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Pogue’s Basics: Make Amazon Echo tell you when it's transmitting
JAY GORY, MANAGING EDITOR, technology
The Amazon Echo is getting to be crazy popular. It’s like Siri for your home.
Sharks Know The Value Of Friendship
JAY GORY, MANAGING EDITOR, science
Sharks might have more friends than you do, based on what scientists saw when they captured a bunch.
Extraordinary Mayan royal tomb reveals king's incense scattering rituals
JAY GORY, MANAGING EDITOR, science
Excavations of the royal palace at Nim li Punit in Belize suggest a history of rituals centring on a jade pectoral decoration engraved with hieroglyphics. The 8th Century CE settlement of Nim li Punit was a regional seat of power in the Classic period of Mayan history. Excavations of the Palace Plaza of Nim li Punit have unearthed two 'extraordinary' tombs in the royal complex, with discoveries including a Wind God Vase and a jade chest decoration that the king is thought to have worn during religious ceremonies.
5 Surprising Ways Being a Redhead Affects Your Health
JAY GORY, MANAGING EDITOR, science
Your hair isn't the only thing that makes you unique. Here's how your DNA may influence your pain sensitivity, how fast you age, and more.
Trump knocks China as Tillerson heads to Beijing
JAY GORY, MANAGING EDITOR, politics
President Trump on Friday knocked China for not doing enough to curb North Korea’s nuclear and missile programs — even as Secretary of State Rex Tillerson headed to Beijing as part of a high-stakes diplomatic swing through Asia. “North Korea is behaving very badly,” Trump said on Twitter. “They have been ‘playing’ the United States for years.
Trump said Merkel was ruining Germany — now they’re meeting face to face
JAY GORY, MANAGING EDITOR, politics
President Trump will come face to face with German Chancellor Angela Merkel at the White House Friday — after relentlessly mocking and criticizing her for months on end during last year’s presidential campaign.
U.S. reaches out to Britain to clean up White House’s spying claim
JAY GORY, MANAGING EDITOR, politics
The White House has contritely reached out to Britain after infuriating that close ally by recycling a Fox News commentator’s charge that the U.K. spied on President Trump in 2016 at Barack Obama’s request, officials in Washington and London said Friday. Trump’s national security adviser, Lt. Gen. H.R. McMaster, assured his counterpart by telephone that the White House had not meant to endorse the claim.
Ban on Irish butter sparks fight in butter
JAY GORY, MANAGING EDITOR, odd news
MADISON, Wis. (AP) — In butter-loving Wisconsin, a ban on Irish butter has sparked a fight.
Thimble, wheelbarrow, boot kicked out of Monopoly board game
JAY GORY, MANAGING EDITOR, odd news
By Tom James SEATTLE (Reuters) - If you have ever wanted to rampage through a game of Monopoly like a dinosaur, you're in luck. The popular U.S. board game is changing out three of its playing tokens, swapping in a penguin, T-Rex and rubber ducky in for the thimble, wheelbarrow and boot, Pawtucket, Rhode Island-based toymaker Hasbro Inc said Friday. The move is part of a broader campaign to update the board game based in part on votes by consumers during a promotional period earlier this year.
US rhetoric on North Korea shifts as Tillerson sets military action 'on the table'
JAY GORY, MANAGING EDITOR, world
If North Korea escalates the threat to America and its allies in the region, the United States will not hesitate to push back, Rex Tillerson indicated on Friday. Speaking to a news conference in Seoul, South Korea, the secretary of State and former Exxon Mobil chief executive officer said the US government is prepared to do whatever it takes to deter a nuclear threat or threats to US and South Korean troops in the region. Ideally, a coordinated sanctions policy would be sufficient, he indicated, but military force is also a possibility.
Through 32 years in prison, Andrew Wilson never lost hope
JAY GORY, MANAGING EDITOR, world
Wearing a broad smile and a Maroon Loyola Law School T-shirt, Andrew Leander Wilson emerged a free man for the first time in 32 years on Thursday, after serving time for a murder he says he never committed. Clasping the hands of his daughter and sister, he walked through the doors of the Los Angeles County Men's Central Jail into a sea of cameras and the applause of a group of law students who worked to free him. "Believe it or not, I think I'm all right upstairs," he said, adding that his mother Margie Davis of St. Louis had been his most strident advocate during his three decades behind bars.
Campuses take a stand when protests go too far
JAY GORY, MANAGING EDITOR, world
The students turned their backs. Unable to start his campus talk, libertarian Charles Murray was escorted by college officials to another room where his speech could be streamed on the internet. The March 2 confrontation at Middlebury College got worse.
