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Sci-News Roundup November 18 - November 24, 2023


General Interest  Cosmos   Innovation   Health  Nature  Environment  Climate

SftPublic programs are recorded, broadcast & distributed by Belmont Media Center Community TV. The videos are uploaded to WGBH Forum Network. SftPublic website.and online channels.

Oct 03: Stem Cell Research and Communicating the Science Forum Network (video)

Oct 17: An Update on Those "Forever" Chemicals Forum Network (video)

Oct 24: Harvesting Electricity Out of Thin Air (Belmont Media Ctr video)

Nov 14 2000 Years of Ocean and Climate (Belmont Media Ctr video)

Nov 28 Our Shaking Earth: Understanding & Predicting Earthquakes (FNetwork webinar)

Dec 05 The Urban Future: On Earth...and Elsewhere (Forum Network webinar)

Dec 12 Troubled Waters: Red Tides and Other Algae Blooms Belmont Media Ctr


What Skulls Told Us

JSTOR Daily, November 07, 2023

The pseudoscience phrenology swept the popular imagination, and its practitioners made a mint preying on prejudices, gullibility, and misinformation.

Researchers Refute a Widespread Belief About Online Algorithms

Quanta, November 20, 2023

Three computer scientists have disproved a long-standing conjecture about a fundamental problem involving imperfect information.

The 25 Most Mysterious Archaeological Finds on Earth

Live Science, October 27, 2016

Puzzling ancient finds have a way of captivating the public, perhaps because it's just too easy to dream up interesting explanations for how and why things exist.These 25 archaeological discoveries have left people in awe — and left scientists scratching their heads — year after year.

How Mathematics Built the Modern World

Works in Progress, November 15, 2023

Mathematics was the cornerstone of the Industrial Revolution. A new paradigm of measurement and calculation, more than scientific discovery, built industry, modernity, and the world we inhabit today.

Spanish Bronze Age Bling Upends Archaeological Assumptions

Cosmos, November 21, 2023

A 3,000-year-old funerary stone slab found in southwest Spain has challenged longstanding interpretations of gender and social roles in ancient societies.


How Did the Ancients Predict Eclipses? The Saros Cycle

Sky & Telescope, November 20, 2023

Before the advent of computers or even a working theory of the solar system, the ancients predicted solar eclipses. How did they do it?

The Universe Is Expanding Faster Than Theory Predicts – Physicists Are Searching for New Ideas That Might Explain the Mismatch

The Conversation, November 15, 2023

Scientists call the source of this acceleration dark energy. We’re not quite sure what drives dark energy or how it works, but we think its behavior could be explained by a cosmological constant, which is a property of spacetime that contributes to the expansion of the universe. 

Physicists Answer Question of Supergalactic Plane’s Absent Spiral Galaxies

EurekAlert!, November 20, 2023

Astrophysicists say they have found an answer to why spiral galaxies like our own Milky Way are largely missing from a part of our Local Universe called the Supergalactic Plane.

Exploring the Reality of Time Travel: Science Fact vs. Science Fiction

Sci-Tech Daily, November 22, 2023

The second law of thermodynamics suggests time can only move forward, while Einstein’s theory of relativity shows time’s relativity to speed.

Mysterious ‘Tasmanian devil’ Space Explosion Baffles Astronomers

Nature, November 15, 2023

Scientists still can’t explain what is causing unusually bright explosions in space — but a surprising observation might offer clues.


Green Shipping Picks Up Speed

Knowable, November 20, 2023

An international treaty aims to bring the shipping industry to net-zero emissions by around 2050. Can novel fuels, wind power and coordination on a global scale get it there?

Why the Godfather of A.I. Fears What He’s Built

New Yorker, November 13, 2023

Geoffrey Hinton has spent a lifetime teaching computers to learn. Now he worries that artificial brains are better than ours.

The World’s 280 Million Electric Bikes and Mopeds Are Cutting Demand for Oil Far More Than Electric Cars

The Conversation, November 15, 2023

In the United States, a staggering 60% of all car trips cover less than 10km (about 6 miles). So what’s the best solution? You might think switching to an electric vehicle is the natural step. In fact, for short trips, an electric bike or moped might be better for you – and for the planet.

Could Wooden Satellites Reduce Space Junk? The First Is Set to Launch Next Year

Smithsonian, November 20, 2023

NASA and Japan plan to test a biodegradable satellite made of wood, which burns up more easily than metal on reentry

We Needed to Get Off the Grid’: New Orleans’ Community-Driven Response to Blackouts

The Guardian, November 16, 2023

After Hurricanes Katrina and Ida, a city initiative is building solar-driven disaster response hubs to increase its resilience


Foods That Fight Inflammation

Harvard Health, November 16, 2021

Doctors are learning that one of the best ways to reduce inflammation lies not in the medicine cabinet, but in the refrigerator. By following an anti-inflammatory diet you can fight off inflammation for good.

