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Astronauts finally brought a fidget spinner to space

People wait in their cars in line to collect water nearly one month after Hurricane Maria struck on October 19, 2017 in San Pedro, Puerto Rico.Image: Getty Images The Weather Channel has a message for Americans: Puerto Rico is still in crisis.  The popular website of the IBM-owned company on Friday used its entire front page to remind visitors that the situation in Puerto Rico remains dire, exactly one month after Category 4 Hurricane Maria struck the island. Millions of residents remain without power, and many still lack access to…

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‘It’s able to create knowledge itself’: Google unveils AI that learns on its own

In a major breakthrough for artificial intelligence, AlphaGo Zero took just three days to master the ancient Chinese board game of Go … with no human help Googles artificial intelligence group, DeepMind, has unveiled the latest incarnation of its Go-playing program, AlphaGo an AI so powerful that it derived thousands of years of human knowledge of the game before inventing better moves of its own, all in the space of three days. Named AlphaGo Zero, the AI program has been hailed as a major advance because it mastered the ancient…

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Here’s your first look at Lego’s official Women of NASA set

(L-R) Nancy Grace Roman, Margaret Hamilton, Sally Ride and Mae Jemison.Image: Lego Next month, you’ll be able to buy a little bit of space history in Lego form.  Starting on Nov. 1, space fans of all ages will be able to buy Lego’s Women of NASA set featuring four essential women who made space science history. SEE ALSO: Lego’s next release screams girl power and we’re totally here for it The new set plays homage to astronauts Sally Ride, the first American woman in space, and Mae Jemison, the first…

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Dyslexia: scientists claim cause of condition may lie in the eyes

In people with the condition, light receptor cells are arranged in matching patterns in both eyes, which may confuse the brain French scientists claim they may have found a physiological, and seemingly treatable, cause for dyslexia hidden in tiny light-receptor cells in the human eye. In people with the condition, the cells were arranged in matching patterns in both eyes, which may be to blame for confusing the brain by producing mirror images, the co-authors wrote in the journal Proceedings of the Royal Society B. In non-dyslexic people, the cells…

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Nobel prize in physics awarded for discovery of gravitational waves

825,000 prize awarded to Rainer Weiss, Barry Barish and Kip Thorne for their work on Ligo experiment which was able to detect ripples in the fabric of spacetime Three American physicists have won the Nobel prize in physics for the first observations of gravitational waves, ripples in the fabric of spacetime that were anticipated by gravitational waves triggered by the violent merger of two black holes a billion light years away. Prof Olga Botner, a member of the Nobel committee for physics, described this as a discovery that shook the…

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Nerve implant ‘restores consciousness’ to man in persistant vegetative state

Stimulation of the vagus nerve allows patient who has been in a vegetative state for 15 years to track objects with his eyes and respond to simple requests A 35-year-old man who had been in a persistant vegetative state (PVS) for 15 years has shown signs of consciousness after receiving a pioneering therapy involving nerve stimulation. The treatment challenges a widely-accepted view that there is no prospect of a patient recovering consciousness if they have been in PVS for longer than 12 months. Since sustaining severe brain injuries in a…

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Lakes of mercury and human sacrifices after 1,800 years, Teotihuacan reveals its treasures

When archaeologists found a tunnel under Mexicos birthplace of the gods, they could only dream of the riches they would discover. Now its wonders from jewel-eyed figures to necklaces of human teeth are being revealed to the world In 2003, a tunnel was discovered beneath the Feathered Serpent pyramid in the ruins of Teotihuacan, the ancient city in Mexico. Undisturbed for 1,800 years, the sealed-off passage was found to contain thousands of extraordinary treasures lying exactly where they had first been placed as ritual offerings to the gods. Items unearthed…

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Would you Adam and Eve it? Why creation story is at heart of a new spiritual divide

Major survey reveals that its atheists who perpetuate the conflict between religious belief and science The biblical account of creation and the fate of Adam and Eve, progenitors of the human race, continues to inspire artists and writers. But according to a groundbreaking new survey, it is also at the heart of a deep misunderstanding between religious and non-religious Britons. Professor Fern Elsdon-Baker, who led the research, the findings suggest a need to revise stereotypes when it comes to Christian belief in Britain. In a society that is increasingly non-religious,…

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Odds and Ends 

This Satellite Imagery of the 2017 Solar Eclipse is Amazing

Reddit user alex_neises shared two fascinating vids of yesterday’s solar eclipse showing satellite imagery of the path of totality passing over the continental US. For those that find the superimposed state lines distracting a second video has been embedded below without them. Read more: http://twistedsifter.com/videos/satellite-imagery-of-the-2017-solar-eclipse/

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Youre A Single-Celled Organism. Can You Evolve Into A Duck?

This feature requires JavaScript to function. Okay, so. Im on the thing. You are this. You know life is me. … Never mind. Great. For your first act as a living thing, you die. You did not manage to evolve into a duck. Share Your Results Surrender yourself to the vision. You surrender yourself to the vision. You think about this. Ah…a duck. Its perfect. So it is resolved: You will be this thing. Someday, the child of the child of your distant descendant will wake up, and it will…

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Are smartphones really making our children sad?

US psychologist Jean Twenge, who has claimed that social media is having a malign affect on the young, answers critics who accuse her of crying wolf Last week, the childrens commissioner, Anne Longfield, responded to the campaign. The assumption that time online or in front of a screen is life wasted needs challenging. It is driven by fear, he said. The best thing we can do is to focus less on the time they spend on screens at home and more on the nature of the activity. This exchange is…

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Perseid meteor shower: everything you need to know to see it

The annual meteor shower will fill the night sky with glowing streaks this weekend, as the Earth travels through debris shed by comet Swift-Tuttle From piquing the interest of astronomers to fuelling the musings of poets, meteor showers have left a trail of inspiration in their wake since humanity first peered up into the sky. Now inspiration is set to strike once more. This weekend the night sky will be filled with glowing streaks as the annual Perseid meteor shower reaches its peak, with the best views in the northern…

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Why we fell for clean eating

The long read: The oh-so-Instagrammable food movement has been thoroughly debunked but it shows no signs of going away. The real question is why we were so desperate to believe it In the spring of 2014, Jordan Younger noticed that her hair was falling out in clumps. Not cool was her reaction. At the time, Younger, 23, believed herself to be eating the healthiest of all possible diets. She was a gluten-free, sugar-free, oil-free, grain-free, legume-free, plant-based raw vegan. As The Blonde Vegan, Younger was a wellness blogger in New…

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It was all yellow: did digitalis affect the way Van Gogh saw the world?

Extracted from foxgloves, digitalis was once used as a treatment for epilepsy. Could a side effect have triggered the artists yellow period? It was recently the 127th anniversary of the tragic death of may have been treated with digitalis for the epileptic fits he experienced. Digitalis, extracted from foxglove plants, is a powerful medicine still in use today as a treatment for certain heart conditions, but not epilepsy. In Van Goghs day, and for a long time before then, digitalis was known to be an effective treatment of may have…

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Forget the environment: we need new words to convey lifes wonders | George Monbiot

We need better ways of talking about nature and our relationships with it, writes Guardian columnist George Monbiot If Moses had promised the Israelites a land flowing with mammary secretions and insect vomit, would they have followed him into Canaan? Though this means milk and honey, I doubt it would have inspired them. So why do we use such language to describe the natural wonders of the world? There are examples everywhere, but I will illustrate the problem with a few from the UK. On land, places in which nature…

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