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No descendants are left from the first Eskimos

Qajaa
© Claus Andreasen
This photos shows Qajaa, a grass-covered deep-frozen midden in West Greenland with remains from Early Paleo-Eskimo cultures.
Ancient human DNA is shedding light on the peopling of the Arctic region of the Americas, revealing that the first people there did not leave any genetic descendants in the New World, unlike previously thought.

The study's researchers suggest the first group of people in the New World Arctic may have lived in near-isolation for more than 4,000 years because of a mindset that eschewed adopting new ideas. It remains a mystery why they ultimately died off, they added.

The first people in the Arctic of the Americas may have arrived about 6,000 years ago, crossing the Bering Strait from Siberia. The area was the last region of the New World that humans populated due to its harsh and frigid nature.

But the details of how the New World Arctic was peopled remain a mystery because the region's vast size and remoteness make it difficult to conduct research there. For example, it was unclear whether the Inuit people living there today and the cultures that preceded them were genetically the same people, or independent groups.

The scientists analyzed DNA from bone, teeth and hair samples collected from the remains of 169 ancient humans from Arctic Siberia, Alaska, Canada and Greenland. They also sequenced the complete genomes of seven modern-day people from the region for comparison.

Previous research suggested people in the New World Arctic could be divided into two distinct groups - the Paleo-Eskimos, who showed up first, and the Neo-Eskimos, who got there nearly 4,000 years later.
Bomb

Kaboom! Experimental US hypersonic weapon explodes four seconds after test launch in Alaska

© Unknown
The test was aborted by the Pentagon to 'ensure public safety'
An experimental hypersonic weapon developed to reach targets anywhere in the world within an hour has been destroyed by the US military four seconds after its launch for "public safety". The test in Alaska in the early hours of Monday morning was aborted after controllers detected a problem with the system, the Pentagon said, and the launcher is believed to have detonated before the missile was deployed.

Witnesses watched the rocket lift off at around 12.30am local time, before quickly turning nose-down and exploding, KMXT radio reported. Scott Wight, who photographed the explosion from Cape Greville in Chiniak, about 12 miles from the launch site, described the explosion as quite loud and frightening, with a fire afterwards that burned brightly.

The weapon travels at several times the speed of sound and can reach speeds in excess of 3,500 miles-an-hour, or Mach 5. It is part of a programme aiming to create a missile able to hit anywhere on Earth within an hour of getting data and the permission to launch.

Comment: US tax dollars hard at work finding new and innovative ways to kill people.

Blue Planet

Pacific 'ring of fire' tectonic plate changing: Calculations challenge assumptions about rigid lithosphere

© Credit: Corné Kreemer and Richard Gordon
A map produced by scientists at the University of Nevada, Reno, and Rice University shows predicted velocities for sectors of the Pacific tectonic plate relative to points near the Pacific-Antarctic ridge, which lies in the South Pacific ocean. The researchers show the Pacific plate is contracting as younger sections of the lithosphere cool.
The tectonic plate that dominates the Pacific "Ring of Fire" is not as rigid as many scientists assume, according to researchers at Rice University and the University of Nevada.

Rice geophysicist Richard Gordon and his colleague, Corné Kreemer, an associate professor at the University of Nevada, Reno, have determined that cooling of the lithosphere - the outermost layer of Earth - makes some sections of the Pacific plate contract horizontally at faster rates than others and cause the plate to deform.

Gordon said the effect detailed this month in Geology is most pronounced in the youngest parts of the lithosphere - about 2 million years old or less - that make up some the Pacific Ocean's floor. They predict the rate of contraction to be 10 times faster than older parts of the plate that were created about 20 million years ago and 80 times faster than very old parts of the plate that were created about 160 million years ago.

The tectonic plates that cover Earth's surface, including both land and seafloor, are in constant motion; they imperceptibly surf the viscous mantle below. Over time, the plates scrape against and collide into each other, forming mountains, trenches and other geological features.

On the local scale, these movements cover only inches per year and are hard to see. The same goes for deformations of the type described in the new paper, but when summed over an area the size of the Pacific plate, they become statistically significant, Gordon said.

The new calculations showed the Pacific plate is pulling away from the North American plate a little more - approximately 2 millimeters a year - than the rigid-plate theory would account for, he said. Overall, the plate is moving northwest about 50 millimeters a year.

"The central assumption in plate tectonics is that the plates are rigid, but the studies that my colleagues and I have been doing for the past few decades show that this central assumption is merely an approximation - that is, the plates are not rigid," Gordon said. "Our latest contribution is to specify or predict the nature and rate of deformation over the entire Pacific plate."

