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Prayer, Food and Defiance: How Pittsburgh's Jewish Community Is Coping 1 Week After Anti
JAY GORY, MANAGING EDITOR, science
"The community will be stronger as a result of this atrocity"
Is Steve King too toxic for Trump?
JAY GORY, MANAGING EDITOR, politics
Disavowed by the National Republican Congressional Committee and abandoned by several of his corporate donors for racist rhetoric and ties to far right extremists, embattled Iowa Rep. Steve King seemed to be grasping for support last week as he struggled to get his re-election campaign on track ahead of Tuesday’s election. On Twitter Wednesday, King shared tweets of support from Texas Rep. Louie Gohmert and Ralph Norman, a Republican candidate for the House of Representatives from South Carolina. In an interview with Bloomberg News, King said he’d also received a supportive call from Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Tx.).
Moon Direct: Mars maverick lays out his low
JAY GORY, MANAGING EDITOR, science
For decades, rocket scientist Robert Zubrin has been a voice crying in the Martian wilderness. But now the president of the Mars Society is pleading the case for a cause that’s much closer than the Red Planet: low-cost lunar exploration and settlement. Zubrin’s lays out his latest plan, known as “Moon Direct,” this week in a tech journal called The New Atlantis, and he’s in Seattle today to talk about it in conjunction with the Museum of Flight’s SpaceExpo 2018. The expo also features demonstrations of a virtual reality project highlighting one of Zubrin’s longest-running projects, the Mars Desert Research… Read More
How a trippy 1980s video effect might help to explain consciousness
JAY GORY, MANAGING EDITOR, science
Video feedback may be the nearest we have to visualising what conscious processing in the brain is like.
Jamie Foxx Discusses the Importance of Voting and Healing the Nation in 'Be Woke.Vote' With Van Jones
JAY GORY, MANAGING EDITOR, science
"The only thing that disheartens me is when it comes to my kids," Foxx said
Astronaut Peggy Whitson On Breaking Barriers In Space: 'I've Always Tried To Push Myself'
JAY GORY, MANAGING EDITOR, science
Astronaut Peggy Whitson broke barriers in space
Google Staffers Are Walking Out Over Sexual Harassment Scandals. Here's What to Know
JAY GORY, MANAGING EDITOR, science
Thousands of Google staffers across the world are walking off the job Thursday in protest of the tech giant’s handling of sexual misconduct at the company.
Watch the rocket accident that put two astronauts at risk
JAY GORY, MANAGING EDITOR, science
On Oct. 11, an astronaut and a cosmonaut on a mission to the International Space Station had a wild ride when their Soyuz rocket failed. The Russian Space Agency has released new video showing what happened: One of four detachable boosters carrying the rocket into space crashed back into the vehicle after it separated from…
The Exiled Ex
JAY GORY, MANAGING EDITOR, science
The first democratically elected president of the Maldives returned home Thursday after more than two years in exile to escape a long prison term.
Idaho Superintendent Apologizes for Teachers Dressing Up as 'Mexicans' and the Border Wall for Halloween
JAY GORY, MANAGING EDITOR, science
"We are better than this, we embrace all students"
The Nearest Thing to Heaven: A Statue's Lesson of Faith
JAY GORY, MANAGING EDITOR, science
A moving statue of the Virgin Mary from 1480 can teach us today enduring lessons about faith and community, writes Neil MacGregor.
A Pakistan Court Overturned a Christian Woman's Death Sentence for Blasphemy. Now, Protests Are Spreading Across the Country
JAY GORY, MANAGING EDITOR, science
Pakistan was rattled by a third day of unrest Friday as hard-line Islamic protesters chanted incendiary slogans opposing the recent acquittal of a Christian woman who spent almost a decade on death row for a blasphemy conviction.
Federal Judge Orders Georgia's Brian Kemp to Unblock Thousands From Voting
JAY GORY, MANAGING EDITOR, science
"These individuals will suffer irreparable harm if they lose the right to vote."
