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Fasten Your Earthbelts

from The U.S. Sun

HONEY I SHRUNK THE DAY Earth records ‘shortest day EVER’ after scientists reveal planet ‘spinning faster’

by Sean Keach

EARTH has recorded its shortest day since records began – but did you even notice?

A faster spin meant that Earth’s usual 24-hour rotation was 1.59 milliseconds shorter.

The fast-paced spin occurred on June 29, creating a headache for time-watchers.

That’s because Earth’s rotation is usually slowing down.

In fact we’ve had to add 27 “leap seconds” in the last 50 years to keep global clocks in check.

Clocks paused most recently in 2016 to account for this strange astronomical effect.

Now Earth’s spin appears to be speeding up and scientists aren’t exactly sure why.

Usually days get longer – albeit only very slightly.

[ click to continue reading at The U.S. Sun ]

Posted on August 1, 2022 by Editor

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Choco Taco Gone

from CNN

The Choco Taco is gone for good

By Danielle Wiener-Bronner

Pour one out for Choco Taco.

The beloved Klondike product, packaged ice cream in a taco-shaped cone, has been discontinued.

“Over the past 2 years, we have experienced an unprecedented spike in demand across our portfolio and have had to make very tough decisions to ensure availability of our full portfolio nationwide,” a Klondike Brand representative told CNN Business in an email, adding “we know this may be very disappointing.”

You could possibly still find Choco Tacos around as sellers run through their inventory, the representative said.

[ click to continue reading at CNN ]

Posted on July 27, 2022 by Editor

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Check The Robot

from CNN

Chess-playing robot breaks boy’s finger at Moscow tournament

By Masha Angelova and Mitchell McCluskey

A chess-playing robot broke a boy’s finger during a match in Russia last week, the president of the Moscow Chess Federation told state news agency TASS media.

Sergey Lazarev said the incident occurred at the Moscow Chess Open after the boy rushed the robot.

“A robot broke a child’s finger — this is, of course, bad,” Lazarev said.

“The robot was rented by us, it has been exhibited in many places by specialists for a long time. Apparently, the operators overlooked some flaws. The child made a move, and after that it is necessary to give time for the robot to respond, but the boy hurried, the robot grabbed him. We have nothing to do with the robot.”

[ click to continue reading at CNN ]

Posted on July 25, 2022 by Editor

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LST

from VICE

The Long, Strange Relationship Between Psychedelics and Telepathy

It’s impossible to tell the story of psychedelics without telepathy. How will these experiences fit into psychedelics’ mainstream, medical future?

By Shayla Love

GEORGEPETERS FOR GETTY IMAGES. 

In February of 1971, approximately 2,000 attendees at six Grateful Dead concerts at the Capitol Theater in Port Chester, New York saw this message projected onto a large screen at 11:30 PM: “YOU ARE ABOUT TO PARTICIPATE IN AN ESP EXPERIMENT.” 

It was a test to see if people could use extra-sensory perception, or ESP, to telepathically transmit randomly chosen images to two “psychic sensitive” people, Malcolm Bessent and Felicia Parise, who were sleeping 45 miles away. Bessent was at the Maimonides Dream Laboratory in Brooklyn, while Parise slept in her apartment. 

Art prints, selected at random, were projected at the Dead show, like The Castle of the Pyrenees and Philosophy in the Boudoir by René Magritte, or a visual representation of spinal chakras. Bessent and Parise described their dreams to two evaluators, an art therapy student and a divinity student, who then judged them based on their similarities to the images shown at the concert. 

The Grateful Dead were chosen because the members of the band agreed to facilitate such an experiment, but also because those who conducted the study had determined that the audience would be especially primed for telepathic abilities, in part because of the state of mind they assumed the audience would be in. 

In a paper summarizing the project, the authors wrote, “It was apparent to observers at the concert that the majority of the people in the audience were in states of consciousness that had been dramatically altered…these altered states of consciousness were brought about by the music, by the ingestion of psychedelic drugs before the concerts started, and by contact with other members of the audience.”

[ click to continue reading at VICE ]

Posted on July 19, 2022 by Editor

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Brain On Idle

from WIRED

The Brain Has a ‘Low-Power Mode’ That Blunts Our Senses

Neuroscientists uncovered an energy-saving mode in vision-system neurons that works at the cost of being able to see fine-grained details.

by ALLISON WHITTEN

battery on brain
When food has been in short supply for a long time and body weight falls below a critical threshold, the brain reduces its energy consumption by changing how it processes information.ILLUSTRATION: MATT CURTIS/QUANTA MAGAZINE

WHEN OUR PHONES and computers run out of power, their glowing screens go dark and they die a sort of digital death. But switch them to low-power mode to conserve energy and they cut expendable operations to keep basic processes humming along until their batteries can be recharged.

