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Ancient skull hints at African roots for ape
JAY GORY, MANAGING EDITOR, science
The skull of an infant ape buried by a volcano 13 million years ago has preserved intriguing clues about the ancestor humans shared with apes -- including a likely African origin, scientists said Wednesday. "If you compare to all living things, it looks most like a gibbon," study co-author Isaiah Nengo of the Stony Brook University in New York told AFP. Assuming a gibbon-like appearance for our ancestor would be similar to scientists from the future unearthing a gorilla skull and concluding that all hominins -- the group that also includes chimps and humans -- looked like a gorilla.
New device zaps rogue drones out of the sky
JAY GORY, MANAGING EDITOR, science
Former Special Operations intelligence analyst discusses new technology
America's total eclipse floods market with fake sunglasses
JAY GORY, MANAGING EDITOR, science
When millions of Americans turn their faces skyward to witness the nation's first coast-to-coast total solar eclipse in a century, many will reach for specially designed sunglasses, but experts caution the public to stay clear of unsafe counterfeits. "It's a bunch of unscrupulous people cashing in on the eclipse and putting public safety at risk," said Richard Fienberg, press officer for the American Astronomical Society (AAS). Special eyeglasses made with proper solar filters allow viewers to safely gaze at the sun any time for unlimited duration, the AAS said.
Missing the US solar eclipse? Here are 11 more heavenly spectacles to mark in your diary
JAY GORY, MANAGING EDITOR, science
Later this month, on August 21, the USA will witness a solar eclipse, which will glide right across the torso of the country, from Oregon on the west coast to South Carolina on the east. There is still time to head off in search of it - and if you want to do so, you can read about a selection of places where you can enjoy the spectacle here. Alternatively, if a dash to Nebraska, Missouri or Tennessee in the next fortnight is somewhat impractical, here are a few other heavenly events which you can anticipate with a little more notice... Eta Aquariids: May 6 2018 We've all heard of Halley's Comet. It's the celestial phenomenon which appears once every 74-79 years, and is so visible to the naked eye that it was stitched into the Bayeux Tapestry - its streaking across the sky in the autumn of 1066 being seen as a bad omen for England's King Harold. Alas, it isn't due to reemerge into our sightlines until 2061 - but one of its side-effects can be admired every year. The Eta Aquariids are a meteor shower which broke away from the comet in the distant past. Earth ploughs a path through them every April and May, usually between April 19 and May 28. They should hit their next peak on May 6 2018 - and are best seen just before dawn. The world's best stargazing locations The Leonids: November 15-20 2017 Comet Tempel-Tuttle is a little more regular in paying Earth a visit, shooting past once every 33 years. It will next be in town on May 20 2031. In the meantime, you can enjoy one of its most splendid consequences - the Leonid meteor shower, which spins its magic each November as Earth passes through the debris field left by the comet's passage. November 15-20 is the key juncture for seeing these bright particles strafing the sky - with the night of November 17-18 likely to be the optimum window. The Perseids: July 17-August 24 2017 A similar process involving lost fragments of the Comet Swift-Tuttle (not, alas, due back close to Earth until July 12 2126), the Perseids illuminate the firmament every July and August, generally from July 17 to August 24 - with the peak period coming between August 9 and 14, and the peak of the peak on August 12. Yes - this week. At a glance | The Perseid meteor shower Transit of Mercury: November 11 2019 At times, our solar system is a simple place - eight major planets (poor Pluto was reclassified as a "dwarf planet" in 2006) revolving around the sun. At times, some of the other seven can briefly obscure Earth's view of our source of warmth and light - and be visible as a speck of black against the wider backdrop of orange. Mercury, as the innermost planet of the eight, is the most regular repeat offender on this score, taking just 88 days to complete its orbit. It is also the smallest of our neighbours, which means you need a decent telescope to see its transit. The next of these is scheduled for November 11 2019. Then it’s a wait of another 13 years, until November 13 2032. Mercury is visible as a