Why Red Wine Can Give You a Headache

Futurity, November 20, 2023

Typically, a “red wine headache” can occur within 30 minutes to three hours after drinking as little as a small glass of wine.

13 Forearm Exercises to Do at the Gym or at Home

Healthline, May 31, 2023

Forearm exercises help you develop grip strength. There are many different ways to exercise these muscles, whether you’re at home or in the gym.

The Body’s Ability to Cope with Extreme Heat

Cosmos, November 18, 2023

The average surface temperature on Earth is now at its highest level since records began and probably before the last ice age. There is a fundamental limit to the body’s coping ability: it is a fixed goalpost.

Do I Need to Worry About Smartphone Radiation?

New York Times/Well, November 14, 2023

Some studies have linked cellphone use with cancer, so we asked some experts to explain the risk


Nature’s Invisibility Cloak

Nautilus, November 16, 2023

Meet the sea creatures with real powers to go unseen.

Are Some Modern Earthquakes Aftershocks from the 1800s?

EarthSky, November 20, 2023

The central United States and eastern Canada and U.S. are not earthquake hotbeds. Still, these regions do occasionally see small quakes. On November 13, 2023, a team of scientists said that many of these temblors are probably aftershocks from big earthquakes that occurred more than 100 years ago.

The Bone-Eating Bearded Vulture Is Reclaiming Europe’s Skies

Audubon, November 17, 2023

Once widely persecuted, the majestic scavenger is making a remarkable rebound in Europe, but new threats could undermine a full recovery.

8 Strange and Beautiful Fox Species

Treehugger, September 05, 2023

There are only 12 true fox species, but you'll find great variation among them.

AI Finds Formula on How to Predict Monster Waves

Science Daily, November 20, 2023

Using 700 years' worth of wave data from more than a billion waves, scientists have used artificial intelligence to find a formula for how to predict the occurrence of these maritime monsters. Long considered myth, freakishly large rogue waves are very real and can split apart ships and even damage oil rigs.


Oil Spill Tops 1 Million Gallons, Threatens Gulf of Mexico Wildlife

Washington Post, November 21, 2023

Skimming vessels are working to contain and recover oil from a spill in the Gulf of Mexico off the Louisiana coast, which the U.S. Coast Guard on Tuesday estimated to be at least 1.1 million gallons.

Nitrogen Wars: the Dutch Farmers’ Revolt That Turned a Nation Upside-Down

The Guardian, November 16, 2023

In 2019, a looming crisis over pollution led the Dutch government to crack down on farm emissions. The response was furious – and offers a warning to other countries about protecting the environment without losing public trust

Fossil Fuel Lobbyists Flock to Plastics Treaty Talks as Scientists, Environmentalists Seek Conflict of Interest Policies

Inside Climate News, November 19, 2023

The Center for International Environmental Law, after combing over the official list of participants, has identified what it describes as 143 fossil fuel and chemical industry lobbyists registered to attend the meeting, presumably to influence the outcome.

Two Environmentalists Who Were Targeted by a Hacking Network Say the Public Is the Real Victim

TechXplore, November 17, 2023

Two environmentalists told a federal judge Thursday that the public was the real victim of a global computer hacking campaign that targeted those fighting big oil companies to get the truth out about global warming.

How Electricity Is Changing, Country by Country

New York Times, November 20, 2023

Carbon-free electricity has never been more plentiful. Wind and solar power have taken off over the past two decades, faster than experts ever expected. But it hasn’t yet been enough to halt the rise of coal- and gas-burning generation.


Beyond Climate: Oil, Gas and Coal Are Destabilizing All 9 Planetary Boundaries

Mongabay, November 14, 2023

Scientists warned this year that, of the nine identified planetary boundaries, humanity has now overshot safe levels for six — climate change, biosphere integrity, land system change, novel entities (pollution), biogeochemical flows of nitrogen and freshwater change.

World Facing ‘Hellish’ 3C of Climate Heating, UN Warns Before COP28

The Guardian, November 20, 2023

‘We must start setting records on cutting emissions,’ UN boss says after temperature records obliterated in 2023

Climate Group Warns World Must Not Fall for Hydrogen 'Hype'

Common Dreams, November 21, 2023

"Rather than betting on unproven and inefficient hydrogen technologies, we need rich countries to put their money towards a just energy transition," said a Friends of the Earth campaigner.

Climate Change Harms Daily Life Across the United States, New Federal Report Finds

PBS NewsHour, November 14, 2023

The National Climate Assessment, which comes out every four to five years, was released Tuesday with details that bring climate change’s impacts down to a local level.

Who Wants What at the COP28 Climate Change Summit

Carbon Brief, November 20, 2023

As a year of record-breaking temperatures and climate change-fueled disasters draws to a close, nations are once again preparing to gather for another round of UN climate talks.

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