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Why Russians may bare their teeth at the World Cup
JAY GORY, MANAGING EDITOR, world
In Russia, which is hosting the World Cup starting Thursday, public transport workers have been trained to smile at the estimated 1.5 million foreign spectators attending the 31-day, 11-city soccer tournament. This behavioral modification in cheerfulness – smiling in public is often frowned upon in Russia – is just one way the country is using the mega sports event to not only improve its tarnished image but teach Russians to act differently. Russians in the 11 cities are being asked to be courteous to the guests and also pick up litter.
As World Cup kicks off, Russia aims to prove a world
JAY GORY, MANAGING EDITOR, world
The latest of the Vladimir Putin-era mammoth global events – and possibly the last such to be hosted by Russia in the foreseeable future – is about to kick off in Moscow. On Thursday, the FIFA 2018 soccer World Cup gets underway with a long-awaited match between Russia and Saudi Arabia in Moscow's newly renovated Luzhniki Stadium. At least half a million visitors from all over the world will visit Russia to attend the quadrennial event, the globe's foremost professional sporting competition.
Frustrated American Medical Association Changes Policies to Combat 'Disease' of Gun Violence
JAY GORY, MANAGING EDITOR, science
'We as physicians are the witnesses to the human toll of this disease'
Wrinkled Eyes Make You Appear More Genuine, Study Shows
JAY GORY, MANAGING EDITOR, science
Known as the Duchenne marker, the lines around our eyes accompany many facial expressions, from pain to happiness. Professor Daniel Messinger of the University of Miami department of psychology who lead the research said in a statement: "Since Darwin, scientists have wondered if there is a language of facial expression, a key set of what we call facial actions that have simple, basic meanings. "This research suggests one key to this language is constriction of the eyes, which appears to intensify both positive and negative expressions.
Intelligent machines will 'end human evolution', says tech boss
JAY GORY, MANAGING EDITOR, science
The man who helped set up Britain's largest technology company has warned that artificial intelligence is so advanced that we “have arrived at a time in history where evolution is coming to an end”. Arm founder Hermann Hauser, who has been dubbed "the godfather of venture capital" after investing in more than 100 tech startups, said that it was critical that businesses and governments started shaping how artificial intelligence will affect society.  “We are quite bad at defining problems, so having a common way of working out among ourselves what our goals are as humanity is the key problem for next 20 to 30 years,” he said during the Cogx conference in London. “Humanity has a new partner in intelligent machines and the key thing for us to get right is how to co-evolve with them,” he added. Hauser alluded to Max Tegmark’s critically acclaimed 2017 novel Life 3.0 and suggested society had evolved from an organic being, to designing our own software through education and culture. The next stage, where society designs its own hardware using machine learning-fuelled gene therapies to eradicate disease, is just around the corner, he suggested. Hauser said that gene therapies would be the most useful and valuable application for artificial intelligence and that health was the area for investors and businesses to watch. “It is the only trillion dollar opportunity I know for artificial intelligence,” he said. At a glance | The “Fourth Industrial Revolution” Arm creates the equipment that powers technology and artificial intelligence, manufacturing the chips that are currently used in iPhones, computers and driverless cars. It was sold for £24bn to Japan's Softbank in 2016. Softbank announced last week that it will cede control of Arm's Chinese operations and the unit will be run as a joint venture with Chinese partners. Hauser’s sentiments surrounding ethical AI are echoed by the company he helped form. Since the sale the company has installed an ethics committee to discuss and take a position on artificial intelligence. It hopes that this will help engineers design products that mitigate potential misuse in the future, in both its own company and their customers' operations. Technology intelligence - newsletter promo - EOA Carolyn Herzog, General Counsel at Arm told the Telegraph that a range of employees on legal, marketing and data science teams had come to the conclusion that “artificial intelligence should be a force for the common good" but to ensure this "we should proceed cautiously”. Arm engineers will discuss ethics with customers about how to develop technology with privacy by design when they license their intellectual property to them. “AI should be like the internet, which we can use across borders and across companies and countries to enhance our lives but that means we need to design with privacy and ethics in mind,” she said.
Australia's Prime Minister Will Offer a National Apology to Child Sex Abuse Victims
JAY GORY, MANAGING EDITOR, science
In the wake of a sprawling inquiry into institutional abuse
Woman sues Nasa for right to own moon dust ‘given to her by Neil Armstrong’
JAY GORY, MANAGING EDITOR, science
A Tennessee woman is suing Nasa for the right to keep a vial of moon dust which she received from astronaut Neil Armstrong. Laura Murray Cicco of Manchester, Tennessee, has alleged in a 6 June lawsuit in the US District Court in Kansas that there is no law forbidding people from owning such material. Nasa had said in 2011 court documents that “private citizens cannot own lunar material” after a raid of a woman called Joann Davis in California, who was the widow of an engineer on Apollo 11 spacecraft which famously took Mr Armstrong to the moon.
