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Tell The World!

from The U.S. Sun

How Harry Reid, ex-Nevada senator born near Area 51, spent final months demanding Biden reveal US government UFO secrets

by Chris Bradford

Reid was warned that engaging on the UFO issue could 'ruin' his career
Reid was warned that engaging on the UFO issue could ‘ruin’ his career Credit: Getty

FORMER Senate majority leader Harry Reid was at the center of efforts to transform the UFO debate into a serious political issue.

For decades, discussions about unidentified aerial phenomena were often restricted to the fringes of American politics.

Reid attended a series of meetings in the mid-1990s alongside real estate magnate Robert Bigelow, parapsychologist Hal Puthoff, and “avowed” ufologist Harrison Schmitt, Politico reports.

Bigelow wanted to talk about aliens and the politician was introduced to the real estate tycoon through renowned Nevada reporter and journalist George Knapp.

In a New York Times piece, Reid recalled that his staffers said: “Stay the hell away from this.”

[ click to continue reading at The Sun ]

Posted on December 30, 2021 by Editor

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Merry Krampus

from InsideHook

How Krampus, the German Christmas Demon, Took Over America

He whips naughty children with branches and eats them, and he’s winning our hearts

BY BONNIE STIERNBERG

Krampus
What says “Christmas” more than a visit from a horned goat-demon? Westend61

Here in America, we traditionally think of Christmas as being a sweet, cozy holiday full of niceties: brightly wrapped presents, twinkling lights, a genteel old man in a red suit who appears to give you presents, visions of sugar plums, that sort of thing. Sure, there’s the threat of a lump of coal in a stocking, used to keep naughty children in check, but that’s still pretty tame compared to the horned, anthropomorphic goat demon with an affinity for schnapps who shows up to whip misbehaving children with a bundle of birch branches, toss them into a large sack and — depending on which variation of the legend you subscribe to — either eat them or drag them to hell.

We’re talking, of course, about Krampus, the Christmas villain from German and Austrian folklore who serves as a malevolent foil to Saint Nicholas. As the story goes, every Dec. 5 on a night dubbed Krampusnacht (or “Krampus Night”), St. Nicholas and Krampus go from home to home; St. Nick distributes oranges, dried fruit and chocolate to the good children, while Krampus unleashes his wrath upon the bad ones. Though his exact origins are unclear and believed to date back to pre-Christian Alpine traditions, anthropologists generally believe he’s been terrorizing European children since the 17th Century.

[ click to continue reading at InsideHook ]

Posted on December 24, 2021 by Editor

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Starless

from Study Finds

Astronomers spot up to 170 giant rogue planets floating through space

Rogue planets
(Bordeaux University / ESO)

BORDEAUX, France — Nearly 200 giant planets have been spotted moving aimlessly through space, according to a remarkable discovery by astronomers. Researchers from the European Southern Observatory say these “rogue planets” float in space and don’t orbit a star — like the Earth and the rest of the planets in our solar system do.

The planets are in a star-forming region relatively close to our Sun in the southern constellations of Upper Scorpius and Ophiuchus. Although there may be billions of these rogues out there in the Milky Way, the 170 scientists found in this section of the galaxy represents the largest group of rogue planets discovered to date.

[ click to continue reading at Study Finds ]

Posted on December 23, 2021 by Editor

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Rods From God

from The U.S. Sun

STAR WARS The terrifying future space weapons – ‘rods from God’ meteorites, molten metal cannons and weaponised asteroids

The Sun Online takes a glimpse at the array of weapons and space tech under development which are set to make outer-space the ultimate battleground

by Patrick Knox

WEAPONISED asteroids, “rods from god” raining down on Earth and cannon firing molten metal and — it sounds like something from a sci-fi movie.

But these bizarre weapons may soon become a reality as space becomes the final frontier for superpower warfare.

The reality of a space war moved closer today as Putin revealed a new alliance with China to create space weapons that could unleash havoc in the West if its satellites were targeted.

Speaking at his annual news conference, the Russian strongman leader said the partnership was “strategic” amid growing tensions with NATO.

As previously revealed by Sun Online, Russian and Chinese space weapons could send the West into the Dark Ages should it destroy satellites.

It is feared an orbital onslaught could shut down hospitals, crash the economy, knock out communications, and cause mass blackouts.

[ click to continue reading at The Sun ]

Posted on December 21, 2021 by Editor

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Bridge Stealers

from Greenwich Time

A 58-foot bridge disappeared from a field in Ohio. A man hired a crane service to steal it, police say.

by Jaclyn Peiser

The metal frame of this 58-foot bridge was found to be missing on Nov. 11, about a week after the deck boards had been stolen,

For almost two decades, a 58-foot-long, 10-foot-wide and 6-foot-high pedestrian bridge sat idly in an overgrown field in Akron, Ohio. It had been removed from a nearby park for a restoration project, police said.

