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Daily alternative news articles at the News Desk for GrahamHancock.com. Featuring alternative history, science, archaeology, ancient egypt, paranormal & supernatural, environment, and much more. Check in daily for updates!

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August 20 2014

Rome’s first emperor died 2000 years ago – his derelict tomb is now used as a toilet


Augustus, who died 2000 years ago, was the first emperor of Rome. He brought peace after the turmoil in the republic after the assassination of Julius Caesar when he defeated the forces of Antony and Cleopatra. But despite this, two millenia after he bestrode the world, his mausoleum lies in disrepair under piles of rubbish while his celebrated stables, only discovered five years ago, are to be reburied due to lack of funds.

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August 20 2014

Echo of Soviet Union's fall in nations' heart health


Pity the hearts beating in Russian chests. The death rate from heart disease for men and women of all ages in Russia is six times higher than in France, according to data on heart and stroke deaths from 52 nations in Europe and northern Asia.

Death rates are steadily declining across the entire area studied.

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August 20 2014

On Borrowed Time - Making Earth Overshoot Day a Thing of the Past


It’s that time again. Earth Overshoot Day is here and the clock continues to tick. As I described in Foreign Affairs last year, Earth Overshoot Day is the date on which humanity’s demand for natural resources exceeds the earth’s ability to renew them in a year. Last year, we hit that mark on August 20. This year, it comes one day earlier.


Related: We’ve already used up the planet’s resources for the year

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August 20 2014

Wolves cooperate but dogs submit, study suggests


For dog lovers, comparative psychologists Friederike Range and Zsófia Virányi have an unsettling conclusion. Many researchers think that as humans domesticated wolves, they selected for a cooperative nature, resulting in animals keen to pitch in on tasks with humans. But when the two scientists at the Messerli Research Institute at the University of Veterinary Medicine Vienna studied lab-raised dog and wolf packs, they found that wolves were the tolerant, cooperative ones.

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August 20 2014

Bottlenose Dolphin Makes Rare Interspecies Adoption


A rare adoption has taken place in New Zealand, where a bottlenose dolphin has taken up the rearing responsibilities for a common dolphin.

The New Zealand Herald reports that in the waters of Bay of Islands, a baby common dolphin was spotted nursing from its new mom from another species.

The baby, known locally as "Pee-Wee," is an orphaned calf. The mom, meanwhile, is known as "Kiwi" and lost her own calf five years ago, when she became stranded at the Kerikeri Inlet of Aroha Island while her poor young one was still out at sea.

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August 20 2014

Magpies 'don't steal shiny objects'


Magpies do not steal trinkets and are positively scared of shiny objects, according to new research.

The study appears to refute the myth of the “thieving magpie”, which pervades European folklore.

It is widely believed that magpies have a compulsive urge to steal sparkly things for their nests.

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August 20 2014

The ABC's of animal speech: Not so random after all


The calls of many animals, from whales to wolves, might contain more language-like structure than previously thought, according to study that raises new questions about the evolutionary origins of human language.

The study, published today in the journal Proceedings of the Royal Society B, analyzed the vocal sequences of seven different species of birds and mammals and found that the vocal sequences produced by the animals appear to be generated by complex statistical processes, more akin to human language.


Chimp Chat Recordings Reveal Wide Range of Sounds

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August 19 2014

Amazonian turtle mothers heard 'talking' to hatchlings to get them into the water


Scientists have observed Giant South American river turtles ‘talking’ to their newly-hatched young, using high-pitched vocalisations that carry better through air and shallow water to guide the nestlings into the water.

The findings, published in a recent edition of the journal Herpetologica, constitutes the first known examples of parental care among turtles - an order of reptiles that have been roaming the Earth for more than 220 million years.

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August 19 2014

Camouflage sheet inspired by octopus


Based on the camouflage abilities of octopuses and cuttlefish, engineers in the US have built a flexible material that changes colour to match its surroundings.

The new design features a grid of 1mm cells, containing a temperature-driven dye that switches colour on demand.

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August 19 2014

Self-driving lorries 'to get UK test in 2015'


Fleets of self-driving lorries could be tested on UK roads as soon as next year, according to reports.

The technology allows a convoy of lorries to travel just a few feet from each other, with just the driver at the front in control.

The initiative would cut fuel consumption, backers said.

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August 19 2014

Should Robot Drivers Kill to Save a Child's Life?


Robots have already taken over the world. It may not seem so because it hasn’t happened in the way science fiction author Isaac Asmiov imagined it in his book I, Robot. City streets are not crowded by humanoid robots walking around just yet, but robots have been doing a lot of mundane work behind closed doors, which humans would rather avoid.


Related: Google's driverless cars designed to exceed speed limit

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August 19 2014

Old car batteries could make cheaper, more efficient solar panels


Lead-acid car batteries have the potential to cause a whole host of environmental issues, but their continued use – which allows manufacturers to recycle the dangerous lead from one battery to another – keeps the pollutants out of the environment. As those batteries are retired in favor of newer, more efficient types (like lithium-ion batteries), however, we’ll stop having somewhere for all that lead to go. According to engineers at MIT, we can recycle them to make long-lasting, low-cost solar panels.

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August 19 2014

Emerging solar plants scorch birds in mid-air


IVANPAH DRY LAKE, Calif. – Workers at a state-of-the-art solar plant in the Mojave Desert have a name for birds that fly through the plant's concentrated sun rays — "streamers," for the smoke plume that comes from birds that ignite in midair.

Federal wildlife investigators who visited the BrightSource Energy plant last year and watched as birds burned and fell, reporting an average of one "streamer" every two minutes, are urging California officials to halt the operator's application to build a still-bigger version.

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August 19 2014

Spill Some Oil? Magnetize It for Cleanup


Oil and water don't mix. Despite that age-old axiom, it sure is hard to get spilled petroleum out of seawater, as was evident during BP's blowout in the Gulf of Mexico. But what if you could make oil magnetic?

That thought came to physicist Arden Warner while he watched coverage of the spill back in 2010.

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August 19 2014

Solomons town first in Pacific to relocate due to climate change


LONDON (Thomson Reuters Foundation) - Under threat from rising sea levels and tsunamis, the authorities of a provincial capital in the Solomon Islands have decided to relocate from a small island in the first such case in the Pacific islands.

Choiseul, a township of around 1,000 people on Taro Island, a coral atoll in Choiseul Bay, is less than two meters (6.6 feet) above sea level. Its vulnerability to storm surges and tsunamis caused by earthquakes is expected to be compounded in the future by rising seas.

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August 19 2014

Sun's activity influences natural climate change, ice age study shows


A new study has, for the first time, reconstructed solar activity during the last ice age. The study shows that the regional climate is influenced by the sun and offers opportunities to better predict future climate conditions in certain regions.

For the first time, a research team has been able to reconstruct the solar activity at the end of the last ice age, around 20,000-10,000 years ago.

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August 19 2014

What WAS this bright circle of lights over Houston? Bright, oval UFO photographed


Could a UFO have visited Texas this week?

Several people have taken it to Twitter to post pictures showing a strange object floating through the Houston clouds during a storm last Monday.

Some of the pictures show a bright oval object hovering. An unrelated picture shows a similar object through clouds.

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News desk archive...

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