small dot against the sun during Transit Credit: Solar Dynamics Observatory/NASA Mars at opposition: July 27 2018 There is never a Transit of Mars, because our nearest planetary neighbour is further from the sun than Earth (though perhaps, one day in the far future, our descendants will watch the Transit of Earth from Mars). It does, however, treat us to regular doses of "opposition" - the moment when it and the sun are on directly opposing sides of our home planet. These are also effectively the times when that big ball of red rock is closest to us. Because we orbit the sun at a faster rate, this occurs roughly once every 26 months. Every 15-17 years, opposition happens within a few weeks of Mars's "perihelion" - the point when it is closest to the sun. In these windows, the sun and Mars appear on opposite sides of the sky, Mars setting in the west as the sun rises in the east. We are due another of these extravaganzas on July 27 2018 - on which day, Mars will be a mere 36 million miles away. "Mere" is an appropriate word here. Mars never comes nearer than 34 million miles - so this will be a relatively close encounter. Jupiter at opposition: May 9, 2018 The largest member of the Solar System Club will perform the same neat tag-team trick with Earth and the sun next May. It should be particularly visible from London between 9.19pm and 4.31am on the night of May 9-10. There is always a decent chance of seeing Jupiter, as it is generally considered the fourth brightest object in our firmament, after the sun, the moon and Venus. Because Earth spins around the sun far more swiftly than Jupiter, it gives it a fly-past every 398.9 days - so the biggest planet comes into opposition every 13 months. Expect it to be back in line on June 10 2019 too. Jupiter is our solar system's biggest planet Saturn at opposition: June 27, 2018 Yes, Saturn does this too. Its next love triangle with Earth and the sun is scheduled for June 27 next year - when it will be in the heavens above London between 10.41pm and 3.23am (on June 28). It will, however, be low in the sky if viewed from the capital (or indeed, anywhere in the United Kingdom) - never higher than 16° above the horizon. You will need to be further south - in Spain, at least - for a better chance of a sighting. Saturn will be at opposition next June Credit: AFP/AFP Aurora Borealis: November 2017-March 2018 Hugely familiar in an era when clever cameras and advances in science have tamed some of their mystique, the Northern Lights nonetheless have the capacity to amaze if seen on a clear evening under cold skies. They occur, of course, when charged solar particles strike the magnetic fields above the Earth's poles - and, in the case of the Aurora Borealis, are inevitably more visible the greater your proximity to the North Pole. Iceland, Norway, Sweden and Finland are all good ports of call if you wish to see them, but your best bet, without leaving Europe, is the Norwegian archipelago of Svalbard, which loiters at a latitude of between 74°N and 81°N. Discover The World (01737 214 250; discover-the-world.co.uk) offers a six-day "Tromso and Svalbard" break, available between November and April, which is designed to collide with the Northern Lights. From £1,204 per person, including three days on Spitsbergen, as well as flights. The Northern Lights (as seen over Tromso) Credit: © Rowan Romeyn / Alamy Stock Photo/Rowan Romeyn / Alamy Stock Photo Aurora Australis: March-August 2018 And if you head south, you can encounter the Aurora Australis on the same basis - in countries such as Chile, Argentina, Australia and New Zealand. In truth, none of these countries lies anywhere as near to the polar extremes as Svalbard does in the north, and venturing to the Antarctic during the Southern Hemisphere winter is difficult and very expensive for tourists. But both Australia and New Zealand enjoyed a Southern Lights spectacular earlier this year, and may do so again in 2018. Audley Travel (01993 838 810; audleytravel.com) sells a "Classic Tasmania Self-Drive" holiday, available throughout the year, which takes 13 days to dissect Australia's most southerly - and thus most Aurora-friendly - state in detail. From £3,920 per person, including flights. The Aurora Australis (as seen in Antarctica) The Maine Solar System Model: Any time You don't have to look to the skies for an understanding of our solar system. A road trip through New England can be just as enlightening - particularly if you head to its biggest state to admire the educational curiosity that is the Maine Solar System Model (pages.umpi.edu/nmms/solar/). This is a clever