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In 2014, A Voter Referendum Demanded New Water Storage - Government Has Done Nothing About It

Dec 15 2022 - 15:12
The California state legislature mostly exists to pass new regulations, but does very little for the public they claim to serve. Anything important instead has to go around government by way of voter referendum.

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Scientists Achieve Nuclear Fusion, And With It, One Of The Biggest Scientific Achievements In History

Dec 15 2022 - 09:12

This week, scientists from the National Ignition Facility (NIF) at the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL) in California,

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French Union Workers Exploit Cold Weather And Ukraine Situation To Get Paid - And That Means Using More Coal

Dec 12 2022 - 14:12
France is soon going to be asking for a bailout from coal power plants in England. You may be wondering why they need it, since energy is the only scientific area where France shows leadership. They continued to embrace nuclear energy after the U.S. and Germany caved in to progressive activists and ran it into the ground.

The problem is it's a government union, and just like government unions in the US use taxpayer money to hire lobbyists to get themselves raises from other people in government paid by taxes on the poor, French government workers knew with Russia causing high competition and a cold snap during winter, it was the perfect time to strike. Literally and figuratively.

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“Diversity, Inclusion, Equity And The Threat To Academic Freedom”: Excerpts

Dec 12 2022 - 12:12
Policies of Diversity, Inclusion and Equity (DIE) have increasingly led to the exclusion of individuals who do not share a radical 'woke' ideology on identity politics and to the suppression of the academic freedom to discuss such dogmas. Here we put together some particularly illustrative cases of such repression, many of them in scientific environments.

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The Animals We See As Friends Versus Food

Dec 12 2022 - 00:12
Ask a hunting guide about what your first experience as a novice hunter should be and they will say a turkey. No one ever cried over eating turkey whereas a rabbit would be a bad idea for many.

A new survey in Human-Animal Interactions attempted to assess social perceptions in Singapore about ‘food animals’ versus 'friends' and 'worth fighting for', broken down as ‘Love’, ‘Save’, ‘Indifferent’ and ‘Dislike.’

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60% Of Africa Faces Severe Food Insecurity And European Colonialism Is The Root Cause

Dec 10 2022 - 09:12

In the waning hours of the year’s biggest climate change conference – COP27 – we learned of a deal to create a loss and damage fund. This is essentially a source of finance to compensate poor countries for the pain they are incurring because of climate change. An often-cited example of such suffering is the ongoing drought in the Horn of Africa region, which has put some 22 million people at risk of severe hunger.

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Such Serious Mistakes In NASA's Mars Samples Environmental Impact Statement - Best They Can Do Is Start Again

Dec 09 2022 - 16:12

I was astonished when I read the draft EIS for NASA’s Mars sample return mission. NASA are normally so reliable. Normally their work is well grounded in the best and most recent science, and they are also very open with the public, for instance sharing their images from Mars as soon as they receive them themselves.

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Waterhemp Weed Has Evolved Into A Major Pest - Blame Farmers?

Dec 09 2022 - 10:12
Over 200 years ago, the age of modern agriculture began with fertilizer that wouldn't give you food poisoning if traces of it remained, like manure will.

A new paper found what you would expect, and a key reason why legacy pesticides used in the organic process require nearly 600 percent more chemicals per calorie;  pests evolve as the science does.

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Another Virus From China Has Been Detected In Switzerland

Dec 07 2022 - 10:12
Two years before SARS-CoV-2, the Alongshan (ALS) virus emerged in China. It was alarming because it was found to be a member of the flavivirus family along with the devastating tickborne encephalitis  (TBE) virus, which can cause inflammation of the brain and of the linings of the brain and spinal cord, and bacteria leading to the infectious Lyme disease (borreliosis). 

It was discovered after patients bitten by ticks suffered from fever and headaches, the typical symptoms of a TBE infection, but, no antibodies against the TBE virus or its genetic material could be detected in the affected individuals. Instead, the researchers found a previously unknown RNA virus, the Alongshan virus.

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Is Life On Earth Due To Extraterrestrial Causes?

Dec 07 2022 - 10:12
List most planets, Earth was once a newly formed, sterile planet, so a philosophical and scientific question is, how did that change? Its randomness is the best argument for why we may be the most advanced civilization in this galaxy, if not the universe, and also the best argument for why we are not alone by now.

For the over four billion years that our terra firma has been around, meteorites have been hurtling through the atmosphere at high speeds toward its surface. and some argue that resulting debris may have included carbonaceous chondrites — a class of meteorite whose members contain significant amounts of water and small molecules, such as amino acids - and could have contributed to the evolution of life on Earth. 

