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Showing posts from November 3, 2016

China boosts space program with new heavy rocket launch

China has launched its new Long March-5 heavy rocket, state media said, sending its payload into orbit in the country's latest step in advancing its space exploration program. The launch comes after China began its longest manned space mission last month, sending two astronauts to spend a month aboard a space laboratory that is part of a broader plan to have a permanent manned space station in service around 2022. The rocket, larger than previous versions of China's Long-March carrier rockets, blasted off on Thursday night from a pad in the southern province of Hainan, state news agency Xinhua said, a launch intended to verify its design and performance.


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3D-Printed 'Lego' Bricks Could Bend Sound into Acoustic Holograms

3D-printed bricks that look like Lego pieces could provide a simple, low-cost way of creating acoustic holograms — 3D shapes and structures made of sound — for applications as varied as entertainment, medicine or wireless charging, according to a recent study. Anyone who's watched "Star Wars" will be familiar with the concept of an optical hologram — a 3D image that floats in midair — though real-life technology is significantly less advanced than what was portrayed on-screen. Holograms are effectively a recording of a 3D light field that can project a reproduction of the original object when lit properly.


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Ancient Scratched Stones: World's Earliest Maps or Magic Artifacts?

A set of broken stones covered with etchings of lines and squares, discovered at a 5,000-year-old sacred site in Denmark, may be some of humankind’s earliest maps, according to archaeologists. The researchers think the inscribed stones are symbolic maps of local landscapes, and were perhaps used in rituals by Stone Age farmers who hoped to magically influence the sun and the fertility of their farmlands. Fragments of 10 of the "map stones" or "landscape stones" were found in June, during excavations of a round, earth-walled enclosure at the Vasagard archaeological site on Bornholm, a Danish island in the Baltic Sea.


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'Shotgun' Marriages Up Among Some Groups

The "shotgun marriage" may be on the decline: It's only very rarely now, statistics from one state suggest, that couples hastily marry to avoid the social stigma of an out-of-wedlock pregnancy. Nevertheless, new research finds that even as overall marriage rates have declined, the "midpregnancy marriage," as it's more scientifically known, has become an important subset of marriages in some demographic groups. "These were fairly resilient marriages, much to our surprise," said study author Christina Gibson-Davis, a researcher in public policy at Duke University.


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Mixing Energy Drinks with Alcohol Causes Brain Changes in Mice

Energy drinks are often combined with alcohol in mixed drinks, and a new study in mice hints at how that combination may change the brain. 


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Why Some Pot Smokers Face a Higher Risk of Drinking Problems

People who use alcohol and marijuana together may be at greater risk for alcohol-related problems, such as drunken driving and poorer health, than those who use only alcohol, a new study finds. In the study, researchers analyzed information from people in Washington state who were asked about their use of alcohol and marijuana over the past year, and whether they had ever experienced problems from their drinking. Of the more than 2,400 people who said they drank alcohol in the past year, 70 percent said they used alcohol only, 18 percent said they tended to use alcohol and marijuana simultaneously, and 13 percent said they used both drugs, but separately.


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Calling All Wizards! Cast Spells Like Harry Potter on Your Smartphone

If you spend your time daydreaming about attending Hogwarts or wishing you could join Harry Potter's squad, Google may have something that will brighten your day … literally. You can now cast a "spell" — the same way wizards and witches in Potter's world wield their wands — to turn your smartphone's flashlight on and off. You have to have an Android phone.


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Iron Age Brew Recreated from Ancient Cauldron's Remnants

A team of researchers worked with a brewery in Milwaukee to recreate an ancient beer from remnants of the alcoholic beverage that were found at an Iron Age burial site in Germany, reported Milwaukee Public Radio (WUWM). The cauldron, which dates back to between 400 B.C. to 450 B.C., was full of an ancient mead when it was buried, according to study leader Bettina Arnold, an archaeologist and anthropologist at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee. "The dead man in Tumulus 17 Grave 6 had been sent into the afterlife not only with his weapons but with about 14 liters of an alcoholic beverage that he could have used to establish himself as an important person in the next world as he had been in this one," Arnold, who uncovered the cauldron back in 2000, explained in a blog post.


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