But early last month, a passerby noticed something was amiss with the structure. The brush around the bridge had been cleared and the deck boards were missing, police said.

A week later, the entire structure was gone.

[ click to continue reading at GT ]

Posted on December 20, 2021 by Editor

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The Apocalypse Has Arrived

from The U.S. Sun

Are Flamin’ Hot Cheetos being discontinued?

by Nina Clevinger

While the Frito-Lay company has not commented on the reported shortage of Flamin’ Hot Chips, social media users have adamantly said supplies of the snack are becoming harder to find.

In September of 2021, someone posted to the Sacramento Reddit thread asking if anyone knows where they can find a specific flavor of Flamin’ Hot Cheetos, adding that they are seemingly “vanished.”

One user commented on the post, writing: “There’s a chip shortage because of supply and labor issue.”

On November 29, 2021, a Twitter account by the name of SAY CHEESE! posted about the rumored shortage, writing: “Theres a Hot Cheetos Shortage in the U.S right now. This shortage is mainly because of increased demand and tightening supply.

“Some stores are putting limitations on how many you can buy,” the account continued.

[ click to continue reading at The Sun ]

Posted on December 16, 2021 by Editor

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Jiggle Jiggle Tinkle

from Vice

Workers Are Using ‘Mouse Movers’ So They Can Use the Bathroom in Peace

“The tables have turned in favor of the Worker,” said one mouse jiggler company. “They are in power today.”

By Samantha Cole

Leah didn’t expect her TikTok video about a work-from-home hack to go viral. She started using a mouse mover—a small device placed under her computer mouse, to keep the cursor active—after her job as a business lead in advertising transitioned to remote work at the start of the pandemic. Her company-issued computer set her status to “away” whenever she stopped moving her cursor or got up from her desk for more than a few seconds, and with three kids at home who needed help doing remote classes during school lockdowns, that little “away” signal was driving her nuts.

“Working remotely, your colleagues can’t physically ‘see’ when you get up to go to the bathroom or grab lunch. Or even take 30 minutes to reset on the couch,” Leah told me. “The last thing I wanted during those moments was to be paranoid that people thought I wasn’t working—especially since I felt like I was working more than ever.”

[ click to continue reading at Vice ]

Posted on December 12, 2021 by Editor

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The New Present

from The Wall Street Journal

Is the Metaverse Really the Next Big Thing?

Its advocates say more immersive interfaces will increase our sense of presence. I think they have their definitions wrong.

By Steven Johnson

Meta Platforms CEO Mark Zuckerberg speaks to an avatar of himself during a live-streamed presentation about the company’s rebranding from Facebook. PHOTO: VIA REUTERS

Mark Zuckerberg would like you to be a little more present.

That’s the message that the Facebook founder hammers home in one of the most elaborate concept videos ever produced by a tech company: an 80-minute video rolling out his company’s vision of “the metaverse,” which Mr. Zuckerberg believes is the next paradigm shift in computing. The video—and Facebook’s decision to re-christen itself with the new corporate name Meta Platforms Inc. —marked a fitting endpoint for a year in which the somewhat murky concept of the metaverse became one of the most hyped buzzwords in technology.

Mr. Zuckerberg’s primary complaint about the existing interfaces we use today is that they aren’t immersive enough. When we interact with our friends or colleagues virtually, we’re experiencing a heavily mediated version of them—email threads, text messages, grainy Zoom videos with choppy audio. And all of that interaction is compressed through a two-dimensional screen, often the size of a pack of playing cards.

“Screens…can’t deliver that deep feeling of presence,” he says at one point in the video. “Presence is the defining quality of the metaverse.”

[ click to continue reading at WSJ ]

Posted on December 11, 2021 by Editor

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Unreality

from Real Clear Markets

The Metaverse Will Change the Way We Live, Think and Work

By Roger James Hamilton

At GeniusU we talk a lot about the metaverse and how it will usher in – like the first iteration of the internet – a new era and change the way the way we learn, interact, collaborate, and run our businesses.   

This is the year 1995 (the year the internet was launched) all over again, but much much bigger. The metaverse is only in the first stage, but it is here.  Now, its participants are wearing goggles and glasses to enter a new 3D world, but the day will come in the not-too-distant future when there will not be virtual headsets or augmented reality glasses, but chips implanted in humans that allow them to connect in real-time by simply thinking the name or business or organization or friend with whom they want to interact. 

