The US just partnered with China to build a bullet train between LA and Vegas Americans can look forward to zooming between LA and Las Vegas at 240 km/h in a new high-speed bullet train that’s set to whittle the 370-kilometre trip down, from 4 hours in a car to just 80 minutes by train. That’s only slightly longer than the hour’s flight it takes to get there, except you’ll have the added bonus of not having to deal with airport nightmares. Facilitated by a partnership between a private US venture and a China Railway Group-led consortium, construction on the so-called XpressWest is expected to begin in late 2016. The project, which took four years of negotiations to finalise, is tipped to cost more than US$7 billion - all of which is coming from the private sector right now, with US government loans yet to be approved. There’s no word yet on when the project is expected to be operational. This won’t be the first bullet train to run between major American cities.
Linking the past and the present Interview with the historian Romila Thapar, Professor Emeritus, Jawaharlal Nehru University. By RANABIR CHAKRAVARTI Romila Thapar, Professor Emeritus, Jawaharlal Nehru University, is one of the most celebrated historians of India, internationally acclaimed particularly for her immense contribution to the interpretative studies of early India. 10 TED-Ed Lessons to inspire your New Year’s resolutions With the exhilarating (and exhausting) holiday season behind us, January offers a month of new beginnings and boundless optimism. In the first few weeks of the new year, millions of people around the world will set pen to paper and hammer out a list of goals for the year ahead. If you haven’t made your New Year’s resolutions yet, check out this collection of TED-Ed Lessons for a little inspiration.
150918180310 A first draft of the "tree of life" for the roughly 2.3 million named species of animals, plants, fungi and microbes -- from platypuses to puffballs -- has been released. A collaborative effort among eleven institutions, the tree depicts the relationships among living things as they diverged from one another over time, tracing back to the beginning of life on Earth more than 3.5 billion years ago. Tens of thousands of smaller trees have been published over the years for select branches of the tree of life -- some containing upwards of 100,000 species -- but this is the first time those results have been combined into a single tree that encompasses all of life. The end result is a digital resource that available free online for anyone to use or edit, much like a "Wikipedia" for evolutionary trees.
"Pro-American" History Textbooks Hurt Native Americans I teach Native American Studies and virtually none of my university students has had any education whatsoever in the history of this country's treatment of the 10 million or so people who lived here before Europeans arrived. They generally believe that the continent was more or less wide-open and that the few people who were here aided the Pilgrims with a harvest fest and then after a few skirmishes with settlers complied with their destiny as the vanishing Indian. The Texas State Board of Education wants to reinforce this knowledge gap, forcing Texas high schoolers to learn a sanitized version of U.S. history in the name of being "pro-American." The Texas board recently voted to allow state-defined curriculum for the Advanced Placement History Exam to trump that of the federally-defined curriculum on which the exam will be based in order to sidestep aspects of U.S. history they find distasteful.
Dark matter hiding in stars may cause observable oscillations (Phys.org)—Dark matter has never been seen directly, but scientists know that something massive is out there due to its gravitational effects on visible matter. One explanation for how such a large amount of mass appears to be right in front of our eyes yet completely invisible by conventional means is that the dark matter is hiding in the centers of stars. In a new study, physicists have investigated the possibility that large amounts of hidden mass inside stars might be composed of extremely lightweight hypothetical particles called axions, which are a primary dark matter candidate. The scientists, Richard Brito at the University of Lisbon in Portugal; Vitor Cardoso at the University of Lisbon and the Perimeter Institute for Theoretical Physics in Waterloo, Ontario, Canada; and Hirotada Okawa at Kyoto University and Waseda University, both in Japan, have published their paper on dark matter in stars in a recent issue of Physical Review Letters. "The above results are quite generic.
This Columbus Day, Seeking the Real History of Native Americans A Q&A with Roxanne Dunbar-Ortiz, author of An Indigenous Peoples' History of the United States. By Mark Trecka CHICAGO -- When Howard Zinn published A People's History of the United States in 1980, historian and activist Roxanne Dunbar-Ortiz told Zinn that he had largely failed to include the narratives of Native Americans. Zinn replied that it was up to Dunbar-Ortiz to write that book. How To Love Yourself - 12 Ways You Can Love Yourself Now - Louise Hay I have found that there is only one thing that heals every problem, and that is: to love yourself. When people start to love themselves more each day, it’s amazing how their lives get better. They feel better. Nano-trapped molecules are potential path to quantum devices Single atoms or molecules imprisoned by laser light in a doughnut-shaped metal cage could unlock the key to advanced storage devices, computers and high-resolution instruments. In a paper published in Physical Review A, a team composed of Ali Passian of the Department of Energy's Oak Ridge National Laboratory and Marouane Salhi and George Siopsis of the University of Tennessee describes conceptually how physicists may be able to exploit a molecule's energy to advance a number of fields. "A single molecule has many degrees of freedom, or ways of expressing its energy and dynamics, including vibrations, rotations and translations," Passian said. "For years, physicists have searched for ways to take advantage of these molecular states, including how they could be used in high-precision instruments or as an information storage device for applications such as quantum computing."
Celebrating the Genocide of Native Americans The sad reality about the United States of America is that in a matter of a few hundreds years it managed to rewrite its own history into a mythological fantasy. The concepts of liberty, freedom and free enterprise in the “land of the free, home of the brave” are a mere spin. The US was founded and became prosperous based on two original sins: firstly, on the mass murder of Native Americans and theft of their land by European colonialists; secondly, on slavery. This grim reality is far removed from the fairytale version of a nation that views itself in its collective consciousness as a virtuous universal agent for good and progress.
Religious belief: A natural phenomenon Suppose the government runs random screening for a very rare mutation – Mutation X – present in 1 in every million. The test is 99% accurate. If your result is positive, does this mean that you probably have Mutation X? No. Imagine that there are 100 million people, of which 100 are X-carriers and 99,999,900 are not. On average, 99% of the X-carriers, that is 99 people, will test positive. These Are Words Scholars Should No Longer Use to Describe Slavery and the Civil War Michael Todd Landis, an Assistant Professor of History at Tarleton State University specializing in the intersection of slavery and politics in the 19th century United States, is the author of Northern Men with Southern Loyalties: The Democratic Party and the Sectional Crisis (Cornell, 2014). Plantation or slave labor camp? Let’s face it: a new generation of scholarship has changed the way we understand American history, particularly slavery, capitalism, and the Civil War.
Shakespeare and film around the world From the birth of film, Shakespeare’s plays have been a constant source of inspiration for many screenwriters, directors, and producers. As a result, hundreds of film and television adaptations have been made, each featuring either a Shakespearean plot, theme, character, or all three. Although the most frequently-produced and well-known adaptations are filmed and directed in the United Kingdom and the United States, Shakespeare’s work has traveled all around the world. From Mexico to Australia, Tibet to Russia, and Italy to Japan, Shakespeare has been translated into many languages and adapted onto screens in many ways. Take a look at these various films from around the world, all of which provide unique insight into their individual cultures by their respective filmmakers.