tomhath writes: The Journal of Improbable Research has held it's 26th First Annual Ig Nobel Prize Ceremony and announced these winners:
REPRODUCTION PRIZE [EGYPT] — The late Ahmed Shafik, for studying the effects of wearing polyester, cotton, or wool trousers on the sex life of rats, and for conducting similar tests with human males.
ECONOMICS PRIZE [NEW ZEALAND, UK] — Mark Avis, Sarah Forbes, and Shelagh Ferguson, for assessing the perceived personalities of rocks, from a sales and marketing perspective.
PHYSICS PRIZE [HUNGARY, SPAIN, SWEDEN, SWITZERLAND] — Gábor Horváth, Miklós Blahó, György Kriska, Ramón Hegedüs, Balázs Gerics, Róbert Farkas, Susanne Åkesson, Péter Malik, and Hansruedi Wildermuth, for discovering why white-haired horses are the most horsefly-proof horses, and for discovering why dragonflies are fatally attracted to black tombstones.
CHEMISTRY PRIZE [GERMANY] — Volkswagen, for solving the problem of excessive automobile pollution emissions by automatically, electromechanically producing fewer emissions whenever the cars are being tested.
MEDICINE PRIZE [GERMANY] — Christoph Helmchen, Carina Palzer, Thomas Münte, Silke Anders, and Andreas Sprenger, for discovering that if you have an itch on the left side of your body, you can relieve it by looking into a mirror and scratching the right side of your body (and vice versa).
PSYCHOLOGY PRIZE [BELGIUM, THE NETHERLANDS, GERMANY, CANADA, USA] — Evelyne Debey, Maarten De Schryver, Gordon Logan, Kristina Suchotzki, and Bruno Verschuere, for asking a thousand liars how often they lie, and for deciding whether to believe those answers.
PEACE PRIZE [CANADA, USA] — Gordon Pennycook, James Allan Cheyne, Nathaniel Barr, Derek Koehler, and Jonathan Fugelsang for their scholarly study called "On the Reception and Detection of Pseudo-Profound Bullshit".
BIOLOGY PRIZE [UK] — Awarded jointly to: Charles Foster, for living in the wild as, at different times, a badger, an otter, a deer, a fox, and a bird; and to Thomas Thwaites, for creating prosthetic extensions of his limbs that allowed him to move in the manner of, and spend time roaming hills in the company of, goats.
LITERATURE PRIZE [SWEDEN] — Fredrik Sjöberg, for his three-volume autobiographical work about the pleasures of collecting flies that are dead, and flies that are not yet dead.
PERCEPTION PRIZE [JAPAN] — Atsuki Higashiyama and Kohei Adachi, for investigating whether things look different when you bend over and view them between your legs.
tomhath writes: B. obamai is a flatworm that infects black marsh turtles and southeast Asian box turtles in Malaysia. Scientists study turtle parasites because they are believed to be the ancestors of the flatworms that cause schistosomiasis, a disease that kills between 20,000 and 200,000 people each year, according to the World Health Organization.
The cancer is spread when the aggressive animals bite each other on the snout. A database of gnome sequences collected over the past twenty years has revealed that in as few as six generations there are significant changes in their DNA in regions the scientists believe are related to resisting cancer.
tomhath writes: Yahoo! CEO Marissa Mayer tried to emphasize the progress that the company has made. "We continue to make solid progress against our 2016 plan," Mayer said, and "in addition to our efforts to improve the operating business, our board has made great progress on strategic alternatives." The CEO argued that the results met or exceeded the company's own guidance.
Yahoo! was able to post a revenue increase by changing the ways that it presents revenue related to its search agreement with Microsoft, and without that change, adjusted revenue of $1.055 billion was down 15% from the year-ago quarter. That was even worse than the 13% drop investors were expecting, and adjusted EBITDA fell by more than a third. That resulted in adjusted net earnings of $0.09 per share, missing the consensus forecast by a penny but also glossing over a $440 million net loss on a GAAP basis.