but straightforward idea - the brainchild of the University of Maine - which sees nine planets (Pluto is included) dotted along a 40-mile stretch of US Route 1 as it cuts north between the towns of Houlton and Presque Isle in the north-east of the state. The "map" is laid out at a scale of 1:93,000,000, with the planets placed at the relevant intervals along the highway. These are also "in scale". Thus, Mercury is a pinprick on a pole, and hard to spot, while Jupiter is a fat orb, almost impossible to miss. There is a certain quirky fun to locating them all - including the sun, which is "hidden" in a stairwell of Folsom Hall on the university's Presque Isle campus. America As You Like It (020 8742 8299; americaasyoulikeit.com) offers a 14-night "Complete New England" trip which would allow for a dash to the area. From £1,279 per person, including flights, car and hotels. Transit of Venus, December 10-11 2117 The missing link which "connects" Mercury and Earth, Venus also occasionally lodges itself between us and the sun. Alas, its transits are both frequent and exceedingly rare. In that, like London buses, two occur in quick succession, followed by a very long wait. Generally, this means two transits in eight years as part of a repeating 243-year cycle. And sadly, we've had our quota for this century - Venus flitted across the sun on June 8 2004, and again on June 5-6 2012. She won't be back on this basis until December 10-11 2117 and December 8 2125 - but you can tell your great-grandkids to set their clocks. Or whatever it is they use to tell the time in the early 22nd century. Venus is the brightest planet in the solar system Credit: Xinhua / Barcroft Media/Xinhua / Barcroft Images
Trump knocks McConnell again on health care: ‘Couldn’t get it done’
JAY GORY, MANAGING EDITOR, politics
The president lashed out at the Senate majority leader for the second time in as many days, mocking the Kentucky Republican’s failure to pass new health care legislation.
Frustrated McCain unveils his own Afghanistan strategy
JAY GORY, MANAGING EDITOR, politics
Frustrated by the lack of an Afghanistan war strategy from the White House, Sen. John McCain on Thursday unveiled his own plan for winning America’s longest conflict.
Trump shares dubious Twitter poll saying he’s better than Obama
JAY GORY, MANAGING EDITOR, politics
President Trump shared a dubious Twitter poll Thursday with results that show him to be considered “a better president” than his predecessor, former President Barack Obama. Who is a better President of the United States? #ObamaDay
It's not delivery. It's DiGiorno Pizza ... spilled on I
JAY GORY, MANAGING EDITOR, odd news
Arkansas highway officials shut down westbound lanes of a cross-country interstate for four hours so crews could pick up pizza. An 18-wheeler containing DiGiorno and Tombstone frozen pizzas scraped a bridge ...
Physicists smash record with world's fastest X
JAY GORY, MANAGING EDITOR, science
Researchers have just broken a world record with their demonstration of the fastest light pulse ever developed -- a 53-attosecond X-ray pulse. For those keeping track, that's pretty darn fast!
Scientists Name Prehistoric Crocodile After Lemmy Kilmister
JAY GORY, MANAGING EDITOR, science
Scientists have named a prehistoric crocodile described as "one of the nastiest sea creatures to have ever inhabited the earth" after late Motörhead frontman and British heavy metal icon Lemmy Kilmister.
The solar eclipse is nigh, so is the end of the world (sigh)
JAY GORY, MANAGING EDITOR, science
Commentary: A so-called Christian numerologist insists that the hidden planet Nibiru will smash into us. Oh. Again?
Colossal new dinosaur species gets scientific name
JAY GORY, MANAGING EDITOR, science
A new species of titanosaur, discovered in Patagonia three years ago and perhaps the largest known dinosaur to have existed, was formally bestowed a new name Wednesday: Patagotitan mayorum. The name translates as giant from Patagonia, paleontologist Diego Pol told an unveiling ceremony at the American Museum of Natural History in New York, where a cast of the colossal creature has been on display since 2016 -- so huge that its head and neck extend into a lobby. Its age suggested even larger animals could have lived on Patagonia at the time, said paleontologist Diego Pol from the Museum of Paleontology Egidio Feruglio in Trelew, who helped lead the excavation.
Democrats try to co
JAY GORY, MANAGING EDITOR, politics
The problem with the Democrats’ new agenda isn’t its language or gauziness. It’s the underlying philosophy, which misreads the Trump campaign’s core appeal.
