China May Be Adding a ‘Nuclear Element’ to the South China Sea, the Pentagon Warns
China plans to introduce floating nuclear power plants near disputed islands
08/16/2018 - 11:58 PM
Deadly, 40,000-foot fire tornado revealed in new videos
Harrowing new footage released by California's firefighting agency Cal Fire reveals the massive fire tornado that led to the death of a firefighter on July 26. The fire tornado was part of the Carr Fire that's engulfed 223,610 acres of land in Northern California so far. A report from Cal Fire breaks down the details surrounding the fiery phenomenon. SEE ALSO: A fire tornado hit California. Here's how it happened. Per the report, the tornado "was a large rotating fire plume that was roughly 1,000 feet in diameter at its base" and managed to reach a height of 40,000 feet. In late July, we covered news of a fire tornado in the area on the evening of July 26. It's unclear whether the fire tornado in the report is the same as the one that garnered media attention at the time, according to Cal Fire. "Observations from witnesses and other evidence suggest that either several fire tornados occurred at different locations and times, or one fire tornado formed and then periodically weakened and strengthened causing several separate damage areas," the report says. Fire tornados can happen when extreme heat spins up from the ground. As Mashable's Mark Kaufman explained at the time: Firefighters captured the disturbing video above from a helicopter, as well as footage taken from a fire engine, and from the Keswick Dam on the Sacramento River. The Carr Fire continues to ravage parts of Shasta County and Trinity County. It is 77 percent contained, and other fires continue to rage in Northern California and other areas These fires are spurred on by extreme heat and dryness in the region. While human-caused climate change isn't necessarily the direct cause of any single weather event, like these fires, it can make extreme weather more likely now and in the future. WATCH: Scientists made an awesome error that could save our planet from plastic hell
08/18/2018 - 11:11 AM
Murdered Colorado Mother Called Husband 'the Best Dad Us Girls Could Ask For' in Facebook Posts
Her husband Christopher is accused of killing her and their two daughters
08/17/2018 - 07:29 AM
The Mars Opportunity rover might be busted even if it wakes back up
In case you haven't been keeping track of the plight of NASA's Opportunity rover, I'll get you caught back up: A dust storm covered Mars, the rover fell asleep, and now it won't wake back up. The rover's team of engineers is worried that it might never wake back up — and it's playing inspirational songs for it in the meantime — but even if it does the rover might never be the same.
In a new blog post, NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory offers a brief update on the status of the rover before examining the best- and worst-case scenarios. Spoiler: Some of it is kind of sad.
First, to tackle the status of the rover, NASA believes the rover fell asleep due to a low-power fault. This occurs when the rover's solar panels can't recharge its battery to an adequate level and the rover enters a standby state while it waits for more juice. The rover is designed to regularly wake back up to check its power levels and attempt to contact Earth.
That doesn't appear to be happening, at least not yet.
NASA goes on to explain that a second type of fault, called a "clock fault," occurs when the rover's onboard clock get confused. That internal clock is supposed to tell the rover when it should wake back up and check power levels. The skies are clearer now than before, and the rover's solar panels should, in theory, be charging its batteries, but the rover has yet to snap out of its stupor. If the clock is busted, the rover is capable of guessing the time based on light levels, but if the rover is asleep that be a pretty difficult task to perform.
The Opportunity team goes on to warn that even if the rover does wake back up, it might actually be damaged too severely to continue its job. NASA likens the rover's situation to a coma patient waking up, noting that it "takes time to fully recover" from the trauma of the situation.
On top of all that, the rover's batteries might now be damaged from the long downtime. If the batteries spent every last drop of energy they had before the Sun could finally recharge them, their capacity might be severely limited, giving the rover much less energy to work with going forward.
This all paints a pretty dire picture of Opportunity's current status, but it's still possible that the rover will spring back to life and keep chugging along as it has for well over a decade. The rover has already outpaced every possible expectation of it, so maybe it has one more trick up its sleeve.
