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August 29 2014

Were the mystery Pacific lights caused by an 'energy bubble'?


Earlier this week a pilot and his co-pilot spotted a mysterious orange and red glow while flying over the Pacific Ocean. The strange lights baffled the pilots, with no obvious explanation available.

But a Nasa researcher has told MailOnline that he thinks the answer may lie in an 'energised bubble' in Earth's atmosphere caused by either solar wind, a powerful microwave beam or even a controversial research station in Alaska.

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August 28 2014

Schrödinger's cat caught on quantum film


Schrödinger's cat is the poster child for quantum weirdness. Now it has been immortalised in a portrait created by one of the theory's strangest consequences: quantum entanglement.

These images were generated using a cat stencil and entangled photons. The really spooky part is that the photons used to generate the image never interacted with the stencil, while the photons that illuminated the stencil were never seen by the camera.

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August 28 2014

Do we live in a 2-D hologram? New Fermilab experiment will test the nature of the universe


A unique experiment at the U.S. Department of Energy’s Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory called the Holometer has started collecting data that will answer some mind-bending questions about our universe – including whether we live in a hologram.

Much like characters on a television show would not know that their seemingly 3-D world exists only on a 2-D screen, we could be clueless that our 3-D space is just an illusion.

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August 28 2014

Water clouds tentatively detected just 7 light-years from Earth


Astronomers have found signs of water ice clouds on an object just 7.3 light-years from Earth—less than twice the distance of Alpha Centauri, the nearest star system to the sun. If confirmed, the discovery is the first sighting of water clouds beyond our solar system. The clouds shroud a Jupiter-sized object known as a brown dwarf and should yield insight into the nature of cool giant planets orbiting other suns.

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August 28 2014

Modern Research Borne on a Relic - Airships That Carry Science Into the Stratosphere


Airships are dusty relics of aviation history. Lighter-than-air vehicles conjure images of the Hindenburg, in its glory and destruction, and the Goodyear Blimp, a floating billboard that barely resembles its powerful predecessors.

But now engineers are designing sleek new airships that could streak past layers of cloud and chart a course through the thin, icy air of the stratosphere, 65,000 feet above the ground — twice the usual altitude of a jetliner.

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August 28 2014

Evidence for supernovas near Earth


Once every 50 years, more or less, a massive star explodes somewhere in the Milky Way. The resulting blast is terrifyingly powerful, pumping out more energy in a split second than the sun emits in a million years. At its peak, a supernova can outshine the entire Milky Way.

It seems obvious that you wouldn't want a supernova exploding near Earth. Yet there is growing evidence that one did—actually, more than one.

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August 28 2014

Scientists see the 'soul' of the Sun


Scientists have confirmed how the Sun makes 99 per cent of its energy.

They have detected subatomic particles called pp neutrinos, they report in the journal Nature.


Related: Strange Neutrinos from the Sun Detected for the First Time

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August 28 2014

Squid skin inspires eye-like photodetector


The technology behind a new type of photodetector mimics the way squid likely sense colors.

Cephalopods like octopus and squid are masters of camouflage, but they are also color-blind. Scientists suspect that cephalopods may detect color directly through their skin.

Based on that hypothesis, Bob Zheng, a graduate student at Rice University, set out to design a photonic system that could detect colored light.

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August 28 2014

The man who grew eyes


The train line from mainland Kobe is a marvel of urban transportation. Opened in 1981, Japan’s first driverless, fully automated train pulls out of Sannomiya station, guided smoothly along elevated tracks that stand precariously over the bustling city streets below, across the bay to the Port Island.

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August 28 2014

Self-driving cars need 'adjustable ethics' set by owners


One of the issues of self-driving vehicles is legal liability for death or injury in the event of an accident. If the car maker programs the car so the driver has no choice, is it likely the company could be sued over the car's actions.

One way around this is to shift liability to the car owner by allowing them to determine a set of values or options in the event of an accident.

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August 28 2014

One man and his droid: could robots replace sheep dogs?


The bucolic custom of a shepherd rounding-up his flock with a sheep dog is one of the few farming traditions which have endured in Britain, despite the mechanisation of much of the industry.

But technology could be at last threatening the Border Collie, after academics discovered the algorithm for herding sheep.

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August 28 2014

Designers Remake Our Oldest Tool Using Our Newest Tool


The hand axe is the first tool. Ever. Contrary to the opening sequence of 2001: A Space Odyssey, this tool isn't a bone, but a pointy rock - which is pretty impressive when you consider that it dates back at least 1.5 million years. Typically made of a flint stone, rounded on one side, pointed on the other, with sharp edges in between, the hand axe was an all-purpose utility tool used for hunting, digging, chopping and whatever other tasks early hominids could dream up. Today, we can dream up a lot more.

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August 28 2014

Stone-tipped spears lethal, may indicate early cognitive and social skills


Attaching a stone tip on to a wooden spear shaft was a significant innovation for early modern humans living around 500,000 years ago. However, it was also a costly behavior in terms of time and effort to collect, prepare and assemble the spear. Stone tips break more frequently than wooden spears, requiring more frequent replacement and upkeep, and the fragility of a broken point could necessitate multiple thrusts to an angry animal. So, why did early hunters begin to use stone-tipped spears?

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August 28 2014

Utah's Great Gallery rock art younger than expected, say scientists


Ancient Barrier Canyon-style paintings crafted on sunset-washed rock faces of the Great Gallery, located in Horseshoe Canyon in southern Utah's Canyonlands National Park, are younger than expected, say Utah State University scientists.

"The most accepted hypotheses pointed to the age of these paintings as 2,000 to 4,000 years old or perhaps even 7,000 to 8,000 years old.

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August 28 2014

Ani ruins reveal hidden secrets from below


The underground secrets of the historic Ani Ruins, an ancient, 5,000-year-old Armenian city located on the Turkish-Armenian border in the eastern province of Kars, have been revealed.

While speaking at the recent “International Ani-Kars Symposium,” history researcher Sezai Yazıcı said secret water channels, undiscovered monk cells, meditation rooms, huge corridors, intricate tunnels, unbelievable traps and corners that make one lose their sense of direction were just some of the unknown underground structures located at the ancient site.

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August 28 2014

Alexander the Great-Era Tomb Will Soon Reveal Its Secrets


As archaeologists continue to clear dirt and stone slabs from the entrance of a huge tomb in Greece, excitement is building over what excavators may find inside.

The monumental burial complex — which dates back to the fourth century B.C., during the era of Alexander the Great — is enclosed by a marble wall that runs 1,600 feet (490 meters) around the perimeter. It has been quietly revealed over the last two years, during excavations at the Kasta Hill site in ancient Amphipolis in the Macedonian region of Greece.

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August 28 2014

New Articles: Hercules-Balarama and the Institution of Kingship in Ancient Egypt


This article is a continuation of a couple of previous articles that I have written on the topic of Hercules and Balarama, and their Egyptian counterpart Khonsu. In this two-part article, I shall explore the lasting impact that Hercules had on the institution of Kingship in ancient Egypt. But, before I begin, here is a brief outline of what I had discussed in the previous two articles.


Part 1
Part 2

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