Friday, March 29, 2013

Matthew Stein on | When Disaster Strikes or Technology Fails | Segment 1 of 2

This is Segment 1 of 2. Segment 1 is being provided as a courtesy of VERITAS Radio. To listen to Segment 2 of this exclusive interview, subscribe at to watch the rest.

Veritas is censorship- and commercial-free and survives on your voluntary subscriptions. Thank you for supporting our work. ~Mel Fabregas

S y n o p s i s

Did you know that if the power grid fails in the United States, we could facing thousands of Chernobyls all happening at the same time? There are approximately 104 nuclear reactors in the USA. What should we do if one of these reactors went into meltdown?

Tonight, we discuss six trends, each of which are potential civilization busters. These trends may be forming into the “Perfect Storm” for collapse. Do we have a chance for avoiding long term collapse of the world as we know it?

Every time a natural disaster is on the horizon, like a huge blizzard or a major hurricane, the so-called “experts” on the radio and TV tell us what they think we need to do to be prepared, yet people always find themselves grossly unprepared. What things are they not telling us that we need to know, and what are some of the most important things in your 72-hour survival kit that are lacking in what these “experts” recommend?

Five acres of land and an off grid home sound like the way to go, but quite frankly they are out of reach for most people who are living from paycheck to paycheck. Are those without extra cash just out of luck or is there hope? What can we do to prepare? 

There are dark clouds gathering on the horizon. Collectively, they are converging to form the perfect storm—a storm of such magnitude that it will dwarf anything that mankind has ever seen. If we are unsuccessful in our attempts to calm this storm, without a doubt it will destroy life as we know it on Planet Earth!  

For this and ways to survive when disaster strikes or technology fails and ways to prevent these disasters and live in a sustainable world, Matthew Stein is tonight’s special guest.

This is Segment 1 of 2. Segment 1 is being provided as a courtesy of VERITAS Radio. To listen to Segment 2 of this exclusive interview, subscribe at to watch the rest.

Veritas is censorship- and commercial-free and survives on your voluntary subscriptions. Thank you for supporting our work. ~Mel Fabregas

S y n o p s i s

Did you know that if the power grid fails in the United States, we could facing thousands of Chernobyls all happening at the same time? There are approximately 104 nuclear reactors in the USA. What should we do if one of these reactors went into meltdown?

Tonight, we discuss six trends, each of which are potential civilization busters. These trends may be forming into the “Perfect Storm” for collapse. Do we have a chance for avoiding long term collapse of the world as we know it?

Every time a natural disaster is on the horizon, like a huge blizzard or a major hurricane, the so-called “experts” on the radio and TV tell us what they think we need to do to be prepared, yet people always find themselves grossly unprepared. What things are they not telling us that we need to know, and what are some of the most important things in your 72-hour survival kit that are lacking in what these “experts” recommend?

Five acres of land and an off grid home sound like the way to go, but quite frankly they are out of reach for most people who are living from paycheck to paycheck. Are those without extra cash just out of luck or is there hope? What can we do to prepare?

There are dark clouds gathering on the horizon. Collectively, they are converging to form the perfect storm—a storm of such magnitude that it will dwarf anything that mankind has ever seen. If we are unsuccessful in our attempts to calm this storm, without a doubt it will destroy life as we know it on Planet Earth! 

For this and ways to survive when disaster strikes or technology fails and ways to prevent these disasters and live in a sustainable world, Matthew Stein is tonight’s special guest.

Jumbo Squid-Cam Uncovers Secrets of Elusive Creature

A Crittercam attached to a Humboldt squid captured some amazing footage, as this screengrab shows.


To see firsthand how an elusive species of jumbo squid lives, scientists have strapped video cameras to the carnivorous sea creature in the eastern Pacific.

The footage has helped reveal some remarkable secrets of the Humboldt squid: They are capable of amazing bursts of speed, up to nearly 45 mph (72 km/h); they "talk" to each other by changing their body color; and they hunt in big synchronized groups.

'Graceful Eruption' on Sun Revealed in Stunning Photo

A solar prominence began to bow out and the broke apart in a graceful, floating style in a little less than four hours on March 16, 2013.


A NASA spacecraft that constantly watches the sun has captured an amazing view of a solar eruption that exploded from the surface of the star this month.

