Posts

July 22, 2014

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1:30 PM | No quick end for 2015 appropriations process
For a time this spring, it appeared that Congress would make quick work of fiscal year 2015 spending bills. The House, for example, passed its version of a Commerce, Justice, and Science (CJS) appropriations bill, which funds NASA, NOAA, and NSF among other agencies, in late May. Meanwhile, debate on the Senate version of the [...]
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1:27 PM | Female Octopus Strangles Mate, Then Eats Him
Octopuses do the darndest things. Like kill their mate during mating—by strangling him with three arms, according to new observations from the wild. Enterprising scientists Christine Huffard and Mike... -- Read more on ScientificAmerican.com
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1:27 PM | “How Might Quantum Information Transform Our Future?”
So, the Templeton Foundation invited me to write a 1500-word essay on the above question.  It’s like a blog post, except they pay me to do it!  My essay is now live, here.  I hope you enjoy my attempt at techno-futurist prose.  You can comment on the essay either here or over at Templeton’s site.  Thanks […]
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1:27 PM | Detroit Pensioners Approve City's Bankruptcy Plan
The vote marked a major step in moving the city's bankruptcy forward. Retired police and firefighters overwhelmingly approved some cuts in their pensions.
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1:20 PM | A subway topologist
One of my favorite books when I was growing up was the Mathematics volume in the LIFE Science Library. I didn’t own the book, but my uncle did, and I’d browse through the book whenever I visited him. I was too young at the time to understand much of what I was reading. One of […]
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1:20 PM | Germans Mine 'Europe's Biggest Hole' Amid Protests
Coal miners have been digging what German environmentalists decry as 'Europe's biggest hole' at Hambach in the Lower Rhine basin. It covers 50 square miles. Continue reading →
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1:19 PM | Fires a major cause of wind farm failure
Fire is the second leading cause of accidents in wind […]
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1:17 PM | Greenhouse gas from livestock increased 51% in last half century, comprise 28% of total warming activity
Eating meat contributes to climate change, due to greenhouse gasses […]
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1:16 PM | Scientists set aside rivalry to preserve knowledge
Scientists from two experiments have banded together to create a […]
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1:16 PM | Lasers make fibre optic tubes out of thin air
Corralling light using laser-heated air can let you send signals vast distances without the light getting lost. It could be used to detect explosives at a distance
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1:15 PM | Mass disasters – Disaster Victim Identification
  In mass disasters, such as the MH17 ‘crash’, there are many bodies of victims often over a wide area to be recovered and identified.  This is a small look into the...
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1:15 PM | Secret Grizzly Bear Feeding Site Discovered
Finding the feeding site for the grizzly bears and the 'highways' they take to get to it could help policymakers ban trophy hunting in the region.
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1:13 PM | New Platinum Alloy Shows Promise as Fuel Cell Catalyst
Fuel cells are a promising, non-polluting way to power cars, […]
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1:13 PM | World’s Largest Carbon Capture Facility To Be Built Near Houston
The world’s largest carbon capture facility is coming to Texas.  The US Department of Energy has announced that work will soon begin a project to capture up to 90% of the carbon emissions from the W.A, Parish Generating Station; a … Continue reading →
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1:11 PM | Crime and punishment
When I was prepping for my Slate Money podcast last week I read this column by Matt Levine at Bloomberg on the Citigroup settlement. In it he raises the important question of how the fine amount of $7 billion was determined. Here’s the key part:  Citi’s and the Justice Department’s approaches both leave something to […]
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1:10 PM | Fly’s Super-Hearing Power Could Aid Humans
A team of researchers at the Cockrell School of Engineering […]
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1:06 PM | Mohammed Suliman’s Tweets from the War in Gaza
Mohammed Suliman's tweets from Gaza (via Juan Cole): Some were just tweeting and posting on Facebook about other people's death like I'm doing. Now people are tweeting about their death. — Mohammed Suliman (@imPalestine) July 20, 2014 Hani mourns the...
