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September 11 2014

Remarkable 17th Century Maps Of The Earth's Interior


Born in 1601, Athanasius Kircher has been hailed as the "last Renaissance Man" owing to his scholarly works in fields as diverse as biology, geology, medicine and technology. Among his most remarkable books was Mundus Subterraneus, a study of the Earth's interior that might have inspired Jules Verne.

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September 11 2014

Ozone layer showing 'signs of recovery', UN says


The ozone layer that shields the earth from cancer-causing ultraviolet rays is showing early signs of thickening after years of depletion, a UN study says.

The ozone hole that appears annually over Antarctica has also stopped growing bigger every year.

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September 11 2014

Iceland Eruption, Largest for a Century, Shows No Signs of Stopping


The largest lava eruption for over a century is currently underway in central Iceland.

Since August 31, liquid rock has been streaming from a mile-long fissure in the plains around Bardarbunga, the country’s second highest volcano. Ármann Höskuldsson, a volcanologist from the University of Iceland, says that the fissure has now spewed more lava, by area, than any eruption since the 19th century.

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September 11 2014

In Bankrupt Detroit, Nature Reclaims Debris Mounds on Vacant Land


DETROIT—On a bright, breezy morning this summer, Orin Gelderloos, a biologist, climbs a steep hillside through a thicket of trees, flowers, and tall grass. He notes the precipitous ravines and admires the elevated view in the otherwise flat terrain.

"This is a very, very interesting combination of things," says Gelderloos, a professor of biology and environmental studies at the University of Michigan-Dearborn. He identifies nine species of plants and six species of trees growing from the mound. "It's a fascinating area.".

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September 11 2014

China Is Mass-Producing Islands To Extend Its Strategic Borders


A dramatic change is taking place in the South China Sea where, since the beginning of this year, Beijing has created at least five new islands by dredging rock and sand and pumping it into reefs to form new land. By doing so, the Chinese are sending a blunt message to its neighbors and the U.S.: Keep out.

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September 11 2014

Internet titans protest ‘fast lanes’ in favor of Net neutrality


Streaming television titan Netflix is among the dozens of websites displaying a dreaded spinning wheel icon Wednesday to rally support for blocking Internet "fast lanes."

It's part of a massive Internet Slowdown protest — joined by dozens of top Internet firms and advocacy groups, including WordPress and the American Civil Liberties Union.

The spinning symbols — usually used to denote a slow-loading page — will not actually slow website performance, but they will link to battleforthenet.com/sept10th, where there are ways to take action to defend Net neutrality.

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September 10 2014

Stonehenge researchers discover site is much larger than previously thought


Stonehenge stood at the heart of a sprawling landscape of chapels, burial mounds, massive pits and ritual shrines, according to an unprecedented survey of the ancient grounds.

Researchers uncovered 17 new chapels and hundreds of archaeological features around the neolithic standing stones on Salisbury Plain, Wiltshire, including forms of monuments that have never been seen before.


Pictures here

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September 10 2014

Three Short Walks Reverse Harmful Effects Of 3 Hours Of Prolonged Sitting


People who sit for prolonged periods, for example office workers at a desk, have a higher chance of experiencing negative health conditions but a study by scientists at Indiana University suggests that just 3 walks of 5 minutes distributed throughout 3 hours of prolonged sitting reverses harm caused to leg arteries.

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September 10 2014

Bacteria from bees possible alternative to antibiotics


Thirteen lactic acid bacteria found in the honey stomach of bees have shown promising results in a series of studies. The group of bacteria counteracted antibiotic-resistant MRSA in lab experiments. The bacteria, mixed into honey, has healed horses with persistent wounds. The formula has previously been shown to protect against bee colony collapse.

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September 10 2014

Oy Vey! European Jews Are All 30th Cousins, Study Finds


If you're European Jewish and meet another European member of the community, odds are you're at least 30th cousins.

A study by an international team suggests the central and eastern European Jewish population, known as Ashkenazi Jews, from whom most American Jews are descended, started from a founding population of about 350 people between 600 and 800 years ago. Further, that group of Jews who experienced this "bottleneck" was of approximately evenly mixed Middle Eastern and European descent.

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September 10 2014

There could be increased numbers of psychopaths in senior managerial positions


For the first time, it has been demonstrated that people with psychopathic tendencies who have high IQs can mask their symptoms by manipulating tests designed to reveal their personalities. It raises the possibility that large numbers of ruthless risk-takers are able to conceal their level of psychopathy as they rise to key managerial posts.

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September 10 2014

Textbook theory behind volcanoes may be wrong


In the typical textbook picture, volcanoes, such as those that are forming the Hawaiian islands, erupt when magma gushes out as narrow jets from deep inside Earth. But that picture is wrong, according to a new study from researchers who conclude that seismology data are now confirming that such narrow jets don't actually exist.

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September 10 2014

Sun-powered desalination for villages in India


Around the world, there is more salty groundwater than fresh, drinkable groundwater. For example, 60 percent of India is underlain by salty water -- and much of that area is not served by an electric grid that could run conventional reverse-osmosis desalination plants. Sun-powered desalination could deliver clean water for off-grid villages.

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September 10 2014

'Solid' light could compute previously unsolvable problems


Researchers at Princeton University have begun crystallizing light as part of an effort to answer fundamental questions about the physics of matter.

The researchers are not shining light through crystal – they are transforming light into crystal. As part of an effort to develop exotic materials such as room-temperature superconductors, the researchers have locked together photons, the basic element of light, so that they become fixed in place.

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September 10 2014

Britain’s X-traordinary Files – Declassified


Out, right now, is the brand new book from David Clarke: Britain's X-traordinary Files. As you may guess from its title, the book deals with British Government records on an astonishingly wide and varied body of paranormal phenomena.

What Dave Clarke’s new book demonstrates, however, is what else the world of officialdom has had in its sights over the years. Some of it, as now-declassified files reveal, was not just weird. It was what we might term beyond weird.

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September 10 2014

The Islamic Roots Of Science Fiction


You probably already knew that Islam was having a scientific golden age during Europe's middle ages, and making tons of scientific and medical discoveries. (Which is why we use words like "algebra.") But you might not know that some of the earliest proto-science fiction came from the Islamic world.

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September 10 2014

Ancient Charm Suggests Earliest Use of Magic in Christian Religion


In the old testament, the story of the Israelites wandering in the desert presents one of the most curious mysteries of the Christian Bible; the source of “manna,” a miracle food that rained from the heavens and provided sustenance.

While often depicted as light-colored and scattered like sand or frost upon the ground, arriving with the dew in the morning, the description given in the book of Numbers described a substance actually more like that of bdellium, a dark-colored, aromatic gum extracted from trees in the Middle East.

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