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SIMP J01365663+0933473

from SPACE.com

Bizarre Rogue ‘Planet’ with Incredible Auroras Puzzles Scientists

By Meghan Bartels

Bizarre Rogue 'Planet' with Incredible Auroras Puzzles ScientistsAn artist’s depiction of the newly described object. Credit: Chuck Carter; NRAO/AUI/NSF/Caltech

A rogue, planet-size object 20 light-years away from Earth has stunned astronomers with its incredibly powerful magnetic field.

The scientists found that the object’s magnetic field is more than 200 times stronger than Jupiter’s, which, in turn, is between 16 and 54 times stronger than Earth’s, according to NASA. How the object, which scientists call SIMP J01365663+0933473, can maintain a magnetic field so strong, as well as generate spectacular auroras, is still unclear.

“This particular object is exciting because studying its magnetic dynamo mechanisms can give us new insights on how the same type of mechanisms can operate in extrasolar planets — planets beyond our solar system,” lead study author Melodie Kao, an astrophysicist at Arizona State University, said in a statement from the National Radio Astronomy Observatory published Aug. 2. [The Strangest Alien Planets We Know in Pictures]

And it’s not just the magnetic mechanism that’s leaving scientists with questions right now — there are plenty of other mysteries about the object, which scientists first discovered in 2016.

[ click to continue reading at SPACE ]

Posted on August 8, 2018 by Editor

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Cosmic Orgasms Cool!

from The Guardian

‘You’ve had what we call a cosmic orgasm’: the rise of conscious breathing

You do it more than 23,000 times a day, but are you breathing properly? From a rebirthing session to holotropic breathwork, Richard Godwin inhales the latest wellness craze

by Richard Godwin

man making a facePhotograph: Getty Images

Are you sitting comfortably? Airways clear, back straight, no respiratory conditions? OK. Take a series of short, deep breaths. Activate your diaphragm, pull the air right down into your belly, let the chest fall. Repeat 30-40 times. Feeling a little floaty? Fingers tingling? Don’t worry. It’s just oxygen saturating your cells.

Now take a big breath, then expel all the air from your lungs and hold it. Relax, you’ll be fine. (As long as you’re not doing this in a swimming pool.) That slight feeling of panic? It’s nothing to worry about. You might be surprised how long you can push it before you have to take a huge gasp.

After three attempts, I managed three minutes 23 seconds of not breathing. The person who formulated this exercise, Dutch endurance specialist and multiple world record holder Wim Hof, 59, has trained himself to go up to six or seven minutes. He claims that by performing this exercise daily (along with a regimen of cold showers and meditation), we can help treat a whole suite of conditions and diseases, from depression to arthritis. “It’s so simple,” he tells me. “That’s why people overlook it. They stay in their brains thinking, ‘This cannot be so simple.’ But it is!”

[ click to continue reading at The Guardian ]

Posted on August 4, 2018 by Editor

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Viva la Sperm!

from Prospect Magazine

Where has all the sperm gone?

Sperm counts have been decreasing for decades. Nobody seems to know why it’s happening, and not much is being done to find out, but we could be facing a public health disaster

by Philip Ball

The last time I checked—about 16 years ago—my sperm count was rather feeble. That didn’t feel like the devastating blow to my manhood that it might once have been. It’s a common enough problem: an estimated one in 20 young men (I was hardly that even then) have sperm counts low enough to impair fertility. But neither does it feel that the matter is taken very seriously. Doctors tend to shrug: “Oh, so that’s the problem.”

“Anything I can do?” I asked my GP. “Not really,” he replied indifferently, not bothering to check if I was a heavy drinker or what my diet was like—both factors that have been shown to cause trouble for sperm.

For centuries, science has ignored the potential role of the male in infertility. The default assumption that it was the woman’s fault wasn’t fair, but the consequence is that we know a lot today about the causes of female infertility, and have many -potential -treatments. Male infertility, in contrast, remains rather mysterious and little researched. One group of experts on male health wrote recently of our “andrological ignorance,” an indifference reflected also by the continued lack of a “male pill” for birth control.

This ignorance about fertility in men is alarming, because sperm counts seem to have been decreasing steadily and significantly for decades. The issues involved, however, are so hopelessly tangled up with received ideas about gender roles and identity that they are being neglected. Something disturbing is going on, and the consequences for health and society could be profound.

