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Space Station astronauts celebrate St. Patrick’s Day with gorgeous night shot of Dublin
JAY GORY, MANAGING EDITOR, science
Here on Earth, most people celebrate St. Patrick's Day by heading down to their local watering hole for a pint of Guinness or maybe a couple glasses of green beer. Up on the International Space Station, however, such a thing just isn't possible, but that doesn't stop them from recognizing Earthen traditions all the same. NASA Commander Shane Kimbrough and ESA pilot Thomas Pesquet took the opportunity to peer down from their perch some 200-odd miles above the surface to catch a glimpse of the city that is probably partying harder than anyone tonight: Dublin, Ireland. "Dublin at night," Pesquet tweeted, along with a photograph of the sight. "Always a great city to visit with a fantastic atmosphere." Kimbrough later tweeted his own greeting, saying "Enjoy the #StPatricksFest Parade down there!" https://twitter.com/Thom_astro/status/830851620778962945 The photo is absolutely fantastic, and it was snapped at a high enough resolution to make out individual city streets. The center, downtown area is the brightest of all, and is undoubtedly filled with many revelers as the shot was taken. You can view the image in its full resolution on the NASA site here. The International Space Station, which makes about 15 orbits per day around our planet, is potentially nearing the end of its lifespan. It was originally launched in the late 1990s and has seen many repairs and upgrades since then. The station's final days were originally estimated to fall somewhere in 2020, but Boeing, the craft's principal contractor, has discussed with NASA the possibility of keeping it alive through 2028. The Trump administration's various cuts to NASA funding could potentially impact that, as could many other factors.
How Artificial Intelligence and the robotic revolution will change the workplace of tomorrow
JAY GORY, MANAGING EDITOR, science
What do we need to learn today to work with the robots of tomorrow?
Asimov's Laws of Robotics aren't the moral guidelines they appear to be
JAY GORY, MANAGING EDITOR, science
Humans need greater autonomy than Isaac Asimov's neat science fiction idea permits.
Why Trump's budget may be 'devastating' to his supporters
JAY GORY, MANAGING EDITOR, world
President Trump’s “skinny” budget proposal would make deep cuts in many government programs in the name of pruning the federal bureaucracy. "It's unacceptable,” says Rep. Hal Rogers (R) of Kentucky, whose district voted about 80 percent in favor of Trump. It includes many programs that are important to rural, lower-income areas that went big for Trump last November, such as subsidies for regional airports, funds to clean up the Great Lakes and Chesapeake Bay, and support for regional economic development.
Who Really Needs Cholesterol and Blood Pressure Drugs
JAY GORY, MANAGING EDITOR, health
Experts agree that high blood pressure and high cholesterol increase the risk of having a heart attack. So you might think they also agree on when you should take drugs to control them. They don’...
What You Need to Know About the Heart Drug Repatha
JAY GORY, MANAGING EDITOR, health
There was good news and bad news Friday for people at very high risk of heart attack or stroke. The good news: A study in the New England Journal of Medicine found the people taking a newer kind ...
Government contractor says we could have a base camp around Mars by 2028
JAY GORY, MANAGING EDITOR, science
At this point it's clear that humans are headed to Mars sooner or later, and it's just a matter of when, who, and exactly what their mission will be. Aerospace juggernaut and government contractor Lockheed Martin is pretty bullish on the concept of humanity paying a visit to the red planet and even proposed a timeframe for when such an adventure would be possible: 10 to 12 years. Speaking at a meeting of the National Space Club at Kennedy Space Center in Florida, Lockheed Martin's Tony Antonelli explained that a trip to Mars isn't just theoretical, but would utilize technologies that either currently exist or are actively being perfected. "We're not waiting for the future and some kind of magic," Antonelli explained. Such a trip, if it were to happen within the next decade and a half or so, would almost certainly utilize NASA's Lockheed-built Orion passenger spacecraft which is expected to make a trip around the Moon soon. With a pair of Orion capsules equipped, Lockheed's conceptual Mars "base camp" could house six astronauts in relative comfort, allowing many human hands to carry out experiments research while in orbit. While in orbit around the red planet, astronauts could easily control rovers and other devices working on the surface, and even potentially prepare future landing sites for manned missions to the planet. This is all assuming that budgets align, and with the current administration's enthusiasm for axing anything that doesn't fire a bullet or blow up, that might be the biggest hurdle of them all.
