Posts

December 24, 2014

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3:05 PM | A Brand New World In Which Men Ruled
Jodi Kantor in the NYTimes (via Longreads): In the history of American higher education, it is hard to top the luck and timing of the Stanford class of 1994, whose members arrived on campus barely aware of what an email...
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3:00 PM | Earth's Most Remote Locations Revealed In 'Lonely Planet' Cartogram
Cartograms—maps distorted so that instead of land area, they portray another quantity such as population or electoral-college votes—have existed since the early 1900s. Benjamin Hennig has refined the technique, and he made this cartogram to show the planet’s most remote places. He calculated the travel time from each spot on Earth to the nearest major city, then grew or shrunk the land at those points accordingly. The most remote spots appear biggest, while the densely […]
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3:00 PM | An Epic One-Kilometer Cliff On The Surface Of Rosetta's Comet
While sifting through images taken by the Rosetta spacecraft of Comet 67P, an amateur British astronomer has uncovered a previously unknown vertical cliff that looks like something right out of Mordor. Read more...
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2:54 PM | Teacher Wins $150,000 Prize — And Donates It All To Her School
Nikki Bollerman recently won a contest that gave books to her students. The third-grade teacher, 26, decided the cash that came with it should also go to her school.
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2:44 PM | 25 Years After Death, A Dictator Still Casts A Shadow In Romania
Nicolae Ceausescu ruled with an iron fist for 25 years until he was overthrown and executed on Christmas Day in 1989. A quarter-century after his ouster, the country is still dealing with his legacy.
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2:33 PM | New Blood Donation Rules Would Still Exclude Many Gay Men
The FDA recommends overturning a lifetime ban on blood donations by men who have sex with men. It's the right solution, but it still won't help me donate.
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2:30 PM | Paper recommending calorie limits on Happy Meals retracted
A paper estimating the effects of limiting fast field meals with toys to under 550 calories has been retracted after concerns arose regarding the scientists’ use of an outdated model for estimating weight changes in kids. The paper estimated that kids who eat fast food twice a week would avoid gaining two pounds a year if calorie […]The post Paper recommending calorie limits on Happy Meals retracted appeared first on Retraction Watch.
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2:23 PM | Paleontologists Find Carboniferous Fish Fossil with Well-Preserved Retina
According to a team of paleontologists from the United Kingdom and Japan led by Dr Haruyoshi Maeda of Kyushu University Museum, color vision evolved in animals as early as 300 million years ago (Carboniferous period). Dr Maeda and his colleagues studied the tissues in the fossilized eye of a 300-million-year-old fish, named Acanthodes bridgei. The [...]
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2:23 PM | Turkey's President And His 1,100-Room 'White Palace'
President Recep Tayyip Erdogan says the massive presidential complex is a symbol of Turkey's growing importance. But as one opposition politician puts it: Only dictators want to live in palaces.
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2:00 PM | Quickies: Sarcastic Science, Having Kids is a Luxury, and Whitewashed Video Games
Categories: QuickiesThe Ethics of Sarcastic Science – “Every year the British Medical Journal publishes an issue of joke science. But years later, those papers are cited as real.” The Year Having ...(Read more...)
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2:00 PM | Sloths and Armadillos See The World In Black-and-White
Armadillos have terrible vision. In 1913, American zoologists Horatio H. Newman and J. Thomas Patterson wrote, “The eyes …
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2:00 PM | China’s reindeer are on the decline
A small, semi-domesticated population of reindeer found in northern China is suffering due to threats ranging from inbreeding to tourism.
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1:37 PM | Top Science Longreads of 2014
Ed Yong in Not Exactly Rocket Science: Every year, I pick my favourite science features—or ‘longreads’, as they have been rebranded as—from the previous 12 months. It’s always hard. Despite much hand-wringing about how the internet is killing journalism/reading/attention/civilisation, I...
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1:08 PM | An Update On For-Profit Colleges
New regulations and new complaints for a troubled sector; a new owner for a troubled college.
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1:00 PM | Chinese Laser Zaps Space, for World Peace
China fires off a giant laser into space, but all in the name of international scientific cooperation.
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12:23 PM | What is the value of toleration?
Piers Benn in Prospect: Many people living in liberal societies take it for granted that toleration and freedom of expression are positives. They support the view that no one has the right to impose their political, religious or moral views...