The 8 features we want in the iPhone 8
JAY GORY, MANAGING EDITOR, technology
Apple’s next iPhone needs to be more than your average update. Apple’s (AAPL) next iPhone is always an absurdly important product for the tech giant. No matter how well the company’s services arms — Apple Music, iCloud, etc. — perform, the iPhone is Apple’s make-or-break product.
Infamous 1960s Study Repeated: How Far Would You Go to Obey Authority?
JAY GORY, MANAGING EDITOR, science
In an infamous series of experiments first conducted in the 1960s, Stanley Milgram, a social psychologist, asked study participants to deliver painful electric shocks to other people. Milgram found that the study participants were willing to deliver the shocks, as long as an authority figure asked them to do so. The Milgram experiment, as it is now called, was considered a turning point in social psychology and the science of obedience.
Germany to use voice analysis software to help determine where refugees come from
JAY GORY, MANAGING EDITOR, science
Germany plans to use speech analysis technology to help determine asylum seekers’ countries of origin, according to a report from Die Welt. The Federal Office for Migration and Refugees (BAMF) will begin testing the software within the next two weeks, the paper reports, with an eye toward deploying it more widely in 2018. The hope is that the software will be able to analyze and identify the dialects of people seeking asylum in Germany, based on recorded speech samples.
Japan launches latest North Korea spy satellite
JAY GORY, MANAGING EDITOR, science
Japan launched a new spy satellite on Friday, the country's space agency said, as the region grows increasingly uneasy over North Korea's quickening missile programme. The Radar 5 unit was carried into space on Japan's mainstay H-2A rocket from a launch site in the country's southwest. Japan started putting spy satellites into orbit in 2003 after North Korea fired a mid-range ballistic missile over the Japanese mainland and into the western Pacific in 1998.
Artificial Intelligence will help us become funnier and sexier says Google engineering head at SXSW
JAY GORY, MANAGING EDITOR, science
Artificial Intelligence (AI) will become as smart as humans in just 12 years and the much-proclaimed technological singularity between humans and AI will also be accomplished by 2029, according to author, futurist and Google's director of engineering Ray Kurzweil.
What America without the NEA and NEH would look like, and why that matters
JAY GORY, MANAGING EDITOR, world
President Trump has said he wants to build American infrastructure – even as he proposes cutting funding for so-called cultural infrastructure. Four cultural federal organizations, including the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) and the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH), have for years been the target of conservative critics. For arts and cultural groups across the country, the four agencies – although they account for only 0.02 percent of federal spending – have long been considered crucial in supporting outreach to underserved communities between the coasts, particularly in rural areas.
China enlists an unlikely ally in battling pollution: public activists
JAY GORY, MANAGING EDITOR, world
Duan Shumin is still getting used to her new surroundings on the outskirts of this city in Shandong province, some 200 miles south of Beijing. Factories that make everything from asphalt to xylitol, a sweetener used in gum, line the roads leading to the apartment she moved to last July. “This is an average day,” Ms. Duan says while stopped at an intersection in her black SUV.
The brain: a radical rethink is needed to understand it
JAY GORY, MANAGING EDITOR, science
There's both money and prestige invested in the simple idea that different brain areas are responsible for certain functions. But that doesn't make it true.
Ancient Cranium Tells Us How Humans And Neanderthals Evolved
JAY GORY, MANAGING EDITOR, science
A fossil of an ancient cranium might be able to tell scientists more about how Neanderthals and later modern humans evolved.
OceanGate plans an expedition to 3D scan the Titanic
JAY GORY, MANAGING EDITOR, science
Seattle-based OceanGate Inc. this week announced plans for a manned expedition to study the R.M.S. Titanic, the world’s most famous shipwreck. Fewer than 200 people have ever visited the Titanic since it sank in April 1912 according to historians’ estimates. To put that in perspective, more people have scaled the summit of Mt. Everest, or...
Trump budget 'cripples' environment, science, critics say
JAY GORY, MANAGING EDITOR, science
US President Donald Trump's proposed 2018 budget would slash funding for science, health and environmental programs at home and abroad, sparking an outcry Thursday among experts who say the cuts would endanger the planet. The blueprint, which also includes sharp cuts in spending on the arts and foreign aid, has yet to undergo scrutiny in Congress and must be approved by lawmakers before it can take effect. A key target was the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), which would get $5.7 billion, a 31 percent cut compared with 2017 levels.
