A landfill in Strambino, Italy. (Credit: MikeDotta/Shutterstock)
I want to say just one word to you. Just one word. Are you listening?
There was indeed a great future in plastics back in 1967 when “The Graduate” came out, and those words ring true even today as plastic production continues to soar. Try imagining toothbrushes, dashboards, pens, video game controllers, the ephemera of our daily lives, made from wood or metal — plastics are indispensable ...read more
The month of June by itself was third warmest in records dating back 138 years, according to NOAA
The Mer de Glace, or “Sea of Ice,” is the best known part of the Mount Blanc Glacier in France. It has been receding rapidly for the past 30 years, now at a rate of about 15 feet each year. (Photo courtesy of Wendy Redal)
The Earth has been cooling somewhat since the epic El Niño of 2015/2016. But even so, conditions are still plenty warm.
The National Oceanic and Atmo ...read more
Back in 2013, a Nature Reviews Neuroscience paper appeared called Power failure: why small sample size undermines the reliability of neuroscience. This paper got a lot of attention at the time and has since been cited a dizzying 1760 times according to Google.
‘Power Failure’ made waves for its stark message that most neuroscience studies are too small, leaving neuroscience lacking statistical power, the chance of detecting signal in the noise. As the authors Kate Button et al. wrot ...read more
Newly discovered archaeological evidence suggests the first Australians arrived at least 65,000 years ago, which challenges the increasingly shaky conventional timeline for human evolution and migration.
New archaeological evidence supports an idea previously suggested by genetic studies: The first humans arrived in Australia at least 65,000 years ago. This earlier arrival date means humans were present Down Under before its widespread megafauna extinction, an event in which human activity  ...read more
By Brad Mehlenbacher (North Carolina State University) and Ashley Rose Mehlenbacher (University of Waterloo)
Through citizen science projects, the Bodleian Library is improving access to their music collections, the Smithsonian is transcribing important documents, and researchers at the University of Oxford are transcribing Ancient Greek text from Greco-Roman Egypt. Although these projects represent promising examples of the humanities and social sciences, citizen science projects in these field ...read more
If you hadn’t heard, Elon Musk is worried about the machines.
Though that may seem a quixotic stance for the head of multiple tech companies to take, it seems that his proximity to the bleeding edge of technological development has given him the heebie-jeebies when it comes to artificial intelligence. He’s shared his fears of AI running amok before, likening it to “summoning the demon,” and Musk doubled down on his stance at a meeting of ...read more
CHRX 73 B is a 12-Jupiter-mass planet circling a red dwarf star like the stars under investigation by the Red Dots campaign. (Credit: NASA, ESA and G. Bacon [STScI])
The Pale Red Dot team is coasting off the success of their discovery last year of a planet in the Proxima Centauri system system by casting its net even wider as the Red Dots campaign.
Whereas Pale Red Dot focused just on Proxima Centauri, Red Dots is looking toward Barnard’s Star and Ross 154 as well. These three ...read more
Disney’s planned attractions for a Star Wars theme park include requiring visitors to help pilot the Millennium Falcon through danger and fight off TIE Fighters. Credit: Disney
Disney tech is getting ready to grant the wish of any Star Wars fan who ever wished to stand inside the cavernous space of a Star Destroyer hanger or help fly the Millennium Falcon during a space battle. The entertainment giant has promised a “revolutionary new vacation experience” ...read more
Say hello to JAXA’s Int-Ball. (Credit: JAXA)
An adorable documentarian has joined the International Space Station crew.
The Japanese Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) recently shipped its spherical camera drone to the ISS—thank you, SpaceX—to serve as another set of eyes and ears for ground control. It’s called the JEM Internal Ball Camera, but everyone’s referring to the little feller as “Int-Ball.” Last week, JAXA released the first images of ...read more
I like to believe she’s thinking “What?! Dog domestication might go back 40,000 years to a single event?” — per a new Nature Communications study — but I know she’s just wondering how long she has to sit still looking Mordorable before she gets another piece of cheese. (Credit William Zuback/Discover)
Dogs are our first friends — they’re the only animal domesticated while we were still a bunch of motley hunter-gatherers. But pinpointing ...read more
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