The new image, which NASA featured as its image of the day today (March 28), shows the solar prominence —a delicate combination of super-hot plasma and magnetic fields —just after it snapped, sending plumes of material out into space.

NASA scientists dubbed the sun storm a "Graceful Eruption." It occurred on March 16 and was captured by the space agency's Solar Dynamics Observatory, which records spectacular views of the sun in high definition.

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97% of Restaurant Kids' Meals Are Unhealthy, Consumer Group Says

At fast food restaurants, most parents buy their children unhealthy items that can account for up to 51 percent of a child's daily calorie needs, even though healthier options are available, the study shows.


Despite steps by some chain restaurants to offer healthier kids' meals, most still aren't very nutritious, according to a new report.

Of the3,500 meals from 41 top chain restaurantsthat were analyzed, just 3 percent met the nutrition standards set by the Center for Science in the Public Interest (CSPI), the advocacy organization that conducted the report.

Fifty percent of the meals had more than 600 calories, 78 percent offered soft drinks as a beverage option and 73 percent offered fries as a side.

Media Consolidation: The Illusion of Choice (Infographic)

As a dad (and blogger) I’m concerned with the integrity of the news and entertainment my family and I consume every day. Who really produces, owns and airs the shows my kids are glued to every evening and which companies select the stories I read with such loyalty each morning? I’ve always advocated for critical consumption, and what could be more important than an awareness of the sources of our families’ daily info and entertainment diets? And today, most of our media is controlled by one of six companies. Check out Frugaldad’s infographic on the state of media consolidation in the U.S.:


A Clear Signal Against the Use of Tar Sands

The original Blue Marble photo was taken on Dec. 7, 1972. The original NASA caption: View of the Earth as seen by the Apollo 17 crew traveling toward the moon. This translunar coast photograph extends from the Mediterranean Sea area to the Antarctica south polar ice cap. This is the first time the Apollo trajectory made it possible to photograph the south polar ice cap. Note the heavy cloud cover in the Southern Hemisphere. Almost the entire coastline of Africa is clearly visible. The Arabian Peninsula can be seen at the northeastern edge of Africa. The large island off the coast of Africa is the Malagasy Republic. The Asian mainland is on the horizon toward the northeast.


Frank Schwabe, Member of the German Parliament (Bundestag) with the Social Democratic Party, contributed this article to LiveScience's Expert Voices: Op-Ed & Insights.

I am happy to report that due to public and political climate concerns, Germany's largest and most prestigious scientific organization, the Helmholtz Association Research Centers, recently pulled out of a project focused on improving environmental and engineering performance in the Alberta tar sands.

First Love Child of Human, Neanderthal Found

Neanderthals had a characteristic "bun head" shaped skull which allowed for expanded visual processing in the back of the brain. That left them less head space for the frontal lobe, which governs social cognition.


The skeletal remains of an individual living in northern Italy 40,000-30,000 years ago are believed to be that of a human/Neanderthal hybrid, according to a paper in PLoS ONE.

If further analysis proves the theory correct, the remains belonged to the first known such hybrid, providing direct evidence that humans and Neanderthals interbred. Prior genetic research determined the DNA of people with European and Asian ancestry is 1 to 4 percent Neanderthal.

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Mystery of Desert 'Fairy Circles' Solved, Creators Found

Here, numerous tracks of Oryx antelopes crossing fairy circles in an interdune pan, shown in this aerial view of Namibrand, Namibia.


The "artists" behind bizarre, barren, grassless rings dotting the desert of Southwest Africa have been found lurking right at scientists' feet: termites.

Known as fairy circles, these patches crop up in regular patterns along a narrow strip of the Namib Desert between mid-Angola and northwestern South Africa, and can persist for decades. The cause of these desert pockmarks has been widely debated, but a species of sand termite, Psammotermes allocerus, could be behind the mysterious dirt rings, suggests a study published today (March 28) in the journal Science.

Scientists have offered many ideas about the circles' origin, ranging from "self-organizing vegetation dynamics" to carnivorous ants. Termites have been proposed before, but there wasn't much evidence to support that theory.

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Solar-Powered Plane to Make Cross-Country Flight

Two pilots plan to make a cross-country trip in a solar-powered plane. Here, the plane flying over Switzerland. 

Solar impulse, an ultra-lightweight plane powered completely by the sun is set to fly coast-to-coast this spring, researchers announced today (March 28) at Moffett Air Field at NASA Ames Research Center in Mountain View, Calif.

