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Wonky and inedible veg to be eradicated by farm robots
JAY GORY, MANAGING EDITOR, science
Wonky and inedible vegetables will be eradicated by farm robots which do not harvest crops until they are perfect, scientists have predicted. Engineers are already working on machines which can autonomously plant seeds, weed, water and spray without a farmer needing to venture into the field. They would also be programmed to only pick crops when they were ready for sale. Currently, farmers harvest fields all in one go, a practice known as slaughter harvesting, which can see up to 60 per cent of the crop wasted because it was not ready, or over-ripe. The robots would mean farmers would no longer need to enter fields  Credit: Harper Adams University  Professor Simon Blackmore, head of agricultural robotics at Harper Adams University in Shropshire and director of the National Centre for Precision Farming, said he wanted to see robots, in the fields as early as 2020. “I am trying develop a completely new agricultural mechanisation system based on small smart machines,” he told a briefing in London. “We are developing laser weeding, droplet application where only 100 per cent of the chemical goes onto the target leaf, selective harvesting where we can grade the product at the point of harvest. “Between 20 and 60 per cent of crops is thrown away at the point of harvest because supermarkets won’t buy wonky veg, because you and I don’t buy wonky veg. “When we are faced with a set of tomatoes or lettuces we pick the best one not the worst one. But we can leave lettuces behind which perhaps can’t be sold today, but we can come back next week and be able to harvest them then.” Technology could also cut down on use of chemicals and even replace cheap labour which could be lost in the UK post-Brexit.
These Rodent
JAY GORY, MANAGING EDITOR, science
The earliest known ancestors of the mammal lineage that includes everything from humans, to blue whales, to pygmy shrews may have been nocturnal, rodent-like creatures that evolved much earlier than previously thought. The identity of these ancestors comes from their teeth, which were discovered at cliffs on the coast of England. The discovery of the little creatures, which lived about 145 million years ago, may push the evolution of this mammal group back dozens of millions of years, the researchers said.
Victor Luo Is Making NASA Cool for Coders
JAY GORY, MANAGING EDITOR, science
The head of the agency’s VR-developing OpsLab works with everyone from astronauts to movie stars—or at least producers.
Prehistoric Mammals Wouldn't Have Messed with This Huge Otter
JAY GORY, MANAGING EDITOR, science
Six million years ago, the shallow swamps of what's now southern China may have been dominated by massive, 110-lb. (50 kilograms) otters that have since gone extinct. And now, researchers have found that these hefty otters had more than size on their side. "None of the modern otters are top predators," said Jack Tseng, the lead researcher on the study and a functional anatomist at the University at Buffalo.
Head Transplants: Sergio Canavero Is About to Perform the First Human Surgery—and There’s Nothing to Stop Him
JAY GORY, MANAGING EDITOR, science
Sergio Canavero claims he can make you immortal, but there’s a small catch. If that’s not a deal-breaker, you’ll be happy to hear that the Italian neurosurgeon has announced he will perform the world’s first human head transplant in China sometime in December. The spinal cord will be fused and the blood vessels and muscles attached.
President Trump Had Trouble Figuring Out This Awkward Group Handshake with World Leaders
JAY GORY, MANAGING EDITOR, science
The awkward moment occurred during the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) summit in the Philippines
Americans' Well
JAY GORY, MANAGING EDITOR, science
After three years of improvement, the well-being of Americans ticked downward in 2017, according to a new poll, though some demographics were spared. Overall, the survey revealed that a smaller percentage of people felt that their community leaders fostered a feeling of enthusiasm about the future, and a smaller percentage of people in 2017 said they enjoyed their daily lives, compared with the percentage in 2016.
Bill Gates firm buys up Arizona land to build 'smart city'
JAY GORY, MANAGING EDITOR, science
Real estate investment firm owned by billionaire purchases $80 million plot to create technology hub.
'Horrific' Mall of America Stabbing Leaves 2 Injured
JAY GORY, MANAGING EDITOR, science
It happened while shoppers were in line to see Santa Claus
Tasmanian Treasure: Rare 17th
JAY GORY, MANAGING EDITOR, science
A rare map of Australia from the 17th century —before Europeans had fully explored the continent —resurfaced after 350 years. Now, it's finally been restored and put on public display in Australia's capital, Canberra. Dutch cartographer Joan Blaeu created the map called "Archipelagus Orientalis," or "Eastern Archipelago," in 1659.
