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Comment Forget Assange (Score 5, Interesting) 919

If any heads should roll over the leaks, it should be those of the guy who stole the data and whatever dunce(s) allowed peons access to the data. Although, overall so far, I'm generally pleased with the leaks because they show that most of the world's leaders are fallible but basically rational human beings. For instance, it is good to see that most of the middle eastern leaders understand that Iranian leaders are nutjobs who cannot be trusted with nuclear weapons. Same goes for China's recognition that Kim Jong Ill is off his rocker. I feel much better about the world in general now because so far the leaked info confirms my suspicion that the world's messes aren't as insurmountable as it sometimes seems.

That said, I am deeply embarrassed that the Pentagon is incompetent enough to have allowed the leak of things said in confidence. They are idiots who shouldn't be trusted with so much power.

Even more, I am embarrassed over the USA's strong-arming of Germany over the arrest of one of its citizens. World ***please*** don't take that kind of shit from us (the USA).

I really think it is high time for the USA to turn over the job of policing the world to a democratically elected world government. It is unfair for the US taxpayers to pay so much for world security and to get all of the blame when our leaders fuck up and holy fuck do they ever fuck up. More importantly, it is unfair to the world for the US to have so much say in how the world is run.

Earth

New Fish Species Discovered 4.5 Miles Under the Ocean 96

eldavojohn writes "The University of Aberdeen's Oceanlab (a partner in the recent census of marine life) has discovered a new snailfish. That might not sound very exciting, unless you consider that its habitat is an impressive four and a half miles below the ocean's surface (video). If my calculations are correct, that's over ten and a half thousand PSI, or about seventy-three million Pascals. The videos and pictures are a couple years old, as the team has traveled around Japan, South America and New Zealand to ascertain the biodiversity of these depths. The group hopes to eventually bring specimens to the surface. It seems the deepest parts of the ocean, once thought to be devoid of life, are actually home to some organisms. As researchers build better technology for underwater exploration, tales of yore containing unimaginable monsters seem a little more realistic than before."
Image

Senate Nominee Claims Scientists Have Created Mice With Human Brains 11

jamie writes "Delaware Republican Senate nominee Christine O'Donnell claimed in 2007 that: 'American scientific companies are cross-breeding humans and animals and coming up with mice with fully functioning human brains.' Current polls indicate that 39% of Delawareans plan to vote for her." If elected, O'Donnell and staff promise to do the same thing they do every night: try to take over the world.
Science

Zombie Ants and Killer Fungus 125

nibbles2004 writes "An article in the Guardian newspaper shows how parasitic fungi evolved the ability to control ants they infect, ultimately leading the ant to its death. The fungus controls the ant's movements to a suitable leaf and causes the ant to grip onto the leaf's central stem, allowing the fungus to spore, which will allow more ants to become infected."
Earth

Abandon Earth Or Die, Warns Hawking 973

siliconbits writes "According to famed theoretical physicist Stephen Hawking, it's time to free ourselves from Mother Earth. 'I believe that the long-term future of the human race must be in space,' Hawking tells Big Think. 'It will be difficult enough to avoid disaster on planet Earth in the next hundred years, let alone the next thousand, or million. The human race shouldn't have all its eggs in one basket, or on one planet. Let's hope we can avoid dropping the basket until we have spread the load.'"
Science

The Proton Just Got Smaller 289

inflame writes "A new paper published in Nature has said that the proton may be smaller than we previously thought. The article states 'The difference is so infinitesimal that it might defy belief that anyone, even physicists, would care. But the new measurements could mean that there is a gap in existing theories of quantum mechanics. "It's a very serious discrepancy," says Ingo Sick, a physicist at the University of Basel in Switzerland, who has tried to reconcile the finding with four decades of previous measurements. "There is really something seriously wrong someplace."' Would this indicate new physics if proven?"
United Kingdom

Boy Builds Wall-Climbing Machine Using Recycled Vacuums 96

Joe McIntosh writes "Hibiki Kono just might be a boy genius. The 13-year-old decided he wanted to climb vertical surfaces like his hero, Spiderman. So, he used two 1,400-watt recycled vacuum cleaners and a little bit of elbow grease to make a machine that allows him to scale walls. Kono has been scaling the walls of his UK school and has told the media that he hopes his invention will help window washers eliminate clumsy ladders from their daily routine."
Science

Empathy Is For the Birds 201

grrlscientist writes "Common Ravens have been shown to express empathy towards a 'friend' or relative when they are distressed after an aggressive conflict — just like humans and chimpanzees do. But birds are very distant evolutionary relatives of Great Apes, so what does this similarity imply about the evolution of behavior?"
Medicine