[ click to continue reading at Prospect ]

Posted on August 3, 2018 by Editor

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Burros For The Obese

from METRO

Fat tourists are crippling donkeys that carry them on holiday in Greece

by Jane Wharton

A guide leads a group of tourists on donkeys and mules through the streets of Fira, the capital of the Greek island of Santorini (Picture: AFP)

Greece is breeding a new kind of donkey to cope with overweight British tourists wanting to ride them, it has emerged.

Donkeys on the picturesque island of Santorini are being crippled by carrying overweight holidaymakers up the steep cobbled hills. Now locals are starting to breed their donkeys with stronger mules so it is easier for them to carry fatter tourists.

A spokesman for charity Help the Santorini Donkeys told the Mirror: ‘They’re having to resort to using cross-bred mules, as the donkeys just aren’t strong enough.

‘It’s recommended animals carry no more than 20% of their body weight.

‘Obese and overweight tourists combined with the lack of shade and water, heat and cobbled steps is what’s causing such a problem.’

[ click to keep reading at METRO ]

Posted on July 28, 2018 by Editor

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Yellowstone To Blow?

from The Express

Yellowstone Volcano latest: 100-FOOT fissure sparks URGENT park closure

A 100-foot fissure has opened up in the Grand Teton National Park – not far from the potentially catastrophic Yellowstone volcano.

By SEAN MARTIN

The giant crack in the Wyoming–based national park has prompted officials to shut down areas from tourists in case of landslides.

WoodTV.com, a US-news site affiliated with NBC, reported: “A 100-foot long fissure has prompted the closing of part of Grand Teton National Park.”

The Grand Teton National Park said in a statement: “The Hidden Falls and Inspiration Point areas are currently closed due to elevated potential for rockfall.

“The area was closed to protect human safety on July 10 after expanding cracks in a rock buttress were detected.

“It is unknown how long the closure will be in effect. Geologists are monitoring the buttress for movement and have initiated a risk assessment for the area.”

It is currently unclear how the crack opened but it is likely due to normal seismic activity in the national park area.

Despite being around 100 kilometres from the Yellowstone National Park, Grand Teton does sit over the Yellowstone supervolcano.

If it was seismic activity beneath Grand Teton which caused the fissure, it could be a sign that Yellowstone is reawakening.

[ click to continue reading at The Express ]

Posted on July 19, 2018 by Editor

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Giant Jeff Goldblum

from VICE

Finally, the World Has a Giant, Shirtless Jeff Goldblum Statue

Behold, one of the greatest artistic achievements of our time.

Photo via NowTV / Fever PR

Jeff Goldblum is iconic in everything he touches, but there is no role quite so canon as his turn as Dr. Ian Malcolm in Jurassic Park, and no scene that captures his essence quite as well as that brief, beautiful moment where he’s sweaty as all hell and shirtless for some reason.

It’s been 25 years since that cinematic touchstone graced this world, and to commemorate it, London’s NOW TV has constructed one of the greatest artistic achievements of our time: A 25-foot statue of a half-naked Jeff Goldblum.

It was an audacious move on the artist’s part to even try to recreate such an impeccable expression of the human form, but the risk paid off. No detail was spared: The stubble is perfectly rendered, so subtle you’d miss it if you didn’t take a closer look. His hand hangs loose from the wrist in that quintessentially Goldblum-ian attitude of effortlessness, of ease with the self. And those eyes: They gleam with a confluence of fear and knowledge—a mirror image of the look Goldblum flashed the camera just after Dr. Malcolm nearly lost his life to a T. Rex.

[ click to continue reading at VICE ]

Posted on July 18, 2018 by Editor

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Life on Enceladus

from National Geographic

Right Stuff for Life Found on Small Saturn Moon

Data from a dead spacecraft suggest that this world may be the best place besides Earth for life as we know it.

BY

On Saturn’s small moon Enceladus, perpetual fountains of alien seawater launch all sorts of curious stuff into space: water, salt, silica, and even simple carbon-containing compounds fly into the void—many of which are ingredients for life as we know it.

Now, scientists working with data from a dead spacecraft have discovered something even more potentially intriguing: heavy organic compounds containing hundreds of atoms arranged in rings and chains. These are the most complex organic molecules uncovered so far at Enceladus, and—sorry, Europa—they may make the moon the most promising place in our solar system to search for life beyond Earth.

“What we know today is telling us that Enceladus is an outstanding target to go look for life, and there may be microbes living in that ocean today,” says Cornell University’s Jonathan Lunine.