Our energy-intensive brain needs to keep its lights on too. Brain cells depend primarily on steady deliveries of the sugar glucose, which they convert to adenosine triphosphate (ATP) to fuel their information processing. When we’re a little hungry, our brain usually doesn’t change its energy consumption much. But given that humans and other animals have historically faced the threat of long periods of starvation, sometimes seasonally, scientists have wondered whether brains might have their own kind of low-power mode for emergencies.

Now, in a paper published in Neuron in January, neuroscientists in Nathalie Rochefort’s lab at the University of Edinburgh have revealed an energy-saving strategy in the visual systems of mice. They found that when mice were deprived of sufficient food for weeks at a time—long enough for them to lose 15 to 20 percent of their typical healthy weight—neurons in the visual cortex reduced the amount of ATP used at their synapses by a sizable 29 percent.

[ click to continue reading at WIRED ]

Posted on July 18, 2022 by Editor

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The Anthropause

from The New York Times

Did Nature Heal During the Pandemic ‘Anthropause’?

Covid precautions created a global slowdown in human activity — and an opportunity to learn more about the complex ways we affect other species.

By Emily Anthes

A lone duck savoring its hegemony over the Place de la Concorde in Paris, during coronavirus pandemic lockdowns in the spring of 2020.
A lone duck savoring its hegemony over the Place de la Concorde in Paris, during coronavirus pandemic lockdowns in the spring of 2020. Credit…Dmitry Kostyukov for The New York Times

In a typical spring, breeding seabirds — and human seabird-watchers — flock to Stora Karlsö, an island off the coast of Sweden.

But in 2020, the Covid-19 pandemic canceled the tourist season, reducing human presence on the island by more than 90 percent. With people out of the picture, white-tailed eagles moved in, becoming much more abundant than usual, researchers found.

That might seem like a tidy parable about how nature recovers when people disappear from the landscape — if not for the fact that ecosystems are complex. The newly numerous eagles repeatedly soared past the cliffs where a protected population of common murres laid its eggs, flushing the smaller birds from their ledges.

In the commotion, some eggs tumbled from the cliffs; others were snatched by predators while the murres were away. The murres’ breeding performance dropped 26 percent, Jonas Hentati-Sundberg, a marine ecologist at the Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, found. “They were flying out in panic, and they lost their eggs,” he said.

The pandemic was, and remains, a global human tragedy. But for ecologists, it has also been an unparalleled opportunity to learn more about how people affect the natural world by documenting what happened when we abruptly stepped back from it.

[ click to continue reading at NYT ]

Posted on July 16, 2022 by Editor

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Heartbeat Burst

from CNN

Mysterious fast radio burst in space has a ‘heartbeat’ pattern

By Ashley Strickland

A mysterious radio burst with a pattern similar to a heartbeat has been detected in space.

Astronomers estimate that the signal came from a galaxy roughly a billion light-years away, but the exact location and cause of the burst is unknown. A study detailing the findings published Wednesday in the journal Nature.

Fast radio bursts, or FRBs, are intense, millisecond-long bursts of radio waves with unknown origins. The first FRB was discovered in 2007, and since then, hundreds of these quick, cosmic flashes have been detected coming from various, distant points across the universe.

Many FRBs release super bright radio waves lasting only a few milliseconds at most before disappearing completely, and about 10% of them have been known to repeat and have patterns.

[ click to continue reading at CNN ]

Posted on July 14, 2022 by Editor

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Starpocalypse

from The Independent

The solar system could collapse because of a passing star, scientists predict

by Adam Smith

Scientists have warned that if a passing star moves Neptune’s orbit by just 0.1 per cent, the resulting chaos could cause the other planets in our solar system to collide.

The research, presented in Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society, suggests that a “stellar flyby” – a relatively common occurance in the universe – could be enough to sent the other planets crashing into each other.

It is possible that if Mercury and Jupiter’s perihelion – the point at which the planets reach closest to the Sun – fall in sync, two possibilities could occur. Mercury could be pulled out of its orbit and either shoot out of the Solar System or head on a collision course with Venus, the Sun, or the Earth.