What US Health Care Needs 584

Medical doctor and writer Atul Gawande gave the commencement address recently at Stanford's School of Medicine. In it he lays out very precisely and in a nonpartisan way what is wrong with the institution of medical care in the US — why it is both so expensive and so ineffective at delivering quality care uniformly across the board. "Half a century ago, medicine was neither costly nor effective. Since then, however, science has... enumerated and identified... more than 13,600 diagnoses — 13,600 different ways our bodies can fail. And for each one we've discovered beneficial remedies... But those remedies now include more than six thousand drugs and four thousand medical and surgical procedures. Our job in medicine is to make sure that all of this capability is deployed, town by town, in the right way at the right time, without harm or waste of resources, for every person alive. And we're struggling. There is no industry in the world with 13,600 different service lines to deliver. ... And then there is the frightening federal debt we will face. By 2025, we will owe more money than our economy produces. One side says war spending is the problem, the other says it's the economic bailout plan. But take both away and you've made almost no difference. Our deficit problem — far and away — is the soaring and seemingly unstoppable cost of health care. ... Like politics, all medicine is local. Medicine requires the successful function of systems — of people and of technologies. Among our most profound difficulties is making them work together. If I want to give my patients the best care possible, not only must I do a good job, but a whole collection of diverse components must somehow mesh effectively. ... This will take science. It will take art. It will take innovation. It will take ambition. And it will take humility. But the fantastic thing is: This is what you get to do."

Comment Suburbia is Stupid (Score 1) 26

I like the bamboo one and HOUSE because form seems to follow function and the end results don't look like the more silly entries in a clothing fashion show or like mobile homes accessorized with cars on cinder blocks and beer gutted rednecks.

However houses are for suburbia and suburbia is a stupid idea because it increases commute distances and wastes land. The lack of shared walls wastes materials and reduces energy efficiency.

IMO, a contest for high-rise building and urban designs would be more interesting and green. Combine homes and shops in one building surrounded with gardens and recreational areas to form a mini village. Cluster villages around light industrial areas. Layout everything to capture solar power and funnel wind for wind power. Surround the cities with wilderness. Connect cities with high speed rail. If done right, no one would need a car. Since, IIRC, cars end up using more energy than houses, getting rid of cars would save more energy than green houses ever could.

Canada

Alberta Scientists Discover Largest-Ever Cache of Dinosaur Bones 154

Cryolithic writes "The largest cache of dinosaur bones ever found has been unearthed in Alberta. From the article: '... officials at the Royal Tyrrell Museum say the Hilda site provides the first solid evidence that some horned dinosaur herds were much larger than previously thought, with numbers comfortably in the high hundreds to low thousands. ... Rather than picturing the animals as drowning while crossing a river, a classic scenario that has been used to explain bonebed occurrences at many sites in Alberta, the research team interpreted the vast coastal landscape as being submerged during tropical storms or hurricanes. With no high ground to escape to, most of the members of the herd drowned in the rising coastal waters. Carcasses were deposited in clumps across kilometers of ancient landscape as floodwaters receded.'"
The Internet

DoE Posts Raw Data From Oil Spill, Coast Guard Asks For Tech Help 138

coondoggie writes "The US Department of Energy this week opened an online portal where the public can get all the technical details it can stomach about the BP oil disaster in the Gulf. The DoE site offers online access to schematics, pressure tests, diagnostic results and other data about the malfunctioning blowout preventer and other problems in the ongoing mess. This comes alongside news that the US Coast Guard has issued a call for better specialized technology to help it respond to the ever-widening spill. The Coast Guard is looking for all manner of technology, such as advanced wireless sensors to help it track the movement and amount of oil in the Gulf, or devices that could help to contain and control the underwater leak." Reader freddled points out a story at the Guardian that illustrates how the location of an oil leak is frequently the primary factor in its perceived importance.
Education

Gulf Oil Spill Disaster — Spawn of the Living Dead 228

grrlscientist writes "A recently published study, intended to provide data to commercial fisheries in the Gulf of Mexico so they maximize their catch of Yellowfin Tuna, Thunnus albacares, whilst avoiding bycatch of critically endangered Atlantic (Northern) Bluefin Tuna, Thunnus thynnus, suggests that the Deepwater Horizon oil leak may devastate the endangered Atlantic bluefin population, causing it to completely collapse or possibly go extinct."

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