Overstock’s Medici Ventures & Rwanada Government Partner for Blockchain Property Rights Platform
JAY GORY, MANAGING EDITOR, science
Medici Ventures is a wholly owned subsidiary of Overstock, one of the most cryptocurrency friendly businesses in the world, whose CEO has frequently promoted the use of bitcoin and other cryptos. Medici is specifically geared toward blockchain businesses, development, and technology, and on Thursday it signed a second Memorandum of Understanding with the Rwandan Government
The President Used a Game of Thrones Meme. The Cast Wasn't Having It
JAY GORY, MANAGING EDITOR, science
HBO and cast members were quick to react to the President's tweet
High Voter Turnout Expected for Midterm Elections Based on 30 Million Early Ballots
JAY GORY, MANAGING EDITOR, science
The total early vote in 2014 was 28.3 million
President Trump Demands Asylum Seekers Go to Ports of Entry, Says He'll Issue Executive Order Next Week
JAY GORY, MANAGING EDITOR, science
President Donald Trump says asylum seekers must go to ports of entry in order to make a claim. He says he will issue an executive order next week on immigration.
Russians trace Soyuz rocket failure to a bent sensor; next crew to launch Dec. 3
JAY GORY, MANAGING EDITOR, science
Russian investigators say last month’s launch of a Soyuz rocket carrying two spacefliers to the International Space Station went awry because a sensor that was bent during the rocket’s assembly spoiled the separation of one of its boosters. When the damaged sensor malfunctioned, the booster didn’t separate cleanly from the Soyuz’s core, throwing the rocket off course and forcing an abort sequence just minutes into the Oct. 11 ascent. The Soyuz crew capsule was thrown clear of the rocket and made a parachute-aided descent. Thanks to the escape system, NASA’s Nick Hague and Russia’s Alexey Ovchinin made a safe landing… Read More
As Iranian sanctions deadline looms, ending the Qatar blockade might be the price Saudi Arabia pays for Khashoggi's murder
JAY GORY, MANAGING EDITOR, politics
Just one month after Jamal Khashoggi's death, and with his body still missing, his murder looks set to transform regional politics.
In Texas Senate race, both parties are at the door — all 7.4 million of them
JAY GORY, MANAGING EDITOR, politics
Texas Senate candidate Beto O’Rourke has mounted one of the most ambitious voter-outreach efforts in the state’s history, sending volunteers to knock on doors in every single county. Ted Cruz has outsourced his ground game to Texas Gov. Greg Abbott. Tuesday will show who had the better strategy.
For This 29
JAY GORY, MANAGING EDITOR, science
"These are the types of issues that just aren't being talked about in D.C."
Supreme Court Allows Trial Over 2020 Census Citizenship Question to Go Forward
JAY GORY, MANAGING EDITOR, science
Over the Trump administration's objection
Republican Senate Candidates Are Gambling on Trump
JAY GORY, MANAGING EDITOR, science
Republicans have stapled themselves to Trump, for better or worse
Woman's Discovery About Jackets Gets a Lot of Laughs
JAY GORY, MANAGING EDITOR, science
Always something new to learn in fashion
Plans for world's largest ocean sanctuary in Antarctic blocked
JAY GORY, MANAGING EDITOR, science
A plan to create the world's largest marine sanctuary in Antarctic waters was shot down when a key conservation summit failed to reach a consensus, with environmentalists on Saturday decrying a lack of scientific foresight. Member states of the organisation tasked with overseeing the sustainable exploitation of the Southern Ocean failed at an annual meeting Friday to agree over the a 1.8 million square kilometre (1.1 million square miles) maritime protection zone. The proposed sanctuary -- some five times the size of Germany -- would ban fishing in a vast area in the Weddell sea, protecting key species including seals, penguins and whales.
Small rockets are taking off
JAY GORY, MANAGING EDITOR, science
Barring a mishap, or another delay after a months-long technical setback, the rocket will blast off from the world's first private orbital launch range in Mahia, New Zealand. Like Rocket Lab, dozens of start-up companies are developing rockets adapted to send small, micro or nanosatellites -- which weigh anything from a few kilos to a few hundred kilos (pounds) -- into space.