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1:04 PM | How to Unmarry Your Wife
Sarah Viren in The Morning News: It was sweltering the day I unmarried Marta, and we weren’t even together. I was with my little brother in a Penske truck, the flat haze of West Texas rising before us like the...
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1:00 PM | The cosmos laughs at our puny particle colliders
A while back, a few other science writers and I were chatting idly on Twitter about how common Higgs bosons might be in the cosmos. Not because they stick around very long — their lifetime is incredibly short — but because there are a lot of high-energy collisions near black holes, in supernova remnants, and […]
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1:00 PM | Hands-On with Nvidia's Shield Tablet
No summary available for this post.
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12:55 PM | Malaysia Implements New Medical Device Policies
Medical device companies interested in doing business in Malaysia now have a clearer path to market thanks to the country’s Medical Device Authority (MDA) putting into place policies associated with the Medical Device Act. The Medical Device Act was initially adopted in the first quarter of 2013, and went into effect July 1, 2013, but ... continue reading
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12:53 PM | Against Intersectionality
Justin Smith in Berfrois: Does a Muslim Chechen migrant laborer in a provincial Siberian city –a ‘Caucasian’ if anyone ever was– enjoy ‘white privilege’? It seems offensive to suggest that he does. Of course, there is some scenario on which...
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12:50 PM | Dealing with alcoholism and depression with a text message
The last thing an alcoholic wants, besides a hangover, is to be reminded that she has a “drinking problem.” I know. Back in my drinking days I would avoid conversations about last night’s festivities – especially if I had been in a blackout most of the night. Which is why I think this will work: […]
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12:48 PM | Hong Kong: Two Hospital Clusters Of MDR Acinetobacter Infections
Credit CDC PHIL   # 8856   Because it is such an international city, and boasts one of the most diligent (and open) public health agencies in the world (Centre For Health Protection), Hong Kong has become a terrific  barometer for the growth of multiple drug resistant infections from around the world.   One of the toughest bacteria that hospitals must deal with is called multidrug-resistant (MDR) Acinetobacter baumannii, which in recent years has made headlines […]
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12:47 PM | Environmental risks from Britain’s mining legacy
Institute of Hazard, Risk and Resilience Blog - Making a difference to how we live with hazard and risk. Steven Kershaw explains the environmental risks left by coal mining in Britain and how they can be managed Centuries of mining in Britain has left a legacy of abandoned underground mines that continues to represent a risk to public safety [...] The post Environmental risks from Britain’s mining legacy appeared first on Institute of Hazard, Risk and Resilience Blog.
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12:41 PM | Don't Send Your Kid to the Ivy League
William Deresiewicz in TNR [h/t: Simon During]: Let’s not kid ourselves: The college admissions game is not primarily about the lower and middle classes seeking to rise, or even about the upper-middle class attempting to maintain its position. It is...
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12:39 PM | When was the last time you used a print dictionary?
I used to keep a small dictionary in my bedside table, another in the end table near the couch, one on my home office desk and another on my desk at work. I’m rather particular about looking up... -- Read more on ScientificAmerican.com
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12:37 PM | Biology is a hard problem
New genetic disorders pop up all the time — each one represents a child who may face incredible challenges, or even be doomed to death. A child named Bertrand exhibited some serious symptoms — profound developmental disabilities — shortly after he was born, and no one could figure out what was wrong with him. So…
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12:37 PM | Writers or Missionaries?
Adam Shatz in The Nation: Shortly after September 11, I interviewed V.S. Naipaul about his views on Islam for The New York Times Magazine. Much of what he said was predictably ugly, a provocation calculated to offend liberal sensibilities. “Non-fundamentalist...
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12:30 PM | This picture captures why “no sugar added” is a meaningless concept
It seems that every time I go to the grocery store I see more products proudly announcing that they have “no sugar added”.  Typically these claims are seen on juice and other products that contain a high sugar content. As Yoni …
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