[ click to continue reading at NatGeo ]

Posted on June 27, 2018 by Editor

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Life On Mars Found

from USA Today

NASA Mars rover discovers ‘building blocks’ for life: 3-billion-year-old organic matter

by Doyle Rice

The “building blocks” for life have been discovered in 3-billion-year-old organic matter on Mars, NASA scientists announced Thursday.

Researchers cannot yet say whether their discovery stems from life or a more mundane geological process.  However, “we’re in a really good position to move forward looking for signs of life,”  said Jennifer Eigenbrode, a NASA biogeochemist and lead author of a study published Thursday in the peer-reviewed journal Science.

The findings were also remarkable in that they showed that organic material can be preserved for billions of years on the harsh Martian surface.

The material was discovered by the Mars Curiosity rover, which has been collecting data on the Red Planet since August 2012. The organic molecules were found in Gale Crater — believed to once contain a shallow lake the size of Florida’s Lake Okeechobee.

[ click to continue reading at USAT ]

Posted on June 7, 2018 by Editor

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Renting Your DNA, Cool!

from the San Diego Union-Tribune

Need a little extra money? You’ll soon be able to sell and rent your DNA

By Gary Robbins

Gene GenieA technician at a Colorado Department of Public Health & Environment lab in Denver extracts DNA for whole genome sequencing. Such testing could revolutionize everything from medical care to agriculture. (P. Solomon Banda / AP)

Feel like earning a little extra money and maybe improving your health at the same time?

Consumers will soon be able to sell or rent their DNA to scientists who are trying to fight diseases as different as dementia, lupus and leukemia.

Bio-brokers want to collect everything from someone’s 23andMe and Ancestry.com gene data to fully sequenced genomes.

The data would be sold or rented to biomedical institutes, universities and pharmaceutical companies, generating money for consumers who share their genetic secrets.

[ click to continue reading in the Union-Tribune ]

Posted on June 1, 2018 by Editor

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Bigravity

from Inside Science

Bigravity: A Hidden ‘Gear’ for Gravity?

Physicists come up with alternate explanation of gravity that may implicate dark energy, which comprises 70 percent of our universe.

by Yuen Yiu

An artist’s conception of our universe, where gravity (the green grid) is trying to keep everything together and a mysterious dark energy (the purple grid) is trying to tear everything apart. Image credits: NASA/JPL-Caltech

Two physicists from Montana State University in Bozeman propose a way to test an existing theory of gravity where a hidden “gear” may explain the mystery of dark energy — an unknown substance that makes up 70 percent of our universe.

The paper, published in Classical and Quantum Gravity, suggests that astronomers may be able to test models of bigravity — a theory in which there are two different components of gravity, as suggested by its prefix — using X-ray, radio and gravitational wave measurements of neutron stars.

An Ever-Expanding Universe

Scientists have known since at least the 1990s that our universe is expanding at an accelerating rate. But this doesn’t make sense, because gravity — an attractive force like a rubber band — is supposed to cause our universe to contract or at least slow down the expansion.

“It’s like if you took a ball and threw it up in the air, but instead of falling back down, it just kept going up faster and faster,” said Andrew Sullivan, a physicist from Montana State University and author of the paper.

Scientists theorized that some other force must be responsible for ripping the universe apart, and “dark energy” became the placeholder term for the mysterious force.

[ click to continue reading at Inside Science ]

Posted on May 30, 2018 by Editor

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Little Demon

from WFTV

Listen: Little Caesars worker calls 911 after admittedly shooting attacker in mask

By: Chip Skambis , Deanna Allbrittin , Jeff Levkulich , Kelly Healey

HOLLY HILL, Fla. – A Little Caesars pizza employee who admittedly shot an attacker wearing a demon mask is heard on a 911 call that was released Tuesday, saying, “Please help me. I think he’s dying.“

The employee is heard sobbing as he talked to the dispatcher.

Listen: 911 call in Little Caesars attack

“He tried to stab me with a pair of scissors. He hit me in the face with a big piece of wood,” the employee said during the call.  “I’m bleeding all over the place.”

[ click to continue reading at WFTV ]

Posted on May 29, 2018 by Editor

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Wrong Astronomy

from Nautilus

The Popular Creation Story of Astronomy Is Wrong

The old tale about science versus the church is wide of the mark.

In the early years of the 17th century, Johannes Kepler argued that the universe contained thousands of mighty bodies, bodies so huge that they could be universes themselves. These giant bodies, said Kepler, testified to the immense power of, as well as the personal tastes of, an omnipotent Creator God. The giant bodies were the stars, and they were arrayed around the sun, the universe’s comparatively tiny central body, itself orbited by its retinue of still tinier planets.