ZAGG Wireless Keyboard Giveaway
JAY GORY, MANAGING EDITOR, health
Enter for a chance to win this ZAGG Rugged Messenger wireless keyboard and detachable case for iPad!
Proctor Silex Giveaway
JAY GORY, MANAGING EDITOR, health
Enter for a chance to win a Proctor Silex Slow Coker!
Draper James Giveaway
JAY GORY, MANAGING EDITOR, health
Enter to win Draper James Spirit Pennant Enamel Pin!
Meet 'Alesi', the 13
JAY GORY, MANAGING EDITOR, science
A baby ape discovered in Kenya could be an example of the earliest ancestors of all living humans, scientists believe. The little creature, whose skull is roughly the size of a lemon, lived around 13 million years ago and came from a family which may have eventually evolved into man and apes. 'Alesi' the baby ape, the earliest complete skull from the line which led to humans  Credit: Fred Spoor  It was discovered by Kenyan fossil hunter John Ekusi in ancient rock layers in the Napudet area, west of Lake Turkana, in the north of the country. The fossil survived because a nearby volcano buried the forest in which it lived millions of years ago, perfectly preserving the skull, even down to the tiny ear canals deep inside its cranium. All humans and apes alive today come from a common lineage, but until now paleontologists have only managed to trace that line back to 10 million years ago so it was unclear what our ancestors looked liked further back, and if they originated in Africa or elsewhere. The new specimen has been labelled Nyanzapithecus alesi, with its species name taken from the Turkana word for ancestor - ‘ales.’ It was just 16 months old when it died. Mapped: Alesi fossil discovery in Kenya A handful of bones and teeth had previously been found from the Nyanzapithecus species but scientists were unsure what the creature would have looked like, or how far back it went. The new skull has a noticeably small snout,  like a gibbon, but scans of the inside of the cranium reveal that it had ear tubes which are closer to chimpanzees and humans. "Gibbons are well known for their fast and acrobatic behavior in trees," said Fred Spoor, Professor of Evolutionary Anatomy at University College London. "But the inner ears of Alesi show that it would have had a much more cautious way of moving around." The skull of 'Alesi' is around the size of a lemon Credit: Christopher Kiarie The find is the most complete extinct ape skull known in the fossil record. Humans themselves diverged from apes around six million years later, sharing a last common ancestor with chimpanzees about 7 million years ago. "Nyanzapithecus alesi was part of a group of primates that existed in Africa for over 10 million years," added lead author Dr Isaiah Nengo, of Stony Brook University. “What the discovery of Alesi shows is that this group was close to the origin of living apes and humans and that this origin was African." Co-author Craig Feibel, Professor of Geology and Anthropology at of Rutgers University, New Brunswick, added: "The Napudet locality offers us a rare glimpse of an African landscape 13 million years ago. Baby monkey that died 13 million years ago is the oldest human ancestor ever found, scientists say 04:14 "A nearby volcano buried the forest where the baby ape lived, preserving the fossil and countless trees. It also provided us with the critical volcanic minerals by which we were able to date the fossil." The research was published in the journal Nature.
It's a bird. It's a plane. It's a Jurassic mammal!
JAY GORY, MANAGING EDITOR, science
Not all prehistoric mammals needed to scurry to avoid dinosaurs with whom they shared the planet in the Jurassic age. Fossils of two extinct mammals that lived in China some 160 million years ago, revealed the outlines of wing-like membranes joining the rodent-like critters' front and hind limbs, scientists wrote in the journal Nature. This showed that ancestral mammals adapted to a challenging environment and tough competition from dinosaurs.
New Skincare Solutions!
JAY GORY, MANAGING EDITOR, health
Dermatologist Dr. Ava Shamban joins The Doctors to discuss common skin complaints, including sagging skin, brown spots, and wrinkles. 44-year-old Holly is a mother of three with a former fitness industry career. Dr. Shamban gives Holly a facial scan.
Why Your Daughters (and Sons) Need the HPV Vaccine
JAY GORY, MANAGING EDITOR, health
Marina, a New York City native, received the first of the three vaccinations against the human papillomavirus (HPV) at age 17—but skipped the final two. Now she’s infected with this sexually tran...
