Posts

December 20, 2014

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12:33 PM | Obama Wraps Up A 'Breakthrough' 2014
President Obama held his year-end press conference Friday, insisting 2014 has been a "breakthrough year for America." He also addressed the Sony hack attack and his recent executive action on Cuba.
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12:33 PM | Excavation Reveals Regular Citizens Who Really Ran Ancient Egypt
A team of archaeologists from Brigham Young University has uncovered an Egyptian cemetery that may have upwards of 1 million graves. NPR's Scott Simon explains they were commoners — not pharaohs.
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12:33 PM | Obama: Sony Should Have Talked To Him Before Pulling 'The Interview'
The FBI has concluded North Korea was responsible for the cyber attack on Sony Pictures. NPR's Scott Simon talks with White House correspondent Scott Horsley about what happens now.
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12:33 PM | Designing State Symbols For The World's Newest Country
From flags to currency, a new country needs new symbols. NPR's Scott Simon talks with Anne Quito, who traveled to the world's newest country, South Sudan, to observe as they designed theirs.
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12:33 PM | 3-D Scanning Sonar Brings Light To Deep Ocean Shipwrecks
In San Francisco Bay, researchers are using new technology to investigate shipwrecks. NPR's Scott Simon speaks with James Delgado, director of Maritime Heritage at NOAA, about what they've found.
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12:30 PM | Detecting an Exoplanet… Without a Telescope
Years ago, when the first transiting exoplanet (HD 209458b) was found, I was startled to realize that it could be easily detected using a small, inexpensive telescope. Transiting exoplanets are planets that orbit other stars, and from Earth we just so happen to see their orbit edge-on. That means it passes in front of their parent star (that’s the transit bit), blocking a fraction of its light. A tiny fraction, usually far less than 1%. But if the star is bright this dip in brightness can […]
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11:40 AM | When a challenge appraisal goes viral: The psychology behind the “contagion effect” of the #IceBucketChallenge
During the summer of 2014, the Ice Bucket Challenge spread rapidly around the world as people raised money for charity by dousing themselves in ice cold water - but what causes such memes to go viral? Descrier - news and culture magazine
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10:59 AM | Curso de verano “La ciencia de nuestras vidas”: Presentación y conferencia inaugural, por Fernando Cossío
La ciencia es la herramienta más poderosa con que contamos para conocer y entender la realidad. Además, abre nuevos caminos para la obtención de nuevos productos o la puesta en marcha de nuevos procesos, elementos necesarios para mejorar las condiciones de vida de la gente. Por esa razón, la ciencia es percibida por muchas personas como un conjunto de conocimientos […] Seguir leyendo The post Curso de verano “La ciencia de nuestras vidas”: […]
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10:59 AM | Origin of long-standing space mystery revealed: Origin of the ‘theta aurora’
Scientists have solved a long-standing space mystery — the origin of the ‘theta aurora’. Auroras are the most visible manifestation of the Sun’s effect on Earth. They are seen as colorful displays in the night sky, known as the Northern or Southern Lights. They are caused by the solar wind, a stream of plasma — … Continue reading →
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10:56 AM | A clear, molecular view of how human color vision evolved
Many genetic mutations in visual pigments, spread over millions of years, were required for humans to evolve from a primitive mammal with a dim, shadowy view of the world into a greater ape able to see all the colors in a rainbow. Now, after more than two decades of painstaking research, scientists have finished a … Continue reading →
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10:53 AM | New, tighter timeline confirms ancient volcanism aligned with dinosaurs’ extinction
A definitive geological timeline shows that a series of massive volcanic explosions 66 million years ago played a role in the extinction event that claimed Earth’s non-avian dinosaurs, and challenges the dominant theory that a meteorite impact was the sole cause of the extinction. A primeval volcanic range in western India known as the Deccan … Continue reading →
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10:44 AM | Ancient, hydrogen-rich waters deep underground around the world: Waters could support isolated life
A team of scientists has mapped the location of hydrogen-rich waters found trapped kilometers beneath Earth’s surface in rock fractures in Canada, South Africa and Scandinavia. Common in Precambrian Shield rocks — the oldest rocks on Earth — the ancient waters have a chemistry similar to that found near deep sea vents, suggesting these waters … Continue reading →
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10:41 AM | Asteroid that wiped out dinosaurs may have nearly knocked off mammals, too
The classic story is that mammals rose to dominance after the dinosaurs went extinct, but a new study shows that some of the most common mammals living alongside dinosaurs, the metatherians, extinct relatives of living marsupials, were also nearly wiped out when an asteroid hit the planet 66 million years ago. Metatherian mammals — the … Continue reading →
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10:33 AM | ‘Perfect storm’ quenching star formation around a supermassive black hole
Astronomers have discovered that modest black holes can shut down star formation by producing turbulence. High-energy jets powered by supermassive black holes can blast away a galaxy’s star-forming fuel, resulting in so-called “red and dead” galaxies: those brimming with ancient red stars yet containing little or no hydrogen gas to create new ones. Now astronomers … Continue reading →
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10:29 AM | First detection of organic matter on Mars
Scientists have made the first definitive detection of organic molecules at Mars. The surface of Mars is currently inhospitable to life as we know it, but there is evidence that the Red Planet once had a climate that could have supported life billions of years ago. The surface of Mars is currently inhospitable to life … Continue reading →
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10:25 AM | Back to future with Roman architectural concrete: Key to longevity of imperial Roman monuments revealed
A key discovery to understanding Roman architectural concrete that has stood the test of time and the elements for nearly two thousand years has been made by researchers using beams of X-rays. Working at ALS beamline 12.3.2, a superconducting bending magnet X-ray micro-diffraction beamline, the research team studied a reproduction of Roman volcanic ash-lime mortar … Continue reading →
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9:00 AM | The Last Word
December 14-19, 2014 In the second half of Ann’s reflections on Marvin “Murph” Goldberger, the subject turns from academic life to Jason, the group of physicists who advised the US government on science, including tactics to be used in the Vietnam War. As before, she lets Murph do the talking. Press release-driven science journalism is […]
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3:40 AM | Know your brain: Pituitary gland
The pituitary gland (in red). Image courtesy of Life Science Databases (LSDB). Where is the pituitary gland?The pituitary gland is a small (about the size of a pea) endocrine gland that extends from the bottom of the hypothalamus. It is divided into two lobes in humans, the anterior pituitary and posterior pituitary. The anterior pituitary does not have direct neural connections to the hypothalamus, but is able to communicate with it through a system of blood vessels called the […]
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3:10 AM | The Republican’s Greatest Hoax?
My friend Paul was on the Ed Show. A few classic lines:
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3:07 AM | Zero Invasive Predators
This week past the NEXT Foundation of New Zealand made the major announcement of start-up funding for a company named ZIP. Zero Invasive Predators (ZIP) aims to regenerate our native birdlife by transforming the way invasive predators are managed on mainland New Zealand. On small islands (in the range of 10,000 hectares) we have the…
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3:00 AM | Science in the Twentieth Century and Beyond
By Jon Agar Synopsis: A compelling history of science from 1900 to the present day, this is the first book to survey modern developments in science during a century of unprecedented change, conflict and uncertainty. The […]
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2:43 AM | Why Open Access?
You may notice the Open Access is a new trend these days. Today, we like to share why you should consider making your next article Open Access. Benefits for Authors As an author, do you search for the easiest way to make your research instantly open and accessible to millions of readers? Why not consider […] The post Why Open Access? appeared first on Wiley Asia Blog.
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2:42 AM | skunkbear: Happy Saturnalia - here’s a closer look at Saturn’s...
skunkbear: Happy Saturnalia - here’s a closer look at Saturn’s rings! The best part of the best planet
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1:11 AM | Why Electronic Voting is a BAD Idea Voting is centuries old,...
Why Electronic Voting is a BAD Idea Voting is centuries old, why can’t we move with the times and use our phones, tablets and computers? Tom Scott lays out why e-voting is such a bad idea. By: Computerphile.
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12:50 AM | Supreme Court Clears Way For Same-Sex Marriages In Florida
The Supreme Court declined to extend a stay on a ruling by U.S. District Judge Robert L. Hinkle, who said in August that Florida's 2008 ban is unconstitutional. The stay expires in January.
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12:30 AM | Why Is Venus So Horrible?
Seriously, Venus is the worst. The global temperature is as hot as an oven, the atmospheric pressure is 90 times Earth, and it rains sulfuric acid. Every part of the surface of Venus would kill you dead in moments. But how did it get that way?Read more...

