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Pharmacy boss blamed for meningitis outbreak gets 9 years
Mon, 26 Jun 2017 19:18:46 -0400

Pharmacy boss blamed for meningitis outbreak gets 9 yearsBOSTON (AP) — The co-owner of a pharmacy deemed responsible for the deaths of 76 people in a national meningitis outbreak tearfully apologized to the victims on Monday and was sentenced to nine years in prison, far less than the victims had wanted.

US mayors bypass Trump to back Paris climate goals
Tue, 27 Jun 2017 10:57:28 -0400

US mayors bypass Trump to back Paris climate goalsPresident Donald Trump's decision to pull out of the Paris climate accord has triggered a bipartisan push from US mayors to stick to the emissions cuts Washington had pledged to hit, the mayor of Atlanta said Tuesday. Mayor Kasim Reed said he was sending a signal of "optimism, passion and action" on fighting climate change to mayors worldwide despite the pullout Trump announced this month. "President Trump's disappointing decision to withdraw from the agreement will actually have the opposite effect in terms of execution," Reed told a meeting of mayors from Asia, Africa, Europe, South America and North America in Brussels.

China's verdant 'forest city' will fight pollution with a million plants
Tue, 27 Jun 2017 16:17:26 -0400

China's verdant 'forest city' will fight pollution with a million plantsIf tree-covered skyscrapers act like enormous air filters, this cluster of buildings will be a clean air oasis. China has broken ground on a "forest city" in the southern city of Liuzhou. The development, which will span two-thirds of a mile along the Liujiang River, involves blanketing offices, apartments, hotels, and schools with more than a million plants and about 40,000 trees. SEE ALSO: How drones are helping to plant trees The verdant towers will help soak up urban air pollution, produce clean oxygen, and boost local biodiversity. The greenery also provides shade on sunny days and acts as an insulating blanket during winter, allowing tenants to use less heating and electricity. Liuzhou Forest City will span 175 hectares, or 0.67 miles, along the Liujiang River.Image: stefano boeri architettiIf the concept sounds familiar, that's because these buildings are the work of Stefano Boeri Architetti, the same architecture firm behind the two "vertical forest" buildings planned for Nanjing in eastern China.  Liuzhou city officials commissioned the Italian company to build the development, which will host about 30,000 people and be connected to the main Liuzhou city — population 3.8 million — via a fast-rail line used by electric cars. The forest city, now under construction, is expected to be completed by 2020, the Milan-based architects confirmed by email. 'Vertical forest' buildings in the Liuzhou development.Image: stefano boeri architettiThe development is a flashy but tiny effort to combat the dangerous smog and toxic air pollution that's choking China's industrialized cities. It comes as China is building more wind and solar power than any country in the world to slash emissions from coal plants, factories, and vehicles, and to combat climate change. Stefano Boeri's firm, which recently completed two verdant towers in Milan, is planning to expand into other smoggy cities, including China's Shijiazhuang, Guizhou, Shanghai, and Chongqing. In the Liuzhou Forest City, buildings, parks, and gardens will absorb almost 10,000 tons of carbon dioxide and 57 tons of fine dust pollutants per year, while producing about 900 tons of oxygen, the architects said in a press release.  By comparison, the two green towers in Nanjing will absorb 25 tons of carbon dioxide and produce 0.06 tons of oxygen.  An electric railway will link the 'forest city' to the main Liuzhou city.Image: stefano boeri architettiBeyond sucking up toxic air, the urban greenery is also expected to stifle noise pollution and support biodiversity by providing a habitat for the local birds, insects, and small animals that inhabit Liuzhou. The project will include residential areas, commercial and recreational spaces, plus two schools and a hospital. Along with plants, the buildings will also feature rooftop solar panels to produce clean electricity and use geothermal energy systems for interior air-conditioning. Stefano Boeri Architetti said the Liuzhou Forest City represents its broader effort to design a "new generation" of architecture and urban environments to address climate change. WATCH: China's big, beautiful, green 'vertical forests' will suck up toxic smog

How to Watch the Eclipse? Airline Flight Will Chase Solar Phenomenon as It's Happening
Mon, 26 Jun 2017 14:42:39 -0400

How to Watch the Eclipse? Airline Flight Will Chase Solar Phenomenon as It's HappeningThe last total solar eclipse that was visible in the United States happened in 1918. Airplane technology has advanced quite a bit in the last 100 years, and Alaska Airlines is going to provide the best view possible to one of the rarest astronomical phenomena. The flight is invitation-only, but beginning July 21 the airline will hold a contest across Alaska's social channels to win a seat on the flight.