Donald Trump Has Successfully Cleaned Up North Korea's Brand
JAY GORY, MANAGING EDITOR, science
The American president sounded more like he was pitching a casino to a potential investor, than a denuclearization deal with a dictator
Don't miss Venus' dazzling display this week
JAY GORY, MANAGING EDITOR, science
UK sky watchers are in for a treat as the planet forms a near-horizontal line with Gemini stars
VW says will pay 1 bn euro German fine over emissions cheating
JAY GORY, MANAGING EDITOR, science
Auto giant Volkswagen said Wednesday it would pay a one-billion-euro ($1.2 billion) fine imposed by German prosecutors over its diesel emissions cheating. "The Braunschweig public prosecutor issues an administrative order against Volkswagen AG in the context of the diesel crisis and imposes a fine of EUR1 billion on Volkswagen AG", the company said in a statement. The German car giant said it had "accepted the fine" and would not lodge an appeal.
National Security Council Says It Created That Video President Trump Showed Kim Jong Un Before the North Korean Summit
JAY GORY, MANAGING EDITOR, science
The film credited a production company in California, who denied any involvement
55 People, Some Children, Have Been Found in a Tractor
JAY GORY, MANAGING EDITOR, science
Homeland Security is investigating the incident
Whatever happened to Zika?
JAY GORY, MANAGING EDITOR, politics
Three years ago, the Zika virus was making nearly daily headlines. Now the infection has all but disappeared from the media landscape and conversation.
In primaries, Republican candidates can’t love Donald Trump enough
JAY GORY, MANAGING EDITOR, politics
Rep. Mark Sanford, R-S.C., left, and South Carolina Rep.Katie Arrington. Tuesday’s primary results in deep red South Carolina confirmed what has become conventional wisdom about the 2018 Republican Party: that there’s no such thing as loving Donald Trump too much. The candidate who loved him best, State Rep. Katie Arrington, defeated incumbent Rep. Mark Sanford, who voted with Trump a mere 89 percent of the time and accused him of incompetence and promoting bigotry.
Correction: Stranded Raccoon story
JAY GORY, MANAGING EDITOR, odd news
ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) — In a story June 13 about a raccoon scaling a building in St. Paul, Minnesota, The Associated Press reported erroneously that the building was the UBS Tower. The building's formal name is UBS Plaza.
Russia's psychic cat Achilles picks home team for World Cup opener
JAY GORY, MANAGING EDITOR, odd news
Want to know who will win the first match of the World Cup? At least that's the prediction of Achilles, a cat in St Petersburg reputed to have psychic powers. Achilles, who lives in St Petersburg's Hermitage museum, is deaf, something his minders say means he will not be easily distracted by onlookers while making his prediction.
More lawmakers agree: feminine hygiene products should be free for prisoners
JAY GORY, MANAGING EDITOR, world
Not only has the #MeToo movement toppled powerful men and highlighted the severity of sexual assault in the United States, it has brought to light a lesser known yet still serious issue: the lack of feminine hygiene products for incarcerated women. “It makes me feel like we’re making progress ... [and that] the country in general is waking up to the idea that maybe we need to be doing more for our female population,” says Monica Cooper, a former inmate and co-founder of the Maryland Justice Project, a nonprofit organization that aims to support ex-offenders’ successful reentry into society. The lack of menstrual products for female prisoners has been a largely overlooked issue despite the fact that women are the fastest growing demographic of the prison population, with an 834 percent growth over the past 40 years, according to the Prison Policy Initiative, a Massachusetts-based think tank.
Oprah and Meghan Markle's Mom Bonded Over a Yoga Date With Fresh Fruit
JAY GORY, MANAGING EDITOR, science
Kumquats are the key
IBM And NVIDIA Reach The Summit: The World's Fastest Supercomputer
JAY GORY, MANAGING EDITOR, science
IBM, NVIDIA, and the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) recently announced that they have completed testing the world’s fastest supercomputer, Summit, at the Oak Ridge National Laboratory in Oak Ridge, Tennessee. Capable of over 200 petaflops (200 quadrillion operations per second), Summit consists of 4600 IBM dual socket Power 9 nodes, connected by over 185 miles of fiber optic cabling. Each node is equipped with 6 NVIDIA Volta TensorCore GPUs, delivering total throughput that is 8 times faster than its predecessor, Titan, for double precision tasks, and 100 times faster for reduced precision tasks common in deep learning and AI.
