News Desk Archive

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September 7 2014

California to be first US state to ban plastic bags


California governor Jerry Brown said he will approve a ban on single-use plastic bags, in what would make the western US state the first to outlaw them.

Lawmakers passed the bill late last Friday, and it now only requires Brown's signature to pass into law. The governor must do so before the end of September.

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September 7 2014

Is this the end of the war on trees? UN members pledge to restore woodland and safeguard rainforests


Since the birth of agriculture thousands of years ago, humans have cut down the world's forests to grow food and expand their population.

But now experts believe the end of our "war on trees" is in sight amid what some are calling a new "green revolution" – finally breaking the causal link between growing numbers of people and falling numbers of trees.

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September 6 2014

99 percent of Sweden’s waste is now reused


Sweden is so efficient at managing waste they’re now importing garbage from other European countries.

Swedes generally waste as much as people in other countries, around 461 kilograms per person each year - but only one percent of that is ending up in landfill, thanks to the country’s innovative “recycling” program.

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September 6 2014

California blue whales bounce back to near historic numbers


Researchers believe that California blue whales have recovered in numbers and the population has returned to sustainable levels.

Scientists say this is the only population of blue whales to have rebounded from the ravages of whaling.

The research team estimate that there are now 2,200 of these giant creatures on the eastern side of the Pacific Ocean.

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September 6 2014

Bill Gates's epic project transforms farming in Africa


"IT'S like having a new life," says Lucy Banda, a farmer in Mwambaso village in western Malawi. Over the past three years she has trebled her farm's output and increased her income 15-fold (see "A life transformed").

Banda is one of 1.75 million African smallholder farmers, 40 per cent of them women, enrolled in a $180-million five-year programme run by the Alliance for a Green Revolution in Africa. AGRA was set up in 2006 by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and the Rockefeller Foundation.

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September 6 2014

Long-lost satellite data reveal new insights to climate change


Once stashed in warehouses in Maryland and North Carolina, images and video captured from orbit by some of NASA’s first environmental satellites in the mid-1960s are now yielding a trove of scientific data. The Nimbus satellites, originally intended to monitor Earth’s clouds in visible and infrared wavelengths, also would have captured images of sea ice, researchers at the University of Colorado’s National Snow and Ice Data Center realized when they heard about the long-lost film canisters in 2009.

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September 6 2014

How Do You Land on a Comet? Very Carefully.


ESA has announced that on September 15, the team from the Rosetta mission will reveal the landing site for the Philae lander. After traveling on a 10-year, 6.4 billion kilometer journey, Rosetta has been gently captured by comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko, an oddly-shaped and mysterious two-lobed comet. Yet, how will the small Philea attempt the landing?


Related: Rosetta mission: Potential comet landing sites chosen.

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September 6 2014

Newfound Asteroid Will Give Earth Super-Close Shave on Sunday


Earth is about to have a close encounter with a house-sized asteroid on Sunday (Sept. 7), when a space rock discovered just days ago will zoom by our planet at a range closer than some satellites. But have no fear, NASA says the asteroid won't hit Earth.

The asteroid 2014 RC will safely buzz Earth at 2:18 p.m. EDT (1818 GMT) on Sunday. At that time, the asteroid will pass over New Zealand and fly just inside the orbits of the geosynchronous communications and weather satellites orbiting Earth about 22,000 miles (36,000 kilometers) above the planet's surface, according to a NASA statement.

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September 6 2014

Memory Problems On Mars Will Force Opportunity Rover Reformat From Earth


NASA’s Opportunity rover, which has been roaming Mars for more than 10 Earth years, requires a flash memory reformat to keep doing science on the Red Planet, the agency wrote in an update Aug. 29 along with its intentions for making that possible quickly.

“Flash-memory induced resets have increased in occurrence, preventing meaningful science until this problem can be corrected,” NASA said on the Opportunity website. “The project is developing plans to reformat the flash file system to correct the problem."

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September 6 2014

Atom-Sized Construction Could Shrink Future Gadgets


The U.S. military doesn't just build big, scary tanks and giant warplanes; it's also interested in teeny, tiny stuff. The Pentagon's latest research project aims to improve today's technologies by shrinking them down to microscopic size.

The recently launched Atoms to Product (A2P) program aims to develop atom-size materials to build state-of-the-art military and consumer products.

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September 6 2014

A University of Florida scientist has grown a living “brain” that can fly a simulated plane


A University of Florida scientist has grown a living “brain” that can fly a simulated plane, giving scientists a novel way to observe how brain cells function as a network.

The “brain” — a collection of 25,000 living neurons, or nerve cells, taken from a rat’s brain and cultured inside a glass dish — gives scientists a unique real-time window into the brain at the cellular level. By watching the brain cells interact, scientists hope to understand what causes neural disorders such as epilepsy and to determine noninvasive ways to intervene.

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September 6 2014

The Bizarre Beast of Bandai


Some strange mysteries are hard to really categorize. There are cases of mysterious creatures or apparitions where it is difficult to discern if you are looking at a mystery animal, a ghost, a phantom, an alien, or all of the above. Certainly counted among these is the curious case of a quiet mountain hamlet on Japan’s Mt. Bandai that was held in the grip of terror by a shadowy, evil, entity that to this day remains unidentified.

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September 6 2014

Pope Pius II Wrote an Erotic Book


Before he was Pope Pius II, Aeneas Sylvius Piccolomini was a poet, scholar, diplomat, and rakehell. And an author. In fact, he wrote a bestseller. People in fifteenth-century Europe couldn’t get enough of his Latin novella Historia de duobus amantibus. An article in a scholarly publication on literature claims that Historia “was undoubtedly one of the most read stories of the whole Renaissance.” The Oxford edition gives a Cliff Notes version of the storyline.

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September 6 2014

Damon's story, by Jonathan Black


Mark Booth, my editor, who writes as Jonathan Black in the UK, is the author of the bestselling "The Secret History of the World". His new book is "The Sacred History", released today in paperback in the UK. Here he shares a story his publishers found so so disturbing that they asked him to omit it from "The Sacred History": http://www.grahamhancock.com/forum/BlackJ3.php.
-Graham

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September 6 2014

The Mystery of the Ancient Roman Tunnel to Hell


There is a place on the northern shore of the Bay of Naples that has long been steeped in history, mystery, myth, and magic. Known as the Phlegræan Fields, it is a desolate place; a barren wasteland strewn with rubble and intersected by deep underground vents that belch out choking fumes and fire. Legends and strange phenomena cling to this hellish, smoke-wreathed landscape, so it is perhaps no wonder that these fields are a location believed since ancient times to hold a tunnel that leads to Hell itself.

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September 6 2014

Millennia-old sunken ship could be world’s oldest, researchers suggest


Underwater excavations led by Ankara University’s Research Center for Maritime Archaeology (ANKUSAM) have uncovered sunken ships ranging from the second century B.C. to the Ottoman period in Izmir's Urla district.

A recent excavation uncovered a ship estimated to date back 4,000 years, which experts say would make it the oldest sunken ship to have been discovered in the Mediterranean.

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September 6 2014

Ancient boat and Stone Age settlement found


Archaeologists are currently raising and examining what is being called the oldest boat ever found in Denmark.

The ancient six to seven metre long vessel is estimated to be 6,500 years old – in comparison, the oldest Pyramid in Egypt is a mere 4,500 years old – and although it is damaged, archaeologists are finding it very interesting.

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