Blue Origin will build its rocket engine in Alabama because the space industry is ruled by politics
Mon, 26 Jun 2017 16:08:15 -0400

Blue Origin will build its rocket engine in Alabama because the space industry is ruled by politicsBlue Origin’s BE-4 engine. Today, private spaceflight venture Blue Origin announced its plans to manufacture the company’s new rocket engine, the BE-4, at a state-of-the-art facility in Huntsville, Alabama. On the surface, it’s a seemingly innocuous decision meant to capitalize on Huntsville’s decades-long history of rocket development.

Britain’s UFO ‘X-Files’ are released by the Ministry of Defence - but there’s a catch
Tue, 27 Jun 2017 05:35:14 -0400

Britain’s UFO ‘X-Files’ are released by the Ministry of Defence - but there’s a catchIt’s the moment UFO fans have been waiting for – a mysterious set of files referred to as ‘Britain’s X-Files’ have been opened to the public. In 1980, U.S. Army personnel stationed near Rendlesham in Suffolk saw a strange, metallic triangle which was ‘dripping molten metal’ – and witnessed a light like a ‘huge red eye’. Unlike most UFO sightings, it was documented in voice recordings from senior American soldiers, who also drew disturbing pictures of the object they saw.

Amazon's Delivery Drones Could Take Off from Beehive-Like 'Airport'
Tue, 27 Jun 2017 11:36:00 -0400

Amazon's Delivery Drones Could Take Off from Beehive-Like 'Airport'If Amazon's package-carrying drones ever become a reality, they may one day pick up deliveries from beehive-shaped buildings strategically placed in cities around the world, according to a patent application filed by the company. The patent, published online on June 22, describes something called the "multi-level fulfillment center for unmanned aerial vehicles," demonstrating how Amazon plans to take package delivery to the next level. These days, Amazon's warehouses "are typically large-volume single-floor warehouse buildings," located on the outskirts of cities, the company wrote in the patent, which was filed in 2015.

Early Hieroglyphics Show How Ancient Egyptian Writing Evolved
Mon, 26 Jun 2017 15:27:02 -0400

Early Hieroglyphics Show How Ancient Egyptian Writing EvolvedEarly and massive hieroglyphic symbols carved into rocks are giving archaeologists a better idea how the ancient Egyptian civilization’s written language started and grew into what we know it at its peak.

Cybersecurity analyst on concerns raised by defacing attacks
Tue, 27 Jun 2017 00:10:59 -0400

Cybersecurity analyst on concerns raised by defacing attacksAlex Hamerstone comments on hacked government websites in Ohio and Maryland displaying pro-ISIS propaganda

Science groups ask Trump to retain advisory board integrity
Tue, 27 Jun 2017 16:48:06 -0400

Science groups ask Trump to retain advisory board integrityWASHINGTON (AP) — A coalition of science and engineering groups called on President Donald Trump on Tuesday to make sure that his review of the role of scientific advisory boards respects the importance of accurate scientific data.

4 Dead, Liverless Sharks Wash Ashore in Weird Whodunit
Tue, 27 Jun 2017 09:15:00 -0400

4 Dead, Liverless Sharks Wash Ashore in Weird WhodunitOrca whales have claimed the life of another great white shark by eating its liver and leaving it for dead, making it the fourth such gristly death in less than two months. During a four-day period in early May, researchers reported finding the bodies of three great white sharks (Carcharodon carcharias) that had washed ashore along South Africa's Western Cape province. Now, a fourth dead, liverless shark has washed ashore, according to a post today (June 26) on the Marine Dynamics blog, a site hosted by a shark cage diving company.

World Food Prize goes to African Development Bank president
Mon, 26 Jun 2017 16:35:01 -0400

World Food Prize goes to African Development Bank presidentDES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — The son of a Nigerian farm laborer who rose out of poverty to earn graduate degrees in agricultural economics and spent his career improving the availability of seed, fertilizer and financing for African farmers is the winner of this year's World Food Prize announced Monday.

Paint-stripping chemical poses new ozone risk: study
Tue, 27 Jun 2017 13:33:58 -0400

Paint-stripping chemical poses new ozone risk: studyEarth's protective ozone layer, on a slow path to recovery since the 1987 Montreal Protocol banned chemicals that erode it, may be in danger anew, scientists warned Tuesday. Levels in the stratosphere of dichloromethane, a chemical not covered by the ozone rescue pact, are increasing rapidly and could delay the layer's recovery, they said. Although "currently modest, the impact of dichloromethane on ozone has increased markedly in recent years," a team reported in the journal Nature Communications.