08/17/2018 - 09:32 PM
More than 320 dead in India flood crisis
Pressure intensified Saturday to save thousands still trapped by devastating floods that have killed more than 300 in the Indian state of Kerala, triggering landslides and sending torrents sweeping through villages in the region's worst inundation crisis in a century. Authorities warned of more torrential rain and strong winds over the weekend, as hundreds of troops and local fishermen staged desperate rescue attempts in helicopters and boats across the southern state. Kerala, popular among international tourists for its tropical hills and beaches, has been battered by record monsoon rainfall this year.
08/18/2018 - 02:31 AM
Seen from the air, the dry summer reveals an ancient harvest of archaeological finds
A hot summer reveals hidden history beneath the dried-out fields - but only when seen from the air.
08/17/2018 - 05:49 AM
Aretha Franklin: A master in the art of making an entrance: Part 6
Franklin paid tribute to Carole King with a performance at the 2015 Kennedy Center Honors.
08/16/2018 - 11:23 PM
Spanish King Taunted by Catalan Separatists at Ceremony for Terror Attack Victims in Barcelona
Catalonia's push to break away from Spain has been Felipe VI's biggest challenge
08/17/2018 - 09:27 AM
Judge told to consider protections for Montana grayling fish
HELENA, Mont. (AP) — An appeals court on Friday told a judge to take another look at whether a Montana fish should be protected, saying that U.S. wildlife officials did not consider all environmental factors when they decided against designating the Arctic grayling as a threatened or endangered species.
08/17/2018 - 07:54 PM
A Chinese Plane Skidded off the Runway at Manila Airport During a Downpour
All the passengers and crew were safe
08/17/2018 - 12:12 AM
We have some bad news about the future of the terrible wildfires in the Western U.S.
The flames scorching the Western U.S. aren't expected to relent anytime soon. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) gave its monthly U.S. climate report on Thursday, and they used the opportunity to show that the next couple of months are ripe for an enhanced fire risk out West. SEE ALSO: The baking Pacific Ocean is changing the weather on the Southern California coast After noting the exceptionally hot and dry conditions that stoked destructive wildfires so far this summer, Tim Brown, director of the Western Regional Climate Center, said in a press call that it won't be until after October that "we see a decline in significant fire potential." A critical driver of this heightened fire potential is that trees, grasses, and shrubs, known collectively as fuels, are currently "flirting with all-time record lows for fuel moisture," said Brown. Visible imagery from NOAA's #GOES16, along with its fire radiative power product, shows the explosive growth of #wildfires — ignited by #lightning strikes over the weekend — in #WashingtonState, including the #GrassValleyFire. pic.twitter.com/4hyxpVGR1J — NOAA Satellites PA (@NOAASatellitePA) August 13, 2018 In short, hot temperatures and multiple heat waves this summer have parched the land to extreme levels, turning it to tinder. Meaningful rains can solve the problem, but they don't usually show up in many portions of the West until November. What's more, the coming fall months have another potent fire factor that isn't usually seen in August: Strong offshore winds, blowing from the northeast. Called "diablo winds" in Northern California, these gusts are hot, dry, and fast and have historically whipped up fires. Case in point: The deadly firestorms that swept through Northern California neighborhoods last fall were stoked by October's diablo winds. The smoke from the western North America #wildfires is moving eastward across the Atlantic Ocean, captured here by our #GOESEast satellite. More imagery: https://t.co/P1F11zXUHI pic.twitter.com/HsJh25vbvY — NOAA Satellites (@NOAASatellites) August 14, 2018 On top of all this, Brown underscored that since 1895, there has been a trend in increasing temperatures at night, which ultimately won't allow fuels to cool off and recover. "This can lead to longer fires and more smoke production," he said. But in the last couple decades, "this trend has taken off," said Brown. Taken alone, each of these environmental conditions can stoke fires, but taken together, they invite major flames. Some of the largest fires in California history are burning through the ravaged state right now, and smoke from both the Western U.S. and Canada has traveled thousands of miles away to the Atlantic Ocean, actually engulfing a cyclone. Just out: NASA global temperature for July. It was the 3rd warmest July on record after 2016 and 2017. Since July is the warmest month of the year, the past July was one of the warmest recorded months ever. Likely among the warmest months since the Eemian 120,000 years ago. pic.twitter.com/KGZXh5ZXOS — Stefan Rahmstorf (@rahmstorf) August 15, 2018 Brown likened the profoundly parched vegetation in the West to a dying Christmas tree. During winter, the tree might be wet and green, but as time passes and the leaves brown, it becomes an increasing flammable object. And unfortunately, that's how we all should be thinking about the West right now. WATCH: Ever wonder how the universe might end?