Let’s start with Fortnite as an example. Fortnite is an MMORPG (Massively Multiplayer Online Role Playing Game) in which 100 players fight it out until the last man standing in a fast-paced, action packed 3D environment which was developed by Epic Games. It was recently valued at $17 billion. In 2020, 15,000,000 gamers experienced Fortnite’s Galactus event. According to Charlieintel.com, Epic has nearly 400 million registered users. The demand for 3D virtual reality games is off the charts and growing. Roblox, a gaming/educational platform, has 160 million users.

Keep in mind, the very first MMORPG, Everquest, launched in 1999, and barely a year later, Everquest creators Ken and Roberta Rucker sold their company, Sierra Online, to Cendant for $1 billion (with a B). That’s $1.6 billion in 2021 dollars, and that was just the first glimmer of the metaverse.

While the internet was built on code, today’s metaverse is built on engines that build 3D universes. Discover Unity, a game engine that can create 3D, VR, and AR experiences for any industry, including “Auto, AEC, Film, and More.” Fifty-three percent of the 1,000 top-grossing mobile games globally are powered by Unity, according to their website.

[ click to continue reading at RCM ]

Posted on December 8, 2021 by Editor

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12 Tones Of Christmas

Posted on December 2, 2021 by Editor

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I see the future and it will be

from The New York Post

Futurists predict how we’ll one day eat, vacation and work

By Michael Kaplan

robot hand holding cheese burger
NY Post photo composite

Forget about Mark Zuckerberg, Facebook and all the talk about a metaverse. The real future will be a world that is convenient and scary and fantastical — at least according to futurologists. As this year ends, here’s a glimpse at what life might be like … one day.

Your pockets will be empty

Facial recognition is already common for phones, but “In 30 years it’s quite possible that you will not use a key or even a credit card. You’ll use your face or iris to make purchases and open locks. Recognition will be that good,” said Martin Ford, author of “Rule of the Robots: How Artificial Intelligence will Transform Everything.”

“The scary thing, though, will be if someone hacks your biometric data. Right now you can call the bank to change your pin or cancel a credit card. But you can’t cancel your biometrics.”

But the solution to that might be as simple as swapping out your eyes and implanting them with bionic peepers that provide updated and impenetrable information to open your house door or buy a bagel at the local deli. According to Future Timeline, by the late 2040s, lab made retinas will not only be as good as biological eyes but will also come souped up with add-ons such as built-in cameras, zooming capabilities and special night-vision adapters.

Meanwhile, digital currency will be more than just money. Coins and other crypto-related items, according to will come implanted with inflexible contracts.

[ click to continue reading at NYP ]

Posted on November 30, 2021 by Editor

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Rockin’ Around The Christmas Tree

from The Jerusalem Post

Large asteroid stronger than nuke heading towards Earth late December

2018 AH is estimated to be around 190 meters long, similar to the Tunguska asteroid, meaning it would be far more powerful than a nuclear bomb.

By AARON REICH

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

A large asteroid the size of the Washington Monument is heading for Earth in late December that, if it impacts, would cause devastation far greater than an atomic bomb, according to NASA’s asteroid tracker.

Known as 2018 AH, this asteroid is estimated to be about 190 meters wide and is set to pass by the Earth on December 27.

The asteroid is unlikely to hit the planet, however, expected to pass by at a distance of more than 4.5 million kilometers. For comparison, the distance between the Earth and the Moon is around 384,000 km. – about a twelfth of that.

[ click to continue reading at JP ]

Posted on November 28, 2021 by Editor

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Why Martians Look Like Martians

from The U.S. Sun

Kids born on Mars after Elon Musk’s SpaceX missions would have brittle bones, weak eyesight and ‘green’ skin tone

by Mark Hodge

How a human child born on Mars may look
How a human child born on Mars may look

ELON Musk’s plan to move mankind to Mars could end up with “Martian” children suffering an array of mutations such as “green” skin, brittle bones and poor eyesight.

The SpaceX mogul insists he will move to Mars and believes humans need to colonise our neighbouring planet to become a “multi-planet species”.

However, experts warn that it’s not just the perilous 140 million mile journey which would be dangerous – humans on Mars would endure the most brutal living conditions imaginable.

But it’s the children of Martian settlers who would undergo the most drastic of changes.

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

Posted on November 24, 2021 by Editor

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The Venusians Are Coming

from The Daily Beast via Yahoo! News

Are We About to Find Life on Venus?

by David Axe

Photo Illustration by Kelly Caminero/The Daily Beast/Getty
Photo Illustration by Kelly Caminero/The Daily Beast/Getty

Phosphine is a colorless, flammable, toxic gas that smells like rotting fish. Humans manufacture it to use in pest control and the production of computer chips. But it’s also a waste product from a certain kind of “abiotic” microbe that lives in oxygen-free environments. Its presence is a potential sign that there’s something alive.