Louisiana Man Arrested After Trying to Cross into North Korea for 'Political Purposes'
JAY GORY, MANAGING EDITOR, science
The 58-year-old man, identified only as 'A', was detained by police early Monday morning
Not the time to apologize for the Balfour blunder, Burundi’s departure from the ICC might have a ripple effect, It is time to cut off aid to Burundi
JAY GORY, MANAGING EDITOR, world
“[The] Balfour Declaration ... reached its first centennial anniversary this week,” writes Hasan Abu Nimah. “The Israelis, along with many of their Western supporters, are celebrating the British foreign minister’s ‘promise’ of a Jewish national home in Palestine as a document that amounts to the birth certificate of the state of Israel.... The Palestinians remember it as an illegal ominous ‘promise’ by a colonial power to the Jewish people to establish for themselves a national home in a land that belonged neither to them nor to those who offered them the land.... There are voices calling for a British apology. “Burundi’s decision to quit the International Criminal Court is likely to resonate in other African states whose leaders have long complained that they are targeted for investigation by the UN institution...,” states an editorial.
Liberia bet big on charter schools. One year in, what's it learning?
JAY GORY, MANAGING EDITOR, world
At first glance, Cecilia Dunbar Elementary School hardly looks like the site of a radical educational experiment. Set in a cacophonously green village surrounded by lanky rubber trees about an hour from Liberia’s capital, its low-slung classrooms are unlit and streaked with dirt. On a recent morning in the 4th grade classroom, two students – one who looked about 9, the other perhaps 15 – share a bench with no legs, propped up by large rocks, with tattered workbooks balanced carefully on their knees.
'This Is Congo' Director Daniel McCabe on Telling the Country's 'Real Story'
JAY GORY, MANAGING EDITOR, science
Photojournalist and filmmaker spoke with TIME about capturing the "beauty and horror" of Congo
Ray Kurzweil on Turing Tests, Brain Extenders and AI Ethics
JAY GORY, MANAGING EDITOR, science
Inventor and author Ray Kurzweil talks with WIRED Editor-in-Chief Nicholas Thompson about progress in artificial intelligence and how humans should control it.
Antarctica: 260 Million
JAY GORY, MANAGING EDITOR, science
Scientists exploring a remote region of Antarctica have discovered evidence of a 260 million-year-old forest, recovering fossilized tree fragments from the frozen ground of the Transantarctic Mountains. The forest would have existed before the Great Dying Mass Extinction Event 252 million years ago—an event that saw around 95 percent of life on Earth wiped out. This mass extinction—the worst in Earth's history—is thought to have been caused by huge, prolonged volcanic eruptions in Siberia, which caused global temperatures to skyrocket.
Aung San Suu Kyi Is Benefiting from ASEAN's Silence on Myanmar's Rohingya Crisis
JAY GORY, MANAGING EDITOR, science
She once bristled at the collective reluctance of Southeast Asian governments to intervene in her nation's plight
Woman Says George H.W. Bush Groped Her When She Was 16: 'I Was a Child'
JAY GORY, MANAGING EDITOR, science
The alleged incident happened in 2003, while she was photographed standing next to the former president. "My initial reaction was absolute horror. I was really, really confused," she told TIME, speaking publicly for the first time about the encounter
President Trump Praises Philippines' Duterte – and Says Nothing About Thousands Killed in Drug Crackdown
JAY GORY, MANAGING EDITOR, science
President Donald Trump did not criticize Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte on his bloody drug crackdown that has left 3,000 to 9,000 dead, according to observers
Report: The U.S. Navy Might Have a New 'Bullet' To Destroy North Korean Missiles
JAY GORY, MANAGING EDITOR, science
The Navy recently destroyed a ballistic missile target with an SM-6 missile during a test off the coast of Scotland, verifying that the high-tech weapon does have an ability to track and destroy incoming enemy medium and long-range ballistic missiles. While the Navy did not specifically say the test was aimed at preparing for a North Korean conventional ballistic missile attack on South Korea, the successful intercept did further validate the kind of technology likely to be used to defend South Korea or Japan in that kind of scenario. "The U.S. Missile Defense Agency and U.S. Navy sailors aboard USS McFaul successfully test fired a Standard Missile-6.
Not the time to apologize for the Balfour blunder, Burundi’s departure from the ICC might have a ripple effect, It is time to cut off aid to Burundi
JAY GORY, MANAGING EDITOR, world
“[The] Balfour Declaration ... reached its first centennial anniversary this week,” writes Hasan Abu Nimah. “The Israelis, along with many of their Western supporters, are celebrating the British foreign minister’s ‘promise’ of a Jewish national home in Palestine as a document that amounts to the birth certificate of the state of Israel.... The Palestinians remember it as an illegal ominous ‘promise’ by a colonial power to the Jewish people to establish for themselves a national home in a land that belonged neither to them nor to those who offered them the land.... There are voices calling for a British apology. “Burundi’s decision to quit the International Criminal Court is likely to resonate in other African states whose leaders have long complained that they are targeted for investigation by the UN institution...,” states an editorial.
