Month: October, 2017

Einstein’s Equation That Gave Birth To The Atom Bomb

This is the most famous equation in the history of equations. It has been printed on countless T-shirts and posters, starred in films and, even if you’ve never appreciated the beauty or utility of equations, you’ll know this one.

And you probably also know who came up with it – physicist and Nobel laureate Albert Einstein.

The ideas that led to the equation were set down by Einstein in 1905, in a paper submitted to the Annalen der Physik called “Does the Inertia of a Body Depend Upon Its Energy Content?“.

The relationship between energy and mass came out of another of Einstein’s ideas, special relativity, which was a radical new way to relate the motions of objects in the universe.

If a time traveler assassinated Albert Einstein before he figured out that E=mc², would we still have atomic weapons?

Watch the full video to know more!

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Pass it on: Popular Science

Best Features Of iOS 11 That You Should Try!

Apple’s iOS 11 is finally here, and while they showed off several of the new features it brings to your iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch back at WWDC 2017, they’ve only just touched the surface of what iOS 11 has to offer.

There are a lot of cool new (and sometimes secret) features to explore, so we’ve collected them all here for you.

From a new screen recorder to persistent notifications, a dark mode, and fun new annotation tools, the list goes on.

Some of the stuff we wanted actually showed up, and we’ve attempted to find everything new that’s cool about iOS 11 right here.

There’s a New Hidden Dark Mode Option

While it’s not the Dark Mode we wanted it to be, it’s the next best thing. Just head to your “Display Accommodations” and turn on “Smart Invert.” More info on this trick is available at the following link.

You Can Share Wi-Fi Passwords with Nearby Devices

No more do you have to try and type out long, complicated passwords on your iPhone. Now you can just ask someone already connected to the network to share their password with you over the air — no typing involved.

As long as both devices are running iOS 11, it’ll work (and macOS High Sierra is even supported).

You Can Draw on Your Screenshots

Apple assumes most people who take screenshots will want to edit them right away, so they added a quick markup feature for screenshots.

Just take a screenshot, then tap on the thumbnail in the bottom left, which brings up the edit page where you can draw using any number of tools.

The thumbnail is invisible in other screenshots, so you can still rapid fire screenshot like you normally would. (You can swipe the thumbnail to the left to get rid of it faster if it annoys you.)

The Flashlight Has Another Intensity Option

If you 3D Touch (or long-press) on the flashlight icon in the Control Center, you’ll notice that instead of three intensity options (low, medium, high), there’s a fourth one.

The names have been removed, so you’ll just have to guess at what the fourth one is called.


You Can Screen Record Without Your Mac

Hidden in the Control Center’s customizable settings, there’s a new Screen Recording option. That means you no longer need QuickTime on your computer or some shitty third-party app that doesn’t work well (or at all).

Just add the option to your Control Center, then tap on the icon to start recording. If you long-press or 3D Touch on it, you can enable the microphone, too.

You can turn it off the same way, or via the red status bar indicator. Then all you have to do is tap on the notification that it was recorded and begin editing out the stuff you don’t want.

There Are New Wallpapers

Since the start of the iOS 11 beta, there was only one new wallpaper available for iOS 11. Now there’s over 20 total, and you can download them for any smartphone or tablet not just an iOS 11 device.

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Possible Side Effects of the Bread & Water Diet

Many weight loss plans like carbohydrate cycling, ketogenic diets, liquid diets can be complicated, so a diet of bread and water alone may seem attractive due to its simplicity.

While such a diet may produce weight loss due to a low calorie content, there are many potential side effects, as a bread and water diet would not provide balanced nutrition.