With Legal Pot, Fatal Car Crashes Haven't Increased
Mon, 26 Jun 2017 11:02:00 -0400

With Legal Pot, Fatal Car Crashes Haven't IncreasedIn the three years following Colorado's and Washington's decisions in 2012 to legalize recreational marijuana, deaths in car crashes did not increase in those states, a new study finds. "One of the arguments being made when they were legalizing marijuana in those two states was, 'We're going to create a whole population of drugged drivers, and they're going to crash their cars and die," said Dr. Jayson Aydelotte, a trauma surgeon at Dell Seton Medical Center at The University of Texas, Austin. Aydelotte and his colleagues wanted to see if that prediction came true.

Implicit Bias: The Best Ways to Combat It
Tue, 27 Jun 2017 08:00:01 -0400

Implicit Bias: The Best Ways to Combat ItWe all understand what explicit biases aremdash;they are the biases that we have that we know about. They are conscious and largely controllable. Implicit bias, unlike explicit bias, is more complex and refers to our attitudes or stereotypes that we have about a person or a group but that reside in our subconscious. These biases affect the way we act and react, but all in an unconscious manner.

Trump’s Tech Week did not make America great
Mon, 26 Jun 2017 15:12:53 -0400

Trump’s Tech Week did not make America greatIt was a full house last week at the White House as President Donald Trump opened his doors to a gaggle of tech CEOs to talk about modernizing the U.S. government. Among the all-star lineup: Apple's Tim Cook, Amazon's Jeff Bezos, and Alphabet's Eric Schmidt. This week, they're gone. They leave behind desks at departments key to bringing the government into the 21st century that have remained empty months into Trump's presidency. Trump has yet to appoint a science adviser, which breaks with decades of practice in Republican and Democratic administrations. That adviser typically heads up the Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP), which among other things advises the government on everything from artificial intelligence to climate change. Senators have issued letters pleading with the president to fill out the OSTP staff, which is down to 37 from well over 100 during the Obama administration, according to a source familiar with the organization's staffing list. Other departments important to innovation efforts are almost comically understaffed. The U.S Digital Service, for example, is looking to recruit, via a blog post published earlier this month. And for anyone paying attention, they'll realize that this is actually the issue facing the government's efforts to modernize.  So! The White House "Tech Week" is now in the books, and aside from some quality photo ops, it's unclear if anything's actually gonna come from it. "Tech week" looks headed for the same fate as "infrastructure week"—punchlines for the Trump administration's tendency to focus on branding, over getting actual work done, as controversy swirls around his presidency.  So is Tech Week still a thing? — Kyle Griffin (@kylegriffin1) June 23, 2017 Now, with "tech" having been addressed, the administration's on to "energy week" while pushing a budget that will slash research and development spending. Politico calls it "the deepest cuts in innovations investments that any administration has ever proposed." The silver lining? It's not really in Trump's hands.  "There’s a couple of interesting things that you quickly realize when you go to work in tech policy. [One] is that the federal government has very little directive power to do much of anything," said Michael Daniel, who currently works as president of the Cyber Threat Alliance and formerly served as special assistant to the president and cybersecurity coordinator at the White House.  "In order to be effective in tech policy you actually have to build a lot of consensus among industry and other elements to persuade [tech companies] that you've got a direction that they want to go," Daniel continued. In other words, it can't happen in a week. But the Trump administration also can't really undo all the work that was done under Barack Obama's administration. The government pushed out several initiatives related to the tech sector under the former president. Most notably, Tech Hire was a campaign launched in March 2015 to expand the tech industries in local economies by building talent pipelines in those communities. Those programs don't necessarily need Trump to succeed. Initiatives like Tech Hire still exists, led by the nonprofit Opportunity@Work, and are thriving in some areas such as Atlanta. John C. Yates, the partner-in-charge of the technology practice at the law firm Morris, Manning & Martin, is referred to many as the godfather of Atlanta's tech scene.  Yates said that Tech Hire, while it may be an Obama-era program, aligns with the current administration's goal for a strong American economy.  "You can’t grow the economy unless you grow the workforce. We can either increase immigration (which the current administration has not been in favor of) or you can better train the workforce here," Yates said.  Beyond Atlanta, another bipartisan effort exists. The Tech Jobs Tour, launched earlier this year, is a private effort dedicated to placing talent in tech jobs. Leanne Pittsford, who runs the group Lesbians Who Tech, founded the tour, while Megan Smith—formerly chief technology officer under the Obama administration—serves as an adviser.  "There's conversation outside of the administration. Where is opportunity, and what do I have access to? It's meeting people where they are," said Mitali Chakraborty, chief experience officer at Tech Jobs Tour.  "No one wants to be the next Silicon Valley. They just want to be the best version of their city," Chakraborty said. "They know it’s the identity of their own city and their future." They aren't turning a blind eye to the administration, of course.  "We just feel like we have a lot of work to do, a lot of work to do on the state level, the local level, the private level," Chakraborty said. "Regardless of who’s in office, we’re doing the work ... businesses are going to keep starting and stopping, the economy is going to keep moving. I always say red states, blue states, it doesn’t matter. Jobs are purple. WATCH: Take your summer picnics to the next level with this portable grill