The man and fellow retirees behind a science lab for students in rural India
JAY GORY, MANAGING EDITOR, world
The 10th-grade girls are acing it when it comes to verifying Ohm’s law in this remote village school. Ohm’s law, a fundamental part of physics, states that voltage and current are proportional. The students are trying to verify the law by conducting experiments on a resistance board.
Meet Mr. Bicycle, who’s helped fix thousands of bikes in Pennsylvania
JAY GORY, MANAGING EDITOR, world
Some 15 years ago, Ross Willard was volunteering with a food program in Harrisburg, Pa., when he started to notice children riding bicycles with brakes that didn’t work. “It became a little toolbox, a bigger toolbox, [then] the van, the trailer, and the warehouse,” says Mr. Willard, founder and chief mechanical officer of Recycle Bicycle Harrisburg, which opened its first shop in 2007. Today, Willard operates a bicycle collection point, repair facility, and teaching center for bicycle safety and maintenance, geared toward anyone who is interested.
A Young Holocaust Victim Left Behind a Clue That Would Reunite Her Family Decades Later
JAY GORY, MANAGING EDITOR, science
The finding of a pendant with a possible link to Anne Frank at the site of a concentration camp has led to an unlikely family reunion
India's Capital New Delhi Hopes for Rain to Wash Away Suffocating Smog
JAY GORY, MANAGING EDITOR, science
Noxious air has historically plagued India's capital, but this year the mega-city's pollution is worse than ever
President Trump Strikes Back at 'Short and Fat' Kim Jong Un
JAY GORY, MANAGING EDITOR, science
"Oh well, I try so hard to be his friend," the president went on to tweet
Star Trek: Discovery recap: 'Into the Forest I Go'
JAY GORY, MANAGING EDITOR, science
Star Trek: Discovery recap: Season 1, Episode 9
The Powerful Earthquake Along the Iran
JAY GORY, MANAGING EDITOR, science
Iran sits on many major fault lines and is prone to near-daily quakes
Tiny reef fish shows remarkable hunting technique
JAY GORY, MANAGING EDITOR, science
The Yellowhead Wrasse is a unique fish for a variety of reasons, but one of the most amazing is that it is actually able to capture and then kill crabs using the rocks and coral around it. This little fish was seen swimming along, repeatedly banging its prey on rocks and corals to stun or kill it so it can eat it. It actually selects a rock and then bangs the small crab on it, drops the crab and adjusts it in its mouth for another smack. The fish swims on, repeats the process and it will eventually stop and eat the crab. Crabs are a staple part of the Yellowhead Wrasse's diet but the claws and strong shell make eating it difficult. The Wrasse lacks the jaw strength to crush the crab. This use of rocks is a basic form of "tool use" once thought to exist in only humans and animals like Chimpanzees. It was believed that such complex thought could not be found in other animals. Using tools or other objects to an animal's advantage is similar to problem solving and requires a level of understanding that is quite impressive for a fish. We now know that parrots and crows will drop hard shelled nuts on the ground where animals or cars will crush them. We are also seeing examples such as this where even fish are capable of understanding how to use objects around them to help gather and kill prey. Another remarkable thing about this fish is that it starts life as a female. Throughout its life it will mate, breed and then eventually become male. After doing so, it can breed further. Interestingly, the fish will completely change color and size as it does this. This color change is not unusual for fish and even changing sex is not completely uncommon in other species. Parrotfish have been known to exhibit similar behavior. When a group of females loses the male, sometimes the dominant female will transform and become male.
New York, Iraq, Myanmar: The endless calamity of religious war
JAY GORY, MANAGING EDITOR, politics
Weinberg, writing two years before the 9/11 attacks, based his conclusion on evidence that had been accumulating more or less since the dawn of history, mentioning in particular Frederick Douglass’s observation that his own situation as a slave “became worse when his master underwent a religious conversion that allowed him to justify slavery as the punishment of the children of Ham.” It’s unlikely that anything going on in the world now would give him reason to change his mind, in a year when terrorists have struck New York, London and Paris in the name of Islam, while more than a half-million Muslims have been driven from their homes in Myanmar by Buddhists. Tears roll down the cheeks of a child while drinking water from a kettle, as Rohingya Muslims who have fled persecution in Myanmar wait along the border for permission to move farther toward refugee camps near Palong Khali, Bangladesh, Nov. 2, 2017.