Consult a doctor and apply your own common sense before you start any diet plan. Here are some side effects of bread and water diet:

  1. Reduced Testosterone Levels
    The foods you eat not only have an effect on your weight, but the functioning of your body’s internal systems, including your endocrine system, which controls hormone production.Bread contains very little fat and tends to be rich in fiber, so a diet comprised entirely of bread and water could have negative effects on your hormone levels.According to research published in the December 1996 issue of “The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition“, consuming a diet rich in fiber and low in fat can decrease levels of testosterone. This hormone helps produce muscle and can aid in fat loss.
  2. Impaired Wound Healing
    Although bread does provide some important nutrients, it is typically devoid of vitamin C. This nutrient acts as an antioxidant and is crucial for healthy growth and development.Additionally, vitamin C plays a vital role in the wound healing process, so a bread and water diet may compromise your body’s ability to heal injuries.
  3. Eye Damage
    Consuming a diet consisting of just water and bread can also impair your vision. This is because neither water nor bread provide vitamin A.This vitamin is important for a wide array of functions, including maintaining the lining of your eyes that keeps out harmful bacteria.You may also experience night blindness, as a lack of vitamin A can dry out your eyes and cause damage to your cornea and retina.
  4. Increased Risk of Infection
    Consuming just bread and water may make you more susceptible to infections. This is because both vitamins A and C, vitamins not provided by bread — are involved in maintaining the integrity of your immune system.Even relatively innocuous infections may become serious health problems due to your compromised ability to fight off infections.
  5. Weak Bones
    Eating a diet of just bread and water can be detrimental for your skeletal system. This is because vitamin C helps produce collagen, which forms part of your bone structure.Additionally, bread contains no vitamin D, and low levels of this vitamin may lead to osteoporosis.
  6. Poor Skin and Hair Health
    Neither bread nor water are rich in dietary fat. While dietary fat is sometimes avoided on diets because it is high in calories, doing so can be detrimental.Your body needs fat to maintain your skin and hair health, so a diet low in fat can be detrimental for both.

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Jupiter’s Strange Glowing Auroras Have A Mysterious Power Source

For the first time ever, NASA’s Juno spacecraft has spotted electrons being fired down into Jupiter’s atmosphere at up to 400,000 volts.

That’s an enormous amount of energy that gives rise to the planet’s glowing auroras. These incredibly high voltages, however, are only spotted occasionally and that’s raising questions about what exactly is behind some of the planet’s most vivid glows at the poles.

The discovery, detailed in a study published today in Nature, was made possible by the instruments on board Juno, which has been orbiting Jupiter for a little over a year, passing by the poles closer than any other spacecraft has before.

It confirms, in part, what astronomers expected, but it also shows that Jupiter’s auroras behave differently than auroras on Earth through processes that we don’t fully understand yet.

Auroras, on both Earth and Jupiter, are formed when charged particles like electrons spiral down a planet’s magnetic field lines, entering the atmosphere and creating a glow.

On Earth, the most intense auroras are caused by solar storms, which occur when high-energy particles ejected from the Sun rain down on our planet.

When these particles enter the atmosphere, they interact with gases and make the sky glow red, green, and blue at the poles.

On Jupiter, auroras are formed by particles ejected mostly from the Io, the planet’s moon. Io’s volcanoes spew huge amounts of sulfur and oxygen into space, loading Jupiter’s magnetic field with particles.

On both planets, electrons are accelerated along the magnetic field lines by electric currents — similar to the electric current that goes through the socket when you plug in your phone charger.

On Earth, the solar wind is the power source, firing electrons at up to 30,000 volts.

On Jupiter, it’s the planet’s superfast rotation that acts as a gigantic electric generator, so astronomers expected electrons to be fired by very high voltages on Jupiter as well.

But they had never observed this before, so Juno gave astronomers that opportunity for the first time.

The spacecraft is in an extremely elliptical orbit around Jupiter, passing very close to the poles every 53 days. To study Jupiter’s auroras, the probe was equipped with several instruments, including the Juno Energetic Particle Detector Instrument (JEDI).

The probe is traveling at about 30 miles per second over the poles, so the measurements have to happen in a matter of seconds, says study co-author Barry Mauk, lead for JEDI and a scientist at the Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory, which made the instrument.

That was a very substantial challenge,” Mauk said. “We’re very proud of the fact that we were able to pull that off.”

On its first flyby over the auroras, however, Juno didn’t detect the high voltages astronomers expected. “We were very surprised,” Mauk says.

Then, in following flybys, the spacecraft finally detected the signature of electrons being fired down the atmosphere all at about the same energy — as high as 400,000 volts.

