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Naoki Watanabe
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POWEEEEEER! - how electrons claimed a mountain

The Koenigsegg One:1 has 1341hp at a weight of 1360kg. Close enough to a 1:1 ratio as makes no difference. An astonishing achievement, really, even at $1.5 million. Those 1371 newton meters of torque would look lovely in your garage no doubt.

Course what I think is waay cooler is when a little electric car comes along and smashes those numbers and decides to win a race. A really hard one too.

The eO PP03 stuffs an ungodly 1368hp into a package weighing only 1200kg. The 2160 Nm of torque is so great (40% more than the Hulk) the car actually stays in place while forcing the planet to spin beneath it. 

And this hellacious boxcart just won Pike's Peak Hill Climb 2015. Not the electric category, it won it, everything, the whole shebang. First ever all-electric overall winner at 9:07.222.

Second place went to "Monster" Tajima's E-Runner Concept_One, yep, another electric car with a time of 9.32.401.

First time an electric car won, first time electric cars took 1,2 spots, first time an electric car beat out entrants in the Unlimited class.

After that, umm, just some boring dirty oil burners.

http://www.gizmag.com/electric-cars-pikes-peak-winner/38214/
Electric cars have taken out the top two spots at the 2015 Pikes Peak International Hill Climb, with Rhys Millen's eO PP03 beating Nobuhiro "Monster" Tajima's Tajima Rimac E-Runner Concept_One to become the first ever all-electric winner of the race.
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Cheap and stable catalyst makes hydrogen at record efficiency

Splitting water into its constituent oxygen and hydrogen molecules is hard because those bonds are strong. To carry out that operation at 82% efficiency at room temp and with cheap materials that remain stable for hundreds of hours is a huge achievement. 

I'll point out that this doesn't mean hydrogen cars will be viable, effective or desirable in the face of renewable based electric.

http://phys.org/news/2015-06-single-catalyst-splitter-clean-burning-hydrogen.html
Stanford University scientists have invented a low-cost water splitter that uses a single catalyst to produce both hydrogen and oxygen gas 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
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SB277 passes in CA - no religious exemption for vaccinations

California votes public good and disease control more important than superstition.

http://www.mercurynews.com/health/ci_28380608/californias-vaccine-bill-state-assembly-passes-legislation-outlawing
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Music soothes the savage beast - savage music

"In contrast to previous studies linking loud and chaotic music to aggression and delinquency, research by UQ’s School of Psychology honours student Leah Sharman and Dr Genevieve Dingle showed listeners mostly became inspired and calmed."

“We found the music regulated sadness and enhanced positive emotions"

http://www.uq.edu.au/news/article/2015/06/head-banging-tunes-can-have-same-effect-warm-hug
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61-second minute coming at the end of the month

Leap second being added thanks to that darn pesky gravity. The last time we added a leap second was back in June 30, 2012 and it was not exactly smooth sailing for a lot of software.

http://www.news.com.au/technology/science/world-gets-a-61-second-minute-known-as-a-leap-second/story-fn5fsgyc-1227400730612
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She's alive!

Comet lander Philae feared perhaps permanently asleep has woken up. Closer to the sun now enough light has fallen on the solar panels to trigger a reboot.

Next step - drill into the comet and analyze the composition of the age old ice block.

http://www.bbc.com/news/science-environment-33126885
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Audi A6 drives 1,865.1 kms on a single tank - 14 countries

The A6 TDI was driven for 28 hours at an average speed of close to 80kms/h. The 73-litre tank was filled completely with regular hi-octane diesel. Low rolling resistance tires were set to 35psi front and 38psi rear.

http://www.gizmag.com/rac-audi-record-road-trip/37981/
The RAC and Audi have set a new Guinness World Record for the most countries driven through on a single tank of fuel. An unmodified Audi A6 TDI Ultra was driven through 14 countries in a journey that clocked up 1,158.9 miles (1,865.1 km) and took nearly 28 hours.
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Why the human brain can't grasp slow moving threats

Brains evolved to handle immediate threats and don't react in the same way or with the same sense of urgency to large, slow-moving threats. We have irrational nightmares about unlikely events such as plane crashes and terrorist attacks but often remain ambivalent to real killers like heart disease or cancer.

Societies throughout history have failed for known preventable reasons time and time again and it could be that our brains, beautiful though they are, suck at the big picture. They simply don't process fear in a rational way - and it's been a long time since tigers were a real threat to the race.

The more we known about the flaws of the human brain the more I'm convinced AI shouldn't be modeled in our own image.

http://motherboard.vice.com/read/apocalypse-neuro-why-our-brain-cant-process-the-planets-gravest-threats
The human brain simply may not be wired to process slow-moving crises like climate change.
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Breakthrough in optical fiber transmission

In May of this year Professor Andrew Ellis made the statement that the Internet could reach its limit by 2020 when optical fiber backbones are saturated.