Soon, nobody will read academic journals illegally, because the studies worth reading will be free
JAY GORY, MANAGING EDITOR, science
It’s a dirty open secret in academia. Scholars work very hard to prove their work is worth taxpayers’ money, but then publish it in journals that are prohibitively expensive—not just for taxpayers but academics themselves. In a 2012 memo, Harvard Library was forced to declare that the fees for such access were becoming “fiscally unsustainable.”…
Swedroe: Beyond Efficient Markets
JAY GORY, MANAGING EDITOR, science
Andrew Lo is a professor of finance and the director of the Laboratory for Financial Engineering at MIT’s Sloan School of Management.
'Nastiest sea creature to ever inhabit Earth' named after Lemmy from Motorhead 
JAY GORY, MANAGING EDITOR, science
He was the hell-raising, grizzled, frontman of Motorhead who took pride in his excessive harcore lifestyle and once invited fans to ‘Love Me Like a Reptile.’ So when paleontologists at the National History Museum were choosing a name for their new ferocious Jurassic sea-crocodile, Lemmy seemed the obvious choice. Lemmy died in December 2015  Credit:  DYLAN MARTINEZ ‘Lemmysuchus’ - which translates as Lemmy’s Crocodile - was a giant 19ft (5.8m) predator, which was covered in thick armour and was one of the most deadly marine creatures of its day, crunching down sea turtles with a snap of its giant jaws. Lemmy, who died aged 70, in December 2015, was the founder, singer and bassist of Motorhead for 40 years, a band which took pride in its reputation for playing and living louder, faster and harder than any other group. Likewise, his nightmare-inducing namesake, was bigger, faster and scarier than most sea creatures,  terrorising the shallow coastal waters around the UK more than 165 million years ago. Lemmysuchus had a huge jaw and teeth which could crush the skulls of sea turtles  Credit: Mark Witton and Trustees of the NHM, London Its skull measured just over a metre and large, blunt teeth perfect for crushing bones and shells. A fossil skeleton of one of the creatures was dug up in a clay pit near Peterborough in 1909 and then housed at London's Natural History Museum (NHM), where it has remained largely unstudied ever since. But a recent reexamination led experts to believe that the creature stood apart from the other sea crocodiles of its time, and so deserved a new name. NHM Curator Lorna Steele said: “I’ve always been into heavy rock, and Motorhead are one of my favourite bands and since Lemmy died I have been keen to name something after him. “I had found a small crocodile in Morocco and thought that would have to do, but then this one emerged and I thought ‘Oh My God!’ this is the nastiest, meanest, biggest sea-crocodile there was. So it was perfect. “Sea crocs are extinct now, but they were once a massive group of their time and were dominant in the Middle Jurassic. You wouldn’t have wanted to come across one. They were far bigger than today’s crocodiles. These things were massive, with armoured plates on their back and belly. “Although Lemmy passed away at the end of 2015, we’d like to think that he would have raised a glass to Lemmysuchus, one of the nastiest sea creatures to have ever inhabited the Earth.” The huge skull of Lemmysuchus Lemmysuchus was a sea-going member of an extinct group called teleosaurs, common during the Jurassic Period but only distantly related to today’s crocodiles. Sea crocodiles spent large amounts of time in the water, they probably clambered back onto land to lay eggs, researchers believe. The specimen was recently studied by Michela Johnson, a current palaeontology PhD student at the University of Edinburgh, who realised it had been wrongly classified. “Following careful anatomical comparison, and by referring to the main specimen held at the Natural History Museum, we could see that most of the previous finds were actually from relatives of Lemmysuchus rather than the species itself, and we were able to assign a new name,” added Miss Johnson. Born Ian Kilmister in 1945 in Stoke-in-Trent, it was said Lemmy gained his nickname after constantly pestered people to “lemme a fiver”. Motorhead formed in 1975 Credit: REX/Shutterstock He began his music career as a roadie for Jimi Hendrix, before in 1971 joining Hawkwind, the psychedelic band which specialised in trying to induce fits in their audience through the use of ultra-low frequency soundwaves. After being kicked out of the band when he was arrested for possession of amphetamine in 1975, Lemmy formed Motorhead with ‘Fast’ Eddie Clarke and Phil ‘Philtyh Animal’ Taylor. Originally christened “B*stard” the band changed its name to Motörhead after being warned they would never be allowed to play on Top Of The Pops. They came to be cited in the Guinness Book of Records as the loudest band ever, and fostered a reputation for ear-splitting noise and amped-up excess. In an interview with The Telegraph in 2002, Lemmy, whose song titles included Die You B*stard, Killed by Death, and Born To Raise Hell, confessed that one of his favourite bands was Abba and that he was “addicted” to PG Wodehouse. He was also an avid collector of Nazi memorabilia claiming ‘the bad guys always have the best uniforms.’ The new description of Lemmysuchus was published in the Zoological Journal of the Linnean Society.
