DYSPEPSIA GENERATION

We have seen the future, and it sucks.

Archive for the 'News You Can Use.' Category

Why Coconuts Could Be the Hydrogen Storage Material of the Future

4th October 2014

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If, of course, that’s what you want to do.

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FCC Fines Marriott for Jamming Customers’ WiFi Hotspots to Push Them Onto Hotel’s $1,000 per Device WiFi

4th October 2014

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Hotel WiFi sucks. If you do any traveling, you’re aware of this. Though, from what I’ve seen, the higher end the hotel, the worse the WiFi is and the more insane its prices are. Cheap discount hotels often offer free WiFi, and it’s generally pretty reliable. High end hotels? I’ve seen prices of $30 per day or higher, and it’s dreadfully low bandwidth. These days, when traveling, I often pick hotels based on reviews of the WiFi quality, because nothing can be more frustrating than a crappy internet connection when it’s needed. But, even worse than the WiFi in your room, if you’re using the WiFi for a business meeting or event — the hotels love to price gouge. And, it appears that’s exactly what the Marriott-operated Gaylord Opryland Hotel and Convention Center in Nashville did. Except, the company went one step further. Thanks to things like tethering on phones and MiFi devices that allow you to set up your own WiFi hotspot using wireless broadband, Marriott realized that some smart business folks were getting around its (absolutely insane) $1,000 per device WiFi charges, and just using MiFi’s. So, Marriott then broke FCC regulations and started jamming the devices to force business folks to pay its extortionate fees.

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Google X Is Developing Screens That Can Connect Like Legos to Form a Big Seamless Image

4th October 2014

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Google’s secretive advanced-projects lab is developing a display composed of smaller screens that plug together like Legos to create a seamless image, according to three people familiar with the project.

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USEFUL STUFF SATURDAY

4th October 2014

Egg-on-a-Stick Cooker.

Yonanas fruit gelato maker.

Paparazzi-Thwarting Reflective Visor. And about time, too.

BeachSafe.

Wallet Ninja. I’m a sucker for these cute little gizmos.

King Jim Wearable Futon.

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Dinosaur Graveyard Found in Mexico Yields Biggest Number of Specimens Ever

4th October 2014

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Archaeologists from Germany and Mexico have unearthed what they believe is the largest dinosaur cemetery in the world in the Mexican state of Coahuila.

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A Comprehensive Outline of the Security Behind Apple Pay

2nd October 2014

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Just in case you were wondering. I know I was.

 

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Your Nose Knows Death Is Imminent

2nd October 2014

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According to new research, the sense of smell is the canary in the coalmine of human health. A study published today in the open access journal PLOS ONE, shows that losing one’s sense of smell strongly predicts death within five years, suggesting that the nose knows when death is imminent, and that smell may serve as a bellwether for the overall state of the body, or as a marker for exposure to environmental toxins.

So don’t say that we didn’t warn you.

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These Scientists Want to Bring You Civet-Poop Coffee Without the Civets

2nd October 2014

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Civet coffee is among the most expensive coffees in the world—a cup can cost $80. Coffee beans that have passed through the digestive tract of this cat-sized creature native to southeast Asia make a remarkably smooth brew, producers and aficionados say. But the cost isn’t just financial. Although civet coffee, also known by its Indonesian name, kopi luwak, originated with beans collected from the feces of wild animals, increased demand has encouraged producers to keep the animals in cages and force them to subsist on a nutritionally deficient diet of coffee beans.

A noble endeavor.

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The Mythology of Dog Years

2nd October 2014

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While the “seven-year rule” is nothing more than mythology, dog owners (and media outlets) continue to use it for its simplicity — it’s convenient, after all, to have a “one size fits all” method of understanding our pets’ equivalent stages of life. In reality, contextualizing a dog’s age is a bit more complex.

Just in case you were wondering. I know I was.

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It’s Hard to be Saints in the City

29th September 2014

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A new documentary shows how Benedictine monks make men out of Newark’s boys.

The monks are serious about building men. The boys don’t just participate in the community; they eventually help run the school, despite their self-doubts. Seniors supervise freshmen; a student leader, not a priest, runs every morning’s convocation; students take attendance and even follow up with absentees.