December 19, 2014

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11:42 PM | The Reindeer Would Never Actually Work for Santa
It's December and December means reindeer science. It turns out that reindeer actually prefer keeping their distance from people. Good luck hitching them to a sleigh.Read more...
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11:33 PM | The great conspiracy against Julius Caesar On March 15th, 44...
The great conspiracy against Julius Caesar On March 15th, 44 BCE, Roman dictator Julius Caesar was assassinated by a group of about 60 of his own senators. Why did these self-titled Liberators want him dead? And why did Brutus, whose own life had been saved by Caesar, join in the plot? Kathryn Tempest investigates the personal and political assassination of Julius Caesar. View full lesson: http://ed.ted.com/lessons/the-great-conspiracy-against-julius-caesar-kathryn-tempest Lesson by Kathryn […]
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11:33 PM | 'Rum, Rumba, And Romance': A Book On Cuba's Enduring Mystique
This week, President Obama announced that he will begin to normalize relations with Cuba. Cuban-American writer Richard Blanco recommends a book about Cuba's imprint on the American imagination.
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11:20 PM | Climate Change Could Cut Global Food Output 18% By 2050
The world's food supplies will be hit hard by global warming, according to a study published this week in the journal Environmental Research Letters. The study's authors advise investing in irrigation and infrastructure to attenuate this loss, but what's less clear is where these measures should be taken. In fact, we probably won't know for at least 15 years.Read more...
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