Alaska sea lion study gets help from crowdsource volunteers
JAY GORY, MANAGING EDITOR, science
A federal wildlife agency studying the Steller sea lion decline in Alaska's Aleutian Islands is looking for help from citizen scientists. Volunteers don't need raincoats or rubber boots to pitch in, just ...
In A Distant Galaxy, A Black Hole Is Choking On Its Food
JAY GORY, MANAGING EDITOR, science
A team of astronomers has spotted a supermassive black hole located in a galaxy 300 million light-years from Earth "choking" on stardust.
How Rats Could Lead to Autism Drugs That Actually Work
JAY GORY, MANAGING EDITOR, science
In a shoebox-sized cage on their own floor in the Anderson Building at the Baylor College of Medicine, two little white mice with pink ears and skinny tails scurry over a bedding of corncob strips. They run from corner to corner, now and again standing on hind legs to press their paws against one of the cage’s clear plastic walls. Occasionally, they bump into each other and take a sniff. Mostly, they do their own thing.
Google exec: Computers will soon be as smart as humans
JAY GORY, MANAGING EDITOR, science
That's the word from Ray Kurzweil, Google's director of engineering; Trace Gallagher reports from Los Angeles
Weapons expert saves hundreds of declassified nuclear test videos
JAY GORY, MANAGING EDITOR, science
The videos are a chilling reminder of the terrifying destructive power of nuclear weapons – showing hundreds of weapons detonated on Earth’s surface, with mushroom clouds stretching into the sky. A Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory physicist has battled to preserve films of America’s 210 above-ground nuclear tests – conducted before they were banned in 1963. Thanks to Greg Spriggs, people can now see them for the first time – with 4,200 films now scanned and 750 declassified.
Meningitis outbreak: Murder or public health tragedy?
JAY GORY, MANAGING EDITOR, science
BOSTON (AP) — Was it murder or a tragic public health outbreak?
AP FACT CHECK: Fukushima radiation not cause for alarm in US
JAY GORY, MANAGING EDITOR, science
Radiation from the Fukushima nuclear reactor disaster in Japan has reached North American shores, but — despite a number of reports shared on social media— scientists say the levels of radiation are so low that it poses no risk to public health.
Trump’s budget rattles Meals on Wheels in Kansas, where the group vows to fight on
JAY GORY, MANAGING EDITOR, politics
President Trump’s recent budget proposal, which yanks federal funding for Meals on Wheels, may feel like abstract accounting to some, but for senior citizens in Saline County, Kan., it could affect what’s for dinner — and what’s not. The Saline County Commission on Aging (COA) was founded in 1974 to look after the needs of the senior community. It runs the Salina Senior Center and Salina Meals on Wheels, which delivers food to senior citizens and people with disabilities.
Irish prime minister to Trump: St. Patrick 'was an immigrant'
JAY GORY, MANAGING EDITOR, politics
‘THE SHELTER OF AMERICA.’ Irish Taoiseach Enda Kenny‘s remarks Thursday at the White House gained new attention the next day, St. Patrick’s Day, as a clip from the United Kingdom’s public service station Channel 4 showed him defending United States’ historic role as a beacon for immigrants seeking refuge.
Lack of comma sense ignites debate after ruling in $10M suit
JAY GORY, MANAGING EDITOR, odd news
PORTLAND, Maine (AP) — It all came down to a missing comma, and not just any one. And it's reignited a longstanding debate over whether the punctuation is necessary.