[ click to continue reading at The Independent ]

Posted on July 12, 2022 by Editor

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Kiwipocalypse

from Science Alert

A Supervolcano in New Zealand Is Rumbling So Much It’s Shifting The Ground Above It

by JESS COCKERILL

The vast expanse of Lake Taupō’s sky blue waters, crowned by hazy, mountainous horizons, invokes an extreme sense of tranquility. 

And yet, deep in the ground below, geological unrest is brewing, according to a new paper in the New Zealand Journal of Geology and Geophysics.

Lake Taupō is the largest freshwater lake in Australasia, located at the center of New Zealand’s north island. And while it appears peaceful today, the lake has a violent origin story. 

The lake’s waters sit within a prehistoric caldera – a word based on the Spanish for ‘cauldron’ or ‘boiling pot’ – formed during Earth’s most recent supereruption, the Oruanui eruption, 25,400 years ago.

When magma is released from a supervolcano (defined as having released at least 1,000 cubic kilometers of material in any one eruption) in an event like the Oruanui eruption, the depleted magma vents cave in, Earth’s surface sinks, and the landscape is permanently changed into a caldera. 

In the last 12,000 years, the Taupō volcano has been active 25 times. Its most recent eruption in 232 AD is described by authors of the new paper as “one of the Earth’s most explosive eruptions in historic times”. Since then, the volcano has had at least four documented “episodes of unrest”, causing destructive earthquakes and, in 1922, a massive ground subsidence.

[ click to continue reading at Science Alert ]

Posted on July 11, 2022 by Editor

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Porn Service

from The Daily Star

Las Vegas hotels to offer ‘first ever’ VR porn delivery robots as part of room service

Help is at hand for lonely hotel guests at Las Vegas resorts thanks to a new VR porn delivery robot – it brings a sanitised headset with the latest immersive adult movies direct to your room

By Ciaran Daly

What happens in VR stays in VR
What happens in VR stays in VR (Image: Getty Images/iStockphoto)

Guests at Las Vegas hotels will soon be able to order VR porn kits on room service, thanks to a new delivery robot.

VR Bangers says it has teamed up with a number of Vegas hotels to offer virtual reality porn as room service.

Discreet delivery robots will rock up to hotels and sneakily deliver a ‘VR porn box’ featuring an Oculus Quest 2 headset pre-loaded with the company’s latest adult flicks.

The service costs £41 ($49.99) per day and includes a ‘fully sanitised’ set of goggles. The company says it currently has a fleet of five VR porn robots deployed across Las Vegas, with many more on the way.

[ click to continue reading at The Daily Star ]

Posted on July 6, 2022 by Editor

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R2-D2 Abducted

from The Orlando Sentinel

Florida man charged with taking R2-D2 from Disney World resort after posing as security guard

By Amanda Rabines

Droids R2-D2 and BB-8 arrive during the dedication ceremony with invited guests at the entrance of the Star Wars: Galaxy?s Edge attraction at Disney?s Hollywood Studios in Lake Buena Vista, Fla., Wednesday, August 28, 2019. The Star Wars-themed land at Disney World officially opens to guests on Thursday. (Joe Burbank/Orlando Sentinel) 3087268 (Joe Burbank / Orlando Sentinel)

A Kissimmee man with a self-stated “pending application” for Walt Disney World Security is being accused of stealing and tampering with Disney resort property, including a Star Wars R2-D2 statue worth up to $10,000.

David Proudfoot, 44, posed as a security guard at Disney’s Swan Reserve Hotel on May 31, when he was noticed by hotel security wearing a gray t-shirt, beige workpants and a high-visibility orange work vest while pushing a cart across Epcot Resorts Boulevard onto Swan Reserve property, according to an arrest report.

Orange County Sheriff’s Office deputies responded to a call from security of suspicious activity.

[ click to continue reading at The Orlando Sentinel ]

Posted on July 5, 2022 by Editor

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Serial Grifter

from SFGate

‘Tipster Killer’: The California serial killer who kept calling in tips for his own murders

by Katie Dowd, SFGATE

A mugshot for Robert Edward Maury after his arrest in 1987.
A mugshot for Robert Edward Maury after his arrest in 1987. Shasta County Sheriff’s Office/Handout

Shirley Landruth had been working for Shasta County’s Secret Witness program for 12 years when a strange man began calling the hotline in 1985. The line allowed people to call in tips for unsolved crimes, sometimes for reward money. The system was strictly anonymous, so Landruth never recorded their conversations.