08/17/2018 - 05:00 AM
I Am a Catholic Priest Who Was Sexually Abused by a Pastor. Here’s How the Church Must Change
Following yet another report about decades of widespread sexual abuse
08/17/2018 - 04:12 PM
Why mosquitoes bite some people more than others
Mosquitoes are picky about who they bite but it's not actually "us" that they're smelling when they choose their next meal...
08/17/2018 - 07:58 AM
China Takes Action Against 40 Officials in Widening Vaccine Scandal Fallout
The scandal rattled the country’s $120 billion vaccine industry
08/16/2018 - 10:56 PM
Don't worry, your cereal probably won't poison you with pesticides
It may seem like an alarmist local news story to declare your breakfast could kill you, but a new independent study claims that some of your favorite cereals could contain unsafe levels of a chemical used in a popular weed killer. The report, from the Environmental Working Group (EWG), was published online Wednesday and outlines the levels of the chemical glyphosate they found in various breakfast cereals and snacks. Glyphosate is the major ingredient in the herbicide RoundUp and one at the center of an ongoing tug-of-war. The World Health Organization (WHO) has ruled the chemical is "probably carcinogenic to humans," and the state of California has categorized it as a chemical linked to cancer. Meanwhile, in late 2017, the EPA concluded an assessment that declared "glyphosate is not likely to be carcinogenic to humans. And its with that intersection in mind that one has to look upon the new EWG report — which wasn't peer reviewed by independent scientists — with quite a bit of scrutiny. EWG versus the EPA For the study, the EWG tested dozens of samples, looking for levels of glyphosate that were above 160 pars per billion (ppb)/0.16 mg, which the organization considers the upper range of safe levels of the chemical for children to be exposed to. You can see their full results here but a few items stand out: Quaker Dinosaur Eggs, Brown Sugar, Instant Oatmeal had readings of 620 ppb/0.62 mg and 780 ppb/0.78 mg. Cheerios Toasted Whole Grain Oat Cereal had readings of 470 ppb/0.47 mg, 490 ppb/0.49 mg, and 530 ppb/0.53 mg. Quaker Old Fashioned Oats had readings of 390 ppb/0.39 mg, 1100 ppb/1.1 mg, and 1300 ppb/1.3 mg. Those numbers seem not so great — if you use the EWG's threshold. But the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) sets a much higher bar for how much glyphosate is safe for a person. According to a 1993 EPA report, the safe exposure level could be as high as 2 mg a day, well above any of the rates that the EWG uncovered in their studies. For what it's worth,
The Guardian recently published a report showing that the FDA has been investigating the use of glyphosate for years but has yet to issue any public findings. The ongoing research into glyphosate is important because It's a hugely popular pesticide, with hundreds of millions of gallons being used on U.S. crops each year. And, per
The Guardian's report, "the FDA has had trouble finding any food that does not carry traces of the pesticide." Not that eating pesticides is a great thing, but the large discrepancies between the EPA numbers and the EWG numbers can be confusing for consumers trying to determine how much, exactly, is still safe. "Finding glyphosate in food is residue," Kaitlin Stack Whitney, an environmental studies scholar, said in an interview. "Residue limits are a subset of exposure limits as eating pesticides residue is one route of potential exposure." "So finding non-zero amounts isn't unexpected; it's's planned for and limited under current law," Stack Whitney, who also worked as a staff biologist for the EPA, added. There's also the issue of "spray drift," as Stack Whitney notes, pointing to EWG finding traces of the chemical on products labeled organic likely due to some of the pesticide drifting to those organic crops on the wind. "The current pesticide review process struggles to