The gas with the chemical formula PH3 has been at the center of a passionate debate among scientists concerned with, well, life: what it is, what it needs to survive, and where it could be located elsewhere in the universe.

On one side are are scientists and their supporters who, a year ago, claimed they had detected signs of phosphine in the practically unlivable atmosphere of Venus—the second planet from the sun best known for its boiling, 800-degree-Fahrenheit surface and thick clouds made not of water, but acid. Whether intentionally or not, these researchers set off the alarms that perhaps we have discovered signs of extraterrestrial life on another world.

[ click to continue reading at Yahoo! ]

Posted on November 23, 2021 by Editor

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Mo’ Space Junk

from Bloomberg via MSN

Space Junk Spreads, Creating Risk of No-Go Zones for Satellites

by Todd Shields 

Space Shuttle Endeavour Makes Last Trip To ISS Under Command Of Astronaut Mark Kelly
© Photographer: NASA/Getty Images North AmericaSpace Shuttle Endeavour Makes Last Trip To ISS Under Command Of Astronaut Mark Kelly

(Bloomberg) — The Russian missile test that shattered a dead satellite this week highlights a growing threat of space debris just as companies such as SpaceX and Boeing Co. make plans to launch as many as 65,000 commercial spacecraft into orbit in coming years.

The anti-satellite weapon smashed a Russian orbiter into at least 1,500 pieces, forming a belt of debris hurtling around the Earth at speeds up to 17,000 miles an hour. It forced ground control to awaken the sleeping crew of the International Space Station and ask them to close hatches and scramble into docked spacecraft for safety.

It also added to the amount of junk speeding through space thanks to failed satellites, discarded rocket boosters and weapons tests. This just as technology entrepreneurs and defense companies have announced plans to deploy constellations of satellites, adding to about 4,550 from all countries currently in orbit. 

[ click to continue reading at MSN ]

Posted on November 19, 2021 by Editor

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Earth Cosmic Park

from Real Clear Politics

Jeff Bezos: “The Solar System Can Support A Trillion People,” Earth Will Be Preserved Like “Yellowstone National Park”

 Posted By Tim Hains

“Amazon” and “Blue Origin” founder Jeff Bezos spoke about the future of human civilization during a talk this week at the Ignatius Forum in Washington, DC. Bezos predicted that one day the majority of humans will be born off-world and the Earth may one day be treated like “Yellowstone National Park.”

“Everyone who has been to space experiences something we call the Overview Effect,” he said from personal experience. “I was expecting that, and I wanted to feel that, and I was ready for it, and what I can tell you is the magnitude of that experience was so much bigger than I could have ever anticipated. And it really is such a change in perspective that shows you, in a very powerful and emotional way, just how fragile this Earth is.”

[ click to continue reading at RCP ]

Posted on November 17, 2021 by Editor

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Bitcoin Birth Bomb

from The Wall Street Journal

Bitcoin Creator Satoshi Nakamoto Could Be Unmasked at Florida Trial

Lawsuit over a $64 billion cache looks beyond the pseudonym to solve the mystery of who created the cryptocurrency

By Paul Vigna

Craig Wright, who has said he created bitcoin, addressed a conference in New York early last month. PHOTO: EUGENE GOLOGURSKY/GETTY IMAGES FOR COINGEEK

A seemingly run-of-the-mill trial is playing out in Florida: The family of a deceased man is suing his former business partner over control of their partnership’s assets.

In this case, the assets in question are a cache of about one million bitcoins, equivalent to around $64 billion today, belonging to bitcoin’s creator, the pseudonymous Satoshi Nakamoto. The family of the dead man says he and his business partner together were Nakamoto, and thus the family is entitled to half of the fortune.

Who Satoshi Nakamoto is has been one of the financial world’s enduring mysteries. Does the name refer to one person? Or several? And why has he or she or they not touched a penny of that fortune?

The answers to those questions are at the center of the Florida dispute and of bitcoin itself. Bitcoin has become a trillion-dollar market, with tens of millions of investors. It has challenged governments trying to regulate it and has been endorsed by some. The technology behind it is seen by some as a way to rewire the global financial system. Yet, who created it and why has remained a mystery.

[ click to continue reading at WSJ ]

Posted on November 15, 2021 by Editor

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Earthgrazer

from Gizmodo

Rare ‘Earthgrazer’ Meteor Flew 186 Miles Over 3 States

These spectacular fireballs hit Earth’s atmosphere at a shallow angle and sometimes even ‘bounce’ back into space.

By George Dvorsky

The “earthgrazing” meteor, as captured by a NASA camera in Huntsville, Alabama on November 9, 2021. Image: NASA/Facebook

Skywatchers in Georgia and Alabama were treated to a glorious light show this Tuesday when a rare earthgrazing meteor zoomed across the night sky.