This strange view of the universe held by Kepler, the innovative astronomer who set the stage for Isaac Newton and the advent of modern physics by freeing astronomy from the perfect circles of Aristotle and working out the elliptical nature of orbital motion, was held by a number of early supporters of Nicolaus Copernicus and his heliocentric (“sun-centric”) theory. Kepler’s view was the view that science—repeatable observations of the stars and rigorous mathematical analysis of the data gleaned from those observations—demanded. It was also the Achilles’ heel of the Copernican theory. Astronomers who maintained that the Earth sits immobile, at the center of the universe, attacked the giant stars as an absurdity, concocted by Copernicans to make their pet theory fit the data. The story of this “giant stars” view of the universe has been all but forgotten.

[ click to continue reading at Nautilus ]

Posted on May 25, 2018 by Editor

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Permanent Resident Alien Asteroid

from USA Today

Alien asteroid is first known ‘permanent resident’ from outside our solar system

by Doyle Rice

​Image of stellar nursery NGC 604, where star systemsImage of stellar nursery NGC 604, where star systems are closely packed and asteroid exchange is thought to be possible. Asteroid 2015 BZ 509 emigrated from its parent star and settled around the sun in a similar environment. (Photo: NASA / Hubble Heritage Team)

Hey bub, you’re going the wrong way.

The solar system’s first known “resident” that came from interstellar space — an asteroid orbiting backward around Jupiter — has been discovered, scientists announced Monday.

“How the asteroid came to move in this way while sharing Jupiter’s orbit has until now been a mystery,” said Fathi Namouni, lead author of the new study and a scientist at the University of Cote d’Azur in Nice, France.

The planets and most other objects in our solar system travel around the sun in the same direction. This asteroid is different — moving in the opposite direction in “retrograde” orbit.

[ click to continue reading at USAT ]

 

Posted on May 21, 2018 by Editor

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Creepy Clown Sex

from The Daily Wire

Teen Dresses As Clown And Stabs Boyfriend During Sex. Here’s The Creepy Text She Sent Him Before The Attack.

ByAMANDA PRESTIGIACOMO

A 19-year-old mother was sentenced to 11 years behind bars after dressing up as a clown and repeatedly stabbing her boyfriend during sexual intercourse.

Zoe Adams stabbed her then-boyfriend, then-17-year-old Kieran Bewick, after sending him a text stating that men are only good as a “human sacrifce.”

“I don’t think about males unless said male is strapped up and being used as a human sacrifice – you should be grateful you are not part of it,” reads the text message.

The duo were apparently engaging in some sexual fantasy of Adams’ in July of 2017 in Wigton, Cumbria. Bewick, who suffers from a fear of clowns, was supposed to be tied up during the sex but negotiated to have Adams only use a pillow to place over his face as she was dressed as a clown.

During the trial, Adams claimed she didn’t remember the encounter but noted that her stabbing Bewick was an “overreaction” to him kissing her neck.

“I did stab him – but I overreacted,” Adams told the court.

“I have always had a fear of clowns and Zoe knew this. This will now only increase my fear of clowns,” he added.

[ click to read full story at The Daily Wire ]

Posted on May 18, 2018 by Editor

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Tim Horton’s, Public Restroom

from deadspin

Woman Furiously Shits On Floor Of Tim Hortons, Throws It At Employees

by Samer Kalaf

A woman in Canada was so incensed about something Tim Hortons employees did or didn’t do that she dropped her pants, took a dump on the floor, threw it, grabbed some napkins to wipe her ass, threw those too, and left.

There is no pixelation in this sped-up LiveLeak video. You are going to see everything that this woman, full of rage and previously turds, does to forever sully the floor of this Tim Hortons located in Langley, British Columbia.

What’s particularly baffling, aside from the obvious, is the other customers who don’t really react to what’s happening. Maybe that’s because the tasteful barrier has censored most of it, or maybe it’s because there’s really nothing to do when a human decides to take a spiteful shit and fling it.

[ click to continue reading at deadspin ]

Posted on May 17, 2018 by Editor

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Wolverine Sloth Yum

from USA Today

Giant sloths with wolverine-like claws used to roam America, and humans hunted them

by Doyle Rice

Human footprint inside a sloth track. This compositeHuman footprint inside a sloth track. This composite track is part of a trackway in which the human appears to have stalked the sloth. (Photo: Matthew Bennett, Bournemouth University)

Although it sounds like a grade-B science fiction movie, fossils that our ancestors once hunted and fought giant ground sloths.