account for this because agencies can't know what anyone and everyone's neighbors may grow and which chemicals they may apply," she said. "So whether residues are from direct application or drift is critical to understanding how to address if you think the amount is unsafe." A question of methodology For Lori Hoepner, an assistant professor in the Department of Environmental and Occupational Health Sciences at the State University of New York Downstate Medical Center, it's about methodology. She notes that "it's hard enough to have consensus among scientists when you're talking about using the same methods." "So to go from something that would determine the limit of exposure, and try to extend that information to telling consumers about what it means to find glyphosate in their food, I think it can be perceived as something of a stretch," Hoepner said. Noting that she's familiar with the EWG's work and has vouched for them as a good resource for consumers, Hoepner still expressed some reservations about they way they presented their work for this study. "It always concerns me when science is presented in a way that is not peer-reviewed, doesn't have the oversight of additional researchers who can validate or question the method." Stack Whitney echoed Hoepner's sentiment: "[The EWG] study is like a white paper or other reports from think tanks, well researched and written but not peer reviewed. It would be useful to review their actual data and methods but those aren't available." Hoepner also wanted to see more about how they took their samples. "What was their method? Was it randomized? Was it all from one box? How many different boxes were used? Where did they buy them?" Hoepner said. Noting the wide ranges in some of the results, Hoepner says, "that definitely creates a question mark in my mind for validity." The corporations defend their products As for the companies identified in the study, they're standing by the quality of their products. A statement sent via email from the Quaker brand maintained the brand's stance they're products are perfectly safe and included a passage that denied the use of glyphosate in the making of their products. A spokesperson for General Mills, producers of Cheerios, echoed this sentiment in a statement. Corporate behemoth Monsanto, which produces RoundUp, has been under fire lately for the chemical, including a recent California verdict that ordered the company to pay $289 million to a school groundskeeper who claimed his constant and prolonged exposure to the chemical was to blame for him developing non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma. In the wake of the EWG's report, Monsanto posted a rebuttal on their website accusing the EWG of "publicizing misleading information." Additionally, in an email exchange, a spokesperson for Monsanto highlighted this portion: Additionally, Monsanto Vice President Scott Partridge told the
New York Times in response to EWG study, “[The EWG] have an agenda. They are fear mongering. They distort science.” For consumers, there's no right or wrong answer at the moment. While buying different brands may seem like an option, the prevalence of the pesticides used makes it nearly impossible to completely avoid. The opposing sets of data can only sow more confusion and consumers are left to decide who they trust more: groups like the EWG, government agencies like the EPA, or corporations. WATCH: Here's how long fruits and vegetables are stored before you buy them at the store
08/17/2018 - 11:04 AM
Turkish People Are Smashing Their iPhones to Protest President Trump's Tariffs
Videos of Turks smashing their iPhones have gone viral online in response to new tariffs and sanctions imposed by President Trump.
08/17/2018 - 09:08 AM
Scientists downgrade alert level for Hawaii volcano
HONOLULU (AP) — Slowing activity at Hawaii's Kilauea volcano has prompted scientists on Friday to downgrade their alert level for the mountain.