Trump’s budget is everything scientists have been fearing
JAY GORY, MANAGING EDITOR, science
The top-line numbers of President Donald Trump’s budget proposal should give the nation’s scientists shivers. The administration doesn’t seem to think science should be a priority at all. The administration still needs to draft a full budget, which we won’t see until May. And ultimately, it’s up to Congress to decide who gets what.
How this L.A. House district’s special election could mark a new direction for Democrats
JAY GORY, MANAGING EDITOR, politics
Jimmy Gomez speaks at a generationOn and Hasbro holiday gift distribution event this past December. Of all the special congressional elections set to take place over the next few months — the first big electoral battles of the Trump era — the least competitive, in a partisan sense, is the one to replace former Democratic Rep. Xavier Becerra, who became California’s attorney general in January. As a result, the April 4 primary in California’s 34th Congressional District — a longtime Democratic stronghold in northeastern L.A. — has attracted 23 (yes, 23) candidates.
A salute to the four Founding Fathers born in Ireland
JAY GORY, MANAGING EDITOR, politics
When the Constitutional Convention met in Philadelphia in 1787, half of its foreign-born delegates were born in Ireland. For St. Patrick’s Day, here’s a look at these mostly forgotten figures.
Chinese firms offer pollution solutions with bottled air, hat filters, smog socks
JAY GORY, MANAGING EDITOR, odd news
Even as Chinese Premier Li Keqiang pledges to ensure that blue skies never become a luxury, a state-backed firm is doing brisk business selling 48 yuan ($6.95) cans of fresh air bottled in a forest in western China. From air-filter necklaces to anti-smog stockings, Chinese companies are touting innovative - if not odd - products to consumers worried about the quality of the air that they breathe. At the close of the annual meeting of parliament on Wednesday, Li said air pollution must be brought under control and blue skies should never be a luxury.
GOP pushes 'economic terrorism' bills in 18 states to discourage protests
JAY GORY, MANAGING EDITOR, world
After watching protests erupt around the country against police shootings, tougher immigration laws, and the Trump administration, Arizona state Sen. John Kavanagh reportedly came to a conclusion: “This stuff is all planned” by “ideologues” and “anarchists,” he told the Arizona Capitol Times. In response, Senator Kavanagh sponsored a bill patterned on the kind of racketeering laws usually reserved for the Mafia: Anyone involved in a protest could be guilty of a felony if things get out of control, “whether or not such person knows [the] identity” of the person actually breaking a law. Senate Republicans in Arizona voted in favor of Kavanagh’s proposal, joining conservative lawmakers in some 18 states in moving forward tough new bills intended to curb what they see as lawlessness during a new age of demonstrations and street mobilization.
Chrissy Teigen's Postpartum Depression: 5 Facts About the Condition
JAY GORY, MANAGING EDITOR, science
Model Chrissy Teigen recently revealed that she had postpartum depression, a condition that often left her with too little energy to leave the house for months. In an essay for Glamour magazine, Teigen wrote that after her daughter was born in April 2016, she found herself feeling stressed, detached and sad, and she lacked her typical energy. "Most days were spent on the exact same spot on the couch, and rarely would I muster up the energy to make it upstairs for bed," Teigen said.
Ancient, near
JAY GORY, MANAGING EDITOR, science
Having withstood time, the elements, looters and war, a spectacular Buddha restored and removed from one of Afghanistan's most dangerous regions is to make its public debut in the country's national museum. The exceptionally well-preserved piece, with its colours still vibrant, was found in 2012 at the Mes Aynak site about 40 kilometres (25 miles) southeast of Kabul, in the now Taliban-infested Logar province. Its discovery was made possible after a Chinese consortium began digging a massive copper mine that uncovered an ancient monastery complex stretching out over an area of four square kilometres (1,000 acres).
How tardigrades
JAY GORY, MANAGING EDITOR, science
Scientists have discovered a unique set of proteins responsible for tardigrades' unique ability to survive in some of the harshest, most extreme environments on Earth. Also known as water bears, these microscopic animals are indeed able to resist an array of stresses that would kill most other living creatures, thus making them a constant source of fascination for scientists. In a paper now published in the journal Molecular Cell, a team has now identified proteins called tardigrade-specific intrinsically disordered proteins (TDPs) which could potentially help the tiny creatures to protect themselves from desiccation.