California big tunnels win early approval. Questions remain
Mon, 26 Jun 2017 20:46:42 -0400

California big tunnels win early approval. Questions remainSAN FRANCISCO (AP) — Gov. Jerry Brown won crucial early approval from federal wildlife officials Monday for his $16 billion proposal to re-engineer California's north-south water system, advancing his plan to build two giant tunnels to carry Northern California water to the south even though much about the project remains undetermined.

Subway digging uncovers 'Pompeii-like scene' in Rome
Mon, 26 Jun 2017 13:18:04 -0400

Subway digging uncovers 'Pompeii-like scene' in RomeROME (AP) — Digging for Rome's new subway has unearthed the charred ruins of an early 3rd-century building and the 1,800-year-old skeleton of a crouching dog that apparently perished in the same blaze that collapsed the structure.

Hong Kong shark art protests at fin trade
Tue, 27 Jun 2017 04:47:46 -0400

Hong Kong shark art protests at fin tradeA towering shark fin sculpture is the latest addition to Hong Kong's harbourfront as part of an artistic push against the infamous trade. Hong Kong is one of the world's biggest markets for shark fin, which is viewed by many Asians as a delicacy and is often served as a soup at expensive Chinese banquets. Hosted at the Maritime Museum in central Hong Kong, it is a stone's throw from the neighbourhood of Sheung Wan, where dried seafood stores sell the fins.

Bone-Sniffing Dog Detectives Join the Hunt for Amelia Earhart's Remains
Tue, 27 Jun 2017 10:08:00 -0400

Bone-Sniffing Dog Detectives Join the Hunt for Amelia Earhart's RemainsA search party set sail for a remote Pacific island this weekend to look for clues about the fate of Amelia Earhart. In the latest National Geographic-sponsored expedition seeking Earhart’s remains, a group of forensic dogs will be brought to the island of Nikumaroro to sniff for human bones. Among her many other records, she was the first woman, and second person after Charles Lindbergh, to fly solo across the Atlantic Ocean in 1932.

Google Earth Heads to the Classroom With National Geographic and PBS
Mon, 26 Jun 2017 14:05:01 -0400

Google Earth Heads to the Classroom With National Geographic and PBSGoogle Earth Heads to the Classroom With National Geographic and PBS

The True Essence of Adolescence
Tue, 27 Jun 2017 06:00:00 -0400

The True Essence of AdolescenceWhen parents of pre-teens gather together in a workshop, the common concern expressed is that they won't know how to handle their children "when their hormones go crazy." This raging hormone narrative defines the way adolescence is talked about around the world. In fact, it's becoming clear that the remodeling of the brain can be shaped by an adolescent's mind -- what he or she does with attention, awareness and intention. In the first phase of adolescence, pruning of the brain's circuitry means that the brain will be carving down some of its connections and even some of its neurons.

Chinese drone: Why China's new aircraft should concern US
Mon, 26 Jun 2017 17:43:54 -0400

Chinese drone: Why China's new aircraft should concern USChina unveiled a new drone at the Paris Air Show that looks very similar to the U.S. Reaper. Defense Specialist Allison Barrie explains why the United States should be concerned

Multibillion-dollar contract for Los Alamos lab up for bid
Tue, 27 Jun 2017 17:47:54 -0400

Multibillion-dollar contract for Los Alamos lab up for bidALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — The competition for a multibillion-dollar contract to manage the U.S. laboratory that created the atomic bomb is beginning as criticism intensifies over the troubled safety record of Los Alamos National Laboratory.