Does Trump's budget really propose gutting Meals on Wheels?
JAY GORY, MANAGING EDITOR, world
For many seniors, veterans, and people with disabilities, Meals on Wheels is a lifeline. “If it wasn’t for Meals on Wheels, I would go hungry,” Diane Burnett, a disabled woman in Los Angeles, told CBS Local, adding, “It’s security. The suggestion that the program’s federal funding would be axed under President Trump’s budget proposal, released on Thursday, quickly sparked internet backlash.
New twist for deportation opponents: sanctuary in the streets
JAY GORY, MANAGING EDITOR, world
When the early morning distress call came, it took about 20 minutes for Peter Pedemonti and a group of some 70 members of a consortium of Philadelphia faith communities to gather downtown at the US Immigration and Customs Enforcement office to protest and pray. An undocumented immigrant had called their network’s hotline as ICE agents arrived at his home to take him into custody. “It was intense,” recalls Mr. Pedemonti, the co-founder and director of New Sanctuary Movement of Philadelphia.
Nine years after disaster, Fukushima to host 2020 Olympic baseball games
JAY GORY, MANAGING EDITOR, world
Fukushima, the prefecture that was hit by a tsunami-triggered nuclear disaster in March 2011, has been approved to host baseball and softball matches in the 2020 Tokyo Summer Olympics Games, organizers said on Friday. “By hosting Olympic baseball and softball events, Fukushima will have a great platform to show the world the extent of its recovery in the 10 years since the disaster,” Mr. Mori said in a statement after the International Olympic Committee Executive Board gave a green light to the plan.
Why Tillerson’s tough talk on N. Korea was likely a message to China
JAY GORY, MANAGING EDITOR, world
Secretary of State Rex Tillerson’s statement in South Korea Friday that military action against an increasingly threatening North Korea is “on the table” was rattling – and perhaps that was the intent. With Mr. Tillerson set for talks in Beijing Saturday, the point of raising the prospect of using force to address the North’s advancing nuclear threat may have been as much to send a signal to the region as anything else. Recommended: How much do you know about China?
How is Japan readying itself against an unpredictable North Korea?
JAY GORY, MANAGING EDITOR, world
Residents of Japan’s northwestern city of Ogo performed a civilian evacuation drill on Friday, the country’s first, in preparation for a scenario in which ballistic missiles – launched by a country that went unnamed by the city’s disaster authorities – were to fall close to shore. The exercise comes in response to a string of weapons tests by North Korea that have sent ballistic missiles into Japanese territorial waters in recent months, alarming authorities. Recommended: Think you know Japan?
Get Rid of Headaches and Other Minor Health Woes
JAY GORY, MANAGING EDITOR, health
Maybe it’s a sprained ankle that still feels wobbly months later. Or colds that seem to leave you coughing for weeks afterward. Sometimes, minor health problems hang on for much longer than expec...
How Hackers Can Break Into Your Accounts Without Your Password
JAY GORY, MANAGING EDITOR, technology
And how to make sure it doesn't happen to you.
Nintendo reportedly doubling Switch production after strong early sales
JAY GORY, MANAGING EDITOR, technology
A report from the Wall Street Journal claimed that high early sales have led Nintendo to double production of the Switch. The console passed 1.5 million units sold in just over a week.
Dallas says “ghost calls” to 911 from T
JAY GORY, MANAGING EDITOR, technology
Last week, a child in Dallas died after his babysitter's repeated calls to 911 went unanswered. Local authorities have not confirmed that the tragedy was related to an ongoing 911 ghost call problem.
There's finally a smartwatch for watch aficionados
JAY GORY, MANAGING EDITOR, technology
Tag Heuer is well-known for making a solid Swiss timepiece at an accessible price point. What is...