The curious thing, though, is that these high voltages aren’t always there, Mauk says. They’re only spotted occasionally.

And sometimes, Juno is spotting electrons being fired down the atmosphere with all different energies, in a seemingly random way.

What’s causing this random acceleration of electrons at different energies which create very bright auroras is a mystery, Mauk says.

The probe is going to keep flying by Jupiter’s poles, and every time it does so, it collects data. “Every time we have an encounter, we see different things,” Mauk says.

So Mauk is hoping that the next observations will help astronomers answer the questions of why the auroras are so variable, and why they are sometimes strong and sometimes weak.

The goal is not to only understand the physical processes behind auroras on the Solar System’s largest planet.

Other objects around the Universe like pulsars, exoplanets, and white dwarfs also have magnetic fields, and they also accelerate particles in a way that can resemble Jupiter’s.

But Jupiter is in our backyard, so it’s actually accessible. “Jupiter is not only interested in its own right, but it also tells us a great deal about similar astrophysical bodies that we can’t reach with spacecraft,” says Nichols.

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This Is How Space Can Mess With the Astronaut’s Brain

Scientists already know a lot more than they used to about what space can do to the body, thanks in large part to identical twin astronauts Scott and Mark Kelly.

Earlier this year, NASA published the earliest results of its twin study, comparing the physical changes found in Scott, who spent a year aboard the International Space Station, to those found in Mark, who was on Earth during the same time period.

The results: Scott returned to his home planet two inches taller, with weaker vision and declining bone formation, among other things. But he also experienced some symptoms that were more neurological in nature, like loss of fine motor skills and slower reaction time.

And now, researchers have a better understanding of why that might be the case: A study recently published in the journal Microgravity and highlighted by Christian Jarrett in BPS Research Digest outlines, for the first time, how living in space can change the human brain.

The study authors scanned the brains of 27 astronauts before they embarked on their missions into space some on two-week space shuttle missions, and others for six-month stints aboard the ISS and again once they came back. As Jarrett explains:

On average, after experiencing spaceflight, the astronauts brains had shrunk in various frontal and temporal regions and in the cerebellum (a region at the back of the brain involved in coordination, among other things).

“Meanwhile, there were also some more localised areas in which brain volume appeared to have increased, on average, including in parts of the parietal lobe, which are involved in motor control. This might reflect changes to brain structure involved in the astronauts’ adaptation to a micro-gravity environment.

As Jarrett notes, the study isn’t without its flaws. Plenty of the astronauts had already been to space, for example, which may have already altered their neurological structures.

Still, it’s a cool look at how the brain adjusts to life with less gravity — and a helpful one, assuming we ever make it to Mars.

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The Robot Companions For The Elderly Mothers

Care homes plan to use robots to interact with the elderly – raising fears they could become a cheap replacement for staff. A £15,000 robot is to patrol care homes and seek out elderly residents in Southend to talk to.

And a separate British trial starting this month will use robots to bolster staff at homes in the UK, Poland and Greece. It is hoped that they will eventually be able to monitor pulses and signs of illness in order to alert staff.

ut critics warned that machines should not replace human interaction – and called for funds to be spent on the care crisis instead as the number of older Britons increases.

Lesley Salter, the Southend councillor in charge of care, said the robot called Pepper was “cute, kind, engaging and learning all the time“.

She said: “We strongly believe that Pepper can have a positive impact on social care.” Pepper, which is 4ft tall and gets around on three wheels, will not be used for one-to-one personal care in Southend.

Phil Webster, of the council, said he was developing a memory game for older people involving Pepper.

The robot has cameras with shape-recognition software, as well as four microphones, which allow it to decipher voice tones and expressions in order to determine if people are happy.

Mr Webster said: “In a residential home he could patrol around and seek out people to talk to.”

He could go up to someone of his own volition and… send an email back saying,I spent some time with Henry. He says he’s happy but he looks sad. And you could gain more knowledge about the service users.

But Matthew Egan, of the Unison union, said: ‘A smile or a hug from a machine is going to be small comfort to anyone feeling sad and alone.