The bright fireball became visible at 6:39 p.m. ET on November 9, and it was so bright that some skywatchers were still able to see it through partially overcast skies, as NASA Meteor Watch explained on its Facebook page. The object first appeared above Taylorsville, Georgia, moving northwest at 38,500 miles per hour (61,960 kilometers per hour) and at an altitude of 55 miles (89 km) above Earth.

The meteor hunters were able to calculate the object’s trajectory and orbit thanks to three NASA meteor cameras in the region, but some extra number crunching was required due to the surprising length of its journey through Earth’s atmosphere.

[ click to continue reading at Gizmodo ]

Posted on November 13, 2021 by Editor

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Something Useful Emerges From TikTok

from The New York Times

Missing Girl Is Rescued After Using Hand Signal From TikTok

The girl flashed the hand signal from a car on a Kentucky interstate, the authorities said. It was created as a way for people to indicate that they are at risk of abuse and need help.

By Daniel Victor and Eduardo Medina

Credit… Canadian Women’s Foundation

A girl reported missing from Asheville, N.C., and in distress in the passenger seat of a car traveling through Kentucky appeared to be waving through the window to passing cars on Thursday.

But one person in a nearby car recognized the signal from TikTok, and knew it was no ordinary wave.

The girl, 16, was using a new distress signal, tucking her thumb into her palm before closing her fingers over it, according to the Laurel County Sheriff’s Office. The signal, created by the Canadian Women’s Foundation for people to indicate that they are at risk of abuse and need help, has spread largely through TikTok in the past year.

[ click to continue reading at NYT ]

Posted on November 12, 2021 by Editor

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Beware Sanitizing Gel

from AP via ABC News

Man burst into flames after Taser used on him, police say

Authorities say an upstate New York man is in grave condition at a hospital after police used a Taser to subdue him and he burst into flames

ByThe Associated Press

CATSKILL, N.Y. — An upstate New York man was in grave condition at a hospital after police used a Taser to subdue him and he burst into flames, authorities said Friday.

The Times Union of Albany reported that 29-year-old man walked into the Catskill village police department last weekend and got into a confrontation with officers. Chief Dave Darling confirmed to the newspaper that officers deployed a Taser to subdue the man, who had just doused himself with hand sanitizer, and the man then burst into flames.

[ click to continue reading at ABC News ]

Posted on November 6, 2021 by Editor

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It’s all about the chassis.

from medium

by Ryan JOHNSON

I’m A Twenty Year Truck Driver, I Will Tell You Why America’s “Shipping Crisis” Will Not End

I have a simple question for every ‘expert’ who thinks they understand the root causes of the shipping crisis:

Why is there only one crane for every 50–100 trucks at every port in America?

No ‘expert’ will answer this question.

I’m a Class A truck driver with experience in nearly every aspect of freight. My experience in the trucking industry of 20 years tells me that nothing is going to change in the shipping industry.

Let’s start with understanding some things about ports. Outside of dedicated port trucking companies, most trucking companies won’t touch shipping containers. There is a reason for that.

[ click to continue reading at medium ]

Posted on November 4, 2021 by Editor

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Obviously.

from Study Finds

People who sleep naked twice as likely to have a good night’s rest!

by Chris Melore

sleep naked
(Credit: Pixabay from Pexels)

NEW YORK — If you’re still awake when the clock hits 2:48 a.m., then there’s no point in trying to get a good night’s sleep, a new study finds. A new survey of 2,000 Americans delved into respondents’ struggles with falling asleep.

Results show that just before 3 a.m. is the cut-off point for good sleep. Past that, respondents agree they won’t be getting any sleep. The poll also looked into Americans’ nighttime habits and revealed it’s not uncommon for respondents to have a poor night’s rest.

The survey also delved into the different ways people sleep, looking at what might contribute to them getting high-quality rest. Interestingly enough, respondents who sleep naked (vs. sleeping in pajamas) were more likely to report high-quality sleep (53% vs. 27%). Those who prefer a warm room reported better sleep than those who like sleeping in a cold room (46% vs. 23%).

[ click to read full article at StudyFinds.org ]

Posted on November 3, 2021 by Editor

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Halloween Flare

from The Sun

Halloween solar flare headed for Earth could trigger Northern Lights this weekend – and disrupt power grid

by Harry Pettit Charlotte Edwards

An X1.0 class solar flare flashes in the lower center of the Sun on October 28, 2021
3An X1.0 class solar flare flashes in the lower center of the Sun on October 28, 2021 Credit: Nasa

THE SUN launched a massive solar flare yesterday that’s headed in Earth’s direction – the strongest storm seen in the current weather cycle.