08/17/2018 - 11:33 PM
Putin Warns Merkel That Europe Can't Afford a New Syria Refugee Crisis
Merkel was hosting Putin for their first bilateral talks in Germany since 2013
08/18/2018 - 02:50 PM
New panda mom doesn't know she has twins thanks to these sneaky zookeepers
Crafty zookeepers are keeping a set of newborn panda twins alive by switching them out every day. Although twins aren't uncommon, when pandas have multiple babies they tend to devote all of their attention to only one of their cubs, leaving the other to starve. SEE ALSO: Someone tried to smuggle a snake onto a plane by hiding it in a hard drive But these zookeepers have managed to get new panda moms to care for both babies by rotating them out, tricking the pandas into believing they only have one cub to care for. A BBC Earth video — narrated by the one and only David Attenborough — shows the keepers' technique. New mother Lee Lee hasn't realized that she had twins because her keepers have been switching her 18-day-old cubs out, so she only has one at a time. When they need to change out the cubs, they distract Lee Lee with a bowl of honey water and worm the young cub from her paws. Then, they put that cub in an incubator and bring the other cub to Lee Lee, ensuring that both get the maternal care they need. Keepers swap the cubs out at least 10 times a day, keeping a meticulous record of the babies' time with their mom. The technique has an almost 100 percent survival rate. Although pandas are no longer endangered, they are still vulnerable, so finding new ways to help the species along, even in captivity, is important. Plus, it's freaking adorable. WATCH: This design studio is growing gourds inside 3D printed molds to create organic, biodegradable cups
08/18/2018 - 01:16 PM
Indonesian Police Have Killed Dozens of People in a Crackdown on Crime Before Asian Games, Rights Groups Say
Officers have reportedly been instructed to shoot on sight any suspects who resist
08/17/2018 - 03:41 AM
Maths: six ways to help your child love it
Make maths more fun with these tips
08/17/2018 - 08:20 AM
Vietnam's caged bears dying off as bile prices plummet
Two moon bears are gently removed from the cramped cages where they have been held for 13 years, rescuers carefully checking their rotten teeth and matted paws before sending them to their new home in a grassy sanctuary in northern Vietnam. The animals are among the lucky few to be rescued in a country where hundreds of bears are feared to have been killed or starved to death as the cost of once-valuable farmed bile has plummeted. Bear bile is extracted -- often continuously and painfully -- from the animals' gallbladders and used in traditional medicine in Vietnam, where the illegal practice remains widespread.
08/17/2018 - 02:37 AM
President Trump Cancels Military Parade, Citing 'Ridiculously High' Price
The projected cost of the parade was $92 million
08/17/2018 - 09:10 AM
A Mysterious Furry 'Sea Monster' Has Washed Up on a Russian Beach
A huge creature washed up on a beach in Russia and nobody is really sure what it is.
08/17/2018 - 12:28 PM
Edited Transcript of S63.SI earnings conference call or presentation 8-Aug-18 3:00am GMT
Half Year 2018 Singapore Technologies Engineering Ltd Results Briefing
08/17/2018 - 09:55 PM
Hunt for aliens boosted by discovery of hundreds of 'water worlds'
The chances of finding alien organisms have been boosted by the discovery of hundreds of “water worlds” capable of supporting life. New analysis by Harvard University estimates that one in three “exoplanets” outside our solar system that are larger than Earth are likely to contain an abundance of water. The scientists say the planets that are two to four times bigger than Earth that have the best chance of supporting life. Analysis of data from the exoplanet-hunting Kepler Space Telescope and the Gaia mission indicates half their weight may be water - either flowing or frozen. In comparison, the amount of water on Earth makes up just 0.02 per cent of its complete mass. Lead researcher Dr Li Zeng, said: "It was a huge surprise to realise that there must be so many water-worlds." Exoplanets were first discovered in 1992 and since then about 4,000 have since been confirmed to exist. An impression of one of the Trappist exoplanets, whose discovery was announced in 2017 Credit: NASA Scientists believe they fall into two broad categories: those with a planetary radius averaging around 1.5 the size of Earth, or 2.5. Now the group of international scientists has developed a model of their internal structure. This is based upon their recent mass and radius measurements from the Gaia satellite. Dr Zeng said: "We have looked at how mass relates to radius, and developed a model which might explain the relationship." The model indicates the smaller planets tend to be rocky planets - with typically five times as much mass as Earth. In numbers | Kepler mission The larger ones have about 10 times more mass - and "are probably water worlds," said Dr Zeng. Presenting the findings at the Goldschmidt conference in Boston, he explained: "This is water, but not as commonly found here on Earth. "Their surface temperature is expected to be in the 200 to 500 degree Celsius range. "Their surface may be shrouded in a water-vapour-dominated atmosphere, with a liquid water layer underneath.”