In Trump's America, climate change research is surely 'a waste of your money'
JAY GORY, MANAGING EDITOR, science
If you thought President Donald Trump might be softening his views on climate change since taking office, think again. At Thursday's White House press briefing, a Trump official declared climate change initiatives "a waste of your money." As in, the single-greatest threat to life on Earth as we know it isn't worth spending a dime. SEE ALSO: Trump really doesn't want to face these 21 kids on climate change Mick Mulvaney, director of the Office of Management and Budget, was outlining Trump's budget proposal, which would add $54 billion in defense spending while gutting billions of dollars from other agencies.  The blueprint is far from a done deal, and Congress will have the final say on the federal budget. But it makes painfully clear what the Trump administration's priorities are: more walls and weapons, less work to avoid dangerous global warming. "Regarding the question as to climate change, I think the president was fairly straightforward," Mulvaney told reporters at the briefing. "We're not spending money on that anymore. We consider that to be a waste of your money." Yes, he actually said that. Just watch: Nearly all of the world's Earth scientists agree that climate change is happening, and that human activity is primarily to blame. Burning fossil fuels, clearing forests and eating inordinate amounts of meat increases greenhouse gas emissions, which then trap the sun's heat and disrupt the planet's climate systems. As a result, rising seas are eating away at coastlines and drowning island nations. Chronic droughts and punishing monsoons are threatening the food supplies of billions of people. Air and water pollution are both made worse by global warming.  Trump's budget proposal slashes $100 million from climate change programs within just the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), along with gutting more funding marked for climate change research and programs in other spheres of government. The EPA — which would lose about $2.6 billion according to the budget blueprint — would halt much of its work to research climate impacts and limit emissions. The blueprint cuts any funding to enforce the Clean Power Plan, which requires states to reduce carbon emissions and is the cornerstone of America's pledge to cut emissions under the Paris Climate Agreement. Trump also wants to cut some of NASA's Earth-monitoring programs, which provide essential data on the planet's changing climate. At the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, gone is the Sea Grant program to help coastal communities adapt to rising sea levels and more extreme weather events.  If Trump gets his way, a handful of key Energy Department programs to accelerate clean energy and electric cars will completely vanish.  The State Department also takes a hit in Trump's budget proposal — and it's not because the president wants less diplomacy. Rather, the department and its $10 billion foreign aid budget are losing money because of its efforts to protect the environment. "It just so happens that much of the foreign aid that the president talked about in campaign — much of the money that goes to climate research, green energy, that sort of thing — are actually in the State Department budget," Mulvaney said. "If those line items had been in the department of commerce, you would see the Department of Commerce go down by a similarly large percentage," he added. Erasing taxpayer funding from multiple agencies to address climate change makes it more clear than ever how Trump feels about environmental protection. "You now have an America first president, and it shouldn't surprise anyone we have an 'America First' budget," Mulvaney said. "America First," in Trump's eyes, seems interchangeable with "Earth Last." WATCH: NASA designed grippers that can lift celestial rocks in microgravity
Trump budget would gut science, environment programs
JAY GORY, MANAGING EDITOR, science
WASHINGTON (AP) — President Donald Trump's proposed budget would gut programs for science and the environment, reflecting the Republican's rejection of mainstream science.
How to Kill a Snake When You’re a Snake
JAY GORY, MANAGING EDITOR, science
When two snakes fight, it can be hard to work out who’s winning. “They’re both wound together, just two tubes wrestling,” says David Penning, from the University of Louisiana at Lafayette. But if one of the combatants is a kingsnake, then all you have to do is wait. The kingsnake will be the one left slithering.
Egyptian statue recently unearthed is not Ramses II
JAY GORY, MANAGING EDITOR, science
CAIRO (AP) — A massive statue recently unearthed in Cairo and thought to depict one of the country's most famous pharaohs may be of another ancient Egyptian ruler, the country's antiquities minister said Thursday.
Sean Spicer spars with White House press corps over alleged wiretapping
JAY GORY, MANAGING EDITOR, politics
White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer had a heated exchange with a pair of reporters at his daily briefing on Thursday. The tense back-and-forth began with questions about President Trump’s allegation that he was wiretapped by his predecessor, Barack Obama. It devolved into shouting, repeated interruptions and an accusation from Spicer that the media is attempting to “perpetuate a false narrative” about Trump’s relationship with Russia.
Great Barrier Reef will never be as pristine as it once was: scientists
JAY GORY, MANAGING EDITOR, science
By Colin Packham SYDNEY (Reuters) - Parts of Australia's Great Barrier Reef will never recover from the impact of unseasonably warm waters, scientists said on Thursday, as more of the World Heritage Site comes under renewed threat from a recent spike in sea temperatures. Warm seas around the reef killed some two-thirds of a 700 kilometer (496.4 miles) stretch of coral last year after warm water caused the coral to expel living algae, triggering it to calcify and turn white, a process known as bleaching. "Given time, coral can recover from bleaching but the problem comes when you get repeated events.
