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Faithful storks keep long
JAY GORY, MANAGING EDITOR, science
A faithful male flying thousands of miles each year to join his handicapped female who cannot fly -- the story of two storks in Croatia, Klepetan and Malena, is one of love and devotion beating the odds. By late March, Klepetan was back in the tiny village of Brodski Varos in eastern Croatia for the 16th year in a row, after leaving his winter home in southern Africa. There he again met the love of his life, white stork Malena -- "Little One" in Croatian -- who was waiting to start having more babies, to add to the 62 the pair already have.
Nibiru: Conspiracy Theorists Think Planet X Will Kill Us All Soon—here's Why They're Wrong
JAY GORY, MANAGING EDITOR, science
The apocalypse is upon us. If conspiracy theorists are to be believed, a giant mysterious planet is set to wreak destruction across Earth, the UK's Daily Express reports. Predicted to appear in the skies on April 23, it should set off earthquakes and volcanic eruptions with its massive gravitational pull.
Nearly 1,400 Sharks Spotted In Mysterious Gathering Off East Coast
JAY GORY, MANAGING EDITOR, science
Nearly 1,400 basking sharks were spotted in aerial photos in a puzzling
The Human Brain Can Get Confused About What's Real and Imagined, Says New Study
JAY GORY, MANAGING EDITOR, science
A new study into a phenomenon known as the ventriloquist illusion has shown that simply imagining an object while you hear a sound can change how you later perceive that sound. The brain must constantly process the sensory information it is bombarded with in order to present us with a picture of reality. Instead, the brain sometimes creates something that psychologists call the ventriloquist illusion.
Sam Altman’s simple advice on being productive—and not freaking out when you aren’t
JAY GORY, MANAGING EDITOR, science
Why are we so obsessed with productivity? It’s a question Sam Altman is well-fit to answer. The 32-year-old Stanford dropout is president of Y Combinator, arguably the most successful startup incubator in the world. Altman is also the co-chairman, along with Elon Musk, of OpenAi, a nonprofit research company intended to advance artificial intelligence, and…
Will a deal to slash shipping emissions help save the Marshall Islands from rising seas?
JAY GORY, MANAGING EDITOR, science
The Environmental Minister of the Marshall Islands, David Paul, left the low-lying tropical islands last week and flew to London. He journeyed all that way to stand in front of a packed room at the United Nations International Marine Organization (IMO) and emphasize that Marshallese children may have to one day desert their ancestral islands and "set sail across the oceans to an uncertain future." The reason, Paul noted, is the "scientific fact" that rising sea levels stoked by human-caused global warming could put the Marshall Islands underwater sometime later this century.   SEE ALSO: Locals call it 'The Tomb': What's in the Marshall Islands' concrete dome? Many of the inhabited Marshall Islands don't even reach 6 feet above the ocean. The airport sits 6 feet above sea level; the highest point in the capital is 10 feet above the water. After a week of negotiations, the IMO decided Friday on a plan to significantly slash the amount of carbon dioxide — a potent greenhouse gas — emitted from the world's shipping sector. Most large ships burn a notoriously thick, dirty fuel, known as "heavy fuel oil." In fact, if the shipping sector was its own country, it would be the sixth largest carbon emitter in the world — contributing around the same amount of emissions into the atmosphere as industrial Germany. The broad plan is to slash carbon emissions from ships to at least 50 percent of 2008 levels by the year 2050. The carbon-reduction strategy will be truly finalized by the IMO in 2023. Of the plans on the table, this was considered one of the more ambitious options, though Minister Paul had been pushing for even more aggressive cuts. Satellite imagery of Mili Atoll in the Marshall Islands, taken in 2016.Image: DigitalGlobe/Getty Images"We must leave here in no doubt. History has been made in the IMO," Paul said in a statement Friday. Though, he noted that the "job is far from over," as nothing has yet to actually be implemented.  “IMO took a big step this week by agreeing to a mid-century emissions cap,” Dan Rutherford, the International Council on Clean Transportation's (ICCT) program director for marine and aviation, said via email. How will dirty shipping emissions be cleaned up? The IMO's lofty emissions targets might be three decades away, but achieving these ambitious cuts requires prompt action.  “Next up is to start decarbonizing shipping by tightening energy efficiency requirements for ships this fall," said Rutherford. There are a few ways to begin slashing the carbon emitted from massive shipping vessels. A quick solution that doesn't require new technology is requiring all ships to slow down as they voyage across the oceans.  "Speed factor has a strong influence on how much fuel burns and how much carbon ships emit," said Rutherford. A concrete dome, called 'The Tomb' by locals, caps radioactive waste from 1940s nuclear testing on low-lying Renit Island in the Marshall Islands.Image: GIFF JOHNSON/AFP/Getty ImagesOther solutions, which could be implemented on ships by around 2025, involve adding innovative technologies to newly built vessels. This includes "wind assists" aboard ships, which essentially act as modern sails. Another option is "air lubrication," which involves blowing air bubbles below ships to reduce friction, lessening the amount of dirty fuel needed for cross-world voyages.  Longer-term efficiency changes mean completely decarbonizing ships, so they're not running on oil at all, but fuels of the future, like hydrogen.  Previously, 196 nations met in Paris in 2015 and agreed to a global effort to combat climate change, agreeing to cap future warming at 1.5 degrees Celsius (2.7 degrees Fahrenheit) above pre-industrial temperatures. But global leaders did not include the marine, or shipping, sector in these climate plans. "Marine is the last group that doesn’t have a climate framework," said Rutherford, before the IMO's Friday agreement.  How big of a threat is sea-level rise to the Marshall Islands? Right now, sea levels are rising by between three and 3.5 centimeters (over an inch) per decade, Josh Willis, an oceanographer at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory, said in an interview.  "We also know that this rate is accelerating," said Willis.  Depending on how emissions are limited and how the world's massive ice sheets melt, this could mean 2 or 3 feet by century's end, said Willis. Or it could mean a devastating 6 feet. The Thwaites Glacier, a rapidly melting portion of the West Antarctic ice sheet.Image: nasa"That’s a difference between existing as a nation and evacuating to go live somewhere else," said Willis.  He noted that the science here is indisputable. "We know it's caused by global warming and human emissions of these greenhouse gases. The basic physics of the warming planet have been known for over a century," said Willis.  But precisely estimating how much the world's ice sheets will melt into the ocean — specifically those on Greenland and Antarctica — is difficult to precisely predict.  "We’re watching them melt for the first time in scientific history," said Willis. "We’ve never watched something like this happen before.  NASA is already seeing a rapid melting of Antarctic ice at its precarious edges. Here, ocean water beneath glaciers, like the Thwaites and Pine Island glaciers, can amplify melting. "They're melting like gangbusters," said Willis. "These are massive rivers of ice that are dumping just huge amounts of ice into the oceans." Big ships mean big emissions.Image: AFP/Getty ImagesLow-lying Pacific Island nations are especially vulnerable to this added water. The Marshall Islands are relatively thin rings of coral reef that once surrounded volcanic mounts — mounts that have long since eroded away. It's not hard to see why Paul pushed for such ambitious emission targets. "Climate change is an existential threat for them, and they have been pressing the case strongly," said Rutherford. Sea level rise itself isn't yet drowning the islands in water — though this may very well be the case on many islands by the century's end. However, the rising seas cause damaging floods during recurrent storms and high tides. "The storms are getting more intensive, we’re getting more cyclones," Jimmy Nuake, the Under Secretary Technical of the Solomon Islands' Ministry of Infrastructure Development, said in a statement at the IMO.  "We’re going to lose more islands," he said, citing the fact that almost five Solomon Islands have been lost since 1980.  If global emissions aren't controlled, Willis said low-lying Pacific Islands will no longer be safe from storms that once weren't a threat. The impact to the islands won't be gradual, he said. It will come suddenly, when the right merging of sea level rise and storm whop the islands.  "Eventually, they’re going to get you," said Willis. WATCH: NASA needs you to send them pictures of clouds
Scientists have just worked out the real reason why human beings have eyebrows
JAY GORY, MANAGING EDITOR, science
Weirdly, our eyebrows may have been key to our survival
Insect farms gear up to feed soaring global protein demand
JAY GORY, MANAGING EDITOR, science
Layers of squirming black soldier fly larvae fill large aluminum bins stacked 10-high in a warehouse outside of Vancouver. Enterra Feed, one of an emerging crop of insect growers, will process the bugs into protein-rich food for fish, poultry - even pets. After being fattened up, the fly larvae will be roasted, dried and bagged or pressed to extract oils, then milled into a brown powder that smells like roasted peanuts.