For the first time, scientists have uncovered fossilized footprints of ancient humans at the White Sands National Monument in New Mexico, a new study reports. And at the same site, those newly discovered human footprints were actually inside footprints of giant ground sloths — tall, fearsome creatures with sharp claws.

Scientists say this is evidence that the humans followed closely behind, or even “stalked” the sloths during the hunt.

“The White Sands trackway — a series of tracks and footprints — shows that someone followed a sloth, purposely stepping in their tracks as they did so,” said study lead author David Bustos, the park naturalist who discovered the trackway 10 years ago.

[ click to continue reading at USAT ]

 

Posted on May 2, 2018 by Editor

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Steve Explained

from Public Radio International

The mysterious aurora known as ‘Steve,’ explained

by Adam Wernick

STEVEA composite of images captures “Steve” (Strong Thermal Emission Velocity Enhancement) over Manitoba, Canada.  / NASA Goddard Space Flight Center

Thanks to collaboration between citizen scientists and astronomers, a strange phenomenon in the night sky, dubbed “Steve,” has finally been explained.

In 2017, a glowing purple-and-green ribbon across the heavens mystified sky-watchers because it showed up much further south than the famous northern lights, or aurora borealis. These observers decided to call it “Steve,” echoing the woodland creatures in the children’s movie “Over the Hedge.”

For a time, nobody knew what Steve actually was or what caused it. Now there’s a bona fide scientific explanation, according to NASA space scientist Liz MacDonald.

“Steve is a new type of aurora structure that can be seen in the northern or southern sky further south than the usual aurora,” MacDonald explains. “What we now know from the satellite observations is that this structure is associated with a very strong flow of the charged particles in the upper atmosphere that you can actually see when you’re looking at Steve. That signature from the satellite observations — this very narrow, long, purple arc — is actually something that scientists know and have studied for a long time. It’s something called a sub-auroral ion drift.”

[ click to continue reading at PRI ]

Posted on April 30, 2018 by Editor

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Steamboat To Blow?

from The Independent

World’s biggest active geyser erupts at Yellowstone National Park for third time in weeks

Increased activity at Steamboat Geyser after three years sat dormant

by Tom Barnes

The world’s largest active geyser has erupted for the third time in less than six weeks.

Steamboat Geyser, in Yellowstone National Park, erupted at around 6.30am local time on Friday morning, geologists said.

The eruption is the latest event in a rare period of activity at the geyser this year, following similar water discharges on March 15 and April 19 this year.

Before this year, Steamboat had not erupted since September 2014.

The US Geological Survey said all events so far in 2018 had been smaller than recent major activity observed in 2013 and 2014.

[ click to continue reading at The Independent ]

Posted on April 29, 2018 by Editor

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Wow, that’s a lot of pumpkin seeds.

Posted on April 26, 2018 by Editor

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Dead Black Market Hummingbirds

from National Geographic

Inside the Black Market Hummingbird Love Charm Trade

By

There’s a witch in San Diego who casts spells to “trap a man” and “dominate him” so “he’ll always come back.” She has a shop on San Ysidro Boulevard, one mile from the busiest Mexico border crossing in the United States, near a pawnshop, a liquor store, a furniture market, and the Smokenjoy Hookah Lounge, where DJ music thumps on Friday nights.

But you don’t need to go to her shop for magic—you can join the tens of thousands watching her on YouTube. Like a wicked Martha Stewart creating potions instead of potpourri, she provides step-by-step instructions for her spells.

“This is the honey jar,” she tells viewers while introducing the ingredients on her workbench: photographs of two would-be lovers, a piece of paper with their names written on it three times, a small glass jar—and a dead hummingbird. She rolls the tiny animal inside the photographs and wraps the cigar-shaped bundle with hot-pink yarn nearly the same shade as her long, fake fingernails.

Showing only her arms and lower body on camera, she shields her identity as she swaddles the package in a sarcophagus of tacky flypaper, dips it in cinnamon spice, squeezes it into the jar, and spritzes it with perfumes and oils—pheromones—“so he’ll stay sexually attracted.” Restless balm “so he’ll be like, ‘Oh my God, I need to call her.’” Sleep oil “so he’ll be like a zombie.” Attraction oil “so he’ll be like, ‘Goddamn, you so beautiful, you so fine.’” Dominating oil “so you dominate his thoughts.”

Finally she fills the jar with a thick pour of golden honey and tops it with a sprinkle of rose petals. “I love this,” she says. “I’m already getting a really good vibe.”

