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Recent developments within the TEDx conference (Technology, Entertainment, and Design) community of organizers are indicative of a rising tide of intolerance in the world of science. Historically, TED has provided an influential forum for cutting edge ideas that may not otherwise have had a fair hearing in the public arena. Recent events, however, should cause one to question the credibility of TED and are a reflection of the increasingly polarized debate between science and religion in American culture.
See Graham's commentary on the latest developments regarding the TEDx video removal here:
"In brief it looks like TED Curator Chris Anderson opened Pandora's Box -- further details below -- when he authorised the removal of talks by myself and Rupert Sheldrake from the TEDx Youtube channel..."
It's 4/20 time again this week. For those who aren't part of the Millennial generation, 4/20 is unofficial "Weed Day" in America —a counterculture phenomenon that has drawn up to 10,000 marijuana legalization activists at college campuses in the U.S. in some years.
A small group of soldiers, police officers and sexual assault victims suffering from chronic post-traumatic stress disorder will soon see if the rave party drug ecstasy can ease their symptoms.
The research group that will oversee the Vancouver-based study just received 9 grams of MDMA (methylenedioxymethamphetamine, also known as ecstasy) from Switzerland after obtaining a long-awaited import permit for the prohibited drug.
It was only last year that NASA reported the development of a real world impulse drive, one that runs on dilithium crystals no less. And there was much rejoicing. But the Star Wars vs Star Trek debate knows no bounds. None, I tell you.
This year — in fact this very week — researchers at MIT have announced that they are developing a powerful "Ionic Wind" engine, capable of outperforming conventional jet engines. This is not a new concept, as any Star Wars fan knows. For crying out loud, the TIE in "TIE Fighter" stands for Twin Ion Engine. Ionic wind power has also been around for a while in the real world, but that's beside the point.
The Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence, or SETI, is a speculative venture. There is currently zero evidence for the existence of extraterrestrial life, let alone intelligent extraterrestrial life — why the heck are we bothering to search for life forms advanced enough to blast radio waves into space? As speculative as this hunt may be, it is based on sound science methodology and, should the slightest hint of alien intelligence be detected, it would transform our understanding about our place in this grand cosmic sandbox.
A new paper led by a NASA researcher shows that hydrogen peroxide is abundant across much of the surface of Jupiter's moon Europa. The authors argue that if the peroxide on the surface of Europa mixes into the ocean below, it could be an important energy supply for simple forms of life, if life were to exist there. The paper was published online recently in the Astrophysical Journal Letters.
NASA's Kepler planet-hunting probe has identified two potentially habitable planets only a little bigger than Earth, circling a star that's 1,200 light-years away. The planets could conceivably be covered by a global ocean, and they may well lead the growing list of alien worlds that can host life as we know it.
When Alexandra Cousteau, granddaughter of Jacques, recently went to Mexico to explore the southern terminus of the Colorado River, she found mud, sand and dust where water once raged. The expedition was videotaped for a short film (viewable below) produced in conjunction with Cousteau’s nonprofit, Blue Legacy, which raises awareness about water issues. The video was called Death of a River: The Colorado River Delta.
That title, it turns out, is an apt one: Today, the conservation organization American Rivers released its annual ranking of America’s most endangered rivers, and the Colorado topped the list.
BEIJING, April 21 (Xinhua) -- More than 1.5 million people in southwest China's Sichuan Province have been affected by Saturday's strong earthquake, said the Ministry of Civil Affairs here Sunday.
The quake has affected 69 counties in the province, said the statement from the ministry.
Related: Magnitude 6.6 Earthquake Strikes China
An earthquake of preliminary magnitude 6.0 struck today east of the Kuril Islands, according to the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS).
Hurricane Irene, a powerful storm that ran north along the US East Coast five days after a magnitude 5.8 earthquake rattled Virginia, may have triggered some of that earthquake’s aftershocks, scientists reported today at the annual meeting of the Seismological Society of America in Salt Lake City, Utah.
As recently as 5,000 years ago, the Sahara—today a vast desert in northern Africa, spanning more than 3.5 million square miles—was a verdant landscape, with sprawling vegetation and numerous lakes. Ancient cave paintings in the region depict hippos in watering holes, and roving herds of elephants and giraffes—a vibrant contrast with today's barren, inhospitable terrain.
The rise of crowdfunding in the United Kingdom has taken another step forward as UK-based DigVentures launches the world’s first archaeology crowdfunding platform.
DigVentures was started in 2012 as a response to the dwindling of traditional sources of funding for archaeology. The organisation’s ‘social contract archaeology’ model is a whole new way of funding archaeology, which puts the public in the driver’s seat as both the funders, as well as the participants in excavations.
The Djehuty Project, led by the Spanish National Research Council (CSIC), has discovered on the hill of Dra Abu el-Naga in Luxor (ancient Thebes), the burials of four personages belonging to the elite of the 17th Dynasty of Ancient Egypt, who lived about 3.550 years ago. These findings, discovered during the 12th campaign of archeological excavations of the project, shed light on a little-known historical period in which Thebes becomes the capital of the kingdom and the empire's foundations become established with the dominance of Egypt over Palestine and Syria to the north, and over Nubia to the south.
Extinguished. Vanished. Wiped out. These are just some of the words historians have used to describe the fate of the Taíno, the indigenous group that greeted the Spanish when they first set foot in the Americas in 1492. Even dictionaries define them as an “extinct Arawakan Indian tribe of the West Indies.” But try telling the growing number of people living in the Caribbean—Cuba, Dominican Republic, Haiti, Puerto Rico and other islands—as well as the United States mainland who identify themselves as Taíno that they no longer exist.
Ötzi the Iceman, the world’s oldest wet mummy, may have had many things in life, but a dazzling smile and fresh breath were not among them. A team of researchers from the Centre for Evolutionary Medicine at the University of Zurich announced that Otzi’s oral hygiene left a lot to be desired, to put it mildly. The 5,000-year-old mummy’s mouth is filled with cavities, a broken tooth, and a bad case of gum disease—problems that still plague people today.
Diseased ancestor or mini-me? The debate over where the so-called "hobbit," or Homo floresiensis, came from has raged since researchers discovered its remains on the remote Indonesian island of Flores (map) in 2003. Some researchers said its diminutive size was the result of disease, while others believed it descended from a small-bodied human ancestor.
But a new study, published April 17 in the journal Proceedings of the Royal Society B, says that clues to the hobbit-like human's ancestry lies in the size of its brain. The hobbit's gray matter is actually slightly larger than previously thought, according to the study's authors.
Excavation near Stonehenge found evidence of a settlement dating back to 7,500 BC, revealing the site was occupied some 5,000 years earlier than previously thought.
In the global aftershock zone that followed the major April 2012 Indian Ocean earthquake, seismologists noticed an unusual pattern. The magnitude (M) 8.6 earthquake, a strike-slip event at intraoceanic tectonic plates, caused global seismic rates of M≥4.5 to rise for several days, even at distances thousands of kilometers from the mainshock site. However, the rate of M≥6.5 seismic activity subsequently dropped to zero for the next 95 days.
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