The stench of decaying algae began rising from coastal waterways in southeastern Florida early this month, shutting down businesses and beaches during a critical tourism season. Officials arrived, surveyed the toxic muck and declared states of emergency in four counties. Residents shook their heads, then their fists, organizing rallies and haranguing local officials. In truth, there was little they could do: The disaster that engulfed the St. Lucie River and its estuary had been building for weeks. In May, a 33-square-mile algae bloom crept over Lake Okeechobee, the vast headwaters of the Everglades. After an unseasonably wet winter, the Army Corps of Engineers was forced to discharge water from
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Breaking the record for the shortest trip around the world in a hot air balloon, 64-year-old Russian explorer Fedor Konyukhov finished his 11-day journey in the Australian Outback on Saturday morning, dropping down 100 miles from his initial departure point. Tracking the balloon with six helicopters as it prepared to descend, team members assisted Konyukhov with the landing, described by the crew as perhaps the most difficult part of the trip. Konyukhov, a Russian Orthodox priest, began his trip from Northam, Australia, on July 12 before flying across the Pacific Ocean, South America and back to Australia. Konyukhov surpassed the previous record for a solo balloon flight around the world, held by American Steve Fossett, who in 2002 took 13 days and eight hours while traveling a route 600 miles shorter.
A 65-year-old Russian adventurer reached the Australian coast on Saturday and was within a few hours of setting a new record for flying solo nonstop around the world, an official said. Fedor Konyukhov's 56-meter (184-foot) -tall helium and hot-air balloon was descending as it crossed the southwest coast directly over the city of Perth at 95 kilometers (60 miles) per hour and at an altitude of less than 7,000 meters (23,000 feet), support crew member Steve Griffin said. When he drifts across 117 degrees longitude east of Perth, he will have shaved two days off the record of 13 days and eight hours set by American businessman Steve Fossett in 2002.
By Julie Steenhuysen CHICAGO (Reuters) - A computerized brain training program cut the risk of dementia among healthy people by 48 percent, U.S. researchers said on Sunday in reporting an analysis of the results of a 10-year study. The preliminary findings, presented at the Alzheimer's Association International Conference in Toronto, are the first to show that any kind of intervention could delay the development of dementia in normal, healthy adults. To date, cognitive psychologists and neuroscientists have largely rejected evidence that computer-based cognitive-training software or "brain games" have any effect on cognitive function.
The idea that Star Trek has changed the world might sound as farfetched as some of the USS Enterprise’s spacefaring missions, but the truth is that the science fiction series has directly or indirectly impacted both our present and future. It seems like an absurd statement — when creator Gene Roddenberry was first kicking around the idea in 1964, he probably never imagined that Star Trek would still be around in 2016 with reboots in the pipeline. Here are seven ways that Star Trek changed the world. 1.
China has completed production of the world's largest amphibious aircraft after seven years of work, which it plans to use to perform marine rescue missions and fight forest fires, the Xinhua news agency reported. The AG600, which is about the size of a Boeing 737 and was developed by state aircraft maker Aviation Industry Corporation of China (AVIC), rolled off a production line in the southern city of Zhuhai on Saturday, Xinhua said quoting the firm. AVIC deputy general manager, Geng Rugang, said the plane was "the latest breakthrough in China's aviation industry." A plan for the development and production of the AG600 received government approval in 2009.