Son and Daughter Publicly Oppose Father's Candidacy for State House Over Anti
JAY GORY, MANAGING EDITOR, science
'My dad’s a fanatic. He must be stopped,' son Andy West said
8 Destinations for Every Type of Traveler
JAY GORY, MANAGING EDITOR, science
Experts share the top destinations for every type of traveler, whether you're an introvert, a romantic or a cautious traveler.
Government Leaks to the Press Are Crucial to Our Democracy. So Why Are We Suddenly Punishing Them So Harshly?
JAY GORY, MANAGING EDITOR, science
Before 2009, leaks to the press were common but almost never prosecuted.
Rep. Steve King Has Made Controversial Remarks for Years. Why He's Suddenly in Trouble Now
JAY GORY, MANAGING EDITOR, science
As he heads toward a closer-than-expected re-election fight, Rep. Steve King may be starting to pay a price for his controversial remarks.
A Tiny Island Off Japan's Northern Coast Has 'Disappeared' Into the Sea
JAY GORY, MANAGING EDITOR, science
Japan's territorial waters may have just gotten smaller
Why autumn and winter babies are far more likely to be elected to parliament 
JAY GORY, MANAGING EDITOR, science
Honesty, integrity and the desire to make the world a better place should be the qualities which make politicians more electable. But a new study suggests that the month they were born is a major factor in success at the polls for male MPs. Children born at the beginning of the school year, who are the oldest in their class (September babies in Britain) have nearly double the chance of being elected to parliament, according to research that looked at polling results in Finland between 1996 and 2012. The research, carried out by the London School of Economics (LSE), found that being the oldest child in a school year increased the probability of a candidate getting elected to the parliament from 9.9 per cent to to 16.8 per cent. It is known as the ‘relative age effect’ and has been noticed in other walks of life, such as professional sports where the majority of top level athletes were the oldest in their year. It is thought to occur because the oldest children are bigger and do better in sport so are more likely to be coached and picked for teams. In school, older children in the year are often allocated more responsibilities and psychologically being better and stronger than peers raises self confidence and self esteem. Liam Fox MP was a September baby  Credit: AFP Teachers also often place more confidence in older children which triggers a phenomenon known as ‘the Pygmalion effect’ where youngsters achieve more simply because they are expected to. In the current cabinet, 61 per cent of the males were born between September and February and 44 per cent were born between September and November.   Dr Janne Tukiainen, Visiting Professor in the Department of Government at LSE, said: “The finding that the relative age effect is present only for males in competitive political environments suggests that the effect may be driven by males benefiting from being able to successfully compete with their peers from early on in life. “Given our results, it would be important that schools, and for example sports clubs, pay more attention to mental and physical maturity, rather than age when dividing cohorts, to create the conditions where all individuals can reach their full potential.” The British system of beginning school in September after a long summer holiday was originally brought in to allow children to help with the harvest. The researchers say they are also able to rule out that environmental or climatic factors might be an issue, such as children exposed to more sunlight at critical developmental phases may do better overall. "Our design solves the problem," added Dr Tukiainen.  "So we can rule that out, because we compare candidates in a very narrow band around the cutoff, thus those are exposed to same environmental and climatic factors. "So at least our results are not explained by those factors. When they play additional role we do not know." But the also warne that ‘artificial rules imposed by society may create persistent inequality’ and could result in the ‘irreversible loss of potential talent among the relatively young in many areas of human life.’ The research was published in the European Journal of Political Economy.