Not the time to apologize for the Balfour blunder, Burundi’s departure from the ICC might have a ripple effect, It is time to cut off aid to Burundi
JAY GORY, MANAGING EDITOR, world
“[The] Balfour Declaration ... reached its first centennial anniversary this week,” writes Hasan Abu Nimah. “The Israelis, along with many of their Western supporters, are celebrating the British foreign minister’s ‘promise’ of a Jewish national home in Palestine as a document that amounts to the birth certificate of the state of Israel.... The Palestinians remember it as an illegal ominous ‘promise’ by a colonial power to the Jewish people to establish for themselves a national home in a land that belonged neither to them nor to those who offered them the land.... There are voices calling for a British apology. “Burundi’s decision to quit the International Criminal Court is likely to resonate in other African states whose leaders have long complained that they are targeted for investigation by the UN institution...,” states an editorial.
A Grisly Walking Dead Episode Delivers a Shocking Death
JAY GORY, MANAGING EDITOR, science
Season 8 spoilers ahead
Bob Geldof Is Giving Back a Prestigious Award to Protest Aung San Suu Kyi Holding the Same Honor
JAY GORY, MANAGING EDITOR, science
"Her association with our city shames us all," Geldof said
In the Wake of Harvey Weinstein, Bollywood Stars Are Speaking Out About Sexual Harassment
JAY GORY, MANAGING EDITOR, science
They say there is still a reluctance to name and shame in India's film industry, the world's largest
Here’s how you can see the Venus
JAY GORY, MANAGING EDITOR, science
Despite being hundreds of millions of miles apart, Venus and Jupiter will appear close together on the horizon just before sunrise on…
Parents angry as Delhi schools reopen despite smog
JAY GORY, MANAGING EDITOR, science
Angry parents accused Delhi authorities on Monday of "playing with children's health" as schools reopened despite a fresh surge in pollution to emergency levels. Doctors declared a public health emergency last week when choking smog descended on the capital and elsewhere in northern India, prompting authorities to close schools, ban construction and bar trucks from entering the city. On Monday authorities reopened schools amid concerns over upcoming exams, angering some parents.
U.S. Carries Out 3 Drone Strikes Targeting Extremists in Somalia
JAY GORY, MANAGING EDITOR, science
The strikes targeted Islamic extremist rebels and the Islamic State
Not the time to apologize for the Balfour blunder, Burundi’s departure from the ICC might have a ripple effect, It is time to cut off aid to Burundi
JAY GORY, MANAGING EDITOR, world
“[The] Balfour Declaration ... reached its first centennial anniversary this week,” writes Hasan Abu Nimah. “The Israelis, along with many of their Western supporters, are celebrating the British foreign minister’s ‘promise’ of a Jewish national home in Palestine as a document that amounts to the birth certificate of the state of Israel.... The Palestinians remember it as an illegal ominous ‘promise’ by a colonial power to the Jewish people to establish for themselves a national home in a land that belonged neither to them nor to those who offered them the land.... There are voices calling for a British apology. “Burundi’s decision to quit the International Criminal Court is likely to resonate in other African states whose leaders have long complained that they are targeted for investigation by the UN institution...,” states an editorial.
Fmr. Facebook president: Site 'exploits' human psychology
JAY GORY, MANAGING EDITOR, science
Sean Parker has said that Facebook is designed to be addictive; 'The Next Revolution' panel reacts
Humans traveling to Mars may soon be possible. Whether they can survive the trip is another story
JAY GORY, MANAGING EDITOR, science
Plans to rocket humans to Earth's closest neighbor continue to advance, with goals as near-term as 2024 under development.
Pray That Climate Change Doesn't Make Us Eat What It's Making Madagascar's Lemurs Eat
JAY GORY, MANAGING EDITOR, science
Sensible primates eat a lot of fruit because fruit is good for you, but a study published today in the journal Scientific Reports explains how the diets of Madagascar’s lemurs contain almost no fruit, and are instead disproportionately heavy in leaves. Leaves can be kind of nutritious if they’re young and fresh, but another study published last week in Current Biology describes how climate change is making those more and more scarce, leaving the lemurs with only dry tree bark. It’s potentially a bleak look at how our own diets and digestive tracts might have to evolve in response to climate change.