Forest Closed and Thousands Evacuated as Colorado Wildfires Grow
JAY GORY, MANAGING EDITOR, science
Fires in Colorado and elsewhere are spreading rapidly amid dry climate
New dinosaur species discovered in Mexico
JAY GORY, MANAGING EDITOR, science
Paleontologists have found the remains of a new dinosaur species that inhabited the Mexican coast 85 million years ago, making it the oldest to have lived in the region.
Anthony Bourdain: Parts Unknown Is Here to Stay on Netflix
JAY GORY, MANAGING EDITOR, science
The show was originally supposed to come off Netflix on June 16
Free Climbing Raccoon Captures Hearts and Minds Scaling Minnesota Skyscraper
JAY GORY, MANAGING EDITOR, science
The saga of a small mammal scaling a tower inspired art and introspection
'Sleep well tonight!': Trump promptly declares North Korea no longer a nuclear threat
JAY GORY, MANAGING EDITOR, politics
Some aren't accepting President Trump's assurances on his return from the summit with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un.
Trump says Kim 'loves his people.' Human rights groups beg to differ.
JAY GORY, MANAGING EDITOR, politics
President Trump emerged from his historic summit with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un on Tuesday by heaping praise on a dictator who is considered among the worst human rights abusers in the world.
Her life saved, Bulgarian cow Penka waits to rejoin herd
JAY GORY, MANAGING EDITOR, odd news
KOPILOVTSI, Bulgaria (AP) — Swatting away the flies with her long tail, Penka the cow happily munches on hay, unaware of the international stir she has caused.
Minnesota online sensation raccoon captured atop skyscraper
JAY GORY, MANAGING EDITOR, odd news
(Reuters) - A raccoon that climbed to the top of a 25-story St. Paul, Minnesota, skyscraper early on Wednesday was captured after becoming a star on the web, where it won the hearts of followers across the United States and around the globe.
The North Korea Summit Gave Trump a Genuine Victory. But China May Benefit Most
JAY GORY, MANAGING EDITOR, science
The U.S. and North Korea got what they wanted. But in the end Beijing may be the real winner
AT&T Just Got Cleared to Buy Time Warner in a Massive $85 Billion Media Merger
JAY GORY, MANAGING EDITOR, science
The deal could pave the way to further consolidation
Burger King Has Taken Full Advantage of This Whole IHOP Name
JAY GORY, MANAGING EDITOR, science
Following IHOP's big reveal that it was changing it's name to IHOb, Burger King took to social media to mock the rebrand.
A 'New Type of Depression' May Have Just Been Discovered, Scientists Say
JAY GORY, MANAGING EDITOR, science
Researchers from Hiroshima University (HU), Japan, have proposed a new explanation for the biological mechanism behind depression, according to a study published in the journal Neuroscience. Currently, most treatments for depression are based on one hypothesis of how the mental disorder arises. This explanation, known as the monoamine hypothesis, states that depleted levels of the chemicals serotonin, norepinephrine and/or dopamine in the brain—which are all different types of monoamines—result in depressive symptoms.
The FBI Agent Accused of Accidental Shooting During a Backflip Has Been Arrested
JAY GORY, MANAGING EDITOR, science
Video appeared to show him dropping his handgun while doing a backflip
'Dead' husband returns after Japan police send wrong body
JAY GORY, MANAGING EDITOR, odd news
TOKYO (AP) — A Japanese wife has told police the body she thought was of her missing husband belonged to a stranger after her spouse turned up alive a year later.
St. Paul raccoon reaches roof after scaling downtown tower
JAY GORY, MANAGING EDITOR, odd news
ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) — A raccoon that appeared to be stranded on a ledge after climbing more than 20 stories of a high-rise office building in downtown St. Paul, Minnesota, has made it to the roof, easing concerns that the animal could plummet to its death.
He dreamed of teaching children with a background like his own
JAY GORY, MANAGING EDITOR, world
This essay is part of an occasional series provided by our partner organization Encore.org, which created the Generation to Generation (Gen2Gen) campaign, inviting those in midlife and beyond to connect with young people who need champions. After finishing high school, it took me eight years to graduate from California State Polytechnic University, Pomona while working full time at night.
Otto Warmbier's Parents Praise Trump And Hope 'Something Positive' Comes From North Korea Summit
JAY GORY, MANAGING EDITOR, science
Trump said the summit wouldn't have happened without Otto
Woman Sues NASA to Retain Possession of Neil Armstrong's Moon Dust
JAY GORY, MANAGING EDITOR, science
Lunar samples are technically US property, but there are some loopholes.