The volley of radiation may trigger the northern lights if it collides with our atmosphere, and could cause major issues for power grids, experts suggest.

NASA’s Solar Dynamics Observatory, which tracks the Sun’s activity, captured an image of the event at 11:35 a.m. EST (4:35 p.m. BST) on Thursday.

It has already caused a temporary, but strong, radio blackout in parts of South America, according to the U.S. Space Weather Prediction Center (SWPC).

The flare is the result of a coronal mass ejection (CME) – a huge expulsion of plasma from the Sun’s outer layer, called the corona.

[ click to continue reading at The Sun ]

Posted on October 31, 2021 by Editor

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Cosmic Pit Stops

from Defense One

The Military is Preparing for a ‘Space Superhighway,’ Complete with Pit Stops

Those hubs would do more than refuel spaceships; they are seen as key to staying ahead of China.

BY TARA COPP

Like any family road trip, future missions to the moon and beyond may require a few pit stops. 

U.S. Transportation Command and the U.S. Space Force see a future space superhighway system where the United States, commercial partners, and allies would be able to make repeat, regular trips to the moon or beyond by using multiple hubs where they could gas up, have maintenance done, and even throw out their trash.

Now they’re thinking about getting those orbiting pit stops up and running sooner rather than later. Because it’s not just about making the 238,855-mile lunar journey a little more comfortable. It’s about preventing China from building the hubs first. 

[ click to continue reading at Defense One ]

Posted on October 29, 2021 by Editor

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The Troubled Teen Machine

from The New Yorker

The Shadow Penal System for Struggling Kids

By Rachel Aviv

In the spring of her freshman year of high school, in 2011, Emma Burris was woken at three in the morning. Someone had turned on the lights in her room. She was facing the wall and saw a man’s shadow. She reached for her cell phone, which she kept under her pillow at night, but it wasn’t there. The man, Shane Thompson, who is six and a half feet tall, wore a shirt with “Juvenile Transport Agent” printed on the back. He and a colleague instructed Emma to put on her clothes and follow them to their car. “She was very verbal, resisting,” Thompson told me. Her parents, who had adopted her when she was seven, stood by the doorway, watching silently.

Thompson drove Emma away from her house, in Royal Palm Beach, Florida, and merged onto the highway. Emma, who was fifteen, tried to remember every exit sign she passed, so that she could find her way home, but she was crying too hard to remember the names. In his notes, Thompson wrote, “Emma voiced that she was confused as to why her mom was sending her away.” She was on the track, volleyball, and soccer teams, and she didn’t want to miss any games.

Part Scottish and part Puerto Rican, Emma was slight, with long, wavy blond hair. Her parents, whose lives revolved around their church, admonished her for being aggressive toward them and for expressing her sexuality too freely. She watched lesbian pornography and had lost her virginity to an older boy. She often read romance novels late at night, when she was supposed to be asleep. To avoid attracting her parents’ attention, she used the light from the street to work on a novel that told a story similar to her own life: a young girl spends her early years in foster care, where she is abused, until a Christian family saves her. To keep the ending upbeat, she found herself straying from the facts of her life. Emma worried that her parents, who had three biological children, considered her a burden. “There was always a sense of exile,” Emma said. Her mother sometimes told her, “If I have to love you from a distance, I will.”

[ click to continue reading at TNY ]

Posted on October 18, 2021 by Editor

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The Dreamverse

from Nautilus

Weird Dreams Train Our Brains to Be Better Learners

BY JIM DAVIES

Photo Illustration by MDV Edwards / Shutterstock

For many of us over the last year and more, our waking experience has, you might say, lost a bit of its variety. We spend more time with the same people, in our homes, and go to fewer places. Our stimuli these days, in other words, aren’t very stimulating. Too much day-to-day routine, too much familiarity, too much predictability. At the same time, our dreams have gotten more bizarre. More transformations, more unrealistic narratives. As a cognitive scientist who studies dreaming and the imagination, this intrigued me. Why might this be? Could the strangeness serve some purpose?

Maybe our brains are serving up weird dreams to, in a way, fight the tide of monotony. To break up bland regimented experiences with novelty. This has an adaptive logic: Animals that model patterns in their environment in too stringent a manner sacrifice the ability to generalize, to make sense of new experiences, to learn. AI researchers call this “overfitting,” fitting too well to a given dataset. A face-recognition algorithm, for example, trained too long on a dataset of pictures might start identifying individuals based on trees and other objects in the background. This is overfitting the data. One way to look at it is that, rather than learning the general rules that it should be learning—the various contours of the face regardless of expression or background information—it simply memorizes its experiences in the training set. Could it be that our minds are working harder, churning out stranger dreams, to stave off overfitting that might otherwise result from the learning we do about the world every day?