[ click to continue reading at Nat Geo ]

Posted on April 20, 2018 by Editor

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Worms On The Moon

from The Telegraph

China plans to grow flowers and silkworms on the dark side of the moon

by 

China hopes to create a ‘mini biosphere’ on the dark side of the Moon, with flowers and silkworms sustaining each other as they grow on the lifeless lunar surface.

The unprecedented plan to create life in outer space is the most intriguing part of China’s lunar probe mission later this year, and could be a major boost for dreams that humans will one day live on the Moon.

The insects, plants, potato seeds and arabidopsis—a small flowering plant belonging to the mustard family – will be taken to the Moon on board the Chang’e-4 lander and rover in December.

They will be placed in an 18cm tall bucket-like tin made from special aluminum alloy materials, together with water, a nutrient solution, and a small camera and data transmission system.

A small tube will direct natural sunlight into the tin to help the plants and potato seeds grow. Although known figuratively as the “dark side” as it is unseen, the far side of the moon receives almost equal sunlight to the near side.

The next stage of the mini-econlogical system will see the plants emitting oxygen, which will feed the silkworms hatching from their cocoons.

The silkworms will them create carbon dioxide and produce waste that will allow the plants to grow, Chinese scientists say.

[ click to continue reading at The Telegraph ]

Posted on April 15, 2018 by Editor

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What Exactly Happened To The Phuds?

from The New York Times

Never Solved, a College Dorm Fire Has Become One Man’s Obsession

The 1967 blaze at Cornell University killed 9, including members of a fast-track Ph.D. program. No one was ever charged, but an amateur investigator thinks he knows who set it.

By N. R. Kleinfield

Students awoke to what they thought was the murmur of children playing. They awoke to what they assumed was a pesky classmate banging on the door to borrow a textbook. They awoke from a lifelike dream that they were at a barbecue, could even smell the smoke. There was smoke. It was just after 4 in the morning. The dorm was on fire.

It had ignited in the basement lounge of the Cornell Heights Residential Club, a repurposed motel on the northern fringe of the expansive Cornell University campus in Ithaca, N.Y. Its principal residents were in the initial class of an experimental program inviting gifted students to earn a Ph.D. in six years. There were 50 of them (a few were elsewhere that night), and they called themselves Phuds or Fuds. The building also housed two dozen women on the second floor who were seniors or graduate students, plus three faculty counselors, a student adviser and a cook.

Bleary students scrambled to escape, some barefoot and one hobbling on crutches. Blinding smoke made it virtually impossible to reach the front doors, and few did. Students used shoehorns and grapefruit knives to detach screens and squirm out windows, or stumbled out a basement exit into the stabbing cold. A few jumped or knotted sheets together to shimmy down. Those on the second floor mostly backed down the ladders of firefighters or ones Phuds appropriated from a fraternity house. The cook was carried out unconscious by a muscular fraternity member and a Phud. John Finch, an associate English professor, got out, then sprinted back in to alert students, smacking furniture and screaming for them to run.

Afterward, many of the residents assembled at a nearby sorority. The mood darkened when the unimaginable news filtered in. Eight students died from asphyxiation. So did the heroic Mr. Finch. Three students were Phuds — Martha Beck, Jeffrey Smith and Peter Cooch — while the others were women from the second floor: Jennie Zu-wei Sun, Meimei Cheng, Anne McCormic, Carol Kurtz and Johanna Christina Wallden.

[ click to continue reading at NYT ]

Posted on April 13, 2018 by Editor

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Nice Save

Posted on April 3, 2018 by Editor

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The Sky Is Falling Sometime In The Next Few Weeks

from The Guardian

China’s Tiangong-1 space station will crash to Earth within weeks

Experts say it is impossible to plot where module will re-enter the atmosphere, but the chance is higher in parts of Europe, US, Australia and New Zealand

by 

The Tiangong-1 space station, which is expected to come crashing to earth within weeks.

China’s first space station is expected to come crashing down to Earth within weeks, but scientists have not been able to predict where the 8.5-tonne module will hit.

The US-funded Aerospace Corporation estimates Tiangong-1 will re-enter the atmosphere during the first week of April, give or take a week. The European Space Agency says the module will come down between 24 March and 19 April.

In 2016 China admitted it had lost control of Tiangong-1 and would be unable to perform a controlled re-entry.

The statement from Aerospace said there was “a chance that a small amount of debris” from the module will survive re-entry and hit the Earth.

