A remarkable aircraft is "winging it" this morning . . . completing its first round-the-world flight. As our David Pogue of Yahoo Tech explains, it's a LIGHT aircraft in more ways than one: Some achievements are considered impossible -- right up until the moment someone does them, like building a flying machine, or walking on the Moon ... or building an airplane powered only by the Sun. The Solar Impulse is on an impossible mission flying around the world without using a single drop of fuel. Not exactly nonstop, and not without a hitch. But it's only one flight away from completing its journey. Two Swiss explorers have been taking turns in the pilot seat "We are so different," Bertrand Piccard
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.
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
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.
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.
This will warm your heart.
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).
CLEVELAND-LLOYD DINOSAUR QUARRY, Utah – About 148 million years have passed since dozens of corpses of meat-eating dinosaurs were deposited here, just north of the San Rafael Swell and about 30 miles southeast of Price. What facetiously has been referred to as a "murder mystery" at Cleveland-Lloyd began with excavations in the late 1920s and remains unsolved, even after the uncovering and analysis of more than 12,000 bones. Paleontologists know water likely pooled in this onetime depression. "An early researcher out here once stated that there are almost as many hypotheses for this site as there are annual visitors," said University of Wisconsin-Oshkosh assistant professor Joseph Peterson.
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:
Currently, 21 percent of these emissions come from deforestation and land use changes that are a result of agriculture. The authors estimate that if land clearing for food production continues at its current pace, emissions from land use changes alone could increase by at least 30 percent in 2050.
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.
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
For more than 65 years, computer scientists have studied whether robots’ behavior could become indistinguishable from human intelligence. In a book due to be published next year, Being Human in the 21st Century, a law professor and a philosopher argue that we’ve overlooked the equally important, inverse question: Are humans becoming more like robots? In 1950, computer scientist Alan Turing put forward what’s now known as the “Turing Test.” Essentially, Turing proposed that a key test of machine thinking is whether someone asking the same questions to both a human and a robot could tell which is which. This has since become an important method to evaluate artificial intelligence, with regular Turing Test competitions to determine the extent of robots’ growing ability to mimic human behavior.
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
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
Robin Smith is the co-founder CEO of ORIG3N, a regenerative medical company that has crowdsourced blood samples to create the world’s biggest and most diverse bio-repository. According to Smith, regenerative medicine is the next big thing in medical science — so disruptive, in fact, that he says it’s akin to the Internet in 1993. No wonder, then, that ORIG3N has already raised over $15 million with the last December’s $15 million round from healthcare specialists Hatteras Venture Partners and Syno Capital. Given all the recent controversy over Theranos, the issue of the regulation of regenerative medicine is, of course, really salient. But according to Smith, we don’t need massive new regulation
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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
Great frigatebirds are extraordinary creatures. They’re seabirds with six-foot wingspans, yet they weigh only about three pounds. Their preferred food: flying fish—which they pluck out of the air above the water’s surface. Frigatebirds’ feathers aren’t waterproof, so landing on the water to fish is a no-go. Now, scientists have discovered that great frigatebirds do something else amazing: they can fly for up to two months at a time without landing. Researchers already knew that these birds took extended trips over the Indian and Pacific Oceans to feed. But in a new study, scientists used tracking devices to follow the movement and vital signs of birds from the island of Europa, near Madagascar.
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.
FOR centuries physicists have used the word stress to describe force applied to materials. It was not until the 1930s that Hans Selye, a Hungarian-born endocrinologist, began using it of live beings. Selye injected rats with cow hormones, exposed them to extreme temperatures and partially severed their spinal cords to prove that all these sorts of maltreatment affected the rodents in the same ways: they lost muscle tone, developed stomach ulcers and suffered immune-system failure. He used the word for both the abuse of the rats and the health effects. Later on, it started to be used for psychological suffering as well. Today, the Oxford English Dictionary defines stress as “a state of mental
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
In 1995, if you had told Toby Spribille that he’d eventually overthrow a scientific idea that’s been the stuff of textbooks for 150 years, he would have laughed at you. Back then, his life seemed constrained to a very different path. He was raised in a Montana trailer park, and home-schooled by what he now describes as a “fundamentalist cult.” At a young age, he fell in love with science, but had no way of feeding that love. He longed to break away from his roots and get a proper education. At 19, he got a job at a local forestry service. Within a few years, he had earned enough to leave home. His meager savings and non-existent grades meant that no American university would take him, so Spribille