The Blue Death — Flu Epidemic of 1918 →
Just a reminder of what a real flu pandemic looks like. The estimated death toll of the Spanish Flu is something like 50 million. The world population at the time was around 1.8 billion. That’s 2.8% of the world population. 2.8 percent of today’s world population is 187 million people.
Hawking 'to make full recovery' →
Stephen Hawking was described as very ill when he was admitted to hospital yesterday for chest problems, but he’s expected to make a full recovery (from that — having him make a full recovery from ALS would, of course, be even better news).
Ancient ecosystem thrives millions of years below... →
A bunch of bacteria living hundreds of meters beneath a glacier has been found. They survive by “breathing” iron with the help of a sulfur catalyst, and apparently feed off organic matter trapped with them when their habitat was sealed off 1.5-2 million years ago.
Why parents swear by ineffective treatments for... →
Sydney Spiesel calls bullshit on most “treatments” for autism, and suggests: Perhaps my patients who became more alive and more interactive after facilitated communication was introduced changed because their families and caretakers were taking them more seriously as people who might have an inner life—people worthy of attention and interaction. Facilitated communication, apparently,...
Computer Program Self-Discovers Laws of Physics →
Not only are computers making new scientific discoveries on their own, they are apparently also rediscovering old ones. Wired: In just over a day, a powerful computer program accomplished a feat that took physicists centuries to complete: extrapolating the laws of motion from a pendulum’s swings. (…) The program started with near-random combinations of basic mathematical processes —...
Why money messes with your mind →
This is your brain on money: “it is emerging that some people’s brains can react to it as they would to a drug, while to others it is like a friend.”
What would it look like to fall into a black hole? As you approach, a dark circle is bitten out of the galaxy containing the black hole, marking the event horizon – the point beyond which nothing can escape the black hole’s grip. Light from stars directly behind the hole is swallowed by the horizon, while light from other stars is merely bent by the black hole’s gravity, forming a...