Researchers have replicated a notorious social experiment that claimed to explain the rise of fascism
JAY GORY, MANAGING EDITOR, science
Remember that study from psychology class where participants were willing to shock people with excessively high voltage, just because a researcher told them to? Well, a new paper published March 14 just announced that the famous Milgram Experiment has been replicated in Poland over 50 years since its inception in the US. It’s been replicated…
We Tried It: Going to Mars with Buzz Aldrin in Virtual Reality
JAY GORY, MANAGING EDITOR, science
Buzz Aldrin is your virtual guide to Mars in a new immersive VR clip from 8i and Time Inc.
This Hungarian taps the potential of disabled people
JAY GORY, MANAGING EDITOR, world
Zoltán Kollár has a movement disorder that has made him unable to walk, talk, or eat unaided. He’s used a lumbering electric wheelchair since childhood. But none of that has slowed him down.
11 Celebrities Who Battled Postpartum Depression
JAY GORY, MANAGING EDITOR, health
Postpartum depression, a condition that can occur after childbirth, is common among new moms - even famous new moms. Watch the video to see which notable Hollywood starlets have experienced postpartum depression.
A 2
JAY GORY, MANAGING EDITOR, technology
For one big week in March every year, Austin, Texas is overrun by culture and tech. Yes, I’m talking about the South by Southwest Conference & Festivals. It's not cheap to attend, so Yahoo Finance's David Pogue has a two-minute tour for you.
What Parents Should Know About the Push to Detect Autism Earlier
JAY GORY, MANAGING EDITOR, science
In particular, parents frequently have concerns that their child is missing significant developmental milestones, particularly as they pertain to social or behavioral interactions, says Mathew Pletcher, head of genomic discovery at Autism Speaks, an organization dedicated to promoting solutions for people with autism and their families. As noted by Autism Speaks, there are other signs a child may be at risk for autism, or autism spectrum disorder, a range of conditions marked by challenges with social skills, repetitive behaviors and speech as well as other difficulties and differences. "Early detection is important in autism, because many studies have now shown that about the only way we can affect the trajectory of autistic symptoms is by intervening early -- and the earlier the better," says Dr. Brad Peterson, director of the Institute for the Developing Mind at Children's Hospital Los Angeles.
When it comes to peacock mating, plumage size matters: study
JAY GORY, MANAGING EDITOR, science
By Jon Herskovitz AUSTIN, Texas (Reuters) - The size and width of a peacock's proud plumage attracts the gaze of males likely sizing up rivals and of females potentially looking for mates, a survey released on Wednesday showed. For the study published in the Journal of Experimental Biology, researchers at Texas A&M University fitted peacocks and peahens with headgear that tracked their eye movements and monitored what the birds were gazing at when they looked at members of their group. "We found that they are mostly looking at the lower portion of each other’s displays in a similar way that the peahens were assessing the males as mating partners," said Jessica Yorzinski, an assistant professor at Texas A&M University specializing in evolutionary biology.
More Good News: There Are Fluorescent Frogs in South America
JAY GORY, MANAGING EDITOR, science
Fluorescence was unheard of in amphibians until now.
California: $400 million plan to slow largest lake shrinkage
JAY GORY, MANAGING EDITOR, science
SAN DIEGO (AP) — California Gov. Jerry Brown's administration on Thursday proposed spending nearly $400 million over 10 years to slow the shrinking of the state's largest lake just as it is expected to evaporate an accelerated pace.
Scientists Brace for a Lost Generation in American Research
JAY GORY, MANAGING EDITOR, science
The work of a scientist is often unglamorous. Behind every headline-making, cork-popping, blockbuster discovery, there are many lifetimes of work. And that work is often mundane. We’re talking drips-of-solution-into-a-Petri-dish mundane, maintaining-a-database mundane. Usually, nothing happens.
Growing algae bloom in Arabian Sea tied to climate change
JAY GORY, MANAGING EDITOR, science
Gulf of Oman turns green twice a year in algae bloom that scientists say is fallout from a warming planet
Organic Farms Might Be Slightly Worse for Climate Change
JAY GORY, MANAGING EDITOR, science
There are upsides and downsides.
Could Being a Parent Help You Live Longer?
JAY GORY, MANAGING EDITOR, science
You may feel as though raising kids would take years off your life, but having children may actually increase your life span, according to a new study from Sweden. Researchers found that, among older adults, those who had children lived longer than those who remained childless. For example, the researchers calculated that, at age 60, men with children were expected to live another 20.2 years, while men without children were expected to live 18.4 more years.