Are Humans Dumber? Study Finds IQ Scores Have Been Dropping for Decades, and the Media Might Be to Blame
JAY GORY, MANAGING EDITOR, science
Critics of video gamers, Netflix fanatics and social media mavens, rejoice: There’s mounting evidence that Western IQ scores are on the decline, and media exposure might be to blame. A Norwegian study published Monday found a seven-point dip in IQ test scores per generation among men born from 1962 to 1991. The results suggest a reversal in the Flynn effect, an observed increase in IQ scores throughout the 20th century in developed countries.
Economic Adviser Larry Kudlow Is Recovering After a 'Very Mild' Heart Attack, White House Says
JAY GORY, MANAGING EDITOR, science
Trump tweeted that Kudlow is being treated at Walter Reed Medical Center
With All Eyes on Singapore, the U.S. Quietly Opened a De Facto Embassy in Taiwan
JAY GORY, MANAGING EDITOR, science
Washington has a "robust unofficial relationship" with the self-ruled island
'Will He Shake the Hand of Peace?' Here's the Video President Trump Showed to Kim Jong Un
JAY GORY, MANAGING EDITOR, science
The dramatic four-minute video was like a movie trailer for the meeting
As North Korea danger recedes ever so slightly, renewed Russian threat looms
JAY GORY, MANAGING EDITOR, politics
Senate Judiciary Committee convened a hearing Tuesday that focused on the uneasy realization that Russia will likely try to interfere in the U.S. midterm elections.
Artist eying record for world's largest paper airplane
JAY GORY, MANAGING EDITOR, odd news
FITCHBURG, Mass. (AP) — Residents of a Massachusetts city are hoping to set a world record for the largest paper airplane.
Raccoon scales St. Paul office tower, captivating public
JAY GORY, MANAGING EDITOR, odd news
ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) — A raccoon stranded on the ledge of a building in St. Paul, Minnesota, captivated onlookers and generated interest on social media after it started scaling an office building.
20 Scrumptious 4th of July Appetizers
JAY GORY, MANAGING EDITOR, health
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Trapping carbon pollution underground for thousands of years is key to fighting climate change
JAY GORY, MANAGING EDITOR, science
Trapping carbon emissions deep within Earth's crust may be a clever way to keep warming greenhouse gases from amassing in the planet's atmosphere.  Giant wind turbines and solar-paneled roofs are almost certainly the energy future, but until the greater transition from burning fuels is complete, fuel-burning plants will continue to expel carbon into the air, which has already led to a rapid and accelerating disruption of Earth's climate.  Researchers now say that if carbon is pumped into the Earth, only small amounts, if that, are likely to leak out.  SEE ALSO: After attempts at censorship, National Park Service finally releases climate change report The storing of these emissions in the ground for thousands of years, or longer — a technology called Carbon Capture and Storage (CCS) — is a solution already employed in places like Norway's North Sea, but it has yet to be widely adopted.  However, if CCS were widely accepted, a new study published Tuesday in the journal Nature Communications suggests that well over 90 percent of this carbon will likely stay put for some 10,000 years, if stored correctly. Permanently storing this carbon miles beneath the ground will likely play a critical role in keeping Earth's warming to less than 2 degrees Celsius (3.6 Fahrenheit) below that of pre-industrial times by century's end, an ambitious goal agreed upon by nearly 200 nations at the Paris climate talks. The Sleipner gas platform, around 150 miles off Norway's coast in the North Sea, pumps carbon dioxide into the ground under the ocean.Image: DANIEL SANNUM LAUTEN/AFP/Getty Images"Tackling greenhouse gas emissions is a really complex problem and there is no one single solution," Stephanie Flude, a study coauthor and CCS researcher, said over email.  "Storing billions of tonnes of CO2 [carbon dioxide] underground is most likely essential to limit global warming to 2 degrees Celsius or less, but we still need to apply other solutions, such as reducing consumption, improved efficiency, switching to renewable and low-carbon energy and feedstocks, and improved land-use." Flude said there have been some misleading ideas that these sites won't leak any carbon, and also the opposite, that a single leak could release all of a site's carbon, so Flude and her team wanted to present a more realistic picture.  In doing so, they built a "storage security calculator," which benefited from a rich history of how other gases have leaked — and not leaked — in the past.  They projected the storage of carbon dioxide in the ground — which is pressurized and heated into a liquid state — over the years 2020 to 2050. Their results, that this carbon will mostly stay there for thousands of years, are consistent with what other geologists and engineers have found. "Leakage back to the atmosphere, while a potential concern from social and political perspectives, isn’t much of concern from a scientific perspective because studies such as this continue to find it unlikely," Jeffrey Bielicki, who heads the Energy Sustainability Research Laboratory at Ohio State University and had no involvement in the study, said in an interview.   