But something wasn’t right about this caller. For one, Landruth swore she recognized the man’s voice. 

“The speed of the speech, the pushiness of it. The way certain words are grouped together,” she would later testify. “The abruptness in the way he terminates conversations.”

The caller gave Landruth directions to the location of a body, offering her the distance from the road in both meters and feet. He was insistent she relay his information to the police. Unbeknownst to the man, Landruth began recording the call. For the next few years, he called her over 20 times, giving information that would lead to the discovery of three bodies and collecting the reward money each time.

“Not too many people come upon one body in their lifetime,” Shasta County Deputy District Attorney Jim Ruggiero said in the closing arguments of the man’s 1989 triple murder trial. 

[ click to continue reading at SFGate ]

Posted on July 4, 2022 by Editor

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BigPac-10 (or 12, or 14, not sure)

from The LA Times

USC and UCLA rock college sports by leaving the Pac-12 for the Big Ten

BY J. BRADY MCCOLLOUGHBILL PLASCHKERYAN KARTJEBEN BOLCH

UCLA quarterback Dorian Thompson-Robinson scores past USC linebacker Ralen Goforth during a game on Nov. 20.
UCLA quarterback Dorian Thompson-Robinson scores past USC linebacker Ralen Goforth during a game on Nov. 20. (Allen J. Schaben / Los Angeles Times)

It may be hard to imagine — USC cardinal and gold and UCLA blue and gold blending into the pageantry that permeates through frosty fall Saturdays in America’s heartland.

It may be hard to imagine — Trojans and Bruins annually competing with Ohio State Buckeyes and Michigan Wolverines for conference championships and bragging rights instead of Oregon Ducks and Washington Huskies.

But Thursday, when USC and UCLA officially announced they are leaving the Pac-12 for the Big Ten Conference, college sports fans from coast to coast were forced to conjure up a vision that what would have once — in simpler times, perhaps — seemed unthinkable.

The Trojans and Bruins, both of whom have been trying to reclaim past football glory with varying degrees of desperation, came together and completed a shocking move that will forever alter the national college sports landscape.

[ click to continue reading at LAT ]

Posted on June 30, 2022 by Editor

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Five Planets In A Row

from The Jerusalem Post

Five planets align perfectly, visible until end of June

Mercury, Venus, Mars, Jupiter and Saturn will be visible every morning until the end of June in an alignment not seen since 1864.

By ARIELLA MARSDEN

 The solar system. (photo credit: Wikimedia Commons)
The solar system. (photo credit: Wikimedia Commons)

Mercury, Venus, Mars, Jupiter and Saturn have lined up in a rare alignment that won’t occur again until 2040, according to AccuWeather.

While it is common to view a couple of planets together at any given time, the alignment of five planets simultaneously is a rare phenomenon which last occurred in 1864 and won’t occur again for almost 20 years.

The alignment is best viewed in the early morning around an hour before sunrise and will remain as is until the end of June.

[ click to continue reading at JPost ]

Posted on June 23, 2022 by Editor

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Streaming Crickets

from SFGate

Spotify podcasters are making $18,000 a month with nothing but white noise

by Ashley Carman, Bloomberg News

Calming sounds of white noise podcasts are bringing in one podcaster $18,000 per month. (Rachel Austin/The University Of Western Australia via AP)
Calming sounds of white noise podcasts are bringing in one podcaster $18,000 per month. (Rachel Austin/The University Of Western Australia via AP)

People on the prowl for a new podcast to consume often go for a stimulating option like a political debate or a true crime mystery to quicken the pulse. But when the din of the world becomes too much, listeners often need the opposite vibe: something soothing and sedating, maybe with the sound of static or falling rain. Perhaps a touch of crickets.

Enter — quietly, on tippy-toes — the white noise podcasters.

While the top of the podcast charts on Spotify and Apple are still dominated by garrulous, jawboning hosts, these days you can also reliably find a smattering of white noise shows appearing in the mix. Relatively new to the podcast scene, the tranquil programs haves names like “Calming White Noise,” “Best Noise Labs,” “Relaxing White Noise” and “Deep Sleep Sounds.”

Who is behind the popular offerings is a bit of a mystery.

[ click to continue reading at SFGate ]

Posted on June 2, 2022 by Editor

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Dead Planes

from ABC 15

The Boneyard: World’s largest airplane graveyard is in Tucson, Arizona

By: Kari Steele

What happens to our nation’s militarized aircraft when it’s time to toss it? Welcome to the largest aircraft graveyard in the world, The Boneyard!