[ click to continue reading at The Guardian ]

Posted on March 5, 2018 by Editor

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Sandwiches Top Cause of Global Warming

from New Atlas

Is the humble sandwich a climate change culprit?

by David Szondy

Sandwiches have a surprisingly large carbon footprintSandwiches have a surprisingly large carbon footprint(Credit: Taden1/Depositphotos)

Scientists at the University of Manchester have found a surprising global warming culprit – sandwiches. In the first study of its kind, the researchers carried out an in-depth audit of various sandwiches throughout their life cycles and found the triangular meals could be responsible for the equivalent annual carbon emissions of 8.6 million cars in Britain alone.

In 1762, or so the story goes, the fourth Earl of Sandwich rocked the culinary world when he couldn’t be bothered to leave the gambling table to eat and ordered the servants to just stick some meat between two slices of bread for him. Since then, the modern sandwich has become one of the most popular of food formats.

According to the British Sandwich Association (BSA), the United Kingdom spends £8 billion (US$11.3 billion) annually on 11.5 billion sandwiches, with half made at home and the other half bought at shops, supermarkets, kiosks, and service stations. To better understand the environmental impact of all these sarnies, the Manchester team looked at over 40 different sandwich types, recipes, and combinations as well as how they are made, packaged, transported, and stored. In addition, they considered the waste produced in making them, as well as the stale, rotten, or simply outdated sandwiches that are thrown away.

What the researchers found was that not all sandwiches are created equal and that some varieties have larger carbon footprints than others. The highest footprint was found in premade, prepackaged, all-day-breakfast sandwiches. These contain eggs, bacon, and sausage and are kept packaged and refrigerated until sold and eaten – all of which is estimated to add up to 1,441 g (3.18 lb) of carbon dioxide equivalent, or roughly the same as driving a car for 12 miles (19 km).

[ click to continue reading at New Atlas ]

 

Posted on March 4, 2018 by Editor

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Supervolcano Surging

from The Express

Yellowstone ERUPTION: Supervolcano under ‘STRAIN’ – experts find magma chamber pressure

YELLOWSTONE is “under strain” according to a group of seismologists who are monitoring the potentially catastrophic volcano, prompting fears an eruption is imminent.

By SEAN MARTIN

yellowstoneGETTY

Yellowstone will erupt again one day.

A process known as deformation, where subsurface rocks subtly change shapes, is occurring beneath the surface of Yellowstone which alerts experts.

Researchers state deformation occurs when there is a change in the amount of pressure in the magma chamber and experts are keeping an eye on the development.

Seismologists from UNAVCO, a nonprofit university-governed consortium, are using “Global Positioning System, borehole tiltmeters, and borehole strainmeters” to measure minute changes in deformation at Yellowstone.

In an article for the Billings Gazette, David Mencin and Glen Mattioli, geodesists with UNAVCO, say “the strain signal is larger than would be expected if the crust under Yellowstone were completely solid”.

[ click to continue reading at The Express ]

Posted on February 13, 2018 by Editor

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Sneak Attack

from LiveScience

Why the Asteroid Approaching Earth Was Only Spotted 5 Days Ago

By Elizabeth Howell

Why the Asteroid Approaching Earth Was Only Spotted 5 Days AgoAsteroid 2018 CB will pass closely by Earth on Friday, Feb. 9, at a distance of about 39,000 miles. Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech

Almost exactly five years ago, a truck-size celestial rockunexpectedly exploded in the atmosphere above Chelyabinsk, Russia, on Feb. 15, 2013. As town officials dealt with broken glass and hundreds injured, people worldwide asked why nobody spotted the 51-foot-across (17 meters) object sooner, in time to warn residents.

The same question could be asked of another asteroid that will whiz harmlessly past the Earth today (Feb. 9). NASA said this object, nicknamed 2018 CB, may very well be bigger than one that broke up over Chelyabinsk. The asteroid was only spotted on Sunday (Feb. 4) by the Catalina Sky Survey. Early estimates of 2018 CB’s size range between 50 and 130 feet (15 and 40 m) in diameter. The object will fly by Earth at about 5:30 p.m. EST (2:30 p.m. PST) at less than 20 percent of the distance from the Earth to the moon. That’s about 238,855 miles (384,400 km) from us.

“Asteroids of this size do not often approach this close to our planet — maybe only once or twice a year,” Paul Chodas, manager of the Center for Near-Earth Object Studies at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory in California, said in a statement from the agency.

