What Happens If The San Andreas Fault Cracks

What Happens If The San Andreas Fault CracksThe director of the Southern California Earthquake Center, Thomas Jordan, made an announcement recently that would have sent a chill down the spine of every Californian: that the San Andreas fault appears to be in a critical state and as such, could generate a large earthquake imminently.

Did Our Helpless Babies Make Humans Smarter?

Did Our Helpless Babies Make Humans Smarter?"Our theory explains specifically why primates developed superintelligence but dinosaurs—who faced many of the same environmental pressures and had more time to do so—did not. Dinosaurs matured in eggs, so there was no linking between intelligence and infant immaturity at birth," says Celeste Kidd.

Science Relies On Computer Modelling – So What Happens When It Goes Wrong?

Science Relies On Computer Modelling – So What Happens When It Goes Wrong?From the transforming discovery of penicillin to the theories of relativity and quantum mechanics, science progressed with mind-boggling speed even before there were computers. Much of this is down to the robustness of the scientific method: scientific results are validated by being replicated and extended by other scientists.

Why The Internet Isn't Making Us Smarter

Why The Internet Isn't Making Us SmarterIn the hours since I first sat down to write this piece, my laptop tells me the National Basketball Association has had to deny that it threatened to cancel its 2017 All-Star Game over a new anti-LGBT law in North Carolina – a story repeated by many news sources including the Associated Press.

How Email Has Survived And Continues To Thrive

How Email Has Survived And Continues To ThriveAsk around – everyone has an opinion about their email and their inbox, and it’s not always positive. From information overload, zero inbox and leaked email scandals to the much-hyped triumph of workflow software like Slack and Asana, email has certainly had a bad rap recently.

The Five Most Common Misunderstandings About Evolution

Do I resemble your great-great-grandfather by any chance? DaniRevi/pixabayGiven its huge success in describing the natural world for the past 150 years, the theory of evolution is remarkably misunderstood. In a recent episode of the Australian series of “I’m a Celebrity Get Me Out of Here”, former cricket star Shane Warne questioned the theory – asking “if humans evolved from monkeys, why haven’t today’s monkeys evolved”?

Why Do We Have To Wait For Scientific News?

Peer-reviewed and published. Maggie Villiger, CC BY-ND Purposes of a press embargoExtra, extra! The embargo’s lifted, read all about it. Rumors were flying through the blogosphere this winter: physicists at the Advanced Laser Interferometer Gravitational-Wave Observatory (LIGO) may finally have directly detected gravitational waves, ripples in the fabric of space-time predicted by Einstein 100 years ago in his general theory of relativity. Gravitational waves were predicted to be produced by cataclysmic...

How Computers Help Biologists Crack Life's Secrets

How Computers Help Biologists Crack Life's SecretsOnce the three-billion-letter-long human genome was sequenced, we rushed into a new “omics” era of biological research. Scientists are now racing to sequence the genomes (all the genes) or proteomes (all the proteins) of various organisms – and in the process are compiling massive amounts of data.

A Handful Of Bronze-Age Men Could Have Fathered Two Thirds Of Europeans

A Handful Of Bronze-Age Men Could Have Fathered Two Thirds Of EuropeansFor such a large and culturally diverse place, Europe has surprisingly little genetic variety. Learning how and when the modern gene-pool came together has been a long journey. But thanks to new technological advances a picture is slowly coming together of repeated colonisation by peoples from the east with more efficient lifestyles.

Homebrewed Morphine: No Poppies Required

Homebrewed Morphine: No Poppies RequiredFans of homebrewed beer and backyard distilleries already know how to employ yeast to convert sugar into alcohol. Now, bioengineers have gone much further by completing key steps needed to turn sugar-fed yeast into a microbial factory for producing morphine and potentially other drugs, including antibiotics and anti-cancer therapeutics.

What To Do About The Increasingly Noisy World

What To Do About The Increasingly Noisy WorldWe live in an increasingly noisy world. Since even low-level noise can affect quality of life, new tools to deal with noise are welcome. “Auralisation”, the audio equivalent of visualisation, is now helping to model and improve the sound of our living and working spaces, as well as recovering the acoustics of past environments.

The Future Me: Now You See Me, Now You Don’t

The Future Me: Now You See Me, Now You Don’t

What will you and I—and our descendants—become over the next decades or centuries? Is the answer to this question self-evident? Or will we be radically different from how we are now? All that follows from this thought is conjecture, but it is more than a venture into fantasy or science fiction.

