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Submission Summary: 0 pending, 3 declined, 2 accepted (5 total, 40.00% accepted)

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Submission + - Climate Change Impact Worse Than You Thought (

cyberfringe writes: Here is an outstanding, up to date summary of the best scientific understanding of the climate with links to more in-depth discussion and source publications.

"In 2009, the scientific literature caught up with what top climate scientists have been saying privately for a few years now: Many of the predicted impacts of human-caused climate change are occurring much faster than anybody expected — particularly ice melt, everywhere you look on the planet. If we stay anywhere near our current emissions path, we are facing incalculable catastrophes by century’s end, including rapid sea level rise, massive wildfires, widespread Dust-Bowlification, large oceanic dead zones, and 9F warming — much of which could be all but irreversible for centuries. And that’s not the worst-case scenario! The consequences for human health and well being would be extreme."

The following article in the same blog is also the best summary I've found regarding the specific impacts of climate change we can expect, especially if little or no action is taken:

The author, Dr. Joseph Romm is a physicist and Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science. His blog is one of the best sources for climate change information.


Submission + - Weaponizing Mozart (

cyberfringe writes: Bringing the fictional authoritarian police behavior of "A Clockwork Orange" ( ) to reality, classical music is being used increasingly in Great Britain as a tool for social control and a deterrent to "bad behaviour". A school district "subjects" badly behaving children to hours of Mozart in "special detention" isolations. Unsurprisingly, some of these youth now find classical music unbearable. Recorded classical music is blared through speakers at bus stops, outside stores, train stations and elsewhere to drive away loitering youth. Apparently it works. Detentions are down, graffiti is reduced, and naughty youth flee because classical music now is "repugnant" instead of providing an intellectual and emotional opportunity to experience one of humanity's greatest arts.

Submission + - UK using helicopter UAVs to surveil and arrest (

cyberfringe writes: A helicopter UAV equipped with infra-red cameras has been used for the first time in the UK to make an arrest. Thermal imaging transmitted to the officer operating the UAV enabled police to find a suspected car thief hiding in bushes in a thick fog. The UAV was originally designed for military reconnaissance but has been used in the UK for two years for search and rescue and to "crack down on anti-social behaviour". The drones are near silent and can hover or "perch" for hours. The UK already has more CCTV per capita than any other country, and now these mobile platforms are adding to its reputation as the "surveillance state".

Submission + - Creating electric power from light using gold nano (

cyberfringe writes: Professor of materials science Dawn Bonnell and colleagues at University of Pennsylvania have discovered a way to turn optical radiation into electrical current that could lead to self-powering molecular circuits and efficient data storage. They create surface plasmons that ride the surface of gold nanoparticles on a glass substrate. Surface plasmons were found to increase the efficiency of current production by a factor of four to 20, and with many independent parameters to optimize enhancement factors could reach into the 1000's. "If the efficiency of the system could be scaled up without any additional, unforeseen limitations, we could conceivably manufacture a 1A, 1V sample the diameter of a human hair and an inch long," Prof Bonnell explained.

Original study report published in the current issue of ACS Nano:

Significance? Nano-sized circuits that can power themselves through sunlight (or other directed light source). Delivery of power to nanodevices is one of the big challenges of the field.


Submission + - NASA Constellation Program Cancelled (

cyberfringe writes: The Office of Management and Budget has just published fact sheets for the proposed budgets of US government departments and agencies. As expected, NASA's Constellation program to return to the Moon is cancelled. The Fact Sheet states "the program was over budget, behind schedule, and lacking in innovation due to a failure to invest in critical new technologies". The budget allocates an additional $6 billion for NASA over the next five years. When combined with the savings from the Constellation cancellation, the budget calls for prodigious amounts of new R&D in a variety of areas crucial for high capability and cost effective future space exploration.

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