The plane requires zero fuel and relies solely on solar panels and battery power.

The two Swiss pilots of the plane, Bertrand Piccard and Andre Borschberg, want to complete a flight from Moffett Field to New York City. Along the way it will stop in Phoenix, Ariz., Dallas-Ft. Worth, Washington, D.C., and either Nashville, Tenn., Atlanta, Ga., or St. Louis. The plane will embark on May 1and will arrive in the Big Apple by early July. 

The plane, called Solar Impulse, has a wingspan equivalent to a 747 jetliner, the w

Digital Evolution: DNA May Bring Computers to Life

Scientists have developed the biological equivalent of a transistor.


The transistor revolutionized electronics and computing. Now, researchers have made a biological transistor from DNA that could be used to create living computers.

A transistor is a device that controls the flow of electrons in an electrical circuit, which acts as an on-off switch. Similarly, the biological transistor — termed a transcriptor — controls the flow of an enzyme as it moves along a strand of DNA (deoxyribonucleic acid). These cellular building blocks could be used to do anything from monitoring their environment to turning processes on and off in the cells. The findings were reported today (March 28) in the journal Science.

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New Research Suggests Shroud of Turin Is Real


The Shroud of Turin, an icon of faith and controversy among Christians, is back in the news.

The linen cloth, allegedly the burial shroud of Jesus, was closely examined in 1988 in laboratories in Switzerland, England and the United States using carbon-14 dating techniques, the Telegraph reports.

Those examinations of the shroud — which bears the image of a man's face and torso — dated the cloth from 1260 to 1390, supporting claims that it's merely an elaborate medieval hoax, as Jesus' life is thought to have come to an end in A.D. 33. 

Some believers, however, insisted that the linen fibers used in the 1988 exa

Dodo Bone, Huge Elephant-Bird Egg Up for Auction


Traces of two awkward birds that have become emblems of extinction are headed for the auction block next month.

The auction house Christie's announced this week that it's selling a femur bone fragment of a dodo bird and a massive sub-fossilized elephant bird egg that's 100 times the size of a chicken egg.

Elephant birds were flightless creatures that stood 10 feet (3 meters) tall and lived on the island of Madagascar until they were driven to extinction by the 18th century, possibly due to factors like disease introduced by settlers or humans' unsustainable appetite for their eggs.

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How Mom & Dad's Fights Can Stunt Kids' Brains

Multiple studies have linked parental conflict with stress and behavioral problems in kids. 


Arguments between Mom and Dad can alter the stress responses of children, new research finds, possibly resulting in kids who lag behind their peers in problem solving.

The study, released today (March 28) in the journal Child Development, followed second- and third-graders for three years, asking them about their parents' fights and measuring changes in the kids' ability to deal with stress over time.

"We're trying to understand how environmental stress can shape the development of children's stress response systems," study researcher J. Benjamin Hinnant of the Catholic University of America, told LiveScience.

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Why Doesn't the Moon Spin?


In 1992, shortly after launch, the Jupiter-bound Galileo probe took photographs of the moon as it flew past.

I've been asked on a number of occasions recently why the moon always seems to show us the same face -- the lunar nearside. I'm not sure why there's the sudden interest, but it's a very good and valid question, especially as tonight (March 27) is a full moon. 

Look at the moon at any time and -- aside from the constantly changing phases that are caused by changing relative positions of the Earth, the moon and sun -- it does indeed show us the same face, constantly. 

Perhaps surprisingly, it's 'non-rotation' (from our perspective) comes from its interaction with the Earth.

Both the Earth and moon are big lumps of rock with the moon in orbit around the Earth or, more precisely, both objects in orbit around their common center of gravity -- known as the 'barycenter.' It just happens that this point lies very close to the center of our planet, so to all intents the moon orbits us.

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Humans Are Speeding Up Evolution

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How Deep Sea Mud Found off a Tiny Japanese Island May Change the Gadget Economy


Tiny Minami-Torishima Island, which is key to Japan finding rare earth metals within its own waters. Via Wikipedia

Inside of all the world's gadgets–all of our technology in general, really–is a melange of rare earth elements, which aren't as hard to find as their name suggests, but which are hard to mine efficiently. Currently, China pretty much dominates the world market for the crucial elements, but a huge find underneath Japan's seas may now help break that stranglehold.