15 Ways That China’s Military Is Quite Powerful in 2018
JAY GORY, MANAGING EDITOR, science
These are X ways China's military has a strategic advantage over Russia and America.
A Long, Brutal History of Chemical Weapons Lies Behind Trump's Decision to Order Airstrikes in Syria
JAY GORY, MANAGING EDITOR, science
Chemical weapons have driven President Trump to change tactics on Syria. Here's why they're so different from other instruments of war.
The Latest: Radioactive material washed off 3 firefighters
JAY GORY, MANAGING EDITOR, science
IDAHO FALLS, Idaho (AP) — The Latest on the rupture of a barrel with radioactive material at a site that includes the Idaho National Laboratory (all times local):
Japan faces record low eel catch, renewing stock fears
JAY GORY, MANAGING EDITOR, science
Japan is on track for a record low catch of baby eels this year, renewing fears about declining stocks of the endangered fish, a favoured summer delicacy for Japanese. At the end of March, Japan had 8.8 tons of baby "Anguilla japonica" eels in culture ponds, including imports from China, Taiwan and South Korea, according to a preliminary tally by the fisheries agency. The tally refers to baby eels caught in Japan, as well as those caught elsewhere in Asia and imported by Japan.
Will Ferrell Treated by Paramedics After Freeway Car Crash
JAY GORY, MANAGING EDITOR, science
Ferrell sustained minor injuries
The One and Only Walmart Yodeling Boy Is Going to Bring Some Star Power to Coachella
JAY GORY, MANAGING EDITOR, science
Mason Ramsey's viral fame is taking him all the way to the music festival
This Titanic Musical Went Downhill Right After the Iceberg Hit
JAY GORY, MANAGING EDITOR, science
“The irony isn’t lost on us,” said one of the show's producer
Surprisingly, Sugar Cravings May Indicate a Gene That Keeps Body Fat Low
JAY GORY, MANAGING EDITOR, science
The sugar-craving gene has completely surprised scientists.
9 Ways You're Ruining Your Pasta, From an Expert Chef
JAY GORY, MANAGING EDITOR, science
3. You grab a colander
Vaccine Could Stop Peanut Allergies By Changing How Immune System Reacts
JAY GORY, MANAGING EDITOR, science
A vaccine is currently in development that might one day lead to a cure for the peanut allergy. Researchers at the University of Michigan have developed a nasal spray that, when administered monthly, prevents mice from having allergic reactions to peanut products. The researchers have spent nearly 20 years working on a way to immunize patients against peanut allergies, according to the University of Michigan.
The Oklahoma Teacher Strike Has Ended – Here's What They Got. And What They Didn't
JAY GORY, MANAGING EDITOR, science
Teachers walked out of classrooms for nine days
March For Science 2018: What Organizers are Fighting For This Year
JAY GORY, MANAGING EDITOR, science
Weinberg clarified the march is not an attack on President Donald Trump or his administration on their stance on science-based evidence. “I think it’s a mistake to make the conversation around science advocacy around Trump. This has been happening for decades,” said Weinberg.
