Science, Technology and Innovation

Early pre-Hispanic use of indigo blue in Peru

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Archaeological research has identified the use of cultivated cotton ( Gossypium barbadense ) in the ancient Andes dating back to at least 7800 years ago. Because of unusual circumstances of preservation, 6000-year-old cotton fabrics from the Preceramic site of Huaca Prieta on the north coast of Peru retained traces of a blue pigment that was analyzed and positively identified as an… Source: Early pre-Hispanic use of indigo blue in Peru | Science Advances Read More »

Knowing you’re being manipulated doesn’t stop it from happening

By Simon Oxenham Brain Scanner is Simon Oxenham’s monthly column that sifts the pseudoscience from the neuroscience Do subtle attempts to change your actions still work when you know they’re happening? It was thought that it’s easier to manipulate people who are kept in the dark, but it now seems we don’t mind being clearly “nudged” to behave in… Source: Knowing you’re being manipulated doesn’t stop it from happening | New Scientist Read More »

Homo Deus: A Brief History of Tomorrow by Yuval Noah Harari review – chilling

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The epic, widely celebrated Sapiens gets the sequel it demanded: a breathless, compulsive inquiry into humanity’s apocalyptic, tech-driven future Tim Adams The Guardian Yuval Noah Harari began his academic career as a researcher of medieval warfare. His early publications had titles like “Inter-frontal Cooperation in the Fourteenth Century and Edward III’s 1346 Campaign” or “The Military Role of the Frankish Turcopoles”. Then, the story goes, having won tenure at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, he embarked on a crusade of ... Read More »

Are swarms of jellyfish taking over the ocean?

For years we have been told that jellyfish are growing in numbers and will swarm the oceans. But this may not be true. By Martha Henriques Are the jellyfish coming? For the last decade there have been regular reports of jellyfish invading beaches across the world. These “jellyfish blooms” have also caused serious problems for power stations. What’s more, many… Source: BBC – Earth – Are swarms of jellyfish taking over the ocean? Read More »

A day with Facebook’s trending topics: celebrity birthdays and Pokémon Go

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From a hurricane to Brock Turner’s release, a lot happened last week. Megan Carpentier But Facebook calculated that a celebrity losing some weight was more important Last week, I decided to spend an entire day getting my news solely from Facebook’s trending topics. Surely the wisdom, culture and intellectual curiosity of the… Source: A day with Facebook’s trending topics: celebrity birthdays and Pokémon Go | Technology | The Guardian Read More »

Report of the Commission on the Eastern Mediterranean

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Shaul Chorev, Mary Landrieu, Ami Ayalon, Seth Cropsey, Charles D. Davidson, Douglas J. Feith, Arthur Herman, Ron Prosor, Gary Roughead & Eytan Sheshinski Authoritarian politics, energy and computer technology and war are rapidly transforming the Eastern Mediterranean.Political instability — triggered by the Arab Spring — has made the region extraordinarily violent. Syria is disintegrating; millions of refugees from the conflict have spread across the… Source: Report of the Commission on the Eastern Mediterranean – by Shaul Chorev Mary Landrieu Ami ... Read More »

Human trials on Earth are the key to how we will survive on Mars

Life on Earth has its challenges but what about life on Mars? Can humans ever survive on our neighbouring red planet, fourth from the sun? To help answer that, an international crew of six people spent a year living inside a solar-powered dome on the slopes of Hawaii’s Mauna Loa volcano. The place is starkly red-brown, dramatically rocky, barren of plant life – a lot like Mars… Source: Human trials on Earth are the key to how we will survive ... Read More »

Apple and the need for an EU-US reboot 

The decision adds to a list of transatlantic grievances. By PIERRE BRIANÇON PARIS — Europe and the U.S. will not start a diplomatic war over their latest dispute, the EU’s €13 billionApple smackdown, but they may have to resort to a classic computer fix to get rid of glitches in the… Source: Apple and the need for an EU-US reboot – POLITICO Read More »

3.7-billion-year-old fossils may be the oldest signs of life on Earth

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Scientists probing a newly exposed, formerly snow-covered outcropping in Greenland claim they have discovered the oldest fossils ever seen, the remnants of microbial mats that lived 3.7 billion years ago. By Joel Achenbach It’s a stunning announcement in a scientific field that is always contentious. But if confirmed, this would push the… Source: 3.7-billion-year-old fossils may be the oldest signs of life on Earth – The Washington Post Read More »

John McManus: Why we have no right to spend Apple’s €13bn

The money does not belong to us and we should give it back to its owners John McManus One thing that seems to be taken for granted in the debate about what to do about with the putative Apple windfall is that the €13 billion in question is our money and… Source: John McManus: Why we have no right to spend Apple’s €13bn Read More »

The Anthropocene Is Here: Humanity Has Pushed Earth Into a New Epoch

The epoch is thought to have begun in the 1950s, when human activity set global systems on a different trajectory by Deirdre Fulton, staff writer The Anthropocene Epoch has begun, according to a group of experts assembled at the International Geological Congress in Cape Town, South Africa this week. After seven years of deliberation, members of an… Read More »

North Atlantic ‘weather bomb’ tremor measured in Japan

Seismologists in Japan have tracked, for the first time, a particular type of tiny vibration that wobbled through the Earth from the Atlantic seafloor. It was started by a “weather bomb”: the same low-pressure storm, off Greenland, which made UK headlines in late 2014. Tiny tremors, of two types, constantly criss-cross the deep Earth from… Source: North Atlantic ‘weather bomb’ tremor measured in Japan – BBC News Read More »

If you’re going to ridicule research, do your homework

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Sydney’s Daily Telegraph is suffering one of their frequent relapses into frothy-mouthed panic about government wastage on research grants. Poking at layabout academics for ‘wasting’ tax dollars on seemingly frivolous projects reminds me of nothing more than the schoolyard bully who secretly knows he peaked in year 9. Today, the Tele flattered me by holding up one of my… Source: If you’re going to ridicule research, do your homework Read More »

Atauro Island: scientists discover the most biodiverse waters in the world

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Conservation International finds 643 species around Timor-Leste island, some of which are believed to be entirely new A small island, a short boat trip from Timor-Leste’s capital, Dili, appears to have the most biodiverse waters anywhere in the world. There is a push for the site to… Source: Atauro Island: scientists discover the most biodiverse waters in the world | World news | The Guardian Read More »

Our planet is heating – the empirical evidence

In an entertaining and somewhat chaotic episode of ABC’s Q&A (Monday 15th August) pitting science superstar Brian Cox against climate contrarian and global conspiracy theorist and now senator Malcolm Roberts, the question of cause and effect and empirical data was raised repeatedly in regard to climate change. Watching I pondered the question – what would I need to change my… Source: Our planet is heating – the empirical evidence Read More »

China launches world first quantum satellite

China launched the world s first quantum satellite on Aug. 16, state media reported, in an effort to harness the power of particle physics to build an “unhackable” system of encrypted communications. The launch took place at 1:40 am in the southwestern Gobi Desert, the official Xinhua news service said, and comes as the US, Japan and others also seek to develop applications for the burgeoning technology… Source: China launches world first quantum satellite – ASIA Read More »