China wasn't always dominant in the rare earth game. Other countries, including the US and war-torn Congo, have and still do mine for the metals. But over the years, China used its massive domestic supply to outprice operations around the world, which eventually disappeared. Then, in 2010, China began restricting supply, which caused uproar from the EU, US, and Japan, who all complained to the World Trade Organization.

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The Host: The mind-bending enemy within

Host movie poster (Copyright: Metropolitan Filmexport/Open Road Films) 

Truth is stranger than fiction when it comes to the extraordinary abilities of parasites to hijack other creatures minds... including our own.  

Heads up. I'm starting with a spoiler. One of the most effectively scary movie moments I’ve ever seen is in the otherwise unmemorable 1979 When A Stranger Calls. A young babysitter keeps getting phone calls asking “have you checked the children?”  Eventually she tires of the prank and contacts the police. They tell her to make sure all the doors are locked and if it happens again to keep the stranger on the line. The next time he rings she manages to get a few more words out of him, but he still hangs up quickly. The police call back. "We’ve traced the call. It’s coming from inside the house”.

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Incredible North Atlantic storm spans Atlantic Ocean, coast to coast


The storm shown here stretches west to east from Newfoundland to Portugal. Its southern tail (cold front) extends into the Caribbean and the north side of its comma head touches southern Greenland.

Not only is it big, but it’s also super intense – comparable to many category 3 hurricanes.  The storm’s central pressure, as analyzed by the Ocean Prediction Center, is 953 mb. Estimated peak wave heights are around 25-30 feet.

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Watch This Magnetic Putty Absorb A Block

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This Is The Best Military Photography Of The Year


The photographers and videographers employed by the U.S. armed forces are often some pretty talented artists. Stationed around the globe, they're tasked with producing images of all aspects of service -- from training to combat to the struggles that troops sometimes face upon returning home. 

The images here are some of the best of the best -- a selection of winners and honorable mentions in the 2012 Military Photographer of the Year competition, recently judged at the Defense Information School at Ft. George G. Meade, Maryland. These photos adhere to the same standards as photojournalism (meaning no posed or electronically manipulated images) and have been chosen from thousands of entries. You can see some of last year's winners here

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The Soviet Ghost Town in the Czech Republic


There’s a little bit of the Soviet empire left in the middle of the Czech Republic, but it’s abandoned, decaying, and almost completely forgotten.

USSR military bases might not be known for their community outreach, but is it really possible that two towns, one Czech and one Russian, could exist just over one mile apart for two decades without the residents knowing anything about each other? If you’ve got enough barbed-wire fences and Kalashnikovs, I suppose anything is possible.

After occupying what was then Czechoslovakia in 1968, the Soviet army chose an airfield 28 miles from Prague as the base for its Central Group of Forces. It had been used before by the Austro-Hungarian military and then the Luftwaffe, but when the Soviets moved in, they came for the long haul.

They built an entire town next to the airfield and called it Boží Dar, which means “God’s gift,” and then fenced it off from the outside world. Oh, that dark Soviet humor! Or maybe they really did think it was nice, since it did have a pool, a movie theater, and wasn’t Nizhny Novgorod. 

Just down the (heavily guarded) road was the nondescript Czech town of Milovice and its 8,000 or so inhabitants, none of whom knew about the hundreds of families living under armed guard in cramped concrete tower blocks just up the road.
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Mark Kleiman on why we need to solve our alcohol problem to solve our crime problem


Mark Kleiman is Professor of Public Policy at the UCLA School of Public Affairs and is currently advising Washington State on marijuana legalization. His article in the latest issue of the journal “Democracy” argues that we can reform the criminal justice system to make sanctions more predictable and less cruel while reducing crime in the process. We spoke on the phone Thursday afternoon; a lightly edited transcript follows.

Dylan Matthews: One point your piece makes very strongly is that the crime problem in the United States isn’t mostly about illegal drugs.

Mark Kleiman: Drugs are an important part of the question if you include alcohol as a drug. Take any dimension of the problem you like, except for source country violence. All illegal drugs combined are to alcohol as the Mediterranean is to the Pacific. We have our whole navy in the Mediterranean. And that’s true both of the drug policy machinery and those who are fighting the drug war, and of the drug reform movement, which, it seems to me, neglects the problem with the one drug we’ve legalized. Any sentence about drug policy that doesn’t end with “raise alcohol taxes” is an incoherent sentence.