© Credit: Jeff Fitlow/Rice University
Rice University geophysicist Richard Gordon led a study that determined the Pacific tectonic plate is not as rigid as scientists have assumed.

Comment: There are other important factors to consider when studying tectonic plate movements, to increase our understanding of the subsequent seismic and volcanic activity, and also the formation of sinkholes (all of which are increasing at an alarming rate!), such as:

1. The slowdown of the Earth's rotation - causing mechanical stress on the crust.
2. Crustal slippage - the difference in rotation between the crust and mantle.
3. Reduction of the surface/core electric field.
4. Electromagnetism.

These factors, the Electric Universe theory, and much more are fully explained in Earth Changes and the Human-Cosmic Connection.

It is looking increasingly likely that electrical discharges may be causing recent strange phenomena, such as these glowing lights over the 'ring of fire' perhaps caused by the ignition of leaking methane which may also be contributing to the discovery of thousands of dead fish which is becoming more common and unusual whale behaviour. 'Signs of the times' indeed!

Better Earth

Pulitzer-winning scientist warns wildlife face a 'biological holocaust' - Half the planet should be set aside for wildlife

© Independent
A small portion of the Yellowstone buffalo herd graze in Yellowstone National Park.
Half the planet should be set aside solely for the protection of wildlife to prevent the "mass extinction" of species, according to one of the world's leading biologists.

The radical conservation strategy proposed by Dr E.O. Wilson, the hugely-influential 85-year old Harvard University scientist, would see humans essentially withdraw from half of the Earth.

Dr Wilson, a two-time Pulitzer Prize winner, warned that we are facing a "biological holocaust" as devastating as the extinction of the dinosaurs unless humans agree to share land more equally with the planet's 10 million other species.

Outlining his audacious "Half Earth" theory, he said: "It's been in my mind for years that people haven't been thinking big enough - even conservationists.

"I see a chain of uninterrupted corridors forming, with twists and turns, some of them opening up to become wide enough to accommodate national biodiversity parks, a new kind of park that won't let species vanish," he told the journal of the Smithsonian Institution in Washington.

Dr Wilson, who is considered the world's preeminent advocate of biodiversity, wants to create a series of "Long Landscape" wildlife chains to help species to respond to the effects of climate change by moving around.
Sun

Greenland ice study shows 'unexpected link between solar activity and climate change'

Lund University have published a reconstruction of solar activity vs snow accumulation in Greenland, which indicates a strong correlation between solar minima and a colder climate.

'The study shows an unexpected link between solar activity and climate change,' Dr Muscheler said in a press release.

'It shows both that changes in solar activity are nothing new and that solar activity influences the climate, especially on a regional level. 'Understanding these processes helps us to better forecast the climate in certain regions.'

According to the study abstract;
http://www.nature.com/ngeo/journal/vaop/ncurrent/full/ngeo2225.html

"We find that during the Last Glacial Maximum, solar minima correlate with more negative δ18O values of ice and are accompanied by increased snow accumulation and sea-salt input over central Greenland. We suggest that solar minima could have induced changes in the stratosphere that favour the development of high-pressure blocking systems located to the south of Greenland, as has been found in observations and model simulations for recent climate9, 10. We conclude that the mechanism behind solar forcing of regional climate change may have been similar under both modern and Last Glacial Maximum climate conditions."
Boat

Game changer? Futuristic Chinese 'supersonic' sub could reach US shores in under two hours

Chinese submarine
© Reuters/Guang Niu
Traveling from Shanghai to San Francisco in under two hours may sound like a fantasy, but China believes it's figured out how to design an underwater vehicle that can make the idea a reality.

More worryingly, though, is the possibility that the technology will be used to develop even more dangerous weaponry.

According to the South China Morning Post (SCMP), the super-fast technology was developed by scientists at the Harbin Institute of Technology, and would allow underwater submarines or torpedoes to exceed the equivalent speed of sound under water - about 3,600 miles per hour.

The idea is based on the old Soviet concept of supercavitation, which involves creating a large air bubble around an object so that it could avoid facing too much friction and travel through water quickly.

Professor Li Fengchen said that when the vessel hits the water, one of its mechanisms continuously sprays a "special liquid membrane" all over the object's surface. This membrane eventually wears off, but by the time the vessel reaches 46 miles per hour, it's going fast enough to enter supercavitation state and generate an air bubble capable of helping it cover previously unknown distances.