[ click to continue reading at Nautilus ]

Posted on October 17, 2021 by Editor

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Metaverse Emerging

from The Wall Street Journal

THE AMAZING THINGS YOU’LL DO IN THE ‘METAVERSE’ AND WHAT IT WILL TAKE TO GET THERE

Tech visionaries foresee a vast, immersive world that mirrors and extends the real one, allowing people to do and be what previously could only be imagined

by SARAH E. NEEDLEMAN

Since the dawn of civilization, humans have had only one world in which to live: the real one. But tech visionaries say we’ll soon have an alternative: a virtual world where our digital avatars and those of people in our communities and around the globe come together to work, shop, attend classes, pursue hobbies, enjoy social gatherings and more.

Immersive videogames and virtual concerts have given us a taste of this world. But visionaries say the metaverse, as this world has been dubbed, will be far more engaging and robust, not only mirroring the real world in all its three-dimensional complexity but also extending it to allow us to be and do what previously could only be imagined. Walk on the moon in your pajamas? Watch a baseball game from the pitcher’s mound? Frolic in a field of unicorns—or be a unicorn yourself? In the metaverse, tech visionaries say, just about anything will be possible.

“The metaverse is going to be the biggest revolution in computing platforms the world has seen—bigger than the mobile revolution, bigger than the web revolution,” says Marc Whitten, whose title is “senior vice president and general manager of create” at San Francisco-based Unity Software Inc.

Unity is building tools and services to enable people to create metaverse content. Other big tech companies are developing​ hardware and software products for the metaverse​, or their own virtual worlds within it, including Nvidia Corp. , Roblox Corp. , Epic Games Inc., Microsoft Corp. and Facebook Inc..

[ click to continue reading at WSJ ]

Posted on October 16, 2021 by Editor

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Undersea Apocalypse

from WIRED

A Bad Solar Storm Could Cause an ‘Internet Apocalypse’

The undersea cables that connect much of the world would be hit especially hard by a coronal mass ejection.

by Lily Hay Newman

Image may contain Human and Person
Even if the power comes back after the next big solar storm, the internet may not. PHOTOGRAPH: JEAN CLAUDE MOSCHETTI/REA/REDUX

SCIENTISTS HAVE KNOWN for decades that an extreme solar storm, or coronal mass ejection, could damage electrical grids and potentially cause prolonged blackouts. The repercussions would be felt everywhere from global supply chains and transportation to internet and GPS access. Less examined until now, though, is the impact such a solar emission could have on internet infrastructure specifically. New research shows that the failures could be catastrophic, particularly for the undersea cables that underpin the global internet.

At the SIGCOMM 2021 data communication conference on Thursday, Sangeetha Abdu Jyothi of the University of California, Irvine presented “Solar Superstorms: Planning for an Internet Apocalypse,” an examination of the damage a fast-moving cloud of magnetized solar particles could cause the global internet. Abdu Jyothi’s research points out an additional nuance to a blackout-causing solar storm: the scenario where even if power returns in hours or days, mass internet outages persist.

[ click to continue reading at WIRED ]

Posted on October 9, 2021 by Editor

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Cosmic Fireball, cool

from Study Finds

Fire and brimstone: Sodom and Gomorrah perhaps destroyed by ‘cosmic fireball,’ evidence shows

Sodom and Gomorrah meteor
Artist’s impression of cloudburst from meteor at Sodom and Gomorrah site.

SANTA BARBARA, Calif. — The biblical “sin cities” of Sodom and Gomorrah could have been destroyed by a meteor “cloudburst” that incinerated all 8,000 inhabitants, a fascinating new study suggests. The giant space rock exploded over the town 3,650 years ago, creating a fireball. Scientists say the same event might also have given rise to the tale of Jericho’s walls “tumbling down,” as that city was just 20 miles away.

In the Bible, God was said to have been enraged by the wickedness of the inhabitants of Sodom and Gomorrah, raining “fire and brimstone” upon them. Now there seems to be hard evidence that a “heavenly event” really did happen around that time. The cosmic calamity laid waste to the Jordan River Valley’s northern shore, razing a huge 100-acre city to the ground. It also exterminated other cities and multiple small villages. There would have been no survivors.

The epicenter of Jordan is located at what is today known as Tall el-Hammam. An ancient palace was flattened, along with the perimeter walls and other structures. Detonation occurred about 2.5 miles above the ground.  Even at that distance, the blast created a 740 mph shock wave. It would have leveled most of the buildings. None of the 8,000 residents would have survived the initial blast or the rock melting temperatures that followed. 