[ click to continue reading at LiveScience ]

Posted on February 9, 2018 by Editor

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Parts of the planet could be rendered uninhabitable

The Sun

Earth’s magnetic poles could be about to FLIP sparking chaos and mass blackouts

Parts of the planet could be rendered uninhabitable by the reversal, experts have warned

By Brittany Vonow

 The change could cause disastrous repercussionsGETTY IMAGES

THE Earth’s magnetic poles could be about to flip, sparking chaos and making large parts of the planet uninhabitable, it has emerged.

Experts have warned that the change is extremely likely with the magnetic field weakening by 15 per cent over 200 years.

According to an Undark report, the flip could cause “devastating streams of particles from the sun, galactic cosmic rays, and enhanced ultraviolet B rays from a radiation”.

The report warned that satellite timing systems that govern electric grids could fail, causing a ripple effect that would shut off lights, computers and phones. Even flushing the toilet could become impossible, according to the article.

The article shared concerns from Daniel Baker, director of the Laboratory for Atmospheric and Space Physics at the University of Colorado, Boulder, who warned “that parts of the planet will become uninhabitable during a reversal”.

[ click to continue reading at The Sun ]

Posted on February 4, 2018 by Editor

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Nothing To See Here

from ABC News

Scientists say rash of earthquakes and volcanic eruptions on ‘Ring of Fire’ not connected

By BILL HUTCHINSON

Volcanic eruptions in Japan, the Philippines and Bali. Massive earthquakes in Alaska and Indonesia.

The rash of natural disasters over the past two days have one common denominator: they all occurred along the so-called Ring of Fire, a sprawling horseshoe-shape geological disaster zone.

At least five different events occurred on the Ring of Fire on Monday and Tuesday, including a magnitude 7.9 earthquake that rattled the town of Kodiak, Alaska, and the eruption of Mount Kusatsu-Shirane near a ski resort northwest of Tokyo.

[ click to continue reading at ABC News ]

Posted on February 2, 2018 by Editor

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Gangnam Style

Posted on January 30, 2018 by Editor

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Clear Water Bad

from The Chicago Tribune

Lake Michigan has become dramatically clearer in last 20 years — but at a steep cost

by Tony Briscoe

Zebra musselsIn this May 3, 2007 photo, Inland Seas Education Association instructor Conrad Heins holds a cluster of zebra mussels that were taken from Lake Michigan off Suttons Bay, Mich. (John L. Russell / AP)

Decades ago, Lake Michigan teemed with nutrients and green algae, casting a brownish-green hue that resembled the mouth of an inland river rather than a vast, open-water lake.

Back then, the lake’s swampy complexion was less than inviting to swimmers and kayakers, but it supported a robust fishing industry as several commercial companies trawled for perch, and sport fishermen cast their lines for trout. But in the past 20 years, Lake Michigan has undergone a dramatic transformation.

In analyzing satellite images between 1998 and 2012, researchers at the Michigan Tech Research Institute were surprised to find that lakes Michigan and Huron are now clearer than Lake Superior. In a study published late last year, the researchers say limiting the amount of agricultural and sewage runoff in the lake has had an immense impact. However, the emergence of invasive mussels, which number in the trillions and have the ability to filter the entire volume of Lake Michigan in four to six days, has had an even greater effect.

“When you look at the scientific terms, we are approaching some oceanic values,” said Michael Sayers, a research engineer at Michigan Tech and co-author of the study. “We have some ways to go, but we are getting a lot closer to Lake Tahoe. A lot of times, you’ll hear from people that the water is so blue it compares to something in tropical areas.”

[ click to continue reading at Chicago Tribune ]

Posted on January 28, 2018 by Editor

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Erect Knotweed

from are technica

Hunting for the ancient lost farms of North America

2,000 years ago, people domesticated these plants. Now they’re wild weeds. What happened?

Posted on January 26, 2018 by Editor

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They’re Coming

from ABC News

Earthquake-causing meteor leaves southeast Michigan residents awestruck

By KARMA ALLEN

Residents of southeast Michigan were left a bit shaken Tuesday night after a big bright flash lit up the sky and the ground beneath them shook.

A flying saucer? No. A shooting star? Not quite.

The National Weather Service eventually solved the mystery, tweeting “USGS confirms meteor occurred around 810 pm, causing a magnitude 2.0 earthquake.”

“After reviewing several observational datasets, the NWS can confirm the flash and boom was NOT thunder or lightning, but instead a likely meteor. We continue to monitor feeds from astronomical agencies for official confirmation of a meteor,” read a tweet posted nearly two hours before the NWS confirmed it was a meteor.

[ click to read full article at ABC News ]

Posted on January 21, 2018 by Editor

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