As they’ve been doing for a thousand years.

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A Promising Step Toward Round-the-Clock Solar Power

28th September 2014

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If solar power is to become a primary source of electricity around the world, we’ll need cheap ways to store energy from the sun when it isn’t shining. A paper published in the journal Science this week reports a major step toward such a system. Researchers have developed a device that cheaply and efficiently converts the energy in sunlight into hydrogen, which can be used as a fuel and is easily stored.

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California Blue Whales, Once Nearly Extinct, Are Back at Historic Levels

28th September 2014

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So shut up about the fargin whales already.

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USEFUL STUFF SATURDAY

27th September 2014

Smartphone microscope.

Submarine yacht.

Chocolate skulls. I am not making this up.

Potato chip coasters.

ThermalStrike luggage.

Pixel Waffle Maker.

Gravity Maze.

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Archaeologists Dig Up First Viking Fortress Found in More Than 6 Decades

23rd September 2014

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“It was clear that there was a fortress missing,” says researcher Søren Sindbæk.

Don’t you hate it when that happens?

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Coffee Got Its Buzz by a Different Route Than Tea

22nd September 2014

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The coffee genome has now been published, and it reveals that the coffee plant makes caffeine using a different set of genes from those found in tea, cacao and other perk-you-up plants.

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Helpful Hint for Reading

22nd September 2014

If you’re trying to read an article on a site that has a paywall — e.g. Wall Street Journal, New York Times — and clicking on a link just gives you the ‘teaser’ for the article, highlight the title and search for it in Google, then click on that link to the same article. More often than not, it will give you the full thing, presumably because it thinks you’re coming from a search engine rather than being a Boring Old Consumer.

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Radical New DNA Sequencer Finally Gets Into Researchers’ Hands

20th September 2014

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Early versions of the instrument, called the MinION, have been reaching scientific labs over the past few months after long delays (see “10 Breakthrough Technologies 2012: Nanopore Sequencing”). It’s built by a U.K. company, Oxford Nanopore, that has raised $292 million and spent 10 years developing Deamer’s idea into a DNA sequencer unlike any other now available. It is four inches long and gets its power from a USB port on a computer. Unlike other commercial sequencing machines, which can be the size of a refrigerator and require jugs of pricey chemicals, this one measures DNA directly as the molecule is drawn through a tiny pore suspended in a membrane. Changes in electrical current are used to read off the chain of genetic letters, A, G, C, and T.

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Woman Receives World’s First 3D-Printed Skull

20th September 2014

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The 22-year old woman had a condition that was causing the bones in her skull to thicken. I was unable to find out the name of this condition, but the thickening of the skull was putting pressure on her brain. This was causing severe headaches, vision loss, and was beginning to result in loss of motor control. If left untreated, it would have eventually killed her.

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USEFUL STUFF SATURDAY

20th September 2014

Dry cleaning machine that fits in your closet.

KeySmart compact key holder.

D20 Cake Mold.

Hot Dog Toaster.

Dr Who Sonic Screwdriver Toothbrush.

Ryno one-wheeled motorcycle.

Food Cycler.

MittenFlask. I am not making this up.

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Bacon-related Medical Breakthrough Wins Ig Nobel Prize

19th September 2014

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Is there nothing that can’t be solved with the judicious application of bacon? Apparently not, as this year’s Ig Nobel Prize for Medicine winners can attest.

The boffins from the US and India took home the gong for their paper on treating “uncontrollable” nosebleeds by packing the nose with strips of cured pork.

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Talk Like a Pirate Day

19th September 2014

Arrrrrr.

Pirate Jokes

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Dremel Releases a Mass-Market 3D Printer

18th September 2014

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There are some very interesting things happening in this field.

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The Women With Superhuman Vision

16th September 2014

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The question of whether we all see the same colours has a long history in philosophy and science. In the past, there seemed little reason to expect huge differences. We know that almost everyone has three types of “cone cells” in their retina that each respond to a different bandwidth of light. The colour of an object depends on the particular combination of those signals, but although the exact sensitivity may vary between people, overall one person’s colours should roughly match another person’s. The exceptions were thought to be colour-blind people, where one of the cones is faulty. With reduced sensitivity at certain wavelengths, they struggle to tell the difference between reds and greens, for instance.

