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Updated: 7 min 41 sec ago

The Real Future Of Solar Power Is Space

3 hours 48 min ago
If you believe solar power is ready for mass usage, you are likely an activist, in the industry, or one of the customers who really believes they are selling electricity back to the utility at the same price they are paying when they need it and it isn't being paid for by people in the apartments that we get told are better for the environment than single-family homes.

Without mandates and subsidies, plus fees tacked onto every non-solar-using customer, the industry would go back to the niche it was prior to 2010. Since 2010, the share of conventional energy needed has not moved while the world spent trillions underwriting alternatives.(1)

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Supreme Court Finds Biden Can Mandate Vaccines For Federally Funded Hospitals But Not All Businesses

Jan 13 2022 - 17:01
The Supreme Court dealt another blow to federal overreach by the Biden administration but then rightly upheld vaccine mandates if an organization is federally funded.

Since the passage of the Affordable Care Act, nearly all hospitals are federally funded. So a Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services rule requiring vaccinations for health care workers at companies that receive Medicare or Medicaid funding, which is nearly all of them, is legal, while the overzealous attempt to use the Occupational Safety and Health Administration requiring companies with 100 or more employees to force them to get vaccines was rightly found unconstitutional.

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Maybe There Is No One True Native, Everyone Displaced Someone Else

Jan 13 2022 - 11:01
People in Britain, from Scotland to Wales, may maintain a cultural identity, but how much of it is real versus an arbitrary social construct? How much should be decided by genes versus how people choose to identify?

A new study opens up as many questions as it answers about Bronze Age Britain. Where did many of them 'come from'? Inference suggests France.

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Quantum Gravity And The Search For A Unified Physics

Jan 12 2022 - 22:01

Quantum gravity has fascinated scientists for over a century.

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Vilca-Chicha: Peruvians Created A Literal Opiate Of The Masses To Exercise Control

Jan 12 2022 - 18:01
As Peru's Wari kingdom sought to shore up their crumbling empire over 1,000 years ago they did it with their own form of bread and circuses - cocaine, ayahuasca, and a beer with psychedelics mixed in.

Since the concoction was only made by elites without a penalty of death, festivals became a way to exercise political control among friends and challengers alike. It obviously didn't work forever, the Incas conquered them, but the archaeological evidence provides a compelling look into South American culture of 1000 AD.

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Worry That Scientific Debate Of Possible SARS-CoV-2 Lab Leak Would Annoy China Was Real

Jan 12 2022 - 14:01
China has no problem blaming other countries for SARS-CoV-2 - they tried to blame the US for it, claiming it was brought into China in frozen food and the hand-picked World Health Organisation panel said nothing - but their willingness to retaliate is clear. So clear that a panel of experts worried that even discussing the possibility of an accidental leak was cautioned against because it might risk "international harmony."

A Wellcome Trust email from Dr. Jeremy Farrar, current director of the Wellcome Trust and former Oxford professor, stated on February 2 2020 that a likely explanation for the virus behind the COVID-19 pandemic was leak from one of the nearby labs in Wuhan.

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Politicizing Aphid Poop

Jan 11 2022 - 13:01
We all know there is no Beepocalypse by now, right? Seeing it referenced in sit-coms from the 2010s  is as anachronistic as watching "Soylent Green" from the 1970s and seeing them lament that they didn't listen to scientists and make the hole in the ozone layer larger. Sure, Washington Post readers probably still believe bees are dying, just like their contributors think "Soylent Green" got a lot right, but it's as unscientific as acupuncture. 

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Deep Learning Boosts The Performance Of Particle Detectors

Jan 11 2022 - 11:01
The title of this post is no news for particle physicists - particle detectors are complex instruments and they work by interpreting the result of stochastic phenomena taking place when radiation interacts with the matter of which detectors are built, and it looks only natural that deep learning algorithms can help improve our measurements in such a complex environment.

However, in this post I will give an example of something qualitatively different to providing an improvement of a measurement: one where a deep convolutional network model may extract information that we were simply incapable of making sense of. This means that the algorithm allows us to employ our detector in a new way.

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Air Pollution From Wildfires Can Do In One Day What PM2.5 'Virtual' Pollution Never Will

Jan 10 2022 - 16:01
When you see a TV weather personality put up an air quality map for the last 10 years, it might make you believe that pollution is far worse than when you were young.

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Blade Runners Do Not Have A Competitive Advantage

Jan 10 2022 - 05:01
Do amputee sprinters using running prostheses, or blades, have a competitive advantage?

The world’s fastest 400-meter sprinter, Blake Leeper, was ruled ineligible to compete in the Tokyo Olympics due to having an assumed advantage, but a new study with the most comprehensive set of data ever collected from elite runners with bilateral leg amputations compared performance data from Leeper, South African “blade runner” Oscar Pistorius and other bilateral amputee sprinters with those of the best non-amputee sprinters in the world across five performance metrics and found no advantage.