See all of the cool planes and space aircraft in the video above!

The Boneyard is formally known as the 309th AMARG (Aerospace Maintenance And Regeneration Group). An AMARG is a boneyard facility for all excess military and government aircraft. Planes, jets, helicopters, and space shuttles belonging to the Air Force, Navy, Marine Corps, Coast Guard, and NASA are processed here. Another role of AMARG is to convert fighter jets into aerial target drones.

[ click to continue reading at ABC 15 ]

Posted on May 13, 2022 by Editor

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Bad Pony!

from Yahoo! News

Why did Kentucky Derby winner Rich Strike bite lead pony, outrider? An expert weighs in

by Aaron Mudd

Kentucky Derby winner Rich Strike went viral Saturday, and not just for his 80-1, long shot victory that upset field favorites like Epicenter (4-1), Taiba (5-1) and Zandon (6-1).

In the moments after he crossed the finish line, as spectators in the stands erupted into a roar, video and images showed outriders on the track struggling to get Rich Strike under control as he repeatedly bit the lead pony and its rider Greg Blasi.

Rich Strike seen champing at lead pony after surprising Kentucky Derby Win

At one point, video taken from the perspective of a spectator up in the stands appeared to show Blasi punching Rich Strike, while another image taken by photographer Heather C. Jackson showed the Derby winner tearing into Blasi’s right leg with his teeth.

Observers on social media were quick to defend and criticize Blasi, including animal welfare group PETA, which issued a statement condemning the Churchill Downs outrider.

Eric Reed, Rich Strike’s trainer, defended Blasi in a Today Show appearance Monday, stating “that man saved my horse from injury.”

[ click to continue reading at Yahoo! News ]

Posted on May 9, 2022 by Editor

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Octopolis

from Real Clear Science

The Hidden World of Octopus Cities and Culture

By Kristin Andrews

Roy L. Caldwell via AP

A recently proposed aquaculture octopus farm in the Canary Islands would raise 3,000 tonnes of octopus a year, which means almost 275,000 individual octopuses will be killed annually.

My research examines animal minds and ethics, and to me, the phrase “octopus culture” brings to mind Octopolis and Octlantis, two communities of wild octopuses in Jarvis Bay, Australia.

In Octopolis, numerous octopuses share — and fight over — a few square metres of seabed. In these watery towns, octopuses form dominance hierarchies, and they’ve started developing new behaviours: male octopuses fight over territory and, perhaps, females by throwing debris at one another and boxing.

[ click to continue reading at RCS ]

Posted on April 30, 2022 by Editor

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Poisonous Green Books

from National Geographic

These green books are poisonous—and one may be on a shelf near you

A toxic green pigment was once used to color everything from fake flowers to book covers. Now a museum conservator is working to track down the noxious volumes.

BY JUSTIN BROWER

still life of green books stacked
After bookcloth became a popular and affordable alternative to leather for bookmaking, publishers began releasing volumes in a range of colors, including emerald green. PHOTOGRAPH BY REBECCA HALE, NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC

Libraries and rare book collections often carry volumes that feature poisons on their pages, from famous murder mysteries to seminal works on toxicology and forensics. The poisons described in these books are merely words on a page, but some books scattered throughout the world are literally poisonous.

These toxic books, produced in the 19th century, are bound in vivid cloth colored with a notorious pigment known as emerald green that’s laced with arsenic. Many of them are going unnoticed on shelves and in collections. So MelissaTedone, the lab head for library materials conservation at the Winterthur Museum, Garden & Library in Delaware, has launched an effort dubbed the Poison Book Project to locate and catalogue these noxious volumes.

To date, the team has uncovered 88 19th-century books containing emerald green. Seventy of them are covered with vivid green bookcloth, and the rest have the pigment incorporated onto paper labels or decorative features. Tedone even found an emerald green book on sale at a local bookstore, which she purchased.

[ click to continue reading at Nat Geo ]

Posted on April 28, 2022 by Editor

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Chik-Fil-Jam

from The Wall Street Journal

Chick-fil-A’s Crazy Long Drive-Through Lines Have Santa Barbara Residents Squawking

Backed-up traffic for chicken sandwiches plucks a nerve; ‘It’s almost like we’re in L.A. now’

By Christine Mai-Duc

Cars lined up on the street to enter the Chick-fil-A drive-through in Santa Barbara in November.
PHOTO: LARRY BICKFORD

SANTA BARBARA, Calif.—Business has boomed for Chick-fil-A franchisee Travis Collins during the pandemic, thanks to surging appetite for chicken sandwiches from his drive-through window.

