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Oct 30, 2020

Pentagon leaders targeted by potential threats linked to killing of Iranian Gen. Soleimani

Posted by in category: military

Senior U.S. officials revealed Thursday that security threats have been made against top Pentagon authorities not only when traveling outside the U.S., but when on American soil.

Frist reported by NBC News on Thursday and verified for Fox News by a senior Department of Defense representative, security officials believe the threats made could be linked to the killing of Iranian Gen. Qasem Soleimani by American forces in January, though definitive links could not reportedly be made.

The names of the Pentagon officials were not released, but they are believed to have been senior leadership involved in the operation that oversaw the takedown of Soleimani. Military leaders have also reportedly been targeted.

Oct 30, 2020

U.S. Sells Seized Iranian Oil

Posted by in categories: energy, government, terrorism

The United States has sold crude oil seized from four Iranian tankers earlier this year for some $40 million the AFP reports, citing a U.S. government official.

“We estimate that in excess of $40 million will be recouped by the United States related to the sale of petroleum from those four vessels,” Michael Sherwin, acting U.S. attorney for the District of Columbia said. Sherwin added that “a great portion” of the money will be donated to a fund for the victims of “state-sponsored terrorism”.

In the middle of August, the U.S. Administration said it had seized the fuel cargo of several vessels, alleging that the fuel came from Iran and was going to Venezuela. The confiscation followed a lawsuit filed by U.S. prosecutors to seize the cargo carried by the four vessels for violating U.S. sanctions against Venezuela.

Oct 30, 2020

This Guy Is Creating Actual Diamonds From Reclaimed CO2

Posted by in category: sustainability


The resulting diamond is identical to one pulled out of the ground — and Vince says Ecotricity is already capable of making about 200 carats every month.

“Making diamonds from nothing more than the sky, from the air we breathe — is a magical, evocative idea — it’s modern alchemy,” Vince told The Guardian. “We don’t need to mine the earth to have diamonds, we can mine the sky.”

Oct 30, 2020

AI has cracked a key mathematical puzzle for understanding our world

Posted by in categories: information science, mathematics, robotics/AI, transportation

Unless you’re a physicist or an engineer, there really isn’t much reason for you to know about partial differential equations. I know. After years of poring over them in undergrad while studying mechanical engineering, I’ve never used them since in the real world.

But partial differential equations, or PDEs, are also kind of magical. They’re a category of math equations that are really good at describing change over space and time, and thus very handy for describing the physical phenomena in our universe. They can be used to model everything from planetary orbits to plate tectonics to the air turbulence that disturbs a flight, which in turn allows us to do practical things like predict seismic activity and design safe planes.

The catch is PDEs are notoriously hard to solve. And here, the meaning of “solve” is perhaps best illustrated by an example. Say you are trying to simulate air turbulence to test a new plane design. There is a known PDE called Navier-Stokes that is used to describe the motion of any fluid. “Solving” Navier-Stokes allows you to take a snapshot of the air’s motion (a.k.a. wind conditions) at any point in time and model how it will continue to move, or how it was moving before.

Oct 30, 2020

Bumper crop of black holes in new gravitational wave paper

Posted by in categories: cosmology, physics

Only a few years ago, scientists the world over celebrated as the first-ever gravitational waves were detected—confirming a long-held scientific theory and opening up an entirely new field of research.

Now, the international research team responsible for detecting has announced a further 39 gravitational wave events, bringing the total number of confirmed detections to 50.

The Laser Interferometer Gravitational-Wave Observatory (LIGO) and Virgo Collaborations, which include researchers from the University of Portsmouth, have today published a series of papers that record events including the mergers of binary black holes, binary stars and, possibly, neutron star-black holes.

Oct 30, 2020

Nitrogen-Fixing Microbes Found in Antarctic Sea

Posted by in category: biological

The discovery puts a nail in the coffin of a long-held assumption about the limits of where the essential process can occur.

Oct 30, 2020

Google’s Project Zero discloses Windows 0day that’s been under active exploit

Posted by in category: security

Security flaw lets attackers escape sandboxes designed to contain malicious code.

Oct 30, 2020

How France overcame the odds to build a research mega-campus

Posted by in categories: biological, biotech/medical, particle physics

The result is a science park and university campus that offers degrees at all levels. It hosts more than 300 labs and advanced research equipment, such as the SOLEIL synchrotron. About 100 companies and 6 of France’s public research organizations, including the national research agency CNRS, have a presence there. That combination — of the university with national facilities — is powerful, says Price. The park accounts for an estimated 15% of France’s public and private research. About 30,000 people work or study at Saclay, and this is projected to rise to 80,000 by 2030.

The lab has no overall scientific project, and has added an extra layer of management, says Fayard, although he concedes that the coronavirus pandemic has complicated the lab’s first months. “I fear the lab will have to work hard not to fall between two stools — it is too big to be efficient, but not big enough to invest alone in major local infrastructures.”

But Oliver Brüning, a particle physicist at CERN, Europe’s particle physics lab near Geneva, Switzerland, who spent time working at LAL, says he thinks the new lab has greater weight and influence than did LAL alone.

Continue reading “How France overcame the odds to build a research mega-campus” »

Oct 30, 2020

Old Red Dwarf Stars Could Be Too Rambunctious To Harbor Life

Posted by in category: futurism

The potential for life to emerge around long-lived red dwarf stars may have been oversold.

Oct 30, 2020

An International Agreement to Collaborate on Artemis on This Week @NASA – 10/30/20

Posted by in category: space

🌔 An agreement with ESA — European Space Agency to collaborate on #Artemis
💧 Our SOFIA Stratospheric Observatory for Infrared Astronomy finds water molecules on the Moon’s sunlit surface
🛰️ NASA’s OSIRIS-REx Asteroid Sample Return Mission successfully stows the sample it captured from asteroid Bennu.