The company took a $395 million goodwill impairment charge and an $87 million intangibles impairment charge related to its Tumblr unit, determining that the fair value of the division is less than the amount indicated on Yahoo!'s balance sheet.
tomhath writes: The Tennessee Valley Authority’s (TVA) Watts Bar Unit 2 is the first nuclear reactor to come online since 1996, when the Watts Bar Unit 1 started operations. The new reactor is designed to add 1,150 megawatts of electricity generating capacity to southeastern Tennessee.
By summer’s end, authorities expect the new reactor at this complex along the Chickamauga Reservoir, a dammed section of the Tennessee River extending northward from Chattanooga, to steadily generate enough electricity to power 650,000 homes .
But while nuclear reactors account for the lion’s share of the carbon-free electricity generated in the United States, the industry faces this new set of circumstances in a state of near-crisis. A combination of very cheap natural gas and deregulated energy markets in some states has led to a growing number of plant closures in recent years.
tomhath writes: Webb, who is running as an independent to represent Virginia’s 8th District after losing the Republican primary, put up a post Monday afternoon accusing his GOP rival Matt Warvo of trying to sabotage him. But the screenshot he posted showed two other tabs, named “Ivone Sexy Amateur” and “Layla Rivera Tight,” which appeared to match the names of videos on porn sites.
This story is really a better fit for Fark than Slashdot
tomhath writes: Amazon said a review of compensation including both base pay and stock compensation found that women earned 99.9 cents for every dollar that men earned in the same jobs. The survey, which was conducted by an external labor economist, covered Amazon workers at various levels of the company's organization in the United States.
The study, which was recently completed, also found that minorities earned 100.1 cents for every dollar that white employees earn in the same jobs.
tomhath writes: Samsung made a point of advertising the Galxy S7 as water resistant. A little known feature it that it also can detect when it has gotten wet and refuse to charge until it has dried out.
The Ivanpah plant in the Mojave Desert uses natural gas as a supplementary fuel. Data from the California Energy Commission show that the plant burned enough natural gas in 2014 – its first year of operation – to emit more than 46,000 metric tons of carbon dioxide
The same amount of natural gas burned at a conventional power plant would have produced enough electricity to meet the annual needs of 17,000 California homes – or roughly a quarter of the Ivanpah plant’s total electricity projection for 2014.
But burning gas that doesn't generate electricity doesn't count against the 5% limit on electricity produced from fossil fuel, so the plant is still considered "green".
Hundreds of camera traps in Serengeti National Park, Tanzania, are providing a powerful new window into the dynamics of Africa’s most elusive wildlife species. We need your help to classify all the different animals caught in millions of camera trap images.
We’re done for now, but we still need you
With your help, we've classified all the data we have so far. Great work! We are leaving some images active for you to classify. Please keep an eye on the blog for updates about research and when new Snapshot Serengeti data will be available.
tomhath writes: "Earlier this month, a helicopter from the Coast Guard's Air Station in Traverse City, Michigan, was out on a routine patrol over the lake, looking for boats in distress or anything out of the ordinary. It was a calm day; the ice that covered the lake had recently melted, and the water was still very cold, just 38 degrees Fahrenheit (3.3 degrees Celsius) — a perfect combination for good visibility.
tomhath writes: "The biggest player in the beleaguered nuclear power industry wants a place alongside solar, wind and hydroelectric power collecting extra money for producing carbon-free electricity...Exelon Corp., operator of the largest fleet of U.S. nuclear plants, says it could have to close three of them if Illinois rejects the company’s pitch to let it recoup more from consumers since the plants do not produce greenhouse gases...Exelon and other around-the-clock plants sometimes take losses when wind turbines produce too much electricity for the system...Under the system, electric suppliers would have to buy credits from carbon-free energy producers. Exelon says the plan would benefit nuclear plants, hydroelectric dams, and other solar and wind projects."