In theory, though, it could go the other way: according to some estimates, an extra cone would offer a hundred different variants to each colour that humans normally see. We know that this happens in nature: zebrafinches and goldfish both have a fourth cone that seems to help them differentiate apparently identical colours. About 20 years ago Gabriele Jordan at the University of Newcastle and John Mollon at the University of Cambridge proposed a way that it might be possible in humans too.

The crux of Jordan’s argument lay in the fact that the gene for our red and green cone types lies on the X chromosome. Since women have two X chromosomes, they could potentially carry two different versions of the gene, each encoding for a cone that is sensitive to slightly different parts of the spectrum. In addition to the other two, unaffected cones, they would therefore have four in total – making them a “tetrachromat”. For these reasons, it’s thought to be a condition exclusive to women, though researchers can’t totally rule out the possibility that men may somehow inherit it too.

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Extent of Antarctic Sea Ice Reaches Record Levels, Scientists Say

16th September 2014

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How about that Global Warming, eh?

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Soylent Cuisine

14th September 2014

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“What if you never had to worry about food again?” Soylent’s website asks. For an idealistic, overachieving, and incredibly harried generation, a bland, nutritionally complete slurry that promises effortless waste-free consumption at a manageable price point just may be the ultimate comfort food. Soylent only costs around $3 per meal. It can be purchased in bulk online and prepared in seconds. You don’t have to idle in drive-through lines to sustain yourself, and you sure don’t have to source and chop organic carrots. Soylent renders microwave ovens, refrigerators, stoves, forks, knives, plates, dishwashers, and apparently even toilet paper as unnecessary as turntables and bookshelves. Say goodbye to shopping, prepping, clean-up, even chewing. A cup is your kitchen. Molars are little more than decorative heritage utensils from a bygone era.

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The Traffic Lights of Tomorrow Will Actively Manage Congestion

14th September 2014

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Behind Every Good Whisky Is A Trusty Distillery Cat

13th September 2014

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Salt Doesn’t Cause High Blood Pressure

13th September 2014

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So shut up about my use of salt already.

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A Delivery Drone for the Open Sea

13th September 2014

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Amazon got the biggest headlines for its drone delivery plans, but it’s an idea that’s catching on across the shipping industry. At a nautical trade fair in Hamburg this week, the shipping research firm DNV GL revealed designs for a new electric vessel that would ferry cargo with zero crew members — roughly the nautical equivalent of Amazon’s automated delivery drones. Dubbed “ReVolt,” the concept ship is designed for short sea voyages, carrying up to 100 standard TEU containers at a relatively slow 6 knots. But because the ReVolt has no crew, it doesn’t need living quarters or safety equipment, resulting in a much more efficient trip between ports.

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Melting Aluminum

13th September 2014

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Just in case you should want to do that.

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USEFUL STUFF SATURDAY

13th September 2014

Guitar Doorbell. I am not making this up.

Cyborg Unplug.

OpenSeaMap open-s0urce naval charts.

Opposed Piston Engine.

Hard Hat 2.0.

Backroadz Truck Tent.

ScanMarker Pen Scanner.

Fake Seat Belt T-Shirt. When you want to live dangerously but still not get a ticket.

Wine Yoke. For parties attended by dads who wear baby harnesses. You know who you are.

Blade Buddy.

The Beer Briefcase.

Stanley Cup popcorn maker. For the hardcore hockey fan, eh.

GoodRx. Orbitz for prescription drugs.

Bed Butler.

Fobotire. Bluetooth tire pressure monitors.

The Slime Safety Spair.

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3,000-Year-Old Golden Bowl Hides a Grisly Archaeological Tale

10th September 2014

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In 1958, archaeologists were digging through the ruins of a burned Iron Age citadel called Hasanlu in northwestern Iran when they pulled a spectacular, albeit crushed, golden bowl from the layers of destruction.