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ANALYSIS: North Korean Photo Reveals ‘U.S. Mainland Strike Plan’

Information revealed in official North Korean military photo shows would-be U.S. attack

ANALYSIS: North Korean Photo Reveals ‘U.S. Mainland Strike Plan’ 

UPDATE 1449KST: South Korean intelligence agencies have spotted increased activity on North Korean mid-to-long range missile platforms, an unnamed official told Yonhap in Seoul: “We are closely watching for  the possibility of a missile launch,” the anonymous government source said.

SEOUL – Kim Jong Un signed off on a plan to ready his forces to target the U.S. mainland and American bases in East Asia following yesterday’s U.S.-led B-2 stealth bomber runs, the KCNA reported after the North Korean military conveyed an “emergency meeting” in the early hours of this morning.

In a photo published in the Korea Worker’s Party (KWP) paper the Rodong, plans for a strike on the U.S. mainland are clearly –and therefore probably deliberately– visible. The newspaper is widely distributed in cities, and often displayed in public places for easy viewing.

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Thursday, March 28, 2013

Sounds of Arguing Affect Sleeping Babies' Brains

Even moderate stress can affect babies' brain development.

Hearing the sounds of arguments affects how a baby's brain processes emotional tones of a voice, a new study finds. The little ones' brains lit up in response to angry tones, even while they were asleep.

Babies' minds are extremely malleable. The environments and events they experience shape their brains for good or for ill. Stress due to maltreatment or being raised in an institution can take a toll on a baby's development. But this study, to be published in a forthcoming issue of the journal Psychological Science, shows that even moderate stresses can affect brain function.

"We were interested in whether a common source of early stress in children's lives — conflict between parents — is associated with how infants' brains function," lead study author Alice Graham of the University of Oregon said in a statement.

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UFOs Over Texas: Unidentified Floating Fireballs?

A strange sight in the Texas night sky over the weekend had many people talking about fireballs and alien invasions. But, alas, the real culprit has been identified, a much more Earthly one.

Police in East Liberty County got a 911 emergency call at around 8:30 p.m. on Saturday from a person reporting "red fireballs in the sky." Responding police officers, along with a dozen locals, described seeing four orange lights moving slowly in a line high in the sky. Police scopes revealed that the objects looked like hot air balloons — complete with flames — but were much smaller and did not have the signature gondola at the bottom.

Even more mysteriously, the lights were estimated to only be a few thousand feet off the ground, and yet they moved silently. No known airplane or helicopter technology could fly that low and remain so quiet. Within minutes the UFOs were gone, having disappeared into the night. They didn't fly away but instead simply blinked out of existence; some eyewitnesses thought they had vanished behind a passing cloud and would reappear at any moment, but they never did.

Exploring the Makeup of Extrasolar Planets

Oppenheimer stands with the Hale Telescope at Palomar Observatory at Caltech, used with the four instruments developed to capture the light from HR 8799's planets. In the subset is an image, rendered in black and white for clarity, of the distant solar system. At the central point is HR 8799 — though its light is blocked, hence the black disc — and it is surrounded by four planets marked 'b', 'c', 'd' and 'e'. The image is a composite of 30 separate data sets, each captured for a different light wavelength during a period of just over one hour.


Astronomers have developed a new way to detect chemical processes that take place on extrasolar planets, a technique that could one day help us find distant planets capable of sustaining life.

The new approach refines earlier attempts to deduce the chemical composition of an extrasolar planet's atmosphere — or surface, if there is no cloud cover — by first separating the light from the planet from that of its host star with set of new complex imaging tools. Then the light is divided into a spectrum.

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Richard III Burial Challenged on Human Rights Grounds

The remains of King Richard III, showing a curved spine and signs of battle trauma.


The debate over the reburial of English King Richard III is heating up, with a group of the monarch's supposed descendents challenging the University of Leicester on the plans for reinterment, basing their argument on human rights violations.

University of Leicester archaeologists discovered the bones of the lost monarch under a parking lot in Leicester last year, and they confirmed the king's identity in February. The U.K. Ministry of Justice issued the university an exhumation certificate before the project began, giving them the right to decide where the king's remains would be reburied, if found. That certificate hasn't stopped the eruption of debate over the best spot for the burial.