Only You Have the Power to Save Your Local News from Corporate Vultures
JAY GORY, MANAGING EDITOR, science
Readers must demand more
Trump Keeps Venting About Robert Mueller. Here’s What Congress Might Do
JAY GORY, MANAGING EDITOR, science
Members of Congress are scrambling to prepare themselves for the possibility that President Trump fires special counsel Robert Mueller
Workers Run for Their Lives as They Narrowly Miss Avalanche in France
JAY GORY, MANAGING EDITOR, science
The workers can be seen running away from the tumbling snow as it hurtles over a transit tunnel
All of the World's Yeast Probably Originated in China
JAY GORY, MANAGING EDITOR, science
When scientists in France set out to sequence 1,000 yeast genomes, they looked at strains from all the places you might expect: beer, bread, wine.
Italy's Eni defies sceptics, may up stake in nuclear fusion project
JAY GORY, MANAGING EDITOR, science
Italian energy group Eni (ENI.MI) is considering stepping up its investment in nuclear fusion, potentially doubling down on a technology considered so uncertain that Eni remains the only global oil company prepared to place a bet on it. Eni and bigger rivals such as Shell (RDSa.L) and BP (BP.L) have been looking at moving into renewable energy as climate change, the falling cost of solar and wind power and a shift to electric vehicles raise doubts over long-term demand for oil. Eni last month committed 50 million euros ($62 million) to one of several projects aiming to produce energy by fusing atoms at temperatures as hot as the sun, a process seen by doubters as still closer to science fiction than commercial reality.
Congressman: 97% of Americans Want One Kind of Gun Control. Here’s Why Congress Hasn’t Acted
JAY GORY, MANAGING EDITOR, science
Rep. John Delaney explains the failure to act after the Parkland shooting
The Head of the Nobel Literature Prize Panel Has Resigned Over Handling of Sexual Misconduct Allegations
JAY GORY, MANAGING EDITOR, science
Resignations are rare in the Academy that awards the Nobel Prize in Literature
Radioactive sludge barrel ruptures at Idaho nuclear site
JAY GORY, MANAGING EDITOR, science
BOISE, Idaho (AP) — A barrel containing radioactive sludge ruptured at an Idaho nuclear facility, federal officials said Thursday, resulting in no injuries and no risk to the public but possibly slowing progress in shipping waste out of the state.
Bovines online: Farmers are using AI to help monitor cows
JAY GORY, MANAGING EDITOR, science
The marriage of two technologies _ motion sensors and artificial intelligence _ is making mass-scale farming more efficient
Town wants UFO memorial moved; witness objects
JAY GORY, MANAGING EDITOR, odd news
SHEFFIELD, Mass. (AP) — A memorial in a remote corner of Massachusetts that marks a 1969 UFO sighting has been ordered moved, but one man who experienced a close encounter is objecting.
Scientists figure out how to monitor the brain activity of bats in midflight
JAY GORY, MANAGING EDITOR, science
Researchers at the Johns Hopkins University have developed technology that lets them study what happens in the brains of bats in flight. It might just improve future autonomous vehicles.
Romaine Lettuce Caused An Ongoing E. Coil Outbreak, CDC Says
JAY GORY, MANAGING EDITOR, science
It's advising shoppers to discard their lettuce
The Wild Wild Country Team Knows They Left Out Part of the Story. But They Did it on Purpose
JAY GORY, MANAGING EDITOR, science
In conversation with the makers of the hit Netflix docuseries
Apollo 13 Timeline: Follow Key Moments of Failed NASA Mission to the Moon
JAY GORY, MANAGING EDITOR, science
Forty-eight years ago, NASA achieved its “successful failure,” saving the lives of three American astronauts who almost died on their way to the moon. The eyes of the entire nation were upon the Apollo 13 crew as they watched the country’s leading scientists and engineers try to save astronauts Jim Lovell, Fred Haise and Jack Swigert during the April 1970 mission, the third that had launched toward the moon. Apollo 13 launched at 1:13 p.m. central time on April 11, sending Lovell, Haise and Swigert up on a Saturn V rocket.
