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Aug 1, 2018

Meet the aquatic WALL-E that could help clean our oceans

Posted by in category: drones

The WasteShark may have a scary name, but really it’s an awesome little water drone that preys on trash in urban waters to prevent it from reaching our oceans.

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Aug 1, 2018

Scientists identify exoplanets where life could develop as it did on Earth

Posted by in category: alien life

Scientists have identified a group of planets outside our solar system where the same chemical conditions that may have led to life on Earth exist.

The researchers, from the University of Cambridge and the Medical Research Council Laboratory of Molecular Biology (MRC LMB), found that the chances for life to develop on the surface of a rocky planet like Earth are connected to the type and strength of light given off by its .

Their study, published in the journal Science Advances, proposes that stars which give off sufficient ultraviolet (UV) light could kick-start life on their orbiting in the same way it likely developed on Earth, where the UV light powers a series of chemical reactions that produce the of life.

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Aug 1, 2018

Futurists in Ethiopia are betting on artificial intelligence to drive development

Posted by in categories: encryption, government, internet, mobile phones, robotics/AI, surveillance

“We should not start from steam and railways, or the old technologies—that is already done,” Assefa argues.

That makes sense to academics like Singh — though he also cautions that political forces are often slow to see the bigger picture. There is definitely an opportunity for developing countries, he says. “But any time we have a technological revolution, the political institutions have to catch up.”

A 2017 report (pdf) by the World Wide Web Foundation suggested that Ethiopian “intelligence services are using machine intelligence techniques to break encryption and find patterns in social media posts that can be used to identify dissidents.” And while mobile phone and internet penetration in Ethiopia is comparatively poor—a situation made worst amid widespread anti-government protests, which prompted an internet crackdown in February — the report added that government surveillance and oppression could increase as the use of smartphones expands.

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Aug 1, 2018

NASA is naming 8 astronauts to fly SpaceX and Boeing’s new spaceships — here’s how to watch the announcement live

Posted by in category: space travel

NASA is naming eight astronauts who will fly the first test missions on commercial spaceships designed by Boeing and SpaceX. The space agency is broadcasting live video — here’s how to watch the NASA announcement.

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Aug 1, 2018

A Japanese company wants to build a space elevator by 2050

Posted by in category: futurism

Could it work?

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Aug 1, 2018

Past experiences shape what we see more than what we are looking at now

Posted by in category: futurism

A rope coiled on dusty trail may trigger a frightened jump by hiker who recently stepped on a snake. Now a new study better explains how a one-time visual experience can shape perceptions afterward.

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Aug 1, 2018

Trump Finally Picks a Science Adviser—And People Are Delighted

Posted by in category: science

His nominee, Kelvin Droegemeier, is an accomplished meteorologist who studies storms and other extreme weather.

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Aug 1, 2018

Work begins on rocket engines for SLS flights a decade from now

Posted by in category: space travel

Long lead time

This timeline represents quite a long lead-up for the engines and the fifth flight. Nominally, NASA now plans to make the first SLS launch in June 2020, although that date may slip into 2021 or later if further technical or hardware problems arise with the new rocket. Eventually, NASA wants to get to a cadence of one flight every year of the rocket, but that is unlikely to happen right away. Therefore, the fifth flight of the SLS rocket is unlikely before the second half of the 2020s.

There is also some question as to whether the rocket will actually make multiple flights. By the mid-2020s, Blue Origin’s large New Glenn booster should be flying. Additionally, SpaceX’s larger Big Falcon Rocket may also have begun making test flights by then. Both of these boosters would offer NASA significant lift with privately developed, reusable rockets at a fraction of the cost of the SLS rocket.

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Aug 1, 2018

Hair Loss Related to Western Diet Reversed in Mice

Posted by in category: futurism

Scientists at the Johns Hopkins University reversed hair whitening and loss associated with a high-fat, high-cholesterol diet by using an experimental compound in a mouse model [1].

The compound

The experimental compound used by the researchers, called D-threo-1-phenyl-2-decanoylamino-3-morpholino-1-propanol (D–PDMP) acts by blocking the production of glucosphingolipids (GSL), which are lipids that are abundant in the uppermost layer of the skin and in keratinocytes, which are pigment cells that are responsible for the coloration of hair, eyes, and skin.

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Aug 1, 2018

The Universal Church: An Obscure Rule Puts This Bishop in Charge of the Moon

Posted by in categories: law, space

Bishop on the Moon?


It might sound strange, but in addition to encompassing nine counties and hundreds of cities, the Diocese of Orlando, Florida also has jurisdiction over an otherworldly object: the Moon. Why might you ask? The answer involves an obscure rule from 1917 and the Apollo 11 space mission.

On June 18th, 1968 the Roman Catholic Diocese of Orlando, Florida was established. It would encompass much of the greater central Florida area, along with Cape Canaveral (We’ll get back to that later). William Donald Borders was ordained the first Bishop of Orlando. One year later, Bishop Borders would also become the first Bishop of the Moon.

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