Science, Technology and Innovation

Spec Ops Troops Are Getting Their Own Mini-Subs

U.S. Special Operations Command has inked a $166 million contract with Lockheed Martin to provide dry combat submersibles designed to transport operators to their mission sites underwater. The surface-launched mini-subs will be used in “harsh maritime environments by leveraging commercial submersible technologies and international classing safety certification,” according to the… Source: Spec Ops Troops Are Getting Their Own Mini-Subs | Read More »

The FBI has collected 430,000 iris scans in a so-called ‘pilot program’

Critics say the agency project includes few privacy protections.. By Colin Lecher and Russell Brandom As a modestly sized department — policing 2 million citizens with just over 1,800 sworn officers — the San Bernardino Sheriff’s Department doesn’t seem like it would be on the cutting edge of surveillance technology. But the department has quietly become one of the most productive nodes in a nationwide iris-scanning project, collecting iris data from at… Source: The FBI has collected 430,000 iris scans ... Read More »

HD 131399Ab: Scientists discover strange planet with three suns

An international team of astronomers announce the discovery of a strange planet in a faraway solar system that contains not just one sun, but three.. The distant planet, named HD 131399Ab, appears even more unusual than the home planet of Luke Skywalker in the Star Wars saga, Tatooine, which orbited around two suns, according to the findings published in the US journal Science… Source: HD 131399Ab: Scientists discover strange planet with three suns – Science News – ABC News (Australian ... Read More »

A rational nation ruled by science would be a terrible idea

Neil deGrasse Tyson imagines a country called Rationalia, a society where policy is based on the weight of evidence. That’s a bad idea, says Jeffrey Guhin.. By Jeffrey Guhin Imagine a future society in which everything is perfectly logical. What could go wrong? “Scientism” is the belief that all we need to solve the world’s problems is – you guessed it – science. People sometimes use the phrase “rational thinking”, but it amounts to the same thing. If only people ... Read More »

UN condemns internet access disruption as a human rights violation

The United Nations Human Rights Council has passed a non-binding resolutioncondemning countries that intentionally disrupt citizens’ internet access. The resolution builds on the UN’s previous statements on digital rights, reaffirming the organization’s stance that “the same rights people have offline must also be protected online,” in particular the freedom of expression covered under article 19 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights… Source: UN condemns internet access disruption as a human rights violation | The Verge Read More »

Hole in ozone layer over Antarctica is shrinking

Scientists predict the hole could close permanently by the middle of the century.. The hole in the ozone layer over Antarctica appears to be healing, say scientists. Recovery of the hole has varied from year to year, partly because of the effects of volcanic eruptions… Source: Hole in ozone layer over Antarctica is shrinking Read More »

Escape tunnel dug by Jewish prisoners to escape Nazis found in Lithuania

A tunnel dug with spoons by Jewish prisoners to escape their Nazi captors during World War II has been discovered in a Lithuanian forest. An international team of archaeologists, geophysicists and historians made the discovery in Lithuania’s Ponar forest, known today as Paneriai, outside the country’s capital Vilnius. The site is where an estimated 100,000 people, including 70,000 Jews, were killed and thrown into pits during the Nazi occupation… Source: Escape tunnel dug by Jewish prisoners to escape Nazis found ... Read More »

Is There Life on Other Planets? First, Look For Evidence of Refrigerators

Could Freon in the atmosphere of a distant planet be the thing that finally confirms humankind is not alone? For decades, if not centuries, stargazers of every stripe have wondered how we could possibly spot intelligent life elsewhere in the universe. After all, it’s not easy to see the telltale signs of a technological civilization from cosmic distances. Until very recently, this was a speculative question, mostly entertained by astronomers over drinks, or in their spare time after other more “serious” ... Read More »

Creationism Banned From UK Schools

The United Kingdom government has banned the teaching of creationism as a scientific theory in free schools and academies, which are the equivalent of a ‘public’ school in the United State. The move was done in the interests of having a “broad and balanced curriculum,” according to UPI. The remarkable decision was part of a document published on June 9th that laid out new clauses for church academies and stated that creationism is not widely accepted as a scientific theory. ... Read More »

Why Every Child Needs To Be A ‘Stretchy Thinker,’ An Interview With Phyl Georgiou, Founder And CEO Of Tiggly

Phylll 1a

What is a “stretchy thinker?” I had the opportunity to chat with Phyl Georgiou, Founder and CEO of Tiggly, who talks about this unique term and how it applies to 21st-century learners. 1. Tiggly is a company that is considered within a new line of “TABLET toys.” These toys combine real-world objects with virtual play and mobile applications. Can you tell us about the background story of Tiggly? How and… Source: Why Every Child Needs To Be A ‘Stretchy Thinker,’ ... Read More »

More gravitational waves detected

Scientists have collected a second burst of gravitational waves sweeping through the Earth. The warping of space-time was sensed on Christmas Day in the US at the Advanced LIGO laboratories – the same facilities that made the historic first detection in September last year. Back then, the waves came from two huge coalescing black holes. This new set of waves, likewise, is ascribed to a black hole merger – but a smaller one… Source: More gravitational waves detected – BBC ... Read More »

Gutting the Scientific Establishment: Australia’s Business Model

CSIRO 1a map of AU

There is something so fundamentally wrong about equating the joy and genius of scientific discovery with profit and markets. Initial discoveries in quantum physics had nothing to do with the idea of pursuing a remorseless “bottom line” or some specious market concept.  The results of such discoveries were, however, gargantuan.  Eventually, applications arise, with various economic benefits.  Patience, however, is a golden virtue in that regard. Australia’s scientific management (these comprise scientists who attempt to straddle the world of practice ... Read More »

It took centuries, but we now know the size of the Universe

The sheer scale of the cosmos is hard to imagine, and even harder to put an accurate figure on. The sheer scale of the cosmos is hard to imagine, and even harder to put an accurate figure on. But thanks to some ingenious physics we now have a good idea of just how big it is.. By Chris Baraniuk “Let us go rambling about the Universe.” This is the invitation that American astronomer Harlow Shapley gave to an audience in ... Read More »

The World Could End AIDS if It Tried

The world has made so much progress in reducing the spread of AIDS and treating people with H.I.V. that the epidemic has receded from the public spotlight. Yet by any measure the disease remains a major threat — 1.1 million people died last yearfrom AIDS-related causes, and 2.1 million people were infected with the virus. And while deaths are down over the last five years, the number of new infections has essentially reached a plateau… Source: The World Could End ... Read More »

Referendum required as UN move confirms abortion law is unsustainable

Human Rights Committee decision underlines Eighth Amendment is incompatible with human rights.. Ιn a decision that will not have come as a surprise to those who are attentive to either international human rights law or abortion law in Ireland, the United Nations Human Rights Committee has found that a woman’s rights under the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights were violated by her having to travel for an abortion in a situation of fatal foetal abnormality… Source: Referendum required as ... Read More »

Aboriginal sacred site up to 8,000 years old destroyed by ‘cultural vandals’

Scratching out of ochre stencils on Derwent valley cave wall is ‘devastating’, says Clyde Mansell, chairman of Tasmanian Aboriginal Land Council.. Vandals have destroyed a sacred Aboriginal site in Tasmania by scratching out hand stencils which traditional owners say were made during large clan gatherings up to 8,000 years ago… Source: Aboriginal sacred site up to 8,000 years old destroyed by ‘cultural vandals’ | Australia news | The Guardian Read More »