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12:15 PM | No, a Planetary Alignment on Jan. 4, 2015, Won’t Decrease Gravity
The very first nonsense I had to debunk in 2014 was a claim that on Jan. 4 of that year a planetary alignment would cause gravity to decrease, allowing you to float momentarily or fall more slowly if you jumped in the air at the right moment: “Zero G Day.” This exact same hoax has resurfaced this week in a couple of places, so I’ve decided to update the debunking to include some new links and repost it, hopefully to stem the tide of silliness at year’s end. It seems […]
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11:56 AM | It might be possible to restore lost memories
From KurzweilAI: New UCLA research indicates that lost memories can be restored, offering hope for patients in the early stages of Alzheimer’s disease. For decades, most neuroscientists have believed that memories are stored at the synapses — the connections between...
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11:42 AM | Wednesday Poem
Another Day Without an Uprising everything that's wrong looms before us, everything we want seems just out of reach, a dream of a garden and you lower yourself into life ripe, moist, joyful but beyond the gate, poison lurks sneering,...
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10:59 AM | Imaginación + tenacidad + rigor: en matemáticas y paleontología
No es la primera vez que en este cuaderno hablamos del matemático Cédric Villani (1973-); lo hicimos en Teorema vivo e Intuición: ¿para descubrir o para inventar?. Desde que le concedieron la Medalla Fields en 2010, su intensa labor divulgadora ha dado lugar a muchas e interesantes publicaciones. . . En esta ocasión, quería compartir una curiosa cita del matemático contenida en […] Seguir leyendo The post Imaginación + […]
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10:45 AM | Seven ways that chemistry puts the magic into Christmas
From the enticing aroma of the turkey in the oven to the “whoosh’” of the flames as the brandy-soaked pudding comes alight, Christmas is a wonderful time for the senses. But have you ever considered the science behind our best-loved festive traditions? Descrier - news and culture magazine
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10:00 AM | The top 10 science images of 2014
We saw some amazing things this year
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9:57 AM | 12 Pubs of a Poetic Christmas (Part Two)
Pub 7 Laura decided to be the ultimate hipster and include a hidden gem in our 12 pubs. I was all for it. I imagined something small and catered to our generation. But she went so far off the beaten track, that there were very few people in there and most of them have probably […] The post 12 Pubs of a Poetic Christmas (Part Two) appeared first on HeadStuff.
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9:46 AM | The World Is Not Falling Apart
Steven Pinker and Andrew Mack in Slate: It’s a good time to be a pessimist. ISIS, Crimea, Donetsk, Gaza, Burma, Ebola, school shootings, campus rapes, wife-beating athletes, lethal cops—who can avoid the feeling that things fall apart, the center cannot...
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9:41 AM | Beethoven Symphony No 9 D minor Mariss Jansons Bayerischen Rundfunks
No summary available for this post.
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9:33 AM | Song without music: Auden’s “For the Time Being: A Christmas Oratorio”
Cynthia Haven in The Book Haven: W.H. Auden learned of the death of his mother, Constance Rosalie Bicknell Auden, by telephone in August 1941, while he was staying in Rhode Island. The international call was taken by his lover Chester...
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9:00 AM | Holiday Redux: The Hidden Carols of England
LWON is celebrating the holidays by re-running some of our favorite posts. This post originally appeared in January 2014, and I thought it would be nice to give it another outing during the holidays. People have been singing Christmas carols in the pubs in villages around Sheffield, in the north of England, for hundreds of […]
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9:00 AM | Quotes from JRR Tolkien
Contexts of quotes for the past week. All but for the last are from The Two Towers, by JRR Tolkien “It is my fate to receive help from you, where I least looked for it.” Frodo to Gollum, in the desolation before the Gates of Mordor. “Your fate [is] to help me whom you long […]
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8:23 AM | Christmas In Liberia: Ebola Fears, No Snow, Holiday Spirit
The deadly virus has cast a shadow over the country. Nonetheless, many Liberians are determined to have a happy Christmas and a hopeful new year.
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8:22 AM | For Syria's President, The Year Ends Better Than It Began
Syria's civil war is still raging with no end in sight. But Bashar Assad remains entrenched in Damascus and many argue his position improved over the year as the U.S. began bombing the Islamic State.
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