President Trump Says He Wants to Limit Asylum Seekers. Experts Say He's on Shaky Legal Ground
JAY GORY, MANAGING EDITOR, science
Trump's idea may go against U.S. law
Here's the first country in the world to ban sunscreens harmful to coral reefs
JAY GORY, MANAGING EDITOR, science
Planning a holiday to Palau? Take the right sunscreen or you'll be up for a hefty fine. The Pacific island nation, an archipelago made up of over 500 islands and home to some of the most stunning coral reefs in the world, will become the very first country in the world to ban sunscreens that are harmful to reefs, BBC reports. SEE ALSO: The most damning conclusions from the UN's special climate change report It's a whole country ban similar to that imposed by Hawaii, which became the first US state to ban sunscreens deemed harmful to reefs in May.  Like Hawaii, Palau's ban comes into effect in 2020. Palau's government has reportedly signed legislation that restricts the sale of sunscreen products that contain particular chemicals considered harmful to reefs. Anyone caught with these products is looking at a sizeable $1,000 fine. A diver investigates a sea fan in the Peleliu Wall, one of the deepest wall dives in Palau.Image: ullstein bild via Getty ImagesSo, what chemicals are we looking at? Hawaii's legislature, for one, focuses on the environmental impacts of two chemicals found in some sunscreens, oxybenzone and octinoxate, and their effect on marine ecosystems — including reefs.  According to another report by the BBC, these two chemicals alone are used in over 3,500 popular sunscreen products worldwide. Say, haven't we already heard about these chemicals? As we've noted before, the effects of one of the banned chemicals, oxybenzone, on coral reefs proved the cornerstone of a scientific study released in 2015, which sparked global headlines faulting sunscreen for the decline of reefs. The study, published in the journal, Archives of Environmental Contamination and Toxicology, determined the chemical had a detrimental effect on the DNA of coral.  But many scientists criticised the controlled laboratory conditions of the experiments, and argued that although the chemicals do have a negative effect on the reefs, in the scale of things they have much more serious threats than sunscreen toxins — we're talking ocean acidification and coral bleaching caused by human-induced climate change, and pesticide/waste run-off. According to the recent (and rather damning) UN report on climate change, a feared 2 degrees Celsius jump in global average temperatures means some 99 percent of corals will disappear from the planet completely. Even if it rises by 1.5 degrees Celsius, a 70 percent global loss is predicted. So, a country-wide ban on chemicals impacting coral reefs is great news, there's no doubt about that, but perhaps legislation that adequately tackles climate change is as pressing a need. WATCH: A tiny satellite could be the key to cleaning up our space trash
The Pittsburgh Attack Inspired Calls for Tikkun Olam. What to Know About the Evolution of an Influential Jewish Idea
JAY GORY, MANAGING EDITOR, science
An expert explains how the concept came to be an important part of American Judaism and why it's a source of controversy today
Found: The Brain Cells That Control Your Posture
JAY GORY, MANAGING EDITOR, science
These "posture cells" may be the key to our spatial awareness as our bodies move through 3D space.
'I Reported and He Got Promoted.' Google Employees Hold Worldwide Walkout Over Sexual Harassment
JAY GORY, MANAGING EDITOR, science
Google employees who helped to organize a worldwide walkout in protest of the company's handling of sexual assault allegations and other issues say Thursday's actions were just the beginning
Oprah Supports Stacey Abrams for Georgia Governor in Rare Campaign Appearance
JAY GORY, MANAGING EDITOR, science
In a rousing speech in the Republican-leaning suburbs of Atlanta, Oprah Winfrey urged voters on Thursday to make history by backing Democratic gubernatorial candidate Stacey Abrams in next week’s election.
A Leader Should Appeal to Their People’s Best Instincts. Donald Trump Appeals to the Worst
JAY GORY, MANAGING EDITOR, science
It’s clear that Donald Trump has no compelling interest in leading what the Founders thought of as “the whole people.”
Almost Half a Billion People in the Asia
JAY GORY, MANAGING EDITOR, science
The Asia-Pacific is home to more than half of the world’s malnourished children
Some dinosaurs had exquisite eggs with colors, spots, speckles
JAY GORY, MANAGING EDITOR, science
An analysis of 12 fossilized dinosaur eggshells from Europe, Asia, North America and South America detected the same two pigments present in colorful birds eggs in a dinosaur group called eumaniraptorans, which includes well-known meat eaters like Velociraptor and the small feathered dinosaur ancestors of birds. "We discovered that egg color is not a trait unique to our modern birds, but evolved in their non-avian dinosaur ancestors," said Yale University paleontologist Jasmina Wiemann, who led the study published in the journal Nature. "Our study fundamentally changes our understanding of egg color evolution, and adds color to dinosaur nests in the real 'Jurassic World'." For example, the sickle-clawed predator Deinonychus had a blue egg with brown blotches and the bird-like Oviraptor, known for its toothless beak, had eggs that were dark blue.