Now he’s throwing the works at controlling the lines of cars spilling onto surrounding streets. The city council in this affluent coastal city has proposed declaring his drive-through a public nuisance.

Neighbors and city officials say customers hungry enough to brave the crowded lot for Chick-n-Strips or the signature sandwich of chicken with pickles on a buttered bun have caused so many traffic jams, bus delays and hazards on the city’s main drag that something must be done.

“It’s against the law, they know it’s against the law, but their chicken burgers are more important to them,” said nearby resident Rick Closson. The retired pharmacist once spent a week outside the Chick-fil-A counting the line of cars at 15-minute intervals and informing drivers who were blocking sidewalk space that they were breaking the law. Drivers mostly blew him off, he said, and kept their eyes trained on the line.

[ click to continue reading at WSJ ]

Posted on April 23, 2022 by Editor

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We’re Everywhere

from Zero Hedge

“Humans” May Be All Over The Universe, Scientists Say

BY TYLER DURDEN

Authored by Katie Hutton via TheMindUnleashed.com,

Let’s pretend for a moment that in the future humanity are able to travel to other planets and discover… even more humans.

A University of Cambridge astro-biologist believes that scenario is more possible than you’d imagine, based on his research.

The BBC’s Science Focus magazine recently published an interview with Simon Conway Morris, an evolutionary palaeobiologist at the university’s Department of Earth Sciences, in which he stated that researchers can “say with reasonable confidence” that human-like evolution has occurred in other parts of the universe.

The idea of convergent evolution, which, according to Science Focus, asserts that “random effects gradually average out such that evolution converges, tending to generate similar creatures in any given environment,” lies at the heart of Morris’ thinking. Flying, for instance, was used by the magazine as an illustration of how flying “had evolved independently on Earth at least four times — in birds, bats, insects, and pterosaurs.”

In summary, convergent evolution theory asserts that evolution is a natural law that operates similarly on all planets. In other words, the blue and green alien humanoids from “Star Trek” may be real.

[ click to continue reading at Zero Hedge ]

Posted on April 22, 2022 by Editor

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Justice for Galarraga

from Inside Hook

A College Law Class Is Trying to Get MLB to Recognize Armando Galarraga’s 2010 Perfect Game for Detroit Tigers

Monmouth University law students are making the case for MLB commissioner Rob Manfred to add Galarraga’s gem to the perfect game list

BY EVAN BLEIER

Out of more than 200,000 Major League Baseball games that have been played over approximately 150 years of pro baseball, only 23 have been officially recognized as being perfect. Armando Galarraga threw what should be the 24th for the Tigers against the Cleveland Indians on June 2, 2010, in Detroit, but umpire Jim Joyce inexplicably called Jason Donald safe at first base on what would have been the last out of the game.

It didn’t change what had happened, but Joyce owned up to his mistake immediately upon seeing a replay and famously said he “kicked the shit out of that call” and that he was sick over taking a perfect game away from “that kid over there.” 

[ click to continue reading at Inside Hook ]

Posted on April 19, 2022 by Editor

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Boom Montana

from Washington Post via MSN

The nuclear missile next door

by Eli Saslow

The Air Force bought an acre of the Butcher ranch during the Cold War when it was deploying hundreds of missiles in the Great Plains as part of the U.S. nuclear deterrent against the Soviet Union.
© Demetrius Freeman/The Washington Post The Air Force bought an acre of the Butcher ranch during the Cold War when it was deploying hundreds of missiles in the Great Plains as part of the U.S. nuclear deterrent against the Soviet Union.

WINIFRED, Montana — Ed Butcher, 78, tied up his horse, kicked mud off his cowboy boots and walked into his house for dinner. He’d been working on the ranch for most of the day, miles away from cellphone range. “What did I miss?” he asked his wife, Pam, as he turned their TV to cable news. “What part of the world is falling apart today?”

“Russia’s aggression has gone from scary to terrifying,” the TV commentator said, as Pam took their dinner out of the oven.

“We’re talking about a war that involves a very unstable nuclear power,” the commentator said, as they bent their heads over the venison casserole to say a prayer.

“This could escalate,” the commentator said. “It could explode beyond our wildest imaginations.”