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Rare View Reveals How Earth's Crust Forms

A new view into the mantle beneath the East Pacific Rise reveals how mid-ocean ridges work.


One of the Earth's best-ever baby pictures reveals how crust forms at the biggest volcanic feature on the planet.

The detailed look at molten magma beneath a mid-ocean ridge, one of the giant undersea cracks that ring the globe like seams on a baseball, sheds light on the driving forces behind plate tectonics. The results of the study are published today (March 27) in the journal Nature.

Most of the Earth (70 percent) is covered by oceanic crust, mainly basalt, formed from lava that burbles out ofmid-ocean ridges. The ridges run across some 40,000 miles (65,000 kilometers) of the seafloor. They mark where crust pulls apart, leaving space for hotter mantle rock underneath to rise up and melt.

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80 New Genetic Markers for Cancer Found


More than 80 new genetic markers linked with an increased risk ofbreast, prostate and ovarian cancer have been identified, according to the results of a dozen new studies published today (March 27).

Together, the studies involved more than 250,000 people around the world.

In five of the studies, to be published in the journal Nature Genetics, researchers analyzed genetic information from 100,000 patients with breast, ovarian or prostate cancer and 100,000 healthy people in the general population. The researchers looked for spots in the genetic code (aka markers) where the two groups differed.

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Exercise Offers Fewer Benefits to the Depressed


Depression may dampen some of the benefits of exercise and other healthy behaviors, a new study suggests.

In the research, people who were physically active generally had lower levels ofC-reactive protein (CRP), a marker of inflammation in the body. But this link was not found in people with symptoms of depression — exercise did not affect their CRP levels. Previous studies have shown that high CRP levels are a risk factor for heart disease.

In addition, drinking less alcohol also lowered CRP levels, but only among men who weren't depressed.

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TMI? Newest Entrepreneurs Advocate Open Source Culture


For decades, the business community has been keeping secrets — from its employees.

From financial data and salary information to long-term initiatives and succession planning, privately owned companies have long subscribed to the theory that sharing critical information with employees is done only on a need-to-know basis.

However, as a new generation of entrepreneurs takes hold, so too is a new era of transparency. The 2-year-old analytics company SumAll has created an open-book culture by giving each of its 30 employees access to mounds of company information, including such previously sacred data as individual salaries and bonuses, investor details and capital structure.

Why You Are Paying for Everyone's Flood Insurance

Last month also brought heavy precipitation to parts of the U.S. The only part of this home in Vicksburg Mississippi above water on May 13, 2011 was the roof.


Andy Stevenson, Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) Finance Advisor and Dan Lashof, Director of NRDC's Climate and Clean Air Program contributed this article to LiveScience's Expert Voices: Op-Ed & Insights.

There are many, many compelling and urgent reasons to take decisive action to combat climate change.

Here's one that's measurable by dollars added to our budget deficit. Actually by tens of billions of dollars.

The soaring cost of private flood insurance is pricing so many coastal homeowners out of the market that the rest of the American taxpayers are having to bail them out – to the tune of $30 billion under the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP).

Margin Notes Shed New Light on Renaissance Anatomy Masterpiece


When the Renaissance physician and expert dissector Andreas Vesalius first published "De humani corporis fabrica" in 1543, he provided the most detailed look inside the human body of his time.

A previously unknown copy of the impressive anatomy textbook resurfaced a few years ago, and it apparently contains more than a thousand hand-written notes and corrections by the author himself. The annotations reveal that Vesalius was meticulously planning a third edition of the book that never made it to print, researchers say.

"This book is his work bench as much as the dissecting table," Vivian Nutton, a University College London professor emeritus, writes in a recently published analysis of the text in the journal Medical History.

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Macho Dudes Have an Edge in Less-Developed Countries

Squinty eyes? Check. Strong jaw? Yep. Young Paul Newman in a publicity still from "The Left Handed Gun" demonstrates the features of a high-testosterone face.


Whether a strong jaw wins a guy much sway with the ladies may depend on what country he lives in.

Scientists have found that women in less-developed countries are more likely to prefer guys with faces that hint at high levels of testosterone than women in more-developed countries. That may be because women in less-developed societies are more focused on good genes for their offspring, whereas women in more-developed societies with less fear of disease may care more about commitment, said study researcher Fhionna Moore, a psychologist at the University of Dundee in Scotland.