[ click to continue reading at Study Finds ]

Posted on October 6, 2021 by Editor

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DART to Didymoon

from The Daily Mail

‘Planetary defense!’ NASA will launch November mission to deflect ‘devastating’ asteroid from hitting Earth by NUDGING it with a spacecraft, agency says

By CHRIS CIACCIA

NASA said on Monday that its mission to deflect an asteroid in deep space using a spacecraft is targeting a late November launch
NASA said on Monday that its mission to deflect an asteroid in deep space using a spacecraft is targeting a late November launch

NASA said on Monday that its mission to deflect an asteroid in deep space using a spacecraft is targeting a late November launch.

Known as the Double Asteroid Redirection Test (DART) mission, the U.S. space agency will send the DART spacecraft to a pair of asteroids – the Didymos binary – at 1:20 a.m. EST on November 24 aboard a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket from Vandenberg Space Force Base in California.

DART will smash in one of the two asteroids, known as Didymoon, at roughly 13,500mph on October 2, 2022.

[ click to continue reading at The Daily Mail ]

Posted on October 5, 2021 by Editor

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Lavaland

from France 24

Iceland’s volcanic eruption the longest in half a century

The first lava began spewing out of a fissure close to Mount Fagradalsfjall on the evening of March 19 on the Reykjanes peninsula to the south west of Reykjavik
The first lava began spewing out of a fissure close to Mount Fagradalsfjall on the evening of March 19 on the Reykjanes peninsula to the south west of Reykjavik Jeremie RICHARD AFP

Fagradalsfjall (Islande) (AFP)

It will be six months on Sunday that the volcanic eruption currently mesmerising spectators near Reykjavik first began, making it the longest Iceland has witnessed in more than 50 years.

The first lava began spewing out of a fissure close to Mount Fagradalsfjall on the evening of March 19 on the Reykjanes peninsula to the southwest of Reykjavik.

And the ensuing spectacle — ranging from just a slow trickle of lava at times to more dramatic geyser-like spurts of rocks and stones at others — has become a major tourist attraction, drawing 300,000 visitors so far, according to the Iceland Tourist Board.

[ click to continue reading at France 24 ]

Posted on September 18, 2021 by Editor

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Death Eating

from The Guardian

Evidence of Fur and Leather Clothing, Among World’s Oldest, Found in Moroccan Cave

Humans likely sported clothes made of jackal, fox and wildcat skins some 120,000 years ago

by Brian Handwerk

‘In creating fields of identical wheat, we abandoned thousands of highly adapted and resilient varieties’
‘In creating fields of identical wheat, we abandoned thousands of highly adapted and resilient varieties.’ Photograph: uchar/Getty Images

It’s not just animals that are at risk of dying out, the world’s crops are in rapid decline. Here’s why it matters what is on your plate.

In eastern Turkey, in a golden field overshadowed by grey mountains, I reached out and touched an endangered species. Its ancestors had evolved over millions of years and migrated here long ago. It had been indispensable to life in the villages across this plateau, but its time was running out. “Just a few fields left,” the farmer said. “Extinction will come easily.” This endangered species wasn’t a rare bird or an elusive wild animal, it was food, a type of wheat: a less familiar character in the extinction story now playing out around the world, but one we all need to know.

To most of us, one field of wheat might look much like any other, but this crop was extraordinary. Kavilca (pronounced Kav-all-jah) had turned eastern Anatolian landscapes the colour of honey for 400 generations (about 10,000 years). It was one of the world’s earliest cultivated foods, and is now one of the rarest.

How can a food be close to extinction and yet at the same time appear to be everywhere? The answer is that one type of wheat is different from another, and many varieties are at risk, including ones with important characteristics we need to combat crop diseases or climate change. Kavilca’s rarity is emblematic of the mass extinction taking place in our food.

[ click to continue reading at The Guardian ]

Posted on September 17, 2021 by Editor

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Deep Porn

from unherd

Deepfakes have disturbing implications for porn

A new app digitally superimposes women into videos — this is only the start

Credit: Getty

Artifical Intelligence has been heralded as ‘the future’ for as long as I can remember. The excitement is understandable: scientists may one-day be able to create an AI that is so efficient it can substitute the manual work of humans, replacing doctors, engineers and even journalists. But professional occupations are not the only area AI can be a powerful force.

Just a few weeks ago I speculated that if apps like Replika, which is supposed to simulate both friendships and romantic relationships, became too effective in their job they may replace certain aspects of human interpersonal relationships. AI could provide the same sort of parasocial digital relationship that one may gain through purchasing an OnlyFans membership, while cutting out the human on the other side of the screen altogether.

[ click to continue reading at UnHerd ]

Posted on September 16, 2021 by Editor

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