Ed turned the TV off and looked out the window at miles of open prairie, where the wind rattled against their barn and blew dust clouds across Butcher Road. Ed’s family had been on this land since his grandparents homesteaded here in 1913, but rarely had life on the ranch felt so precarious. Their land was parched by record-breaking drought, neglected by a pandemic work shortage, scarred by recent wildfires, and now also connected in its own unique way to a war across the world. “I wonder sometimes what else could go wrong,” Ed said, as he looked over a hill toward the west end of their ranch, where an active U.S. government nuclear missile was buried just beneath the cow pasture.

“Do you think they’ll ever shoot it up into the sky?” Pam asked.

“I used to say, ‘No way,’ ” Ed said. “Now it’s more like, ‘Please God, don’t let us be here to see it.’ ”

[ click to continue reading at MSN ]

Posted on April 17, 2022 by Editor

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The Lonely Hole

from Astronomy

Astronomers detect first potential ‘rogue’ black hole

We’ve seen plenty of black holes tearing material off a companion, but not sitting alone in space. Now, we might have spotted one.

By Ashley Balzer

artist's impression of a black hole
A lone black hole gives off no light – but its gravity does distort the path of light traveling around it. Ute Kraus (background Milky Way panorama: Axel Mellinger), Institute of Physics, Universität Hildesheim

Each second, a brand new baby black hole is born somewhere in the cosmos as a massive star collapses under its own weight.

But black holes themselves are invisible. Historically, astronomers have only been able to detect these stellar-mass black holes when they are acting on a companion.

Now, a team of scientists has made the first-ever confirmed detection of a stellar-mass black hole that’s completely alone. The discovery opens up the possibility of finding even more — an exciting prospect, considering there should be around 100 million such “rogue” black holes drifting through our galaxy unseen.

[ click to continue reading at Astronomy ]

Posted on April 12, 2022 by Editor

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Scaryverse

from Yahoo! Finance

Metaverse without regulation would be a ‘very scary prospect,’ experts warn

by Alexis Keenan

Visitors are pictured in front of an immersive art installation titled
Visitors are pictured in front of an immersive art installation titled “Machine Hallucinations – Space: Metaverse” by media artist Refik Anadol, which will be converted into NFT and auctioned online at Sotheby’s, at the Digital Art Fair, in Hong Kong, China September 30, 2021. REUTERS/Tyrone Siu TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY

Meta Platforms (FB), formerly known as Facebook, lost an attempt last week to quash a proposal from shareholders who want to know whether its planned virtual world will cause real-world harm.

The question comes as critics of the metaverse voice concerns that the burgeoning virtual world sorely needs regulation to protect its users. The absence of rules to police the metaverse could hurt consumers in the same ways they’ve been hurt in other online platforms, critics warn. The metaverse could also create brand-new injuries without proper oversight, according to critics.

If the metaverse becomes ubiquitous, regulation could become even more crucial.

[ click to continue reading at Yahoo! Finance ]

Posted on April 11, 2022 by Editor

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Burritoverse

from The U.S. Sun

Inside Chipotle in the metaverse where users can roll virtual burritos they can never eat

by Charlotte Edwards

Your first metaverse ‘job’ could be making burritos Credit: Chipotle Mexican Grill, Inc./Roblox

CHIPOTLE is entering the metaverse and encouraging Roblox players to roll virtual burritos they can’t eat.

Although a virtual burrito is pretty useless, some lucky users will be able to exchange their virtual labor for real life food.

The Mexican food chain has announced a Chipotle Burrito Builder experience that will let metaverse users roll their own burritos.

It’s also revealed a behind the scenes look at the pixelated ‘food’ and a ‘90s themed restaurant that pays homepage to the first ever Chipotle.

[ click to continue reading at The Sun ]

Posted on April 6, 2022 by Editor

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Binaural Buzz

from Brain Tomorrow

Newest psychedelic drug — is sound? How people are using binaural beats to get high

by Chris Melore

Will the next generation of drugs be coming out of your headphones? A new survey is revealing the growing use of sound as a psychedelic drug.

Researchers from RMIT University in Australia say their study looked at the phenomenon of binaural beats, which are sounds that can allegedly trigger a psychoactive effect in the brain. More specifically, binaural beats are illusionary tones created by the brain when someone hears two different sound frequencies in each ear.

