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Showing posts from November 1, 2016

Experts concerned by SpaceX plan to fuel rockets with people aboard

By Irene Klotz CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. (Reuters) - A group of space industry experts that advises NASA has told the U.S. space agency there are safety risks in a proposal by Elon Musk's SpaceX to fuel its rockets while astronauts are on board. "This is a hazardous operation," Space Station Advisory Committee Chairman Thomas Stafford, a former NASA astronaut and retired Air Force general, said during a conference call on Monday. Stafford said the group's concerns were heightened after an explosion of an unmanned SpaceX rocket while it was being fueled on Sept. 1.


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A.I. 'Nightmare Machine' Knows What Scares You

The idea of artificial intelligence (AI) — autonomous computers that can learn independently — makes some people extremely uneasy, regardless of what the computers in question might be doing. The project, appropriately enough, is named "Nightmare Machine." Digital innovators in the U.S. and Australia partnered to create an algorithm that would enable a computer to understand what makes certain images frightening, and then use that data to transform any photo, no matter how harmless-looking, into the stuff of nightmares. Images created by Nightmare Machine are unsettling, to say the least.


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Would You Use Pot If It Were Legal? Here's What Americans Say

Exactly how many people might start smoking marijuana in states where it becomes legal could vary widely depending on the specifics of each state's laws, such as whether employers can fire someone for smoking it, according to a new study. "Legalization isn't a 'yes or no' question," said lead researcher Mike McLaughlin, a doctoral candidate at the Yale School of Public Health, who presented the findings here today (Oct. 31) at the meeting of the American Public Health Association. For the study, McLaughlin surveyed more than 500 adults ages 21 and older living in four states where marijuana legalization is on the ballot this election — Arizona, California, Massachusetts and Florida — and in one state where marijuana legalization is likely to be voted on in the near future, Michigan.


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Facebook & Real-World Friends: What's a Healthy Balance?

It turns out that logging into Facebook to put a heart emoji under a photo of your best friend's new baby may actually be good for you — provided that you also actually follow through in the real world, perhaps by buying a coffee for that frazzled new mom. "Interacting online seems to be healthy when the online activity is moderate and complements interactions offline," study author William Hobbs, a postdoctoral fellow at Northeastern University in Boston, said in a statement. "It is only on the extreme end, spending a lot of time online with little evidence of being connected to people otherwise, that we see a negative association" between Facebook use and mortality, Hobbs said.


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Naval Special Warfare Trainees Face Tiny Enemy: Bacteria

The cases highlight the unique stresses this group of trainees, called Naval Special Warfare trainees, face that may put them at risk for infection with this bacterium, called Shewanella algae. Naval Special Warfare trainees include Navy SEALS, Navy divers and other specialists. The bacterium is common in seawater, but most healthy people don't get sick from it even if they come into contact with the microbe.


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