Buying robots might be cheaper than training and employing experienced staff, but they’re essentially sticking plasters masking a much bigger problem.

As we all live longer, the one million extra care workers needed to look after us all will only materialise when the government provides the funding the system urgently needs.

The other trial, by Lincoln University, will last about four months.

Lincoln care home resident Jean Clark, 86, who has been introduced to the robot, said: “The most important thing is health – it will be able to detect the health of the person and maybe communicate that information to a doctor.”

My family don’t live in Lincoln so anything that can help me and my disabled husband is fantastic.

In Japan, a bear-shaped robot is being used to lift people out of beds and into chairs. Disability charity Scope called for more funding rather than “pipe dreams of robot carers“.

Age UK director Caroline Abrahams said: “There’s a lot to be said for making smarter use of technology to help people manage health conditions, stay independent for longer and improve the efficiency of back office functions.

However, technology should only be introduced in situations where it delivers real benefits. When it comes to caring for older people there is no substitute for the human touch.

Other Pepper models, made by Japanese firm Softbank, are being used to welcome bank customers and take patients to hospital departments.

It can change its eye colour and the tone of its voice to match the mood of the person it is speaking to. It can also interact through touch sensors.

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Pass it on: New Scientist

Ancient Skull May Be History’s Earliest Known Tsunami Victim

In 1929, an Australian geologist named Paul S. Hossfeld was investigating the northern coast of Papua New Guinea for petroleum.

He found bone fragments embedded in a creek bank about seven miles inland and about 170 feet above sea level.

At first, Dr. Hossfeld believed that the specimen was from the skull of Homo erectus, an extinct relative of modern humans. Later analysis would show it belonged to a modern human who lived about 6,000 years ago.

Now recent research suggests the remains known as the Aitape skull could be something more: the earliest known victim of a tsunami.

The findings, published Wednesday in the journal PLoS One, may offer useful historical context for how ancient humans living along the Pacific Ocean’s coasts faced fierce natural hazards.

Here we start to see human interaction with some nasty earthquakes and tsunamis,” said James Goff, a retired geologist at the University of New South Wales Sydney and author of the study.

Papua New Guinea occupies the eastern half of a large, bountiful island just north of Australia (the western side is part of Indonesia).

In 1998, after decades of relative geological quiet, a devastating tsunami rocked the country, killing more than 2,000 people.

This huge volume of water struck the coast and swept away everything,” said John Terrell, an anthropologist at the Field Museum in Chicago who has completed research in the country and is a co-author on the paper.

The villages I knew and loved were sheared off.

After struggling for almost two decades to get funding for the project, he returned to the island in 2014 to explore the rain forests and crystal clear creek where Dr. Hossfeld had discovered the skull 85 years earlier.

Dr. Hossfeld had left detailed notes about where he had found the skull, which helped guide Dr. Goff and his team as they collected samples from the same sediment layer at a nearby river-cut cliff.

Back at the lab, they performed geochemical analysis to determine whether the sediment level had been deposited by a tsunami 6,000 years ago.

Because they had previously analyzed geochemical signals from sediment on the island following the 1998 tsunami, the team knew which clues to look for, like grain size and composition.

They found that the sediment collected from the skull site contained fossilized deep sea diatoms. These microscopic organisms were a telltale sign that ocean water had drowned the area at some point.

The researchers also found geochemical signals that matched the signatures they collected in 1998, offering additional evidence that a tsunami had struck around 6,000 years ago.

Bang! Right where the diatoms were looking very sexy and you’re getting excited, you have a signal that says, ‘Hi, I’m seawater,’” said Dr. Goff.

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Astronomers Race To Study A Mystery Object From Outside Our Solar System

For the first time that we know, an interstellar visitor has zoomed through our solar system.

The small space rock, tentatively called A/2017 U1, is about a quarter of a mile long and astronomers across the world are racing to study it before it departs just as quickly as it arrived.

We’ve never seen anything like this before,” said Rob Weryk, an astronomer at the University of Hawaii Institute for Astronomy.

On Oct. 19, Dr. Weryk was reviewing images captured by the university’s Pan-STARRS 1 telescope on the island of Maui when he came across the object.