Shurgoshan asks me, "What kind of rock would you be?" I'd be the schist, of course! I mean, sure, I could've chosen something more serenely sedimentary, with delicate colors and textures. I could've been igneous, firey and explosive. I could've even chosen to be a valuable ore, or a gorgeous semi-precious gemstone. All of those are fabulous choices. But I'm completely schist. I mean, honestly, I'd love being able to introduce myself with comic grandiosity: "I'm the schist!" or mock self-deprecation: "I'm just a little schist." People would ask me how I'm doing, and I could be all, "I feel like schist!" I'm sort of punny that way. If I were schist, I'd have such a history. I'd be very, very old:
McKay Smith awakens before the sun rises and retires for the day as the sun sets. As a farmer, working long hours seems to be in his DNA. Smith, 56, has three organic farms — in Fountain Valley, Irvine and Huntington Beach. His Irvine farm is the largest, spanning 8.5 acres. Organic farming is only for the strong of heart. These days Smith has to contend not only with hungry pests and coyotes but also with economic forces that threaten as well to devour the land. His farms, especially the one in Irvine, sit on prime acreage for real estate development. He leases the land, so any decision to do something else with it would not be made by him. "The property is worth so much money," he said. "The
The Philippines is reviewing its "crazy" commitment to severely cut greenhouse-gas emissions in the Paris climate deal, new President Rodrigo Duterte has warned. The government of predecessor Benigno Aquino had pledged to the United Nations to cut the Asian country's emissions by 70 percent by 2030 from 2000 levels if it got support from developed nations to convert to clean technologies. "I have misgivings about this Paris (climate deal).... The problem is these industrialised countries have reached their destination," Duterte said in a series of speeches during a visit to the southern island of Mindanao on Friday.
Her computer, Karin Strauss says, contains her "digital attic" — a place where she stores that published math paper she wrote in high school, and computer science schoolwork from college. Strauss, who works at Microsoft Research in Redmond, Washington, is working to make that sci-fi fantasy a reality. Rather, they aim to help companies and institutions archive huge amounts of data for decades or centuries, at a time when the world is generating digital data faster than it can store it.
Individual honey bees aren’t very smart, yet honey bee hives, which may contain tens of thousands of individual bees, show remarkable intelligence. Scientists who study this type of swarm intelligence point out a key ingredient: no one is in charge. The hive functions just fine with no management, just countless interactions between individual bees with each following simple rules of thumb. A system like this is called self-organizing. Life itself is self-organizing. That’s how swarm intelligence works: simple creatures following simple rules, each one acting on local information. No bee sees the big picture. No bee tells any other bee what to do. No fearless leader is required or desired. In
Work is underway at the Wyoming State Veterinary Laboratory to add a biohazard facility that will focus on the nasty diseases found in some Wyoming wildlife, like the plague and rabies. Director William Laegreid said the upgraded "biosafety level 3" laboratory will allow veterinarians to keep the main facility open when an animal shows up with a serious disease. The Wyoming State Veterinary Laboratory, operated under the University of Wyoming, focuses on diagnosing diseases present in Wyoming wildlife, the Laramie Boomerang reported (http://bit.ly/29TDubl).
This will warm your heart.
By Lila Hassan CAIRO (Reuters) - An aircraft powered by solar energy left Egypt on Sunday on the last leg of the first ever fuel-free flight around the globe. Solar Impulse 2, a spindly single-seat plane, took off from Cairo in darkness en route to Abu Dhabi, its final destination, with a flight expected to take between 48 and 72 hours. The plane, which began its journey in Abu Dhabi in March 2015, has been piloted in turns by Swiss aviators Andre Borschberg and Bertrand Piccard in a campaign to build support for clean energy technologies.
Guardians of the Galaxy: Vol 2 has been generating a lot of buzz during the lead-up to and including San Diego Comic Con 2016 where tomorrow it’ll have a panel during the Marvel Studios Hall H presentation. The sequel to the outer-space superhero ensemble won’t be hitting theaters till summer 2017, but that hasn’t stopped fans getting excited about what little we have seen so far. Directed by James Gunn, the followup to Guardians of the Galaxy features the original cast alongside some new faces from the comic books, and this year’s SDCC has already shown us a new portrait of Yondu along with a concept art poster featuring the new, and larger team roster. Now NASA is even getting in on the Guardians
Hyundai announced this year the start of Project Ioniq, its attempt at figuring out what the world of 2030 will be like. Of course the project would also use that information to determine how that world will affect the transportation industry. And it happens to share its name with the company's newest eco-friendly model. The first part of Project Ioniq is under way with the Ioniq Lab. This lab will be run by Dr. Soon Jong Lee, a professor at Seoul National University. Lee is also in charge of the Korea Future Design and Research Institute, and ten researchers and ten consultant experts will assist him on the project. Phase one has now yielded what Hyundai sees as 12 "megatrends" that will affect
The findings, presented at the Identification of Dark Matter conference in Sheffield, England, were not unexpected — though they do highlight the challenge of finding the elusive stuff known as dark matter. “I couldn’t say with a straight face that I was expecting to find dark matter with this particular data set,” said Simon Fiorucci, an experimental physicist at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory and science coordination manager for LUX. Dark matter can’t be seen, heard or felt – but scientists know something must be there because they watch how its enormous mass turbocharges the spin of galaxies. Everything we can detect in the universe, from Earth to the stars, black holes and distant galaxies – all of it makes up less than 5% of the mass and energy in the universe.