The 3,000-year-old bowl became an object of fascination once word got to the press. The next year, it graced the pages of Life magazine in a full-color spread alongside an article about the discoveries at Hasanlu.

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Canada Says 1 of the Lost Ships From Doomed 1840S British Arctic Expedition Is Found

10th September 2014

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Last seen in the 1840s while under the command of Sir John Franklin, HMS Erebus and HMS Terror have long been among the most sought-after prizes in marine archaeology and the subject of songs, poems and novels.

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Report: More Africans Entered US in Last Decade Than During 300 Years of Slave Trade

9th September 2014

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So says the New York Times, so it HAS to be true, right?

More people from Africa have entered the United States in the last decade than were forced to come to America during “more than three centuries of the slave trade.”

According to the New York Times, “between 2000 and 2010, the number of legal black African immigrants in the United States about doubled, to around one million,” and “more black Africans arrived in this country on their own than were imported directly to North America during the more than three centuries of the slave trade.” These large migrations have increased concerns about the entry of African immigrants into the U.S., since the deadly Ebola epidemic has ravaged the western part of the continent.

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A Very Rare Book

8th September 2014

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This is a fascinating tour of the ‘forensics’ of determining the authenticity of very old books.

Wilding obtained digital samples of unquestionably legitimate stamps from the book collection of Federico Cesi, the Accademia dei Lincei founder, and compared them in high-resolution detail. In each stamp, a lynx appeared at the center, framed by two oval borders, a wrap of Latin text (“From the Library of Federico Cesi, Prince and Marquis of Monticelli”), and a third oval border. Wilding then examined the stamp in Lan’s “Sidereus Nuncius.” In the genuine stamps, there was a gap in the innermost oval border just to the left of the lynx’s mouth. In Lan’s copy, the border was continuous. Wilding also checked the inventory of Cesi’s library, and found no listing of a “Sidereus Nuncius.”

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NASA Confirms ‘Impossible’ Thruster Actually Works

7th September 2014

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Shawyer’s engine provides thrust by “bouncing microwaves around in a closed chamber.” That’s it. There’s no need for a propellant of any kind like rocket fuel. When filled with resonating microwaves, the conical chamber of the thruster experiences a net thrust toward the wide end. These microwaves can be  generated using electricity, which can be provided by solar energy. In theory, this means that the thruster can work forever, or at least until its hardware fails.

Now, American scientists at NASA have given the EmDrive a go, and once again confirmed that it actually works. The test results were presented on July 30 at the 50th Joint Propulsion Conference in Cleveland, Ohio, and astonishingly enough, they are positive. The team behind the drive still doesn’t know why it works, just that it does.

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A Strange New Gene Pool of Animals Is Brewing in the Arctic

7th September 2014

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The first confirmed cross between a polar bear and a grizzly bear—a white bear with brown patches—was documented in 2006; genetic analysis of a second, found in 2010, revealed that its mother was also a hybrid, suggesting that more instances are happening under scientists’ radar. In 2009, a biologist at the National Marine Mammal Laboratory photographed a probable bowhead/right whale hybrid in the Bering Sea. More hybrids are possible. Kelly and his coauthors have counted 34 opportunities for hybridization across 22 Arctic or near-Arctic species, based on the animals’ genetic compatibility and geographic range. The list includes potential hybrids of ringed and ribbon seals, Atlantic walrus and Pacific walrus, and beluga whales and narwhals.

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USEFUL STUFF SATURDAY

6th September 2014

Toastabags.

Flashlight Grilling Spatula.

Peanut Butter & Jelly Soda. I am not making this up.

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Ancient ‘Last Supper’ Papyrus Gives Glimpse Into Early Christianity

6th September 2014

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The fragment formed part of an amulet, according to academics at the University of Manchester, making it the earliest surviving document to use the Christian Eucharist liturgy as a protective charm. Wearing amulets to protect against dangers was an ancient Egyptian practice adopted by Christians.

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Author’s Quest to Prove Anglo-Saxon Monarch Died 30 Years After Battle of Hastings and Is Buried in Essex Churchyard

6th September 2014

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The project will be charted by Oval Films, which also helped to find Richard III’s remains in a car park in Leicester.