Down the Rabbit Hole: Timing Is Everything

Down the Rabbit Hole: Timing Is EverythingFast-forward about 150 years from Alice in Wonderland’s time and we all find ourselves down a version of her rabbit hole. The Maya call this the lifetime of change. I like to refer to it as the lifetime full of lifetimes of change. How many “lifetimes” have you lived within this lifetime?

Brains Can Make Decisions While We Sleep

Brains Can Make Decisions While We Sleep

The idea that during sleep our minds shut down from the outside world is ancient and one that is still deeply anchored in our view of sleep today, despite some everyday life experiences and recent scientific discoveries that would tend to prove our brains don’t completely switch off from our environment.

Ignore the IQ Test: Your Level of Intelligence Is Not Fixed For Life

 Ignore the IQ Test: Your Level of Intelligence Is Not Fixed For Life

We’re getting more stupid. That’s one point made in a recent article in the New Scientist, reporting on a gradual decline in IQs in developed countries... Such research feeds into a long-held fascination with testing human intelligence. Yet such debates are too focused on IQ as a life-long trait that can’t be changed. Other research is beginning to show the opposite.

Unknown Unknowns: The Amazing Secrets of Nature

Unknown Unknowns: The Amazing Secrets of Nature

Scientists are tapping into the secret wisdom of trees—even when they don't know what they're looking for. Thomas Swetnam understands how unforeseeable insights and technological developments can lead us toward new discoveries and conclusions. “There’s the known unknown,” he says, “and then there’s the unknown unknown.”

"See Through" Solar Windows Go Big

New See Through Solar Windows Go Big

The company New Energy Technologies is reporting a breakthrough in their see through solar window technology and it’s all about size. When New Energy began developing a solar glass coating several years ago, it started out as a solution in a vial before progressing to a tiny square. In the latest development...

Google's Glucose Contact Lenses Could Transform Diabetes Care

Google's Glucose Contact Lenses Could Transform Diabetes Care

Google has teamed up with researchers at the University of Washington to create a contact lens that can measure blood glucose levels in a person’s tears and display the reading on their mobile phone. If this smart contact lens project is successful, people with diabetes may be able to stop drawing blood to measure their sugar levels.

Sunspot Cycles and Human Behavior

Sunspot Cycles and Human Behavior

Since the 1800s astronomers have noted that there is an eleven and a twenty-two-year sunspot cycle; that is, for some years there would be hardly any sunspots, and then for some years the sun's face would be as blotchy as a teenager with acne. It was discovered that sunspot emissions affected a wide variety of...

No December 30th in Samoa?

Dateline prior to December 2011 shift

The 186,000 residents of the island of Samoa will go to bed on December 29th and wake up on December 31st. They will have missed a whole day! No, they won't have slept 24 hours, they will simply be experiencing the...

First Planet in the Habitable Zone Confirmed


NASA's Kepler mission has confirmed its first planet in the "habitable zone," the region where liquid water could exist on a planet’s surface. Kepler also has discovered more than 1,000 new planet candidates, nearly doubling its previously known count. Ten of these candidates are near-Earth-size and orbit in the habitable zone of their host star. Candidates require follow-up observations to verify they are actual planets.

Earth's Magnetic & Physical Shift

The magnetic field around the Earth feeds the magnetic fields around our brains and within each individual brain cell. Our memory and synaptic functions are dependent on this magnetic field remaining strong. When the field drops, things don’t work right.

The Great Shift: 11:11, 12.21.12 & 13:13

Do you often see the numbers 11:11, or even various triple digits when you glance at your digital clock such as 4:44, 5:55, etc.? Have you wondered if there was any significance to this or if it was just a random occurrence? Does this have anything to do with the year 2012? There are clues to...

Evolution or Extinction

Had he lived today, Hamlet, Prince of Denmark, would affirm with deeper conviction than ever: To be or not to be is indeed the question. This living blue-green planet, the home of humanity -- how long will it support us? Will we manage to evolve as a conscious social and cultural species -- or will we become extinct like the dinosaurs?

Genetic Engineering -- Is It Safe???

Genetic engineering -- of food and other products -- has far outrun the science that must be its first governing discipline. Therein lies the peril, the risk, and the foolhardiness. Scientists who do not recognize this chasm may be practicing 'corporate science' driven by sales, profits, proprietary secrets, and political influence-peddling.

Changing the Weather

If you choose to change the weather, you can. But why would you? Isn't there love in a storm? You see, the ego gets caught up with it. The ego judges that a storm is something bad, something not desirable. And as a result, it wants to change it. We would suggest this isn't about change as much as it is about acceptance and appreciation.

Communicating With Insects

When we consider interspecies communication we usually think in terms of human-creature exchanges or interactions in which some kind of relationship has been established. But it is not uncommon for us to experience an interaction with members of the plant kingdom...


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