At first he thought it was a type of space rock known as a near earth object, but he realized its motion did not make sense. It was much faster than any asteroid or comet he had seen before.

He quickly realized that it was not of this solar system. “It’s moving so fast that the Sun can’t capture it into an orbit,” Dr. Weryk said.

After contacting a colleague at the European Space Agency to discuss the find, he submitted it to the Minor Planet Center, which tracks objects in the solar system, to share with other astronomers.

I was not expecting to see anything like this during my career, even though we knew it was possible and that these objects exist,” said Davide Farnocchia, a navigational engineer with NASA’s Center for Near-Earth Object Studies at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, Calif.

Astronomers had predicted such an occurrence, but this is the first time that it has been recorded. For the past few days Dr. Farnocchia has been calculating the strange object’s path.

It was obvious that the object has a hyperbolic orbit,” he said, meaning that its trajectory is open-ended rather than elliptical like the objects in our solar system.

That shows that it came from outside the solar system and will leave the solar system.

The object came closest to the Sun on Sept. 9, at a distance of about 23 million miles. With a boost from the star’s gravity, it zoomed by at about 55 miles per second with respect to the Sun, Dr. Farnocchia said.

Then on Oct. 14 the object came within about 15 million miles of Earth, zipping by at about 37 miles per second, with respect to the Earth.

That’s more than three times as much velocity as the escape trajectory for the New Horizons spacecraft, which completed a flyby of Pluto in 2015, he said.

Now it’s moving away at about 25 miles per second, he said, and will exit the solar system at about 16 miles per second.

That is faster than the current velocity of the Voyager 1 spacecraft, which became the first spacecraft from Earth to enter interstellar space in August 2012.

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How To Easily Remove Pesticides From Your Fruits And Vegetables

Did you know that 65% of produce samples analyzed by the U.S. Department of Agriculture test positive for pesticide residues?

Unless you’re buying certified organic food, the chances are that you’re consuming a significant amount of chemicals with every portion of your ‘healthy’ greens.

The Environmental Working Group (EWG) is trying to inform the public about the level of exposure to often toxic chemicals commonly found in our fresh produce.

They publish an annual list of most and least contaminated fruits and vegetables, the so called ‘Dirty Dozen’ and ‘Clean Fifteen’ lists. You can find this list for 2015 in my previous article.

Apples, strawberries, grapes, celery, peaches, spinach, sweet bell peppers, imported nectarines, cucumbers, cherry tomatoes, imported snap peas and potatoes are all on the EWG’s Dirty list.

You should be careful when consuming these produce, as they contain a number of different pesticide residues and have high concentrations of pesticides relative to other produce items.

For example, every sample of imported nectarines and 99% of apple samples tested positive for at least one pesticide residue.

The cleanest fruits and veggies, which are least likely to hold pesticides, include avocados, sweet corn, pineapples, cabbage, frozen sweet peas, onions, asparagus, mangoes, papayas, kiwis, eggplant, grapefruit, cantaloupe, cauliflower and sweet potatoes.

Avocados are the cleanest, with only 1% showing any detectable pesticides (you can find here more healthy reasons to eat avocado).

How to make fruits and veggies safer for consumption?

here is a simple and cheap trick that can help you get rid of those nasty chemicals. You can simply wash your fresh produce in distilled white vinegar and water solution.

Gayle Povis Alleman, a registered dietician, suggests soaking your veggies and fruits in a solution of 10% vinegar to 90% water.

Make the mixture, and let the produce sit in for 15 to 20 minutes. When you remove them, you’ll notice that the water left in the bowl is dirty and may contain some gunk.

Rinse fruits and vegetables in fresh water, and then enjoy your cleaner product.

This method shouldn’t be used on fragile fruits, such as berries, as they have a very porous skin and might get damaged and soak in too much of the vinegar.

With other fruits, there should be no lingering vinegar aroma. If you wish, you can also use lemon juice.

According to the Center for Science and Environment (CSE), it also helps to wash your fruits and vegetables with 2% of salt water.

This should remove most of the contact pesticide residues that normally appear on the surface.

