Meet Darth Pai, the Sith Lord who’s taken over the Federal Communication Commission. “I find your lack of faith in deregulation disturbing.” — Darth Pai A few weeks ago, in a galaxy not so far away, Tom Wheeler stepped down as the chairman of the Federal Communications Commission. In his three years at the helm of the FCC, he proved to be a champion everyday people, and a thorn in the side of telecom monopolies. Wheeler worked hard to preserve net neutrality — the principle that internet service providers should treat all traffic on their networks the same. Net neutrality made it illegal to block a website, throttle its loading speed, or charge the website money in return for priority access. It was the only thing stopping providers like Comcast from deciding which websites we can access, and which websites we cannot.
We're More than Stardust — We're Made of the Big Bang Itself Transcript Anna Frebel: The work of stellar archaeology really goes to the heart of the "we are stardust" and "we are children of the stars" statement. You’ve probably heard it all but what does it actually mean? We are mostly made all humans and all life forms that we know of are made mostly of carbon and a bunch of other elements but in much lesser quantities. Where does this carbon come from? Well, you could say it comes from the Earth and yes that is true. How J.R.R. Tolkien Found Mordor on the Western Front Photo IN the summer of 1916, a young Oxford academic embarked for France as a second lieutenant in the British Expeditionary Force. The Great War, as World War I was known, was only half-done, but already its industrial carnage had no parallel in European history. “Junior officers were being killed off, a dozen a minute,” recalled . “Parting from my wife,” he wrote, doubting that he would survive the trenches, “was like a death.”
Strange Fluctuations in the Magnetic Field Might Signal an Upcoming Pole Reversal The Earth is blanketed by a magnetic field. It’s what makes compasses point north, and protects our atmosphere from continual bombardment from space by charged particles such as protons. Without a magnetic field, our atmosphere would slowly be stripped away by harmful radiation, and life would almost certainly not exist as it does today. You might imagine the magnetic field is a timeless, constant aspect of life on Earth, and to some extent you would be right. But Earth’s magnetic field actually does change.
Monkey teeth hint at a miraculous marine migration to North America Scientists have long thought that monkeys first ventured from South America into North America no earlier than about 4 million years ago, when the two continents merged. But seven teeth unearthed in Panama may change that story. These monkey teeth were discovered encased in 21-million-year-old rocks. This suggests that the primates accomplished the impossible: they crossed the more than 100 miles of ocean that separated South America from North America at the time. These prehistoric monkeys, which probably looked like today's capuchin monkeys, are the only mammals known to cross this watery boundary so early, says Jonathan Bloch.
Life Above Earth: An Introduction — Cultural Anthropology This began as a wondering about wind, how it mattered, how it materialized across lives, and how it seemed to refuse to be represented—only becoming visible through its effects on other beings and other things: branch, bird, cloud, kite, sail, smoke. Wind finds itself with no terrestrial home, no borders to maintain, no ownership to be claimed.1 Its pressured and oscillating gases are the kinetic energy of the sky. Wondering into the wind leads us upward. It is an invitation to lose one’s footing. Legally Blind Woman Sees With VISOR-like Device Geordi La Forge would be proud. Yvonne Felix, a legally blind San Franciscan, can see, and quite well, too, with a device -- a battery-powered headset with liquid lens technology inside -- that resembles the VISOR that Geordi wore on Star Trek: The Next Generation. CNET, as part of their ongoing "Tech Enabled" series about the role techonology plays in helping the disability community, profiled Felix and delved, in tremendous detail, into how the eSight 3 has changed Felix's life.
Global Warming’s Terrifying New Chemistry - BillMoyers.com A Cabot Oil and Gas drill at a hydraulic fracturing site in 2012 in Springville, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Spencer Platt/Getty Images) This post originally appeared at The Nation. Global warming is, in the end, not about the noisy political battles here on the planet’s surface. It actually happens in constant, silent interactions in the atmosphere, where the molecular structure of certain gases traps heat that would otherwise radiate back out to space.
What Were Albert Einstein's Political Opinions? Humanity As One One of Einstein's most important views of the world that stayed with him throughout his life? Internationalism and the connectedness of all humans. That, and many other concepts and precepts, defined Einstein's life beyond that of being a Theoretical Physicist, and they're clearly laid out with a plethora of historical cites and references in the new book Einstein and Twentieth-Century Politics: 'A Salutary Moral Influence', released in Autumn, 2016. Remember that he was born in an era where some cultures of the world were just beginning to be explored and understood.
What Will Artificial Intelligence Look Like After Siri and Alexa? In the coming decades, artificial intelligence will replace a lot of human jobs, from driving trucks to analyzing X-rays. But it will also work with us, taking over mundane personal tasks and enhancing our cognitive capabilities. As AI continues to improve, digital assistants—often in the form of disembodied voices—will become our helpers and collaborators, managing our schedules, guiding us through decisions, and making us better at our jobs.
Missing links brewed in primordial puddles? The crucibles that bore out early building blocks of life may have been, in many cases, modest puddles. Now, researchers working with that hypothesis have achieved a significant advancement toward understanding an evolutionary mystery -- how components of RNA and DNA formed from chemicals present on early Earth before life existed. In surprisingly simple laboratory reactions in water, under everyday conditions, they have produced what could be good candidates for missing links on the pathway to the code of life. And when those components joined up, the result even looked like RNA. As the researchers' work progresses, it could reveal that much of the original chemistry that led to life arose not in fiery cataclysms and in scarce quantities, but abundantly and gradually on quiet, rain-swept dirt flats or lakeshore rocks lapped by waves. In turn, their work could increase our understanding of the probability of life's existence elsewhere in the universe.
Future - How liars create the ‘illusion of truth’ “Repeat a lie often enough and it becomes the truth”, is a law of propaganda often attributed to the Nazi Joseph Goebbels. Among psychologists something like this known as the "illusion of truth" effect. Here's how a typical experiment on the effect works: participants rate how true trivia items are, things like "A prune is a dried plum". Sometimes these items are true (like that one), but sometimes participants see a parallel version which isn't true (something like "A date is a dried plum"). After a break – of minutes or even weeks – the participants do the procedure again, but this time some of the items they rate are new, and some they saw before in the first phase. The key finding is that people tend to rate items they've seen before as more likely to be true, regardless of whether they are true or not, and seemingly for the sole reason that they are more familiar.
A beginner’s guide to Ethereum – The Coinbase Blog What is Ethereum? According to the Ethereum website, “Ethereum is a decentralized platform that runs smart contracts.” This is an accurate summary but in my experience when first explaining Ethereum to friends, family, and strangers it helps to compare Ethereum to Bitcoin since a lot of people have at least heard about Bitcoin before.