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Researchers in the United Kingdom have found algae-like fossils in meteorite fragments that landed in Sri Lanka last year. This is the strongest evidence yet of cometary panspermia — that life on Earth began when a meteorite containing simple organisms landed here, billions of years ago — and, perhaps more importantly, that there’s life elsewhere in the universe. In December 2012, a fireball was seen over the skies of Polonnaruwa, Sri Lanka.
Apple released iOS 6 this week, bringing a handful of new features to iPhones, iPads, and iPod touches. While they defined many of the flagship features , several were left unsaid. These are our 10 favorite secret features in iOS 6. 10.
20 September 2012 Last updated at 12:08 ET The new 3D printer is intended for industrial designers and artists The gospel about 3D printing is being taken to the streets of New York. MakerBot Industries, best known for its small 3D printers, has opened a shop in Manhattan through which it will aim to sell the joys of home fabrication to the general public. The store opening comes as MakerBot releases the second incarnation of its Replicator 3D printer. The Replicator 2.0 works to much finer resolutions than earlier versions and can fabricate much bigger objects.
Some Lib Dems would prefer a leader less closely associated with David Cameron and the Conservatives. Photograph: Afp/AFP/Getty Images Nearly half of the Liberal Democrat party want Nick Clegg to resign as leader before the general election, a survey suggests. The poll, conducted by the Liberal Democrat Voice website, says the party's membership is split almost 50/50 on whether Clegg should lead the party into the election, due in 2015. The findings will embolden those in the party who want Clegg to stand aside for someone less closely associated with the Conservatives, although there seems to be very little demand for a leadership challenge any time soon. Some 47% of respondents told Liberal Democrat Voice that they wanted Clegg to remain as party leader and deputy prime minister into the next election.
How did the universe begin? The Big Bang is traditionally envisioned as the moment when an infinitely dense bundle of energy suddenly burst outward, expanding in three spatial directions and gradually cooling down as it did so. Now, a team of physicists says the Big Bang should be modeled as a phase change: the moment when an amorphous, formless universe analogous to liquid water cooled and suddenly crystallized to form four-dimensional space-time, analogous to ice. In the new study, lead author James Quach and colleagues at the University of Melbourne in Australia say the hypothesis can be tested by looking for defects that would have formed in the structure of space-time when the universe crystallized.
It may come as a surprise to some of our younger readers, that the Eurozone, and its associated currency, is merely the latest in a long series of failed attempts to create a European currency union and a common currency. Three of the most notable predecessors to the EUR include the Hapsburg Empire, the Soviet Union, and Yugoslavia. Obviously, these no longer exist.
. Political theorist Ivan Krastev believes that we are witnessing a “crisis of democracy.” There appears to be little dissent in Europe or the United States about whether democracy is the best form of government, Krastev says in a foreboding talk given at TEDGlobal 2012 . “Democracy is the only game in town,” says Krastev. “The problem is that many people have started to believe that it is not a game worth playing.” Over the past 30 years, he says, trust in the efficacy of democracy has begun to erode.
More than 40 major firms referred to the secret database, which listed thousands of people's details, including their involvement in union activity, before hiring staff. Workers who were on the list allege they were deprived of their livelihoods as a result of their inclusion, with supporters claiming their human rights have been breached. Liberty has written to the Information Commissioner, Sir Christopher Graham, accusing him of inaction over a privacy scandal that it compares to phone hacking. Liberty is threatening to go to court to force him to investigate the case. Details of the blacklist emerged in 2008 when it emerged that an organisation called Consulting Association held files on about 3,200 agency workers, including political activists, shop stewards and health and safety representatives. Some of the information was gathered using secret surveillance.
Anxiety: We worry. A gallery of contributors count the ways. If you live in America in the 21st century you’ve probably had to listen to a lot of people tell you how busy they are. It’s become the default response when you ask anyone how they’re doing: “Busy!” “ So busy.” “ Crazy busy.” It is, pretty obviously, a boast disguised as a complaint.