Ex-CEO's reputation precedes him, affects jury selection
Mon, 26 Jun 2017 16:19:31 -0400

Ex-CEO's reputation precedes him, affects jury selectionSeveral potential jurors at the federal securities fraud trial of Martin "Pharma Bro" Shkreli were excused on Monday after telling the judge they couldn't be impartial toward the flamboyant former ...

Home Sweet Home: The Best College Degrees for Homeownership
Mon, 26 Jun 2017 22:05:00 -0400

Home Sweet Home: The Best College Degrees for HomeownershipWhen will you become a homeowner? You might be surprised to know your college degree could be a factor.

Canada Issues Guidelines for Safer Use of Marijuana
Tue, 27 Jun 2017 11:55:00 -0400

Canada Issues Guidelines for Safer Use of MarijuanaAs many countries move toward legalizing pot, officials in Canada are releasing guidelines for how people can lower the health risks that may be associated with the drug if they choose to use it. The guidelines, which were released today (June 23) by the Canadian Research Initiative on Substance Misuse, are meant to educate marijuana users so that they can make choices that could modify the risks from the drug. The researchers likened the new pot guidelines to recommendations that already exist to help people lower the risks associated with drinking alcohol.

These mysterious light pillars surprised Malaysian photographers out on a trek
Tue, 27 Jun 2017 06:43:07 -0400

These mysterious light pillars surprised Malaysian photographers out on a trekThis brilliant display of lights looks like it came from the North Pole, but it was actually shot in Malaysia. Last Thursday, a group of photographers were out on a trek to capture shots of the Milky Way, when they were surprised by these light pillars.  SEE ALSO: Algae emitting eerie blue glow makes this beach look otherworldy The multicoloured light pillars are a natural phenomenon that occurs when light reflects off the mirror-like surfaces of ice crystals. They are usually found in the polar regions, but have appeared at lower latitudes before. A post shared by AERIAL-NIGHT Sky (@mentorgraphy) on Jun 21, 2017 at 11:17am PDT Photographer Andrew Tan, was with a group of 11 at the northernmost tip of Sabah, Borneo. He told Mashable he only realised the light pillars were in the picture when he checked his camera later. He used a 30-second long exposure to capture the phenomenon, and it picked up the colours of the light pillars. "It was magnificent," Tan told Malaysian paper The Star. "It is definitely a moment to treasure in our lives." Astrophotographer Christianto Mogolid, a native of Sabah, was with the group when the phenomenon occurred. He told Mashable that he had witnessed light pillars in Sabah before, but didn't realise it would happen that evening. "It was pure luck to encounter such [a] rare phenomenon," he said.  Light pillars occur when the source of the light — either the sun, or the moon — are near the horizon. The lights tend to take on the colour of the light source. Sabah, a state in eastern Malaysia, has reportedly witnessed light pillars in both 2006 and 2015. UPDATE: June 28, 2017, 10:30 a.m. SGT This story previously noted that Andrew Tan was with a group of 5, and that Mogolid wasn't with him. Tan was with 11 people, of which Mogolid was one. The story has been updated to reflect this. WATCH: Personal holographic display creates mesmerizing light shows

Future of Air Travel: NASA Takes Major Step Toward Making Supersonic Commercial Flights a Reality
Tue, 27 Jun 2017 13:07:20 -0400

Future of Air Travel: NASA Takes Major Step Toward Making Supersonic Commercial Flights a RealityThe speed of sound is 761 miles per hour. When a plane eclipses this speed, it creates shock waves that emit a loud cracking sound, called a sonic boom. In February 2016, NASA teamed up with Lockheed Martin to try to fix this pesky problem, aiming to engineer a "low boom" X-plane that would pave the way for supersonic passenger travel.

Yellowstone Grizzlies Lose Endangered Status
Mon, 26 Jun 2017 09:53:00 -0400

Yellowstone Grizzlies Lose Endangered StatusThe U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service  removed grizzly bears in the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem from the Endangered Species List yesterday (June 22). The decision to return the Yellowstone bears to state and tribal management reflected rebounding grizzly numbers in the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem (GYE), a region that encompasses Wyoming, Idaho and Montana, U.S. Secretary of the Interior Ryan Zinke said in a statement. However, scientists and Tribal Nations representatives have argued against the delisting, citing that the bears aren't out of the woods just yet, according to a statement published online by the Sierra Club, a nonprofit environmental organization.