It will follow amateur historian Peter Burke, who has written two historical novels on the times of Harold, and claims the king was wounded but survived.

He believes he died 30 years later and was buried near the east wall of the former abbey that dates to the late 11th century.

And if he can get a best-selling book out of it, that’s good too.

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Apple Invents Method of Hardening Sapphire Screens to Reduce Cracking

4th September 2014

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Can interstellar travel be far behind?

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Why Do We Have Blood Types?

1st September 2014

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In 1900 the Austrian physician Karl Landsteiner first discovered blood types, winning the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine for his research in 1930. Since then scientists have developed ever more powerful tools for probing the biology of blood types. They’ve found some intriguing clues about them – tracing their deep ancestry, for example, and detecting influences of blood types on our health. And yet I found that in many ways blood types remain strangely mysterious. Scientists have yet to come up with a good explanation for their very existence.

Inquiring minds want to know.

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An Experimental Investigation of the Functional Hypothesis and Evolutionary Advantage of Stone-Tipped Spears

1st September 2014

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Just in case you were wondering. I know I was.

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What Is the Blue Light From our Screens Really Doing to Our Eyes?

1st September 2014

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“I discovered that using light at night is bad for people’s health and interferes with their sleep. I felt a moral obligation to do something about it, particularly when I learned it’s the blue component in ordinary white light that is suppressing the production of melatonin. And melatonin not only helps you sleep but is a marvelous material that has a very big influence on health in general; specifically, if you don’t have enough you may develop diabetes, obesity, heart disease, and even a couple kinds of cancer.” [emphasis added]

Sky is falling. Film at 11. Meanwhile, on the Kardashian front….

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Myth of Arctic Meltdown

1st September 2014

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The speech by former US Vice-President Al Gore was apocalyptic. ‘The North Polar ice cap is falling off a cliff,’ he said. ‘It could be completely gone in summer in as little as seven years. Seven years from now.’

Those comments came in 2007 as Mr Gore accepted the Nobel Peace Prize for his campaigning on climate change.

But seven years after his warning, The Mail on Sunday can reveal that, far from vanishing, the Arctic ice cap has expanded for the second year in succession – with a surge, depending on how you measure it, of between 43 and 63 per cent since 2012.

Oh, gee, AlGore was wrong? What news!

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Cause of ALS Is Found, Northwestern Team Says

30th August 2014

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Researchers at Northwestern University say they have discovered a common cause behind the mysterious and deadly affliction of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, or Lou Gehrig’s disease, that could open the door to an effective treatment.

Dr. Teepu Siddique, a neuroscientist with Northwestern’s Feinberg School of Medicine whose pioneering work on ALS over more than a quarter-century fueled the research team’s work, said the key to the breakthrough is the discovery of an underlying disease process for all types of ALS.

Now perhaps we’ll be spared the sight of rich narcissists pouring ice over their heads to get a few more minutes of fame.

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USEFUL STUFF SATURDAY

30th August 2014

For-ghetti spaghetti fork.

ButterUp butter knife.

Hugo’s Amazing Tape.

Beer stein for cans.

Leather beer caddy for bikes.

Compact folding bow. This baby can save your life if you’re suddenly cast back into the Middle Ages. Hey, it could totally happen.

Batman branding iron. You know you want one.

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The Secrets of Fake Flavours

29th August 2014

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Artificial flavours are more complex and interesting than first appears. Chris Baraniuk discovers a world of sensory trickery – and a curious myth about fake banana.

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Someone 3D Printed a Castle in His Backyard and It’s Awesome

29th August 2014

Check it out.

What’s next? A “full-scale” house. The castle is large enough to walk around in, but it seems that the builder has bigger plans. Also the next building will likely be built someplace warmer. Why warmer? Concrete sets at only so quick a pace — if you can help it cure, you can probably build more quickly.

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Bonuses Are the New Raises

29th August 2014

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A new survey from human-resources services firm Aon Hewitt found that companies are spending a record share of their payroll on performance-based bonuses, signaling a shift away from longer-term salary increases.

We are all CEOs now.

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