How to Sound Smart About the End of Angela Merkel's Reign
JAY GORY, MANAGING EDITOR, science
The Chancellor of Germany intends to leave office in 2021. It will almost certainly be sooner than that
Turbulent video shows the moment a Russian rocket failed, sending two astronauts back to Earth
JAY GORY, MANAGING EDITOR, science
The Russian space agency Roscosmos released footage of the nearly-disastrous rocket launch that imperiled the lives of NASA astronaut Nick Hague and Russian cosmonaut Alexey Ovchinin on October 11. While the video is dramatic, it also proved the effectiveness of the Soyuz rocket's emergency abort system — which blasted the crew capsule away from the damaged launcher — ultimately allowing the two-person crew to parachute back down to Earth.  The footage, captured by a camera attached to the side of the Soyuz, shows the rocket blasting off the brown Kazakhstan ground and passing through the clouds. But just after the 1:22 mark, things go awry.  Specifically, there are four rocket boosters that are intended to simultaneously separate from the rocket, and then plummet down to Earth. That didn't happen in this case. "What is clear is that one of the boosters did not separate like the others," Brad King, director of the Space Systems Research Group at Michigan Technological University and CEO of Orbion Space Systems, said in an interview.  "Once that failure occurred, all bets are off," said King. "I think I can say, I’m glad I wasn’t aboard." Though the booster separation glitch is apparent, what happens next is difficult to see amid the chaos. In a statement Roscosmos published Thursday, the agency said the booster involved in the "abnormal separation" then hit the rocket's fuel tank. SEE ALSO: 3 small moon rocks are coming up for auction. Here's why. "It resulted in its decompression and, as consequence, the space rocket lost its attitude control," the agency wrote.  Once the separation failed, matters clearly deteriorated. Yet, the rocket automatically sensed a catastrophic failure and rapidly aborted the launch, sending the crew capsule away from the failing rocket.  "I’m most impressed with how well the automatic abort system worked," said King. "That could be the first demonstration on an automatic abort in a crew launch."   A Soyuz rocket under construction in Jan. 2018. The four strapped-on boosters are at bottom.Image: roscosmos"I think Russia is justified in their pride of that [abort] system," added King.  Roscosmos stated that a slightly bent pin — bent just over 6 degrees — ultimately caused the abnormal separation from the rocket.  Though, questions still remain about how certain Roscosmos is in their identification of the nearly-deadly problem.  This is profoundly important, as the Soyuz rockets are the only space launch systems currently capable of sending astronauts and cosmonauts to the International Space Station — though both SpaceX and Boeing have plans for crewed flights of their systems as soon as 2019. "That really is the most important question: Were they [Roscosmos] successful in determining the cause?" asked King. For now, Roscosmos has only shown footage of what went wrong — not why.  "I’d love to know how they found the pin was bent," said King. "It would be nice to see the evidence supporting that claim visually and through some documentation." "The next step is to show their work." WATCH: Ever wonder how the universe might end?
Lauren Underwood's Unlikely Congressional Bid is All About Health Care
JAY GORY, MANAGING EDITOR, science
Underwood's momentum is a testament to the importance of health care in this year's election
President Trump Signals Doubt About Keeping the House Ahead of Midterms
JAY GORY, MANAGING EDITOR, science
For all his bluster and confidence, President Trump let slip some doubts about his ability to hold the House.
Here's Why This Witch Is Preparing For Midterm Elections By Hosting a Hex on Brett Kavanaugh
JAY GORY, MANAGING EDITOR, science
"It's an act of socio-political resistance and solidarity"
Thousands of carp die in mysterious circumstances in Iraq
JAY GORY, MANAGING EDITOR, science
Saddat al-Hindiyah (Iraq) (AFP) - Iraqi fish farmers south of Baghdad have been left reeling after finding thousands of dead carp mysteriously floating in their cages or washed up on the banks of the Euphrates. Piles of the dead silvery fish, along with a few car tyres and plastic bags, could be seen on Friday lying under a massive concrete bridge.
3 days until the midterm elections: Where things stand
JAY GORY, MANAGING EDITOR, politics
Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas and Beto O'Rourke battle on the border, while former President Barack Obama joins the fray in Florida.