Last year, Wilfred Ndifon, a Cameroonian scientist, announced that his research into the human body’s immune system had solved a 70-year-old immunological mystery. His discovery promises to make it easier to produce more efficient vaccines. In the long run, Ndifon’s pioneering research could reduce the prevalence of infectious diseases and halt the spread of diseases like malaria and HIV, which plague Africa in particular. But Ndifon, one of the honorees at Quartz’s Africa Innovators summit this week in Nairobi, says despite the benefits of improving healthcare and life expectancy on the continent, he receives very little support from governments in Africa. “What I do would not be possible without
The Mediterranean Sea is one of the most seismically active areas on Earth. That's especially true of the Ionian Sea, which is 13,000 feet deep and lies between Italy and Greece. One effect of those quakes is the production of thick layers of sediments called turbidites. An earthquake can stir up huge quantities of sediment near the shore. Because that muddy water is heavier than the surrounding clear water, it flows downslope, like a truck without its brakes, sometimes at speeds of more than 50 mph. That sediment-laden flow is called a turbidity current. Once the turbidity current reaches the flat sea bottom, the flow's velocity slowly decreases, and the larger pebbles settle out first, followed
WEARABLE and implantable medical gadgets are a promising technology. By continuously collecting information from patients they make it easier to diagnose and treat whatever the problem may be. But most of the sensors in such devices have to lie flat against the body. That limits what they can do. Now a team of researchers are trying to use one of humanity’s oldest technologies to do better. As they report in Microsystems & Nanoengineering, Sameer Sonkusale at Tufts University, in Massachusetts, and his colleagues, propose to turn threads, of the sort spun to make clothes, into sensors. Thread has many advantages. It is cheap, flexible and mostly tolerated by human bodies. Most pertinently, doctors
This column is part of a series where Verge staffers post highly subjective reviews of animals. Up until now, we've written about animals without telling you whether they suck or rule. We are now rectifying this oversight. Some people ask, what came first, the chicken or the egg? To me, that question is akin to asking whether basketball or Michael Jordan came first. The answer, in both cases, is that the later thing redefined the earlier thing to the point of fundamentally transforming it. MJ turned the sport of basketball into a global spectacle, while the chicken made the egg a universal staple of human diets everywhere. The smartphone came first, but it was the iPhone that made it matter.
We see the world in units of measurement. You're this many feet tall and this many years old, and you weigh this many pounds. You have this many minutes left in your work day and your home is that many miles away. But not everything can be measured in miles, pounds, and minutes. Over the course of history, we've had to come up with some pretty unique ways to measure things. Check out some units of measurement that have fascinating histories below:
A 20-meter solar sail and boom system, developed by ATK Space Systems of Goleta, Calif., is fully deployed during testing at NASA Glenn Research Center’s Plum Brook facility in Sandusky, Ohio. Blue lights positioned beneath the system help illuminate the four triangular sail quadrants as they lie outstretched in Plum Brook’s Space Power Facility — the world’s largest space environment simulation chamber. The material is produced under license by SRS Technologies of Huntsville, Ala. The deployment, part of a series of tests in April, is a critical milestone in the development of solar sail propulsion technology that could lead to more ambitious inner Solar System robotic exploration. The more energetic the wave is, the higher its frequency, and so dividing by frequency is just another way of slicing by energy levels.
With all the distraction that life provides us, it can be easy to let the things that matter fade into the background. While never pleasant, death has the uncanny ability to peel back the layers and get to the heart of what matters. Being aware of death