The Moral History of Air
JAY GORY, MANAGING EDITOR, science
Until the 20th century, only the wealthy or dying might have witnessed someone trying to cool the air indoors—even though building a fire to keep warm in the winter would have been perfectly reasonable. Extreme heat was seen as a force that humans shouldn’t tamper with, and the idea that a machine could control the weather was deemed sinful. Even into the early 1900s, the U.S. Congress avoided the use of manufactured air in the Capitol, afraid voters would mock them for not being able to sweat like everyone else.
Astrophysicist Neil deGrasse Tyson is here for legal weed
JAY GORY, MANAGING EDITOR, science
Astrophysicist Neil deGrasse Tyson got real about marijuana during a Facebook Live question session Monday. The episode of StarTalk with co-host comedian Chuck Nice turned into a conversation about legalizing weed. One viewer asked if Tyson agreed with the late astronomer Carl Sagan that marijuana should be legalized. SEE ALSO: George R.R. Martin is working with Neil deGrasse Tyson on a video game Tyson responded rationally as ever, making the argument that other substances, such as alcohol, are legal, so why not weed. "If you really analyze it, relative to other things that are legal, there’s no reason for it to ever have been made illegal in the system of laws," he said during the show. "Alcohol is legal and it can mess you up way more than smoking a few Js." His co-host Nice poked fun at him for his pot lingo. "I can tell you've never smoked weed in your life," he chided. Tyson countered, "The last time I was like in a cloud of it, thats how people spoke." He then moved on, naturally, to the similarities of inhaling helium and passing a joint before getting back to more space-oriented questions.  The conversation starts around the 11-minute mark in the video above.  WATCH: Rogue deer tackles innocent man in a parking lot  
Climate scientists promote a draft science report to protect it from Trump
JAY GORY, MANAGING EDITOR, science
The sharing of a federal climate science assessment with the New York Times on Monday should make you even more concerned about the fate of climate science and, well, facts, under the Trump administration.  Publicizing a scientific document before finishing the review process is not a typical act by climate researchers, and comes at an unprecedented time, during which Washington has declared war against inconvenient facts, including climate science findings showing the reality of human-caused climate change. The report — which is a special climate science section that will form a critical component of a larger report known as the National Climate Assessment —  amounts to a state of the science report on climate change that, unlike other reports, is specifically focused on how warming air and sea temperatures are already harming the United States, and will continue to do so in the future.  The report was uploaded to the Internet Archive, a non-profit digital library, in January, and recently shared with the New York Times. Versions of it were also publicly available during a comment period.   SEE ALSO: Rick Perry denies the reality that CO2 is the main climate change driver, and here we go again Typically, scientists are loathe to share draft scientific reports with journalists, since there may be changes made during subsequent rounds of review. Furthermore, scientists tend to be a meticulous lot, wanting to nail down the wording of each sentence before rolling out a report to the public.  This isn't to say that such incidents have never happened before, but the motivations make this one stand out. Plus, this is no ordinary time, considering that the administration is essentially at war with scientists in general, and climate scientists in particular.  The Times story, written by Lisa Friedman, for example, quotes an anonymous scientist as saying "he and others were concerned that it would be suppressed." On Aug. 1, Nature News also reported that scientists have growing concerns over the fate of the upcoming National Climate Assessment.  In other words, they think the findings are important for the public to know, and don't want this to be buried.  The report, which went through a technical review and is awaiting the administration's approval to be released, projects sweeping changes across the U.S. in coming decades, with average temperatures nationwide potentially increasing by up to 11.9 degrees Fahrenheit, depending on greenhouse gas emissions trends.  