First fluorescent frog found in Argentina
JAY GORY, MANAGING EDITOR, science
The first naturally fluorescent frog was discovered recently in Argentina -- almost by chance, a member of the team of researchers told AFP Thursday. Argentine and Brazilian scientists at the Bernardino Rivadaiva Natural Sciences Museum made the discovery while studying the metabolic origin of pigments in a tree-frog species common to South America. It also "generates new questions about visual communication in amphibians," he said.
NASA may take a $400 million hit under Trump's proposed budget
JAY GORY, MANAGING EDITOR, science
A budget proposed by the Trump administration, if accepted, may represent a hit of nearly half a...
Experimental blood test could speed autism diagnosis
JAY GORY, MANAGING EDITOR, science
Developers of an experimental blood test for autism say it can detect the condition in more than 96 percent of cases and do so across a broad spectrum of patients, potentially allowing for earlier diagnosis, according to a study released on Thursday. The findings, published in PLoS Computational Biology, are the latest effort to develop a blood test for autism spectrum disorder, which is estimated to affect about 1 in 68 babies. The hope for such tests, if proven accurate, is that they could reassure parents with autism fears and possibly aid in the development of treatments, coauthor to the study, Dr. Juergen Hahn of Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, told Reuters Health.
Did ancient people help to create the Sahara Desert thousands of years ago?
JAY GORY, MANAGING EDITOR, science
Ten thousand years ago, the Sahara desert was a green landscape with lush vegetation – but then something turned it into the arid desert we know today. Previous studies have suggested that changes in Earth’s orbit might have driven the change – but a new paper suggests another culprit: ancient human beings. Dr. David Wright, from Seoul National University, says, ‘In East Asia there are long established theories of how Neolithic populations changed the landscape so profoundly that monsoons stopped penetrating so far inland.
The Latest: Experts suspend rescue effort for sea lion
JAY GORY, MANAGING EDITOR, science
VACAVILLE, Calif. (AP) — The Latest on a stranded sea lion in California (all times local):
An ancient ice sheet pushed life to the brink at South Georgia 20,000 years ago
JAY GORY, MANAGING EDITOR, science
The fingerprints of glaciers left in the sea bed around the island of South Georgia have been revealed, showing that a huge ice sheet extended over the whole island and its surrounding continental shelf in the most recent ice age. South Georgia, an island in the Southern Atlantic Ocean, is an island with an incredible array of wildlife. It is home to furred seals, penguins and sea creatures such as sea stars and crabs.
Tony Robbins swears by an exclusive retreat that claims to make you smarter and stronger without exercise or pills — here's the science
JAY GORY, MANAGING EDITOR, science
Biocybernaut is a 7-day retreat that claims it can make you smarter, more creative, and a better...
The Curious Case Of Shrinking Mammals
JAY GORY, MANAGING EDITOR, science
A team of researchers has found a direct correlation between the rise in global temperatures and the size of some mammals — when temperatures rise, some mammals shrink.
White House finds someone who doesn’t think its budget is a joke. Oh, wait, actually...
JAY GORY, MANAGING EDITOR, politics
Beset on all sides by criticism of its budget proposal, the White House reached out for support Friday from an unlikely source, an opinion piece in the Washington Post. The administration itself couldn’t have written a more glowing endorsement than the Thursday column by Alexandra Petri, entitled “Trump’s budget makes perfect sense and will fix America, and I will tell you why,” which begins by denouncing critics of the budget priorities as “wimps” and proceeds to the suggestion that teachers be replaced by F-35s wearing “Make America Great Again” hats. Hence the link in the White House’s “1600 Daily” newsletter, which gives the administration’s take on the day’s news and is sent to anyone who signs up on the wh.gov website.
Trump declines to shake Merkel’s hand during awkward White House interaction
JAY GORY, MANAGING EDITOR, politics
When it was announced that President Trump would receive German Chancellor Angela Merkel at the White House, there was immediate speculation that the meeting could be tense, to say the least. After the world leaders met privately in the Oval Office, press photographers and videographers were allowed to enter and captured an awkward exchange. In one clip, photographers can be heard asking for the two to shake hands.
