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June 29 2014

Neuroscience: The man who saw time stand still


One day, a man saw time itself stop, and as David Robson discovers, unpicking what happened is revealing that we can all experience temporal trickery too.

It started as a headache, but soon became much stranger. Simon Baker entered the bathroom to see if a warm shower could ease his pain. “I looked up at the shower head, and it was as if the water droplets had stopped in mid-air”, he says. “They came into hard focus rapidly, over the course of a few seconds”. Where you’d normally perceive the streams as more of a blur of movement, he could see each one hanging in front of him, distorted by the pressure of the air rushing past.

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June 29 2014

New article: The Optical Universe, by Chris Plouffe


I wanted to use this article as an introduction to “The Optical Universe”. A Nature based Science and Philosophy to help explain the Universe and everything in it. This work is inspired by the likes of Nikola Tesla, Viktor Schauberger, and especially Walter and Lao Russell. So I will begin by sharing a description of how I feel this all works and how this can help mold the world into a better place.

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June 29 2014

Could We Be Wrong About The Speed Of Light?


A challenge has been thrown down to the consistency of the speed of light, based on an anomaly from the most closely observed supernovae of all time.

In 1987 astronomers witnessed the only supernova in 400 years close enough to Earth to see with the naked eye. The first hint of the event came not from telescopes, but neutrino detectors.

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June 29 2014

Mysterious X-ray signal intrigues astronomers


A mysterious X-ray signal has been found in a detailed study of galaxy clusters using NASA's Chandra X-ray Observatory and ESA's XMM-Newton. One intriguing possibility is that the X-rays are produced by the decay of sterile neutrinos, a type of particle that has been proposed as a candidate for dark matter.

While holding exciting potential, these results must be confirmed with additional data to rule out other explanations and determine whether it is plausible that dark matter has been observed.

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June 29 2014

Prisons are terrible, and there’s finally a way to get rid of them


Why do prisons exist? In theory, because we need them. They keep bad guys off the street. They give people a reason to not commit crimes. They provide a place where violent or otherwise threatening people can be rehabilitated.

But prisons aren't the only way to accomplish those goals. Technological advancements are, some observers say, making it possible to replace the current system of large-scale imprisonment, in large part, with alternatives that are not as expensive, inhumane, or socially destructive, and which at the same time do a better job of controlling crime. The most promising of these alternatives fits on an ankle.

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June 29 2014

‘Bad’ video game behavior increases players’ moral sensitivity


BUFFALO, N.Y. — New evidence suggests heinous behavior played out in a virtual environment can lead to players’ increased sensitivity toward the moral codes they violated.

That is the surprising finding of a study led by Matthew Grizzard, PhD, assistant professor in the University at Buffalo Department of Communication, and co-authored by researchers at Michigan State University and the University of Texas, Austin.

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June 29 2014

Forget passwords – to log in, just start typing


Software can identify peole based solely on the way they use their mouse and keyboard, and it could let us do away with passwords altogether

AS WE sit hunched over our keyboards, it is hard to believe that the way we peck at the keys and swish the cursor around is unique. But several companies believe this could be used to prove our identity, doing away with one of the most annoying aspects of digital life: passwords.

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June 29 2014

Can You Feel Something If You Don't Have a Word For It?


Have you ever had a feeling that you didn't have a word for? If you haven't, do you think that such feelings don't exist? One anthropologist's work seems to suggest that not having a word for a real feeling can happen — and that it can really screw up both a person and a culture.

In the early 1960s, Robert Levy, an anthropologist, spent two years in the Society Islands in Tahiti. Ten years later he came out with a book that coined the word "hypocognition", which was all about a society's inability to coin an appropriate word.

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June 29 2014

Facebook manipulated users' emotions as part of psychological experiment – study


Facebook conducted a psychological experiment on its users by manipulating their emotions without their knowledge, a new study reveals.

Researchers toyed with the feelings of 689,003 randomly selected English-speaking Facebook users by changing the contents of their news feed, according to a paper published in the June edition of the journal 'Proceedings of the National Academy of Scientists' (PNAS).

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June 29 2014

Musical talent takes nature and nurture


When it comes to musical ability, nature works in tandem with nurture, according to new research.

A study of 850 sets of twins finds that genetics and environment work together to help people become accomplished musicians. It’s another arrow in the quiver of the argument that both nature and nurture play a role in developing expertise.

“The nature vs. nurture debate has raged since the beginning of psychology”.

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June 29 2014

Health Impact of Vitamin Pills Remains Uncertain in Developed World


In 1911, Polish biochemist Casimir Funk discovered what was behind a then-mysterious neurological condition known as beriberi, common in regions where people's main source of calories came from de-husked, or 'polished', rice. He fed a group of ill pigeons a substance he had isolated from rice polishings, and within 12 hours, they had recovered. Funk went on to propose that a handful of puzzling ailments including beriberi and scurvy arose because of deficiencies in nutrients like the one he had found in the rice husks. He considered these chemicals vital amines, which he shortened to “vitamines”.

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June 29 2014

NASA unveils space suit fit for Mars


Though its styling suggests 1980s sci-fi, NASA’s newly revealed Z-2 space suit is the astronaut apparel of the future. It is the second mock-up of a suit that NASA hopes will eventually protect explorers walking on Mars or drilling into an asteroid. “Space suit design is predicated on where you’re going and what you’re doing".

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June 29 2014

Nasa 'flying saucer' tests Mars tech


A US space agency (Nasa) experiment on Saturday to test future Mars landing technologies proved largely successful.

A flying saucer-shaped vehicle was sent high into the atmosphere via a balloon to trial a new type of parachute and an inflatable Kevlar ring that could help slow down a spacecraft as it approaches the Red Planet's surface.

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June 29 2014

Newfound Alien Planet 'Gliese 832c' May Be Able To Support Life


A newfound alien world might be able to support life — and it's just a stone's throw from Earth in the cosmic scheme of things.

An international team of astronomers has discovered an exoplanet in the star Gliese 832's "habitable zone" — the just-right range of distances that could allow liquid water to exist on a world's surface. The planet, known as Gliese 832c, lies just 16 light-years from Earth.

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June 28 2014

Pollution on other worlds may show advanced alien life


Life is messy. So to find aliens, why not look for their pollution?

As part of its mission, NASA's upcoming James Webb Space Telescope (JWST) will be able to look at starlight filtered through the atmospheres of Earth-sized planets and search for signs of life. Most proposed plans involve hunting for highly reactive gases such as oxygen that usually need a living source to replenish them. But these methods might only hint at relatively simple life such as plants and microbes.

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June 28 2014

Ancient Asteroid Destroyer Finally Found, And It's a New Kind of Meteorite


For 50 years, scientists have wondered what annihilated the ancestor of L-chondrites, the roof-smashing, head-bonking meteorites that frequently pummel Earth.

Now, a new kind of meteorite discovered in a southern Sweden limestone quarry may finally solve the mystery, scientists report. The strange new rock may be the missing "other half" from one of the biggest interstellar collisions in a billion years.

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June 28 2014

The properties of a six-meter near-Earth object


Near Earth Objects (NEOs) are asteroids (or comets) whose orbits sometimes bring them close to the earth's orbit. Thus they could potentially collide with the Earth, giving them considerably more parochial interest than most objects in astronomy. The 1908 Tunguska event, for example, that flattened over 2000 square kilometers in Russia was by some basic estimates caused by an asteroid about 60 meters in diameter.

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