Already, the scientists concluded in this document, warming seen across the U.S. during the past several decades is unprecedented in at least the past 1,400 years.  The entire report amounts to a direct contradiction of the statements of cabinet officials and President Donald Trump himself about climate science findings.  During the administration's first six months in office, one official after another has said the science is too uncertain to conclude that human activities are causing global warming. Some, such as Scott Pruitt, the administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency, have brazenly denied the existence of human-caused global warming, and ordered webpages detailing climate science findings to be taken offline and revised.  Pruitt has, for example, said that no one knows how much warming human emissions of greenhouse gases are responsible for. The report answers that question — 1.1 to 1.3 degrees Fahrenheit of warming during the period from 1951 to 2010.  The Times story came on the same day that The Guardian and Inside Climate News reported that staff members at the Agriculture Department have been told to stop using the term "climate change," instead substitute terms like "extreme weather" and "weather resilience."  Peter Frumhoff, director of science and policy, at the Union of Concerned Scientists, an advocacy group, said scientists are right to be worried about the report's fate.  “Let’s be clear: federal scientists’ concerns that the administration will try to change or suppress this report are well-founded," he said in a statement. "The Trump administration has consistently demonstrated its lack of regard for science and evidence, including on climate change." In this context, the White House could view the report as a direct threat to its world view, despite the fact that it has already cleared rigorous peer review and contributions from 13 federal agencies and the National Academy of Sciences.  “Evidence for a changing climate abounds, from the top of the atmosphere to the depths of the oceans,” the report states. "Many lines of evidence demonstrate that human activities, especially emissions of greenhouse (heat-trapping) gases, are primarily responsible for recent observed climate change.”  High odds this particular @usgcrp climate finding will stick in @EPAScottPruitt's craw: https://t.co/TIic9oNKoh pic.twitter.com/bN9Z82y60V — Andy Revkin (@Revkin) August 8, 2017 While drafts of international climate assessments often leak out before publication, this one is different, since it is meant to force the administration to keep its hands off the report's release.  However, it's possible that the famously disorganized Trump White House was largely unaware of the report prior to the Times story, potentially causing the story to backfire spectacularly in that this attention has surely alerted the administration to the existence of the report by now. There is no one staffing the "science" office at the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy, and Trump lacks a science advisor as well.  Officials advising the president would typically be tasked with shepherding this type of report through the policy review process.  In their absence, it’s possible no one noticed it sitting on an empty desk. Or, even more likely, it’s possible that political appointees, like Pruitt, could exert even more influence over the text without getting pushback from science staff members. WATCH: Summer 2017 feels like it's on steroids – and it's only going to get worse
It's Not Delivery. It's DiGiorno Pizza spilled on interstate
JAY GORY, MANAGING EDITOR, odd news
Arkansas highway officials shut down westbound lanes of a cross-country interstate for four hours so crews could pick up pizza. An 18-wheeler containing DiGiorno and Tombstone frozen pizzas scraped a bridge ...
9 Magical Ingredients Professional Chefs Swear By
JAY GORY, MANAGING EDITOR, health
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What Your Period Says About Your Health As You Get Older
JAY GORY, MANAGING EDITOR, health
Just like how your wardrobe changes over time (remember going-out tops?!), your period changes, too.
10 Clever Ways to Use Pencil Erasers
JAY GORY, MANAGING EDITOR, health
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Are Eggs Actually Healthy?
JAY GORY, MANAGING EDITOR, health
Eggs tend to get a bad reputation, but are they really that bad for you?
What Is Swimmer's Ear?
JAY GORY, MANAGING EDITOR, health
Learn more about the infection known as swimmer's ear and discover ways of preventing it.