08/17/2018 - 04:45 PM
Recycling in the United States is in serious trouble. How does it work?
You probably have no idea how recycling works. Most Americans — who recycle nearly 87 million tons of waste each year — likely think that the plastic and paper thrown into those special blue bins gets sorted by some nebulous government agency and automatically becomes an environmentally-friendly product. But that's not how it works. Recycling, first and foremost, is a business. When recycled goods get picked up by the state's waste management corporation, they are taken to a Materials Recovery Facility (MRF) where everything is separated and packaged up to be sent to another facility where it's processed depending on the material. For example, paper is processed at a mill where it is turned into pulp to be repurposed. But in order for the recyclable material to get to its proper sorting center, someone has to buy it first. And that's where we have a problem. Bales of recycled cartons sit outside and await transport.Image: Sean Gallup/Getty ImagesRecycling has worked well for the last 40 years because recycled waste was valuable and in high demand in countries around the world. The United States has historically sold most of its recycled goods to China. But new restrictions from the Chinese government on imported recyclables have demanded that the materials have very, very little contamination, or in the case of paper, that it is processed into pulp before reaching their shores. Typically, contamination is a people issue. Plastic or paper with food remnants on it — like your greasy pizza box — cannot be recycled because those contaminants would mess up the refining process. Contamination levels in America are at 25 percent right now, meaning 1 out 4 items in a recycling bin should actually be thrown in the trash, according to Waste Management. But China wants the contamination levels down to 0.3 percent, which is effectively code for "we will not be accepting any imported recyclable materials." “China is sort of saying to itself we want our socioeconomic industrial programs to have recyclable programs like America does," National Waste & Recycling Association director Steve Changaris said. "They are kicking us out, and trying to use their own wastes so they can develop their own domestic recycling capacity." Sorted recycled materials sit in stacks outside of a recycling facility in Germany.Image: Sean Gallup/Getty ImagesThis causes problems on two fronts, he explained. First, since the United States has to rely on other countries to buy the recyclables, the value of the commodity is staggeringly low. Over the course of 2017, the value of mixed paper dropped from $75 per ton in January to $25 per ton in December. Second, the U.S. has more supply than these countries are demanding. “The material keeps coming in. It’s piling up and the value is diminishing,” Changaris said. “And recycling isn’t free.” Many Materials Recovery Facilities (MRF), especially in states that don’t put much emphasis on recycling policies, are going to be facing a hard decision as they continue to lose profit. Unless they come up with a sustainable solution, recycling in large swaths of the United States might come to an end. In the future, cities less committed to sustainability might have to drop their recycling programs in favor of an easier disposal program, Sims Municipal Recycling manager Tom Outerbridge said. Waste management companies are only going to turn to landfills when that’s the cheaper option, like in Alabama, where you can put garbage in the ground for $19 a ton. Otherwise, the more comfortable position is continue to work within the already established infrastructure and try and update it to meet the new world order. Outerbridge says some ideas are already floating around. Since the biggest change to the market involves mixed