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Phages: Scientists Create New Natural Weapon Against Bacterial Contamination And Infection

Dec 07 2022 - 09:12
A new process uses harmless viruses that eat bacteria to form microscopic beads that can safely be applied to food and other materials to rid them of harmful pathogens such as E. coli. Though tiny, each bead is about one third the width of human hair, they have millions of bacteriophages. 

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Eight Tips For Young Researchers

Dec 07 2022 - 08:12
A long while ago (my gosh, 13 years!!) I wrote on this site a two-post piece titled "Five Tips for Particle Physics Ph.D. Wannabes". At 43 years of age, I felt confident that I could look back to some experience gathered while being a Ph.D. myself, and later on while advising others. I believe the few advices I put together there are still mostly valid today. Have a look if you are a grad student in search for tips!

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This Christmas, Help Us Debunk The Holiday Suicide Myth

Dec 06 2022 - 10:12
Ask some, and certainly companies selling remedies, and they will tell you there is so much depression during holidays that suicides rise noticeably.

If someone believes it, a producer or editor in corporate media will want to publish it, and therefore more people hear about it, and that is why many believe that suicide rates rise during the year-end holiday season. It isn't true, any more than there is more strange behavior in emergency rooms during full moons, but some will swear by their anecdotes.

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ATLAS Awesome Flavour Tagging Algorithms

Dec 06 2022 - 06:12
The title of this post is not of my making - it is something you may read in a list of recent ATLAS results, in one of the otherwise dry and business-like web pages of the experiment:



Don't get me wrong, I am all for a bit of personality in such web outlets, so the above rather than criticism should be seen as an exhortation to my CMS colleagues (as CMS the experiment I am a member of) to mimic its competitor. I look forward to a listing of "CMS wondrous new results on Higgs physics", e.g. ...

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How Cats Went From Pest Control To Pet 10,000 Years Ago

Dec 05 2022 - 14:12
The most popular pets are cats and dogs but their origins as human companions are much different. Dogs became domesticated during the ice age 23,000 years ago as humans and wolves co-habitated in tolerable refuge areas. Scavenging and then feeding by humans led to companionship. 

Pet cats (Felis silvestris catus. Felis catus) are much more recent, and evidence shows they were allowed as pest control but gradually became companions as humans migrated and took cats with them. Like dogs, and unlike cattle and horses, there was a nexus for domestication; in the case of cats the Fertile Crescent, the areas of the Middle East surrounding the Tigris and Euphrates rivers.

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Distributive Justice: People Claim They Want More Income Fairness Until They Realize It Hurts Others

Dec 05 2022 - 12:12
Distributive justice is the subject of social, and therefore political, debate, but like 'sustainability' no one really knows what it means so it can mean anything to anyone. And therefore be used by everyone for their agendas. Socialists in New York City are against the mayor's plan to take people who are clearly mental ill in the homeless population and hospitalize them, for example, they say it is distributive injustice, while proponents say it is a way to decriminalize mental illness among the homeless and therefore compassionate and just for the most vulnerable.

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Organic Farmers Quit When Sweden Began To Limit How Much Chemical Input Could Be Used

Dec 04 2022 - 11:12
You wouldn't know it by deceptive marketing practices but it takes far more chemicals per calorie using "organic" certified pesticides than it does using modern ones. 

The reason is simple; organic industry lobbyists picked an artificial point in time and declared anything before it was organic. Mutagenesis, for example, is a literal radiation and chemical bath to force mutations randomly, but thousands and thousands of products are not only on the market without protest, they are certified organic while far more precise modern genetic modification is not. 

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Cybernetic Augmentation: Ethics Versus Technology

Dec 02 2022 - 10:12

Imagine that a soldier has a tiny computer device injected into their bloodstream that can be guided with a magnet to specific regions of their brain. With training, the soldier could then control weapon systems thousands of miles away using their thoughts alone. Embedding a similar type of computer in a soldier’s brain could suppress their fear and anxiety, allowing them to carry out combat missions more efficiently.

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Syn3: This Synthetic Bacteria Is The Smallest Mobile Lifeform Ever (Artificially) Created

Nov 30 2022 - 16:11
To help try and understand the evolution and origins of cell motility, researchers have created the smallest mobile lifeform ever

Scientists introduced seven proteins, believed to be directly involved in allowing Spiroplasma bacteria to swim into a synthetic bacterium named syn3—through genetic engineering. syn3 was designed and chemically synthesized to have the smallest genomic DNA possible including the minimum essential genetic information required for growth from the smallest genomes of naturally occurring Mycoplasma bacteria.

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Globalization Of 1400 BC

Nov 30 2022 - 15:11
A new study shows that supply chain cost increases coupled with inflation due to leaders just creating more currency are not new; they have been happening since ways to trade began.

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