A graphic showing how CCS works. The carbon storage element is shown at the bottom left.Image: Norwegian Government/GassnovaThough, whether carbon dioxide might find its way back to the surface isn't the only concern.  "There’s a worry it could delay the transition to renewables," Paul Olsen, who researches earth and environmental sciences at the Lamont Doherty Earth Observatory of Columbia University, said in an interview. "The logical thing is reducing the boring of fossil fuels and replacing that with renewables," said Olsen, who had no involvement in the study. "However, it won’t happen overnight." Flude acknowledged the argument that advancing carbon storage might deter from the march toward renewables, but noted that CCS can also lock away other sources of carbon, beyond that produced by power plants. Steel, cement, and chemical plants all emit loads of carbon dioxide, so switching to renewable power won't stop those industries from venting carbon into the air, she said.  Carbon, however, can't be trapped in the ground wherever's convenient. The geology needs to be right.  Places with lots of big voids in the ground, like the limestone beneath West Texas, won't do because there are too many caverns, escape routes, and holes in the ground. Expansive slabs of impervious granite won't work either, as the hard rock doesn't have much porous space.  "You can’t just pump it down anywhere," said Olsen.  The best places, said Flude, are areas where gas companies are already removing vast bounties of fossil fuels from the ground. These areas are made up of layered sedimentary rock that have multiple hard rock "caps" that can trap any escaping gases, just like they've trapped pockets of gas and oil for millions of years. Image: U.S. Energy Information association And there's an even better solution: We can pump carbon dioxide into underground rocks that react with the carbon, and then quickly transform it into hardened rock (specifically limestone and quartz). This carbon then gets stuck underground, in perpetuity.  But this, again, requires the right geology, which includes something like ancient lava rock, known as basalt. That said, there's a lot of that kind of rock beneath New York City, said Olsen. "In places like New York, or places with large-scale CO2 sources from power plants, it makes sense to look at the carbon storage model," said Olsen. "I think it's stupid not to." But, Olsen noted that the deep subsurface needs to be well-researched before you can start pumping liquified carbon dioxide into the ground, expecting it to turn into rock.  "Every place is special," he said, adding that scientists need to ensure the underground will actually trap carbon the way scientists think it will. Going forward, scientists know the technology can work — and in some places already does. The problem is scaling it up to be useful to greater society — not just a kind of successful test site somewhere.  "To make a large dent in the emissions, that's where the challenges are," said Bielicki. The study's authors did find that if these storage sites weren't well monitored for possible leaks, more than 20 percent of the carbon might escape back into the air. But it's unlikely this will ever be the case.  Every nation seriously considering or already using CCS, like Canada, Norway, and the United States, will almost certainly be carefully watching these sites. "That's the way it's likely to play out," said Bielick. Watching for leaks, diligently researching these underground worlds, and transporting highly-pressurized carbon to these places, however, isn't expected to be simple, nor cheap. "There's no free lunch here," said Olsen. "The only free lunch you get is with renewables." WATCH: Ever wonder how the universe might end?    
Lawmakers Are Hesitant to Judge the North Korea Summit Just Yet
JAY GORY, MANAGING EDITOR, science
Eight thousand miles away, lawmakers on Capitol Hill were a tad more measured.
'Roof, roof!' Dog rescued from overhang roof at his home
JAY GORY, MANAGING EDITOR, odd news
SPRING LAKE PARK, Minn. (AP) — "Roof! Roof!" He was practically begging to be rescued.
Despite murky details, summit sends NK clear message: Welcome to the club
JAY GORY, MANAGING EDITOR, world
“The world will see a major change,” Kim said as he signed the summit’s joint statement. What had been dubbed a denuclearization summit was actually very light on the specifics, beyond its quid-pro-quo joint statement twinning North Korea’s commitment to denuclearize with US security commitments for Kim.
Psychedelics May Physically Alter the Structure of the Brain
JAY GORY, MANAGING EDITOR, science
Psychedelic drugs are known to produce mind-altering effects, which can lead to profound changes in consciousness. Researchers from the University of California, Davis (UCD), found that psychedelic compounds such as LSD, DMT and MDMA, can increase the number of connections between brain cells, or neurons.