"Our method is different from any other approach, such as vector propulsion," Li told SCMP. "By combining liquid-membrane technology with supercavitation, we can significantly reduce the launch challenges and make cruising control easier."
Comet 2

New Comet: C/2014 Q3 (BORISOV)

Cbet nr. 3936, issued on 2014, August 24, announces the discovery of a comet (magnitude ~17) by G. Borisov (Observatory MARGO, Nauchnij) on CCD images obtained with a 0.3-m f/1.5 astrograph telescope on 2014, August 22.02. The new comet has been designated C/2014 Q3 (BORISOV).

We performed follow-up measurements of this object, while it was still on the neocp. Stacking of 10 unfiltered exposures, 60-sec each, obtained remotely on 2014, August 23.4 from H06 (iTelescope network - Mayhill) through a 0.50-m f/6.8 astrograph + CCD + f/4.5 focal reducer, shows that this object is a comet: coma about 7" in diameter elongated toward PA 215 (the comet was about +21 degree above the horizon at the moment of the imaging session).

Our confirmation image (click on it for a bigger version)
C/2014 Q3 (Borisov)
© Remanzacco Observatory
M.P.E.C. 2014-Q38 assigns the following parabolic orbital elements to comet C/2014 Q3: T 2014 Nov. 19.24; e= 1.0; Peri. = 48.40; q = 1.63; Incl.= 90.49

This is the third comet discovered by Gennady Borisov (previous were C/2013 N4 & C/2013 V2).
Snakes in Suits

Difference between psychopaths and anti-social people lies in brain activity


Psychopaths react to human emotion differently to other people
The difference between otherwise similar people with anti-social personality disorder (APD) and psychopaths is the way the latter's brain reacts when confronted with human emotion, a new study has found.

Researchers at the University of Michigan, US, set out to uncover why both people with APD and psychopaths both act on impulse and display a disregard for others - but psychopaths also callously manipulate others.

Luke Hyde, an assistant psychology professor told Pacific Standard magazine that because many studies had been done on criminals with very high levels of psychopathy, the team wanted to better understand adults with lower levels of anti-social and psychopathic traits.

The participants in the study were tested using a technique that experts hoped would distinctly measure the difference between people with APD and psychopaths, while confirming how the two groups also overlap in many ways.

To make their findings, published earlier this year in the Journal of Abnormal Psychology, researchers recruited 103 adults from a database of psychologically profiled people managed by the University of Pittsburgh's Adult Health and Behaviour project.
Books

Google is building a massive fact database

© forbes
The search giant is automatically building Knowledge Vault, a massive database that could give us unprecedented access to the world's facts

Google is building the largest store of knowledge in human history - and it's doing so without any human help.

Instead, Knowledge Vault autonomously gathers and merges information from across the web into a single base of facts about the world, and the people and objects in it.

The breadth and accuracy of this gathered knowledge is already becoming the foundation of systems that allow robots and smartphones to understand what people ask them. It promises to let Google answer questions like an oracle rather than a search engine, and even to turn a new lens on human history.

Knowledge Vault is a type of "knowledge base" - a system that stores information so that machines as well as people can read it. Where a database deals with numbers, a knowledge base deals with facts. When you type "Where was Madonna born" into Google, for example, the place given is pulled from Google's existing knowledge base.

Comment: Related...

Stephen Hawking warns of possible dire threat to mankind from artificial intelligence

Artificial intelligence system diagnoses illnesses better than doctors

Evil Rays

Research proves you can smuggle weapons past naked body scanners

© AFP Photo / Chip Somodevilla
Remember to 'Opt out' at the airports!
Weapons are easily smuggled through so-called naked body scanners, according to new research released Thursday. The devices are no longer used at airports in the United States but remain in other government facilities worldwide.

The Rapiscan Secure 1000 Single Post "backscatter" scanner - called the "naked scanner" by critics because of the images it produced of those inside - cannot detect a weapon hidden on the side of one's body, according to the team of researchers from the University of California-San Diego, University of Michigan, and Johns Hopkins University.

"We performed several trials to test different placement and attachment strategies. In the end, we achieved excellent results with two approaches: carefully affixing the pistol to the outside of the leg just above the knee using tape, and sewing it inside the pant leg near the same location. ... In each case, the pistol is invisible against the dark background, and the attachment method leaves no other indication of the weapon's presence."

In 2012 a Florida man, Jonathan Corbett, filmed himself successfully passing through the backscatters with metal at two different US airports using the same method. At the time, the TSA responded to Corbett's efforts saying the "machines are safe."


Comment: Evidence suggests the machines are not safe, the levels of radiation they emit are well above background.



Corbett, who is now suing the TSA over the backscatters, has encouraged those who did not believe him to "try it."

Comment: Opt out! Opt your kids out and encourage others to do the same.

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