Meals on Wheels: Our donations surged after White House talked defunding
JAY GORY, MANAGING EDITOR, politics
Donations and volunteer sign-ups to Meals on Wheels surged, the group said Friday, in the hours after President Trump’s administration pointed to the public-private partnership as an example of government spending it can no longer defend. “We received 50 times the normal amount of donations yesterday,” said Jenny Bertolette, vice president of communications at Meals on Wheels. The group also “saw an almost 500 percent jump in volunteer sign-ups through our AmericaLetsDoLunch.org Ad Council website,” Bertolette said.
Trump to Merkel: ‘Perhaps’ Obama wiretapped us both
JAY GORY, MANAGING EDITOR, politics
Recycling an incendiary and unsubstantiated charge, President Trump on Friday joked that he and visiting German Chancellor Angela Merkel may have one thing in common: being spied on by Barack Obama’s administration. “As far as wiretapping, I guess, by, you know, this past administration, at least we have something in common perhaps,” Trump said at a joint press conference with the German leader. Trump had been asked by a German reporter about his March 4 claim that Obama personally ordered spying on him and Trump Tower.
Court decision in dairy drivers lawsuit hung on comma
JAY GORY, MANAGING EDITOR, odd news
PORTLAND, Maine (AP) — It all came down to a missing comma. In the end, a court allowed drivers for a Maine dairy to go forward with their dispute over overtime pay.
Woman 'almost crashed car' when snake slithered from vent
JAY GORY, MANAGING EDITOR, odd news
VENICE, Fla. (AP) — Something more than air came slithering out of a car vent in Florida.
Police: Robber breaks leg, calls for help, gets arrested
JAY GORY, MANAGING EDITOR, odd news
ALEXANDRIA, Va. (AP) — A robber in Virginia ruined his own getaway — first by breaking his leg in a jump off a balcony, and then by calling the authorities to help him.
Tourists narrowly escape as Mount Etna spews molten rocks
JAY GORY, MANAGING EDITOR, world
Thirty-five tourists, their guides, and BBC film crew escaped serious injury after they were forced to turn and run down Sicily’s Mount Etna, pelted from above by potentially deadly, searing debris. The group had come to witness one of the world’s most frequently erupting volcanoes, when a phreatic explosion, caused when lava hit thick snow, sent up a billow of steam followed by “boiling rocks and boulders” that began raining debris on the group as it retreated through “whiteout” conditions, according to BBC journalist Rebecca Morelle, whose camera woman kept it rolling throughout the ordeal.
The Incredibly Effed Up Thing About Mama June's Weight Loss Journey
JAY GORY, MANAGING EDITOR, health
You'd think getting skinny wouldn't redeem a woman from her troubled past, but popular culture seems to think otherwise.
The Powerful Lesson One Woman Learned From Being a Surrogate
JAY GORY, MANAGING EDITOR, health
"Maybe you can't change the world. But you can give the world to someone and change their life."
You Must See This Mom's Hilarious Reaction to a "Child
JAY GORY, MANAGING EDITOR, health
"I was ill prepared for the most sudden U-Turn on Page 6, where we're introduced to Daddy's friendly looking 'seed pods'!"
Here Are This Year's Coolest Hipster Baby Names
JAY GORY, MANAGING EDITOR, health
Because your baby is going to *set* the trends.
The Moving Reason Why This Haircut Is Going Viral
JAY GORY, MANAGING EDITOR, health
"I changed someone's life today, and I'll never ever forget it."
Beyoncé Makes Me Feel Like a Lazy Pregnant Person
JAY GORY, MANAGING EDITOR, health
This new image of the empowered pregnant lady is liberating and invigorating. But it can also be exhausting.