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The Truth Behind the 'Biggest Cyberattack in History'

The headquarters of the Web-hosting company Cyberbunker near Goes, in the southwestern Dutch province of Zeeland. 


Is it "the biggest cyberattack in history"? Or just routine flak that network-security providers face all the time?

News websites across the Western world proclaimed Internet Armageddon today (March 27), largely due to a New York Times story detailing a "squabble" between the spam-fighting vigilantes at Spamhaus and the dodgy Dutch Web-hosting company Cyberbunker.

"Fight Jams Internet," the Times headline said. "Global Internet slows," the BBC proclaimed in the wake of the Times' story. Both websites alleged that Netflix streaming was slowing down as a result. 

The reality is less exciting, though still serious. The Internet disruptions,

Women on the Pill Choose Less Manly Men

Being on the pill may decrease a woman's preference for masculine-looking men.


Women using the birth control pill prefer men with less masculine faces compared to nonusers, new research suggests.

Millions of women use hormonal forms of contraception, and some studies indicate the pill could affect partner preferences. A new study shows women were attracted to less masculine male faces after going on the pill, while their ratings of the attractiveness of female faces were unaffected. And in couples who first met when the woman was on the pill, the men were less likely to have manly faces than those who met when the woman was off the pill. If supported, the findings could have important implications for how relationships are formed.

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Grand Canyon Country Reveals Jaw-Dropping Scenery

A jagged scar etched in copper-colored rocks, the Colorado River's channel curls through one of the world's most scenic landscapes.

Draining seven states and two countries, the river is one of the Southwest's most important water sources. One of its major reservoirs, Lake Powell, can be seen from space in a photo snapped March 12 by an astronaut aboard the International Space Station.

Sunglint (reflected sunlight) gives the water a mirrorlike sheen, reports NASA's Earth Observatory. In the photo, the river runs left to right because the astronaut was looking at the river canyon from the south. North is to the bottom of the image.

Antarctic Thawing Season Keeps Getting Longer


More ice is melting for a longer period of time each year on the Antarctic Peninsula, new research shows.

The area is warming more quickly than almost any other spot on Earth. Temperatures on this mountainous strip of land have risen by 5.4 degrees Fahrenheit (3 degrees Celsius) since the 1950s, according to a news release from the British Antarctic Survey, whose scientists were involved in the research.

The study, published today (March 27) in the Journal of Geophysical Research: Earth Surface, analyzed data from 30 weather stations on the Antarctic Peninsula and found that not only is the temperature rising, but it's staying warmer longer, and all that warming is having an impact on the ice.

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What 2,000 Calories Actually Looks Like

As translated into bagels, burritos, and more. This will come in handy if you ever decide to subsist on chicken nuggets alone.

The calculations on food labels are always based on a 2,000-calorie diet...
The calculations on food labels are always based on a 2,000-calorie diet...

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Cruel and Unusual Punishment: The Shame of Three Strikes Laws

While Wall Street crooks walk, thousands sit in California prisons for life over crimes as trivial as stealing socks.


On July 15th, 1995, in the quiet Southern California city of Whittier, a 33-year-old black man named Curtis Wilkerson got up from a booth at McDonald's, walked into a nearby mall and, within the space of two hours, turned himself into the unluckiest man on Earth. "I was supposed to be waiting there while my girlfriend was at the beauty salon," he says.

So he waited. And waited. After a while, he paged her. "She was like, 'I need another hour,'" he says. "So I was like, 'Baby, I'm going to the mall.'"

Having grown up with no father and a mother hooked on barbiturates, Wilkerson, who says he still boasts a Reggie Miller jumper, began to spend more time on the streets. After his mother died when he was 16, he fell in with a bad crowd, and in 1981 he served as a lookout in a series of robberies. He was quickly caught and sentenced to six years in prison. After he got out, he found work as a forklift operator, and distanced himself from his old life.

How the internet is making us poor


Librarians are being replaced by vast systems for automatically storing books—but it's Wikipedia and the internet that are the real threat.

Everyone knows the story of how robots replaced humans on the factory floor. But in the broader sweep of automation versus labor, a trend with far greater significance for the middle class—in rich countries, at any rate—has been relatively overlooked: the replacement of knowledge workers with software.

One reason for the neglect is that this trend is at most thirty years old, and has become apparent in economic data only in perhaps the past ten years. The first all-in-one commercial microprocessor went on sale in 1971, and like all inventions, it took decades for it to become an ecosystem of technologies pervasive and powerful enough to have a measurable impact on the way we work.