paper (newspapers, junk mail, and magazines) corporations in the United States are looking to swoop in and exploit the newly vacated market. Workers at a recycling facility in San Francisco sort through trash on a conveyor belt.Image: Justin Sullivan/Getty ImagesOne purported way companies are making space for themselves in the market is by purchasing paper mills and retrofitting them to include processing abilities — giving these companies the ability to turn the recycled mixed paper into pulp, and therefore bypassing China's restrictions. But beginning that process is a huge risk. “We don’t know for sure if this world is the new status quo," Outerbridge said. "Chinese paper mills might be struggling without the constant influx of U.S. recyclables so much that the Chinese government eases some of the restrictions and then people go back to shipping mixed paper there.” Current tensions between China and the U.S. certainly aren't helping. The Trump administration's recent efforts to increase U.S production of goods by increasing tariffs on Chinese goods has lead to full-scale retaliation by the Chinese government. For example, the Chinese government placed a 25 percent tax on aluminum scraps. Formerly, the U.S. made more than $1.1 billion off of aluminum trading. The new tariff places a $300 million burden on that industry. It's safe to say the whole infrastructure is in limbo right now, as corporations weigh their options. A spokesperson from the Environment Protection Agency (EPA) acknowledged via email that the government organization recognizes the challenges that lie ahead when it comes to updating recycling infrastructure. "[The] EPA is communicating with governments at the federal, state and local levels, as well as stakeholders at the private sector, to determine what (if any) additional steps should be taken at the national level regarding the domestic management of materials," the spokesperson explained. In the mean time, MRFs are tightening up production by adding more staff to ensure that the materials collected are of the best quality — as well as altering what is collected to more closely match the market demand according to the EPA. Recycling hasn't reached critical failure just yet, but the industry is in desperate need of an upgrade. The alternative is a world full of trash. WATCH: Ever wonder where your recyclables go? Get an inside look at where the magic happens
08/18/2018 - 07:00 AM
2 Shot During High School Football Game in Florida
Authorities say both victims are hospitalized with one in critical condition
08/18/2018 - 09:22 AM
‘I Don’t Feel Safe Living Here.’ After Threats From Parents, a Transgender Girl's Family Is Moving. Again.
Brandy Rose worries that Maddie's classmates, most of whom did not know that she was transgender, will bully her now
08/17/2018 - 02:10 PM
Elephants take the flag in Indonesia independence ceremony
A trio of rare elephants led an unusual ceremony in the Sumatran jungle Friday, raising Indonesia's red and white flag to help mark the country's independence day. Brandishing a flagpole flying the national colours by the trunk, lead elephant Ulu marched outside a conservation office in northern Aceh province as onlookers sung the national anthem. “As we can see here, this is also an education for us, that elephants can live side by side with humans," Rizal, an elephant trainer at the conservation office, told AFP.
08/18/2018 - 01:41 PM
Trump Administration Ends $200 Million in Funding for Syria Stabilization Programs
The Trump administration is notifying Congress Friday, officials say
08/17/2018 - 10:36 AM
Aretha Franklin, a legend in the making: Part 2
The singer's father recognized her talent early on and hits like "Respect" and "Chain of Fools" help turn her into an international star.
08/16/2018 - 11:19 PM
Could an Australian bee solve the world's plastic crisis?