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When Adult Children Cut Ties With Their Parents, Parents Believe Differently Than The Kids About Why

Jan 09 2022 - 20:01
A survey of over 1,000 mothers who were part of the Understanding Parental Estrangement Survey conducted by the University of Wisconsin Survey Center in 2019 and estranged from their adult children revealed a disconnect between what the kids might say is the reason and parents believe

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A PETA Psychologist Claims Science Can Be Done Without Animals Models - They're Wrong

Jan 05 2022 - 17:01
With the departure of NIH legend Dr. Francis Collins, political allies are calling on President Biden to appoint a non-scientist to run that National Institutes of Health. Perhaps someone like their resident psychologist, Katherine Roe, PhD, who believes that animals are little people.

In the science world, not one defined by getting a graduate degree dealing with "psychology, language, and social and cultural issues", mice are not little people. That is why animal models and epidemiology are in the "exploratory" section. If scientists see something that looks like more than correlation, something that may have a plausible biological mechanism involved, they will tackle it.

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Omicron Data Show We're Beating COVID-19 But It's Hard To Know That From Social Media

Jan 05 2022 - 13:01
If you read social media, you might believe we're teetering on the brink of societal collapse due to COVID-19 but one metric tells the real health story; ICU beds.

Deaths have been cut almost in half from this time last year while ICU occupancy is down 40 percent. If you're a positive person, you'll note that this is a win and big thanks go to the health care system that critics demand be replaced by something like VA hospitals, which very few veterans agree is good, or Medicare, which very few old people think is good. You'll also note that vaccines work, and those are the product of Big Pharma that similar critics decry as greedy evil opportunists.

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In Severe Scoliosis, Growth-Friendly Surgeries Cause More Complications Than Single Spinal Fusion

Jan 04 2022 - 16:01
Early-onset scoliosis is a potentially deadly curve in the spine that can damage a child’s heart and lung function as it progresses. Adolescents with scoliosis are traditionally treated with a single spinal fusion, where rods and screws are inserted to fuse the spine in a straighter position.

Parents want to make informed choices and a new study finds that preadolescent children with severe neuromuscular scoliosis who are treated with growth-friendly surgery prior to spinal fusion have more complications and unplanned subsequent surgeries than those who only have the spinal fusion.

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Do Lunar And Solar Gravity Impact The Behavior Of Life On Earth?

Jan 04 2022 - 14:01
It is well-known that the gravity from the moon impacts ocean tides, sailors knew it long before anyone knew what gravity even was. 

A new literature review and small meta-analysis hopes to add to the body of work showing how much gravity impacts plants and animals as well. The meta-analysis was of three previously published cases in which gravitational causality was not fully explored: the swimming activity of isopods, small shell-less crustaceans whose appearance on Earth dates from at least 300 million years ago; reproductive effort in coral; and growth modulation in sunflower seedlings inferred from autoluminescence. 

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Cancer Deaths Rose To 10 Million Worldwide But That Is Still Good News

Jan 04 2022 - 13:01
Cancer deaths rose to 10 million globally in 2019, up from 2010 when total cancer deaths numbered 8.29 million worldwide - but the headline masks some important health progress.

Cancer is not going up, despite claims by those who believe modern food, energy, and medicine are harming us. Diagnoses are going up, which means deaths are now more successfully categorized than in the past. And tracheal, bronchus, and lung cancer, the leading causes, will decline as the inroads America has made against smoking propagate throughout Europe and developing nations.

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2022 Is The Year 'Soylent Green' Took Place - Here's How Food Science Saved The World Instead

Jan 03 2022 - 17:01
In the 1966 Harry Harrison novel "Make Room! Make Room!" concerns about population control were the driver of the plot and the storytellers were various people in New York City when the world has reached a population of 7 billion. You have probably never heard of the novel, but you likely have heard of the movie version, "Soylent Green", starring the incomparable Charlton Heston.

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Tetra-Neutronium!

Jan 01 2022 - 11:01
The neutron, discovered in 1932 by Chadwick, is a fascinating particle whose existence allows for the stability of heavy nuclei and a wealth of atoms of different properties. Without neutrons, Hydrogen would be the only stable element: protons cannot be brought together and bound in a stable system, so e.g. Helium-2 (an atom made of two protons with two electrons) is very short-lived, as are atoms with more protons and no neutrons. So our Universe would be a very dull place.

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Keurig K-Supreme Plus SMART Review: Needing An App Is Less Customization, Not More

Jan 01 2022 - 11:01
For Christmas, my wife purchased a Keurig K-Supreme Plus SMART, the latest iteration in coffee pod machines from the company. It came out a few months ago, I even got a special pre-order offer, but when I went to the website a few times there were persistent failures in being able to buy it. So I forgot about it.

After using it, you may be wondering if the website issues were created by the same groups doing the code for the machine. When it works, it is fine. The problem is it does not work too much of the time.

The encapsulated introduction to it is that this is a smart device. It is hooked up to your network and using an app you can customize your coffee to your preferences. That sounds great, but there are caveats.

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