[ click to continue reading at Brain Tomorrow ]

Posted on April 1, 2022 by Editor

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Ultimate Upload for AI

from TIME

The Human Genome Is Finally Fully Sequenced

BY ALICE PARK

Getty Images


he first human genome was mapped in 2001 as part of the Human Genome Project, but researchers knew it was neither complete nor completely accurate. Now, scientists have produced the most completely sequenced human genome to date, filling in gaps and correcting mistakes in the previous version.

The sequence is the most complete reference genome for any mammal so far. The findings from six new papers describing the genome, which were published in Science, should lead to a deeper understanding of human evolution and potentially reveal new targets for addressing a host of diseases.

[ click to continue reading at TIME ]

Posted on March 31, 2022 by Editor

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ZombieTok

from Study Finds

Screen time terrors: 7 in 10 parents fear their kids are becoming ‘internet zombies’

by Chris Melore

NEW YORK — Is all that time spent on social media, gaming apps, and streaming services turning kids’ brains into mush? Seven in 10 American parents are worried their children are turning into internet “zombies,” according to a survey.

The study polled 2,000 American parents of school-aged children and found 64 percent are concerned about the amount of time their children spend on the internet. Another two in three believe their child’s overall behavior has changed as a result of increased time online.

While 71 percent trust their child is mature enough to roam the web unsupervised, a quarter of parents think a child should be in their teens before allowing this. Still, the average parent surveyed let their child browse the internet independently at 11 years-old.

[ click to continue reading at Study Finds ]

Posted on March 26, 2022 by Editor

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Hadidverse

from CNN

Ambitious plans unveiled for a libertarian city in the metaverse

by Jacqui Palumbo

A rendering of the Liberland Metaverse plaza.
A rendering of the Liberland Metaverse plaza. Credit: ZHA

One of the most prominent architecture firms in the world is designing a new metaverse — a virtual city that hopes to be a libertarian utopia.

Zaha Hadid Architects (ZHA) has revealed renderings of the “cyber-urban” Liberland metaverse, a small virtual city made of futuristic, curving buildings in the architectural style that made the late architect’s firm famous. When complete, it will offer users the ability to traverse the hub as an avatar, and feature a city hall, collaborative working spaces, shops, business incubators, and a gallery for NFT art shows. The community it hopes to foster will have a focus on self-governance as well as fewer rules and regulations.]

[ click to continue reading at CNN ]

Posted on March 25, 2022 by Editor

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Memory Born

from WIRED

Scientists Watch a Memory Form in a Living Brain

While observing fearful memories take shape in the brains of fish, neuroscientists saw an unexpected level of synaptic rewiring.

by YASEMIN SAPLAKOGLU

( originally published in Quanta Magazine)

Zebrafish Brain
The brain of this zebra fish larva glows with fluorescent markers that illuminate its neural activity. PHOTOGRAPH: ANDREY ANDREEV/THAI TRUONG/SCOTT FRASER; TRANSLATIONAL IMAGING CENTER/USC

IMAGINE THAT WHILE you are enjoying your morning bowl of Cheerios, a spider drops from the ceiling and plops into the milk. Years later, you still can’t get near a bowl of cereal without feeling overcome with disgust.

Researchers have now directly observed what happens inside a brain learning that kind of emotionally charged response. In a new study published in January in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, a team at the University of Southern California was able to visualize memories forming in the brains of laboratory fish, imaging them under the microscope as they bloomed in beautiful fluorescent greens. From earlier work, they had expected the brain to encode the memory by slightly tweaking its neural architecture. Instead, the researchers were surprised to find a major overhaul in the connections.

[ click to continue reading at WIRED ]

Posted on March 21, 2022 by Editor

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Idiots All Around

Posted on March 20, 2022 by Editor

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Stray Space Rock Surprises

from The Jerusalem Post

Asteroid impacts Earth just two hours after it was discovered

The asteroid, 2022 EB5, was small and burnt up in the atmosphere. However, more asteroids are coming, one flying by closer to the Earth than the Moon.

By AARON REICH

 Asteroid (illustrative) (photo credit: SHUTTERSTOCK)
Asteroid (illustrative) (photo credit: SHUTTERSTOCK)

An asteroid struck the Earth over the weekend, just two hours after it was discovered.

Designated 2022 EB5, the small rocky object impacted the planet on March 11 north of Iceland, according to numerous astronomers online. 

At just three meters wide, 2022 EB5 was around just half the size of an average male giraffe, which grows to be around five-six meters in height. As such, it was unlikely to do any damage if it had impacted the planet. 

[ click to continue reading at JP ]

Posted on March 14, 2022 by Editor

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