Rare frilled shark with unusual teeth and 'snake
JAY GORY, MANAGING EDITOR, science
Sink your teeth into this. A little-known frilled shark has been found off the Algarve coast in Portugal by scientists, who were conducting research on minimising unwanted catches in European fisheries. SEE ALSO: This baby flamingo in blue boots will make your day It's a rare discovery given the depths in which the shark Chlamydoselachus anguineus is found, living 500 to 1,000 metres below the sea. In this case, the shark was caught at a depth of 700 metres. Researchers from Portugal's national meteorological, seismic, sea and atmospheric organisation, IPMA, said it was a "true living fossil," because its remains had been unchanged for 80 million years, according to BBC News' translation of a Sic Noticias report. Image: ipmaThe male fish measures about 1.5 metres long, and has a "long, slender body and a snake-like head." It also has a rather unique teeth arrangement, but there's little else known about the shark's biology or ecology.  However, the shark gets its name from the 300 teeth that line its mouth in a frilled appearance, "which allows it to trap squid, fish and other sharks in sudden lunges," Professor Margarida Castro of the University of the Algarve told Sic Noticias. It has a "wide but very patchy" distribution across the Pacific and Atlantic Oceans, according to the IUCN, and is on rare occasion caught as bycatch. A freaky catch in this case, to say the least. WATCH: A giant sculpture translates vibrations of 40,000 live bees into an explosion of light and sound
House Won't Agree with Senate Proposal to Nix Property Tax Deduction, Chairman Says
JAY GORY, MANAGING EDITOR, science
The disagreement sets up a major flashpoint in the Republicans' tax bill push
Fuel removal device installed at meltdown
JAY GORY, MANAGING EDITOR, science
Workers at Japan's crippled Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant have installed a device to remove nuclear fuel from a meltdown-hit reactor nearly seven years after the crisis was sparked by a tsunami, a spokesman said Monday. The plant's operator, Tokyo Electric Power Co (TEPCO), said it started putting a crane on the roof of unit No. 3 on Sunday to extract a total of 566 rods from its fuel pool. It will be the first removal of fuel rods from one of the three reactors that melted down when the tsunami struck the plant in March 2011.
Not the time to apologize for the Balfour blunder, Burundi’s departure from the ICC might have a ripple effect, It is time to cut off aid to Burundi
JAY GORY, MANAGING EDITOR, world
“[The] Balfour Declaration ... reached its first centennial anniversary this week,” writes Hasan Abu Nimah. “The Israelis, along with many of their Western supporters, are celebrating the British foreign minister’s ‘promise’ of a Jewish national home in Palestine as a document that amounts to the birth certificate of the state of Israel.... The Palestinians remember it as an illegal ominous ‘promise’ by a colonial power to the Jewish people to establish for themselves a national home in a land that belonged neither to them nor to those who offered them the land.... There are voices calling for a British apology. “Burundi’s decision to quit the International Criminal Court is likely to resonate in other African states whose leaders have long complained that they are targeted for investigation by the UN institution...,” states an editorial.
Earthquake in Iran Leaves at Least 61 Dead, 300 Injured
JAY GORY, MANAGING EDITOR, science
Iran sits on many major fault lines and is prone to near-daily quakes
Roy Moore Calls Report on Sexual Misconduct Allegations 'Fake News'
JAY GORY, MANAGING EDITOR, science
Roy Moore has again denied allegations of sexual misconduct
President Trump Says He Trusts Both Intelligence Agencies and Putin on Election Meddling
JAY GORY, MANAGING EDITOR, science
Trump tried to have it both ways on the issue of Russian election interference, saying he believes the intelligence agencies and Putin.
Not the time to apologize for the Balfour blunder, Burundi’s departure from the ICC might have a ripple effect, It is time to cut off aid to Burundi
JAY GORY, MANAGING EDITOR, world
“[The] Balfour Declaration ... reached its first centennial anniversary this week,” writes Hasan Abu Nimah. “The Israelis, along with many of their Western supporters, are celebrating the British foreign minister’s ‘promise’ of a Jewish national home in Palestine as a document that amounts to the birth certificate of the state of Israel.... The Palestinians remember it as an illegal ominous ‘promise’ by a colonial power to the Jewish people to establish for themselves a national home in a land that belonged neither to them nor to those who offered them the land.... There are voices calling for a British apology. “Burundi’s decision to quit the International Criminal Court is likely to resonate in other African states whose leaders have long complained that they are targeted for investigation by the UN institution...,” states an editorial.
U.S. States and Cities Defy Trump on Paris Climate Deal
JAY GORY, MANAGING EDITOR, science
A group of U.S. states and cities are still committed as Donald Trump's administration is walking away from Paris climate accord