan north of Harbor Springs. You’re sitting back, enjoying the view. You’re looking out through the trees, trying to get a glimpse of the crystal blue water below you, moving along at the 45-mile-an-hour speed limit.

As you approach a rise in the road, heading south, a school bus appears, driving north, one driven by a human, and it veers sharply toward you. There is no time to stop safely, and no time for you to take control of the car.

Does the car:

A. Swerve sharply into the trees, possibly killing you but possibly saving the bus and its occupants?

B. Perform a sharp evasive maneuver around the bus and into the oncoming lane, possibly saving you, but sending the bus and its driver swerving into the trees, killing her and some of the children on board?

C. Hit the bus, possibly killing you as well as the driver and kids on the bus?

In everyday driving, such no-win choices are may be exceedingly rare but, when they happen, what should a self-driving car — programmed in advance — do? Or in any situation — even a less dire one — where a moral snap judgment must be made?

[ click to continue reading at USAT ]

Posted on November 25, 2017 by Editor

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Have an ELE Jolly Christmas

from The Daily Star

Massive 3-mile wide Christmas asteroid to practically GRAZE Earth next month

A HUGE asteroid will very nearly graze the planet next month – just days before Christmas.

By Rachel O’Donoghue

asteroidEXTINCTION: The asteroid is just half the size of the one that wiped out dinosaurs / GETTY

The space rock – dubbed “3200 Phaethon” after the Greek God – will come “quite close” to Earth on December 17.

Russian astronomers have been tracking the asteroid’s path, which has been described by NASA as a “potentially hazardous asteroid”.

It will pass by Earth at a distance of just 2 million miles – practically brushing the planet in space terms.

And at three miles wide, it is just half the size of the space rock that led to the mass extinction that wiped out dinosaurs.

[ click to continue reading at The Daily Star ]

 

Posted on November 24, 2017 by Editor

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Happy Turkey Day

Posted on November 23, 2017 by Editor

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Boom

from The Daily Mail

What is causing the mysterious ‘booms’ heard in 64 locations around the world this year?

  • Most recently, a ‘boom’ was heard across much of the north of Alabama
  • Suggested causes include supersonic aircrafts, a ground explosion, or a bolide
  • Other booms have occurred in Cairns on October 10 and Abergavenny on May 11 

By SHIVALI BEST

Mysterious booms have been reported 64 times this year, in locations including Michigan, Lapland, St Ives, Swansea and Yorkshire. Incidents are becoming more frequent according to some reports.Mysterious booms have been reported 64 times this year, in locations including Michigan, Lapland, St Ives, Swansea and Yorkshire. Incidents are becoming more frequent according to some reports.

Residents in Alabama were left baffled last week when a loud boom resounded across much of the state.

The boom, nicknamed ‘Bama Boom’, has left experts stumped, with suggested causes ranging from supersonic aircrafts to meteors exploding in the atmosphere.

This isn’t the first time that the mysterious sound has been heard, and incidents are becoming more frequent according to some reports.

This year alone, similar noises have been reported 64 times this year, in locations including Michigan, Lapland, St Ives, Swansea and Yorkshire.

[ click to continue reading at The Daily Mail ]

Posted on November 22, 2017 by Editor

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Charles Manson Finally Gone

from The New York Post

Charles Manson is rotting in hell

By Jamie Schram

Charles Manson, the ’60s cult leader behind one of the most notorious killings in American history, died Sunday in California after a prolonged illness, officials said. He was 83.

Manson – housed at Corcoran State Prison since 1989 – died at 8:13 p.m. local time at Kern County Hospital, the California Department of Corrections said in a press release early Monday.

He’d been in failing health for months and was first hospitalized back in January, reportedly with serious gastrointestinal problems.

Manson — who infamously wore a swastika tattoo between his eyebrows — had spent more than 45 years in prison after being convicted of directing his “Manson Family” clan of troubled, mostly female, followers to kill seven people in California in the summer of 1969. The dead included actress Sharon Tate, the pregnant wife of director Roman Polanski, who was stabbed 16 times.

“I am crime,” Manson proudly proclaimed during a collect call to The Post from prison in the mid-2000s.

Born on Nov. 12, 1934, in Cincinnati, Ohio, to a prostitute named Kathleen Maddox, Manson was officially dubbed “no name Maddox” at birth and apparently never knew his biological father.

[ click to continue reading at NYP ]

Posted on November 21, 2017 by Editor

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Space Nation

from The Daily Express

World’s first ‘space nation’ takes flight as 200,000 people prepare for futuristic life

SPACE nation, Asgardia, has launched its first satellite a year after Russian billionaire Dr Igor Ashurbeyli proposed the plans.

By THOMAS MACKIE

World’s first 'space nation' takes flightGETTY

More than 500,000 people applied to become citizens of Asgardia, the first space nation that will orbit the Earth and be free from politics and laws.

The idea came from billionaire Russian computer scientist Dr Igor Ashurbeyli, who has already confirmed the first 200,000 citizens from the initial 500,000 applicants.

Earlier this week the Asgardia-1 satellite was launched.

The satellite is roughly the size of a loaf of bread and contains the personal details of 18,000 Asgardia’s citizens including things such as family photographs.

There is also a copy of Asgardia’s flag, coat of arms and constitution aboard.

[ click to continue reading at Express ]

Posted on November 20, 2017 by Editor

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Malcolm Young Gone

from The New Yorker

Farewell to Malcolm Young, the Mastermind of AC/DC

By Jon Michaud

Picture yourself, if you will, at an AC/DC show at some unruly venue in Albany or Toledo in the fall of 1978. Perhaps a friend has brought you, or maybe hearing one of the band’s songs on FM radio has drawn you there. Regardless, you’re in luck. You’re catching AC/DC at the perfect moment, as it’s on the cusp of transforming itself into a musical juggernaut. The group, hailing from Australia, has just released “Powerage,” a forty-minute distillation of swinging, aggressive rock and roll that Keith Richards will later say is his favorite AC/DC album. In a matter of months, the band will record “Highway to Hell” and, soon after that, “Back in Black,” which will become the sixth-best-selling album of all time.

So, what do you notice? Up front and hard to miss is Angus Young, the diminutive dynamo of a lead guitarist, wearing the sweat-soaked remains of a velvet schoolboy uniform, duck-walking and thrashing his head like the lightning-strike victim on the cover of “Powerage.” Nearby, prancing bare-chested, is the lewd and mischievous lead singer, Bon Scott. (He’ll be dead by the end of the decade.) But, if you can take your eyes off these two showmen for a moment, you might find your gaze drifting to the left of the drum riser, where a pugnacious long-haired kid (he looks like he’s still in high school), wearing jeans and a white T-shirt, is strumming his Gretsch guitar and shaking his leg in time to the driving beat. His name is Malcolm Young, and you could be forgiven for seeing him as just another part of the backing band, but he is in fact the mastermind of the whole operation, at once its visionary and its taskmaster. He is the soul of the band, its leader on and off the stage.

[ click to continue reading at The New Yorker ]

Posted on November 19, 2017 by Editor

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