‘I Couldn’t Move.’ Model Janice Dickinson Tells Jury Bill Cosby Drugged and Raped Her in 1982
JAY GORY, MANAGING EDITOR, science
"I wanted to hit him. I wanted to punch him in the face," she testified during Cosby's retrial
Is the Google the next target of personal data concerns?
JAY GORY, MANAGING EDITOR, science
Kurt the 'CyberGuy' gives his take on the latest fallout over data privacy.
Why Scooter Libby Didn't Get a Presidential Pardon Until Just Now
JAY GORY, MANAGING EDITOR, science
George W. Bush refused to pardon Libby, a former aide to Dick Cheney
Ecuador's President Says Kidnapped Journalists Were Likely Killed
JAY GORY, MANAGING EDITOR, science
He gave their captors 12 hours to prove otherwise or face a military strike
Readers write: Author Steve Coll’s work, US and world relations, connections across cultures, the comfort of books
JAY GORY, MANAGING EDITOR, world
The Feb. 7 CSMonitor.com book review of Steve Coll’s “Directorate S” was excellent. A previous book written by Coll, “Ghost Wars,” was one of the finest ever written. Recommended: Could you pass a US citizenship test?
Time for an tax overhaul for digital multinationals, Why China and the West diverge sharply on privacy, Understanding Pakistan’s anti
JAY GORY, MANAGING EDITOR, world
“As the recent scandal over Facebook and the company Cambridge Analytica has shown, many companies operating in the new ‘digital economy’ are, essentially, extractive industries,” write Eva Joly and Sorley McCaughey.
President Trump Attacks 'Slime Ball' James Comey as Details Emerge From Fired FBI Director's Book
JAY GORY, MANAGING EDITOR, science
'He is a weak and untruthful slime ball'
Was There a Civilization On Earth Before Humans?
JAY GORY, MANAGING EDITOR, science
It only took five minutes for Gavin Schmidt to out-speculate me. Schmidt is the director of NASA’s Goddard Institute for Space Studies (a.k.a. GISS) a world-class climate-science facility. One day last year, I came to GISS with a far-out proposal. In my work as an astrophysicist, I’d begun researching global warming from an “astrobiological perspective.” That meant asking whether any industrial civilization that rises on any planet will, through their own activity, trigger their own version of a climate shift. I was visiting GISS that day hoping to gain some climate science insights and, perhaps, collaborators. That’s how I ended up in Gavin’s office.
'Poker face' stripped away by new
JAY GORY, MANAGING EDITOR, science
Dolby Laboratories chief scientist Poppy Crum tells of a fast-coming time when technology will see right through people no matter how hard they try to hide their feelings. Sensors combined with artificial intelligence can reveal whether someone is lying, infatuated, or poised for violence, Crum detailed at a big ideas TED Conference. "It is the end of the poker face," Crum said.
Bitcoin is a bubble and a perfect example of ‘faddish human behavior,’ says Robert Shiller
JAY GORY, MANAGING EDITOR, science
Bitcoin is coming off one of its best one-day performances of the year, but one noted economist sees the cryptocurrency as more of a psychological experiment than a serious investment.
This Is the Woman President Trump Wants to Be the First Female African
JAY GORY, MANAGING EDITOR, science
Women currently make up just 8 per cent of the Marine Corps
Jennifer Hart Was Drunk When She Drove Her Family of 8 Off a California Cliff
JAY GORY, MANAGING EDITOR, science
Her wife and two of her adopted children also had Benadryl in their system
Oklahoma Teachers' Union Calls For End to Strike
JAY GORY, MANAGING EDITOR, science
The strike lasted a total of nine days
President Trump Is Expected to Pardon Dick Cheney Aide Scooter Libby
JAY GORY, MANAGING EDITOR, science
Libby, Cheney's former chief of staff, was convicted of lying to investigators and obstruction of justice
Security Has Always Been Facebook's Fatal Flaw. Can It Really Change?
JAY GORY, MANAGING EDITOR, science
Since the company's founding, Mark Zuckerberg has disregarded the problem that led it to crisis today