Typo in Text Leads to Most Epic Cake Fail Ever
JAY GORY, MANAGING EDITOR, health
A gentle reminder to always proofread before you hit "Send."
Drugmakers' hopes for gene therapy rise despite tiny sales in Europe
JAY GORY, MANAGING EDITOR, science
By Ben Hirschler LONDON (Reuters) - The science of gene therapy is finally delivering on its potential, and drugmakers are now hoping to produce commercially viable medicines after tiny sales for the first two such treatments in Europe. Thanks to advances in delivering genes to targeted cells, more treatments based on fixing faulty DNA in patients are coming soon, including the first ones in the United States. After decades of frustrations, firms believe there are now major opportunities for gene therapy in treating inherited conditions such as haemophilia.
Indonesia: First Humans May Have Arrived in Sumatra in Time for Toba Supervolcano Eruption
JAY GORY, MANAGING EDITOR, science
The first humans arrived in Indonesia thousands of years before previously thought—which could mean they were present for an eruption at the Lake Toba supervolcano just over 71,000 years ago. Newly analyzed fossil evidence also places these early humans in rainforest environments, causing a major rethink of how these people migrated across the land after leaving Africa about 30,000 years earlier. Researchers have long theorized that early humans likely moved along the coast because it was safer and had better resources than the jungle terrain.
A 'human swarm' has figured out where Jeff Bezos should donate his money
JAY GORY, MANAGING EDITOR, science
Jeff Bezos tweeted in June that he wanted short-term, high-impact ways to do social good. An...
This Carl Sagan Prediction from 1995 Is Surprisingly Correct
JAY GORY, MANAGING EDITOR, science
"When awesome technological powers are in the hands of a very few..."
Moon's Magnetic Field Lasted A Billion Years Longer Than We Thought
JAY GORY, MANAGING EDITOR, science
Previous estimates said the moon's magnetic field existed until about 3.56 billion years ago, but new tests suggest it survived far beyond then.
Photos capture Trump playing golf during 'working vacation'
JAY GORY, MANAGING EDITOR, politics
The White House is maintaining silence about whether President Donald Trump played golf on Wednesday, even after photos emerged showing him on the course wearing a golf glove on one hand. While Trump has frequently visited the golf courses he owns since taking office in January, the White House has never answered questions about whether the president has played the game on these visits. Trump is currently spending more than two weeks at his golf club in Bedminster, New Jersey.
640,000 NYC warrants for old summonses tossed in 1 day
JAY GORY, MANAGING EDITOR, odd news
NEW YORK (AP) — In a single morning, courts on Wednesday threw out more than 640,000 warrants for New Yorkers ticketed for minor offenses years ago.
How can Democrats win back trust of disaffected Trump voters?
JAY GORY, MANAGING EDITOR, world
Daren Ware believes in single-payer health care. Mr. Ware is a commercial painter in Warren, Mich., who voted for Donald Trump last year. It’s a play on the “New Deal” offered by iconic Democrat Franklin D. Roosevelt, and focuses squarely on the economy.
32 Unbelievably Good Thanksgiving Appetizer Recipes
JAY GORY, MANAGING EDITOR, health
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JAY GORY, MANAGING EDITOR, health
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The 23 Best Cupcakes To Make for Thanksgiving
JAY GORY, MANAGING EDITOR, health
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16 Common Household Items That Could Kill You
JAY GORY, MANAGING EDITOR, health
You've definitely used at least one today.
The 4 Best Weight Loss Apps for Results
JAY GORY, MANAGING EDITOR, health
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21 of the Most Delicious Fall Soup Recipes
JAY GORY, MANAGING EDITOR, health
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38 Easy Fall and Thanksgiving Centerpiece Ideas
JAY GORY, MANAGING EDITOR, health
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Caregiver Burnout Was Killing Me—Until I Made This Vow
JAY GORY, MANAGING EDITOR, health
It's hard to prioritize your own health and happiness when caring for aging parents.
What Does It Mean to Have Dense Breasts
JAY GORY, MANAGING EDITOR, health
Do you know the health implications of dense breasts or how to tell if you have them? In this video, we explain dense breast tissue and how it affects breast cancer risk.