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Unbelievable Feat: Climbing Up Niagara Falls

Any fool can go over Niagara Falls in a barrel—and some of them have even survived to tell the tale—but two Canadian ice climbers needed a lot of skill to become the first to go up the falls. On Tuesday, Will Gadd and Sarah Hueniken managed to pick...

The Alcoholic Drink That Could Help Fight Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s Diseases

22 hours agoAcademics / Psychology : PsyBlog

Study finds compound in this alcoholic drink may have protective effect against neurodegenerative diseases. Dr Jeremy Dean is a psychologist and author of PsyBlog. His latest book is "Making Habits, Breaking Habits: How to Make Changes...Show More Summary

Ignorance of Economics Is No Excuse

David Boaz The new Spanish leftist party Podemos takes great inspiration from the victory of Syriza in Greece. As NPR reports: Much of Europe is watching Greece closely after an anti-austerity party won elections there last weekend. And Spaniards are paying particular attention because Greece may be influential. Show More Summary

Thoughts on a UK Metal Detectorist's "History is for all of us"

"There's a story to tell. I feel like I'm adding to a huge picture that is history". Kris Rogers On a metal detecting blog w-a-a-y down the Alexa ratings, an artefact hunter has a go at me, deliberately makes some false allegations threatens...Show More Summary

New Dragon-Like Dinosaur Discovered in China

The Qijianglong has a neck that's half the length of its body

Dawn Journal: Closing in on Ceres

Dawn's chief engineer Marc Rayman gives an update on the mission as it gets ever closer to its next target: The dwarf planet Ceres.

Helpful Guide to Human Character

Flashback Friday. Reader Lindsey H. sent me a copy of a book called Vaught’s Practical Character Reader, apparently published in 1902 and revised in 1907 by Emily H. Vaught, though it’s apparently been reprinted and is available on Amazon. The book can best be described as an application of the theory of physiognomy, which is the […]

Cognitive vs. behavioral in psychology, economics, and political science

I’ve been coming across these issues from several different directions lately, and I wanted to get the basic idea down without killing myself in the writing of it. So consider this a sketchy first draft. The starting point is “behavioral economics,” also known as the “heuristics and biases” subfield of cognitive psychology. Show More Summary

The clime's speech: Data analysis supports prediction that human language is influenced by environmental factors

(Phys.org)—Human speech is not typically thought to adapt to the environment, and a standard assumption in linguistics is that sound systems are in fact immune to ecological effects. Recently, however, scientists at University of Miami...Show More Summary

Super Bowl Athletes Are Scientists At Work

I wrote up another piece about football for the Conversation, this time drawing on material from Eureka, explaining how great football players are using scientific thinking: Seattle Seahawks cornerback Richard Sherman gets called a lot of things. He calls himself the greatest cornerback in the NFL (and Seattle fans tend to agree). Sportswriters and some…

Transgender kids show consistent gender identity across measures

A study with 32 transgender children, ages 5 to 12, indicates that the gender identity of these children is deeply held and is not the result of confusion about gender identity or pretense. The study is one of the first to explore gender...Show More Summary

Future of oil and gas development in the Western Amazon

The western Amazon -- a vast region encompassing the Amazonian portions of Bolivia, Colombia, Ecuador, Peru, and western Brazil -- is one of the world's last high-biodiversity wilderness landscapes. It is also home to an active hydrocarbon (oil and gas) sector, characterized by operations in extremely remote areas that require new access routes.

academics of the past — they’re just like us!

So last week, for me, was the first week of classes. But the week before that, I was in Austin to use the LBJ archives. The LBJ archives are awesome. Of the 15 or so archives I’ve visited over the last 10+ years, they had hands-down the most helpful archivist I’ve ever met. (Allen Fisher, if you’re taking notes.) […]

Pinholes are pitfalls for high performance solar cells

The most popular next-generation solar cells under development may have a problem – the top layer is full of tiny pinholes, researchers have found.

Crystal light: New family of light-converting materials points to cheaper, more efficient solar power and LEDs

Engineers have shone new light on an emerging family of solar-absorbing materials that could clear the way for cheaper and more efficient solar panels and LEDs. The materials, called perovskites, are particularly good at absorbing visible light, but had never been thoroughly studied in their purest form: as perfect single crystals. Show More Summary

Precision medicine is not precision engineering

From the NYT, a plea for not getting carried away with the vision of 'moonshot medicine' as precision engineering. The op-ed is written by Michael Joyner, a doctor at the Mayo Clinic and takes issue with Obama's precision medicine initiative which he apparently underlined in his state of the union address earlier this month. Show More Summary

Updating satellite data on seas could dramatically reduce search and rescue times for lost planes, ships

A new satellite imaging concept could significantly reduce search areas for missing boats and planes. Researchers have been trialling a concept for using satellite imagery to significantly improve the chances of locating ships and planes, such as the missing Malaysian flight MH370, lost at sea. Show More Summary

Water purification: Running fuel cells on bacteria

Researchers in Norway have succeeded in getting bacteria to power a fuel cell. The "fuel" used is wastewater, and the products of the process are purified water droplets and electricity. This is an environmentally-friendly process for the purification of water derived from industrial processes and suchlike. Show More Summary

Capitalism Defused the Population Bomb

Chelsea German Journalists know that alarmism attracts readers. Just yesterday, an article in the British newspaper The Independent titled, “Have we reached ‘peak food’? Shortages loom as global production rates slow” claimed humanity will soon face mass starvation. Show More Summary

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