Researchers believe an Australian bee which produces a “cellophane-like” material for its nests could help to end the world’s reliance on disposable plastics. The native Hylaeus nubilosus masked bee, known for the distinctive yellow badge on its back, does not sting or live in hives but it has generated interest because of the nesting material it produces, which is non-toxic, waterproof, flame-resistant and able to withstand heat. A biotech company in New Zealand, Humble Bee, is trying to reverse-engineer the material in the hope of mass producing it as an alternative to plastic. Veronica Harwood-Stevenson, the firm’s founder, said she began investigating the potential plastic alternative after noticing a throwaway line in a research paper about the “cellophane-like” qualities of the masked bee’s nesting material. "Plastic particles and chemicals have permeated ecosystems and organisms around the world, [from] foetal blood of babies [to] the most remote arctic lakes; it's so pervasive, it's terrifying," she told The Sydney Morning Herald. "It's about biomimicry, about copying what's in the natural environment, and we've been doing it in design for centuries, from plane wing design inspired by birds of prey to train shapes reflecting bird beaks." Richard Furneaux, a chemistry professor at the Victoria University of Wellington, said the discovery of the new material was “almost too good to be true”. File image of bees working on their hive “Its robustness is beyond what you would have expected,” he told the Thomson Reuters Foundation. Scientists analysed the genetic makeup of the bioplastic by studying the bee’s glands. Humble Bee plans to initially use the material to make outdoor apparel, such as camping gear, which often use toxic chemicals to keep them waterproof. "Outdoor apparel is definitely what we’re most interested in because of the chemicals being used and because chances are, if you like the environment, you don't want the products you enjoy to be screwing up the environment," Ms Harwood-Stevenson said. Scientists believe chemicals used to change the properties of plastic – such as those that make it harder or waterproof – may be harmful and could increase the risk of heart disease, cancer or infertility. The bioplastic could also be used for aviation, electrics and construction products. It is resistant to acid which could allow it to coat medicines and help them to pass through the stomach. The firm hopes to start selling the bioplastic in five years.
08/18/2018 - 12:46 PM
This Female CEO Had to Make Up a Male Boss to Get Manufacturers to Take Her Seriously
'In the long run, I knew it would all be temporary'
08/17/2018 - 12:00 PM
People Have Been Reusing Clothes Forever But Thrift Shops Are Relatively New. Here's Why
There's a big psychological difference between a "thrift store" and a "junk store"
08/17/2018 - 07:00 AM
Science Clubs are strengthened, project of Mexico and the United States
Mexico, Aug. 17 (Notimex).- For the fourth consecutive year, Oaxaca hosted the Clubs of Science, a binational project of Mexico and the United States to promote the scientific development of high school and university students, in addition to creating links between researchers from national and international institutions. In the state, around 60 young people participated in intensive courses and workshops that took place from August 5 to 11, with topics in mathematics, geology, cell biology and genetics, informed the National Council of Science and Technology (CONACYT, for its acronym in Spanish). Graduate students Alan Chang, of the University of Chicago, and María Hernández de la Torre, of the University of Guanajuato, offered for free the club "Impossible puzzles: the Rubik cube algebra". Meanwhile, the doctoral student Kevin Magnaye, from the University of Chicago, gave the club "Taking the bitter taste of genetic analysis"; and the instructors Heather Leigh, from Caltech, and Fernando Flores Guzmán, from the National Autonomous University of Mexico (UNAM, for its acronym in Spanish), taught the workshop "Next stop, Mars, long-term space travel and the human body". In addition, researchers Marco López, from the University of North Texas, and Marco Oliva, from the Center for Scientific Research and Higher Education of Ensenada, Baja California, offered the course "Rocks, water and electricity: visualization mathematics". The coordinator in the entity of the Clubs of Science Mexico, Jorge Buendía, a researcher at the Broad Institute of Massachusetts Institute of Technology and Harvard University, said that these activities arose at the initiative of Mexicans who do postgraduate studies in the United States. This year they expanded to nine Mexican cities in which intensive scientific activities are carried out, during a week in the summer, to provide assistance to nearly a thousand participants from Ensenada, Guanajuato, Monterrey, Mérida, Chihuahua, La Paz, Guadalajara, Oaxaca and Xalapa, through some 50 clubs. The educational project is also replicated in Bolivia, Colombia, Peru, Paraguay, Brazil and this 2018, for the first time, it takes place in Spain, so seven countries have bi-national Science Clubs. NTX/MSG/JCG
08/17/2018 - 11:06 AM
President Trump Says He Will Revoke Justice Department Official's Security Clearance
Trump says the official, Bruce Ohr, is a "disgrace"
08/17/2018 - 11:59 AM
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