An alarmist and not very forward looking thing to say I thought at the time. Now, just six weeks later we have engineers announced they were able to increase in power of optical signals 20x without signal degradation. This does not mean more bandwidth but rather longer transmission distances without the need for expensive repeaters. In tests they managed 12,000 kilometers using only standard amplifiers.

Amplifiers boost signal strength by pumping a section of fiber with shorter wavelength light. It can amplify all wavelengths on that fiber. Simple but no regeneration of signal is provided.

Repeaters convert the optical signal back into an electrical one before re-transmitting it again optically with full regeneration of signal. This requires processing, usually at phenomenal speeds. One repeater per wavelength is required. This complexity makes them expensive.

This advance reducing the reliance on repeaters makes it cheaper to lay long distance cables. More cables = more aggregate bandwidth. 

http://phys.org/news/2015-06-electrical-power-distance-barriers-fiber.html
Electrical engineers have broken key barriers that limit the distance information can travel in fiber optic cables and still be accurately deciphered by a receiver. Photonics researchers at the University of California, San Diego have increased the maximum power—and therefore distance—at which optical ...
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Cost of the receiver processing?
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Consciousness - is it?

Our brains are molecular computers. Our brain structures are  programmed by our DNA and form algorithms. Encoded memory engrams is the data set on which these algorithms operate. Archaic philosophical concepts of free will and executive control are continually being reformed by modern scientific discoveries.

We've known since the 80s that our brains activate before we are conscious of a decision. Subsequent research in 2008 has confirmed that indeed decision making happens well before it is relayed to the conscious filter.

The general view among neuroscientists is rather than our consciousness deciding on an action and that filtering down to the brain's subsystems the very reverse is in fact the truth.

This type of research helps form the basis for the "Passive Frame Theory". It took Associate Professor of Psychology Ezequiel Morsella a decade to develop and will have implications in treating mental disorders.

http://medicalxpress.com/news/2015-06-consciousness-believed-theory.html
Consciousness—the internal dialogue that seems to govern one's thoughts and actions—is far less powerful than people believe, serving as a passive conduit rather than an active force that exerts control, according to a new theory proposed by an SF State researcher.
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We're going to Europa!

NASA gives official go ahead to send a robot to Europa. Jupiter's sixth closest and fourth largest moon is thought to hold a massive ocean under its icy crust. Estimates suggest an ocean with two times more water than here on Earth. The search will be on for the building blocks of life or indeed even for life itself.

I wish Arthur C. Clarke was still around for this.

http://www.universetoday.com/120921/nasa-gives-go-for-mission-to-alien-ocean-world-at-jupiter-moon-europa/
At long last NASA is heading back to Jupiter’s mysterious moon Europa and doing so in a big way - because scientists believe it harbors an alien ocean of water beneath an icy crust and therefore is...
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SubhanAllah, Maha Suci Allah dan sempurna ciptaan~Nya
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Can't stop a 5-meter rise in sea level - from a recent New Scientist article

"It’s too late to stop the seas rising at least 5 metres and only fast, drastic action will avert a 20-metre rise". It appears that a one meter rise is a foregone conclusion by 2100 with the rest of the rise happening over the following couple of centuries. However with continued emissions and feedback-loops we don't really know.

This got me to thinking how that might actually look. Using the World Bank data tables we can list countries by their land area under that  5 meter level (http://wdi.worldbank.org/table/3.11)

1.1% of Australia (the parts most people live).
1.7% of the US (most of Florida).
7.6% of the UK.
17% of Denmark.
60% of the Netherlands.
60% of the Cayman islands under water.
One quarter of Hong Kong, gone.
Almost the entirety of Kiribati (96.7%)
Maldives, completely gone.
Tuvalu, gone.
Marshall islands, gone.
Monaco, gone.

In total a 5 meter rise in sea level accounts of 1.8% of the Earth's land area.
Climate variability, exposure to impact, and resilience. Exposure to impact. Resilience. Land area where elevation is below 5 meters. Population living in areas where elevation is below 5 meters. Population affected by droughts, floods, and extreme temperatures. Disaster risk reduction progress ...
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I'm going to simplify my argument even further:
I am not saying "no problem"
I am saying "bigger problem in poorer countires"

"When was the last time all of the rich flat farmable delta land was taken away by salt water?"

The last time 60% of Bangladesh was flooded was 1988. There's no record of such extensive flooding in The Netherlands.

"Where would people immigrate to?"

NL is a Schengen partner and a former colonial power. According to http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Visa_%28document%29#Visa_Restrictions_Index, Dutch can go to 172 countries without a visa, and Bangladeshis can go to just 25.

"If 80% of humans live in these regions, that's not a feasible migration."

Today's European rail network could get someone from Amsterdam to either Ukraine or Portugal in 24 hours. Many Bangladeshis do not even own shoes.

"Complete economic collapse. Starvation. Disease. Wars."

I never said there wouldn't be starvation, disease and war, I just said there would be less in NL than Bangladesh.
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