Generally speaking, you should be thorough when washing fruits and veggies, as chemicals can linger in crevices that are hard to wash.

CSE claims that if done diligently, washing with cold water should be able to remove 70% to 80% of all pesticides.

It is important to invest some time in preparing your food, as you don’t want to end up consuming a portion of toxins with your snack.

American Academy of Pediatrics issued an important report in 2012 that said that children have unique susceptibilities to pesticide residues’ potential toxicity.

By washing your food carefully, you protect the health of your whole family.

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The Complete Guide To Breaking Your Smartphone Habit

Smartphones are magical.

A device that’s small enough to fit in your pocket, allows you to instantly communicate with virtually anyone on earth, take breathtaking photos, and access humanity’s collected knowledge. Amazing!

But like any magical implement, the smartphone’s power can be so consuming that all you want to do is stare into its comforting, glowing, little screen.

Unsurprisingly a growing number of people feel disconcerted with the insatiable pull their phones exercise on them, and are unhappy with the amount of time and attention they give to these devices in return.

Below are such a game plan with all the tools and techniques you might consider implementing in order to get a handle on your smartphone habit.

The Negative Effects of Chronic Smartphone Use

For many folks, checking and twiddling with their smartphone has become a habit boarding on addiction.

Yet research shows that heavy smartphone use can also have a deleterious effect on several different aspects of our lives:

  • Loss of empathy and connection with others
  • Loss of sleep.
  • Loss of focus and the ability to do deep, meaningful work.
  • Loss of the ability to be fully present in your life.

How to Break the Smartphone Habit

Are you tired of being unable to really engage in conversations with your friends because you’re always checking your phone?

Do you feel guilty about how often your kids catch you staring at a screen when you should be interacting with them?

Are you sick of ending each day bemoaning your utter lack of focus and productivity at work, and how little progress you’re making on your goals?

While the bad news is that chronic smartphone use can have a negative impact on your life, the good news is that research demonstrates that the restless, distraction-producing itch they exercise on us can be reversed.

It just takes some work and discipline to get a handle on your habit. Here’s how to do it:

  • Perform an Audit on Your Cell Phone Use
    The first step in breaking the smartphone habit is to measure how much time you’re actually spending on your phone throughout the day.Just seeing hard numbers on how much time you’re spending on your phone can affect your use.
  • Going Nuclear, or Getting a “Dumbphone
    It’s been a week, and you have a good idea of how much you’re using your smartphone and what apps you’re using.Maybe you’re so appalled by the results of your smartphone audit that you decide the best course of action is to completely chuck your smartphone altogether and downgrade to a rudimentary “dumbphone” that just allows you to make calls and send simple text messages.
  • Making Your Smartphone Dumber
    After seriously considering ditching the smartphone, you’ve decided owning a dumbphone just isn’t going to be a viable option for you.Maybe your work requires you to answer email from your phone and use other apps. Or maybe you like being able to snap high-quality pics of your kids using your phone’s built-in camera.The question then becomes how do you take advantage of all the benefits that come with your smartphone while not getting sucked into the smartphone-checking habit? The answer is to make your smartphone dumber.

  • Turn off notifications
    The easiest thing you can do to instantly reduce the itch to check your smartphone is to turn off notifications.One of the things that makes these devices so irresistible to check are the pings, buzzes, and flashing lights that go off whenever you get a new email.You can curb this technological salivation by getting rid of notifications. You’ll be amazed how this one little change will dramatically reduce how often you check your smartphone.
  • Turn off cellular data and wifi
    Let’s assume you’ve turned off notifications, but you still have the itch to pick up your phone to check email or other apps.You can change the settings on your smartphone to make it temporarily dumb for certain periods of time.  All you need to do is turn off your cellular data and wifi.When you turn these services off, you’ll still be able to make calls and send simple text messages.

I hope this guide will help you get a handle on your own smartphone habit, so you can use your phone in a way that maximizes its benefits and minimizes its drawbacks.

Give these apps and techniques a try if you’re looking to be a more productive, industrious, and successful man.

Be the master of your technology, not its slave!

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Pass it on: Popular Science