Astrophile: Snapshot of a two-faced Tatooine world

The binary system 2M0103, with its central pair of stars and mystery third object in orbit around them. This infrared image was produced by the Very Large Telescope at ESO-Paranal in Chile <i>(Image: ESO 2013)</i> 

Object: Massive planet or tiny failed star
Orbital partners: A close binary star system

Exoplanet hunters may have bagged the first direct picture of a planet with two suns. But the object, catchily dubbed 2MASS0103(AB)b, has a double life. It is so massive that it may also be a failed star with a relatively tight orbit around the central binary stars. Astronomers have not yet unravelled the truth. Deciding its identity could teach us more about how stars and planets form.

Philippe Delorme of the Joseph Fourier University in Grenoble, France, and colleagues took the picture in November last year using a telescope in Chile. Searches in the telescope's archives turned up data on the object's position in 2002 (marked in the picture by a green arrow), allowing them to trace its orbital motion around the binary stars.

Also known as Tatooines, after a fictional world in Star Wars, planets that orbit binary stars have only been found before through indirect methods. The new object orbits at a distance of about 12.5 billion kilometres, close enough to its stars to have been born from a disc of dust surrounding them, like a planet. But it is 12 to 14 times the mass of Jupiter, placing it near the dividing line between planets and failed stars called brown dwarfs.

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Bitcoin Prices Have Gone Utterly Nuclear In The Last Two Days

The price of a Bitcoin, the digital money that's become the new obsession of gold and silver-types, continues its dizzying assent.

Here's a short term chart. Back in February, one Bitcoin was trading at around $20. Today? $95, having had two huge moves over the last two days.

Screen Shot 2013 03 28 at 5.24.53 AM 

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Speed Of Light In Vacuum Is Not Actually Constant, Study Finds

Oh, and a vacuum may not really be void of matter.  

Light from the sun speeds toward Earth 

Light from the sun speeds toward Earth Kieff on Wikimedia Commons
Can you trust nothing in life? A new physics paper suggests that the speed of light in a vacuum may not be constant, and that a vacuum isn't actually entirely empty of stuff.

The paper, by a team of French physicists, finds that the speed of a photon in a vacuum fluctuates by 50 quintillionths of a second per square meter, the Christian Science Monitor reported. In addition, it posits that vacuums may actually have extremely short-lived particles in them that keep appearing and disappearing.

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What happens if North Korea collapses?

Pyongyang is threatening nuclear war. But that might not even be the worst-case scenario 

A man walks past propaganda posters in Pyongyang, North Korea on March 26. 

North Korea shut down its last military hotline to South Korea on Wednesday, warning that nuclear war was imminent. The threat was the latest in a series of increasingly belligerent statements made by the Hermit Kingdom since world leaders imposed sanctions as punishment for the communist regime's recent missile and nuclear tests. Pyongyang has threatened to nuke both South Korea and the U.S.

On the bright side, security experts say North Korea doesn't have the ability to strike the U.S., and war on the Korean Peninsula is far from inevitable. "The North's wild gesticulations are unsettling," but "this is the seventh time Pyongyang has renounced the 1953 cease-fire" with the South, Doug Bandow points out at The American Spectator. "War has yet to erupt." One can't take anything for granted, but there's little reason to believe that North Korea's untested young leader, Kim Jong Un, "and those around him have turned suicidal after the death of his father."

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Forget about the CyberBunker attack—here’s how to take an entire continent offline


At its peak, CyberBunker clogged up a mind-boggling 300 gigabits per second of the Internet in what’s being called the biggest cyber-attack in history. But what if you could switch off 1.28 terabits—four times as much bandwidth—with nothing more high-tech than an axe?

That’s what three men tried to do in an unsophisticated but effective form of sabotage in Egypt yesterday; their identities and motives are not yet known. Reuters reports the Egyptian coastguard intercepted a fishing boat off the coast of Alexandria and arrested three men trying to cut through the SEA-ME-WE 4 undersea cable. The cable is one of the main connections between Asia and Europe, running from France to Malaysia and linking Italy, north Africa, the middle east and south Asia. The men, whose pictures the navy uploaded on Facebook, are being interrogated by Egyptian authorities. (If you recognize them, send an email to

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