December 13, 2018

Science

"As the planet slowly warms, the cooler, higher layers of mountains are becoming like the warmer ones at lower altitudes. Animals and plants are tracking these changes, moving upslope in search of their ideal climes."

"The largest ever database of scientific retractions just went live, and it reveals a promising trend: More and more studies are being pulled from the scientific record. This is a great thing for science."

"It's the ultimate unanswerable question we all face: When will I die? If we knew, would we live differently? So far, science has been no more accurate at predicting life span than a $10 fortune teller. But that’s starting to change."

New insights into the senescent cells responsible for human aging are leading to a scientific revolution. Is it possible that effective anti-aging treatments are on their way?

"Don’t get me wrong, I don’t think that elephants currently express the full range of personal and creative capacities that humans do. But I suspect all that’s missing are certain informational and institutional structures, along with the motivation"

"The findings raise concerns around how ingesting microplastics are (or aren’t) harmful to human health. Yet experts who weren’t associated with the study say they don’t have definitive answers due to a lack of research in the field."

We think of archeological finds as being clues to the ancient past. In a new book from Ulrike Sommer, archeology's effects on present-day national narratives are excavated.

"The cat is still hauled out today as if to imply that we’re as puzzled as ever by the mere fact that the quantum world at small scales turns into the world of classical physics at human scales."

Many ancient cultures believed that time was a repeating cycle. The ancient Hebrew envisioned a history that progresses. So is time a loop or a line? Physics may now have an answer.

"A mere half a degree could spell the difference between the Arctic being ice-free once a decade and once a century; between coral reefs being almost entirely wiped out and up to 30 percent hanging on..."

“What Gates thinks about global poverty, artificial intelligence, political freedom, clean meat, and humanity’s future.”

“Scientists bred healthy baby mice from same-sex parents for the first time.”

“Reality Is just a bunch of hallucinations we collectively agree on.”

“At the neighborhood level, these differences are sometimes even more drastic, appearing even when communities are only a few miles apart.”

The discovery of ancient petroglyphs is shining a light on a dark age.

“1.5 degrees Celsius of warming will be much worse than the 1 degree Celsius we’re experiencing now.”

“Dogs become most irresistible to people just when they need us most.”

Half a degree may not sound like much, but it could have disastrous effects.

“After researchers resurrected a long-dead pox, some critics argue that it's too easy for scientists to make decisions of global consequence.”

There’s a possible new moon in the distant reaches of our solar system, which could mean a new planet as well.

“How a sunbeam split in two became physics’ most elegant experiment…”

“NASA went searching for micro black holes in Antarctica. Instead, it detected cosmic rays shooting from the ground…”

Entrepreneurs are getting excited about the moon. Not only is it a symbol of human ambition, it’s also a blank slate for profiteering.

“Every drink is downed amid cultural expectations and societally mediated attitudes about women and power. Those things… have a stronger causal influence than the alcohol alone.”

“If things had gone just slightly differently on a tense night in 1983, today would be the 35th anniversary of the start of of World War III, for whoever was left alive to observe such an occasion.”

“Our species might have diverged 500 million years ago, but octopuses on ecstasy behave just as people do in many ways.”

If IQ tests are any indication, Americans are getting stupider. Some think environmental factors could be to blame. Others say that it's our culture which is to blame for making us stupider.

Climate change can be difficult to document. That's why scientists and journalists traveled to Greenland to study the slow transformation of ice. Follow the link to see the stunning photos of a landscape in flux.

Fast fashion is notoriously hard on the environment, but perhaps it doesn't have to be. Scientists are hard at work creating sustainable, biodegradable fabrics.

An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. Take a look at how scientists are trying to control hurricanes before they happen. These ideas might be crazy enough to work.

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JJ Best Of The Web

"There's nothing democratic about forcing through a Brexit deal that voters in 2016 probably wouldn't have approved."

" Good negotiators use leverage (something they have, which their adversary wants) to obtain what are called “concessions” (something their adversary has, which they want). The result is what experts call “compromise.”"

"Some Israeli researchers and politicians are critical of a decision by the Hebrew University to teach more classes in English, but administrators believe such a switch is necessary to maintain the institutions status."

"A rumor that the TV show 'Friends' was leaving Netflix almost broke the Internet this week. Why do we love this show so much?"

"The U.S. economy is growing at the fastest pace in five years... So why are Wall Street and some economists suddenly worried about a recession?"

"What if Twitter is mostly a closed ecosystem, relevant only to and within itself? What if its ability to shape the real world is, as they say, greatly exaggerated?"

"Progressives are constantly checking their “white privilege,” but what about ideological privilege? Particularly for women, the prevailing assumption is that you aren’t normal unless you’re a liberal Democrat."

"Whether you want to dip into a novel that evokes Midge Maisel’s New York City or pick up a sparkling history of 1950s comedy, we’ve got some recommendations for you."

"Amid America’s reckoning with sexual harassment and violence, gender inequity, and discrimination, sex education is as fraught as it’s ever been."

"Bimbo Bakeries USA, which produces the Arnold, Sara Lee, Stroehmann and Freihofer brands, to remove certification, says exploring ‘alternative solutions’"

"Changes in colony behaviour due to past events are not the simple sum of ant memories, just as changes in what we remember, and what we say or do, are not a simple set of transformations, neuron by neuron."

"The Harry Potter series is a work of fiction. So, maybe we should just put the witchcraft debate aside and read it from a different perspective... there are a lot of lessons we can learn from the series that we also see in the Torah."