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Is there life on moons?

In “Avatar,” James Cameron envisaged an alien moon supporting life. Now, scientists believe such a scenario is as likely as life on another planet, writes Robin McKie. The inhabitants of Pandora, in James Cameron’s science-fiction epic Avatar, were a remarkable lot. Blue-skinned giants living in harmony with nature, they give…

Why IBM’s ‘Watson’ supercomputer can’t speak slang

A supposedly sophisticated computer failed to correctly use the risque terms in Urban Dictionary. So is slang the last frontier for artificial intelligence? “OMG, that’s a bullshit question. Eat one, you doofus.” One as-yet-to-be-determined day in the future, computers will talk back to us in this manner. But, thankfully, it…

Climate change deniers skeptical of 2012 data

A Fox News article on Thursday featured skeptics of a report from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Agency that 2012 was “the warmest year ever for the nation.” The agency said that 2012 was a full degree Fahrenheit hotter than the previous record set in 1998. One climatologist from the…

Draft report from NCA makes clear link between climate change and extreme weather as groups urge Obama to take action

Future generations of Americans can expect to spend 25 days a year sweltering in temperatures above 100F (38C), with climate change on course to turn the country into a hotter, drier, and more disaster-prone place. The National Climate Assessment, released in draft form on Friday , provided the fullest picture…

America is totally sick right now: Flu, whooping cough and ‘winter vomiting disease’

The United States is currently in the grip of three separate epidemics.  According to LiveScience.com, influenza, whooping cough and norovirus –a stomach virus that causes diarrhea, vomiting and cramping — are all currently storming through the population, and some experts warn that the flu season is just getting started and…

New fossils confirm existence of ‘Hobbit humans’

New fossils discovered on an Indonesian island further point to the existence of a separate species of “Hobbit humans,” Discovery reported on Thursday. “The tiny people from Flores were not simply diseased modern humans,” said the lead author on the findings, Caley Orr. “The new species of human stood approximately…

Study: Some men complain their penises are smaller after prostate cancer treatment

In a report published this month by the Dana Farber/Brigham and Women’s Cancer Center (DF/BWCC), some men who have undergone treatment for prostate cancer found afterwards that their penises were smaller.  According to the health and science newsletter Newswise, on average men who complained of their penises being shortened by…

NASA: ‘Doomsday’ asteroid poses no threat to Earth

A space rock popularly dubbed the “doomsday asteroid” because of fears it could smash into Earth a couple of decades from now poses no risk, NASA said after new observations of the object. Asteroid 99942 Apophis was scanned by optical telescopes and deep-space radars as it made a flyby this…

Astronomers spot biggest structure in the universe

Astronomers on Friday said they had observed the largest structure yet seen in the cosmos, a cluster of galaxies from the early Universe that spans an astonishing four billion light years. The sprawling structure is known as a large quasar group (LQG), in which quasars — the nuclei of ancient…

Canadian astronaut appeals for peace from space

Reflecting on a recent photo he snapped from outer space of war-torn Syria, Canadian astronaut Chris Hadfield appealed for peace from his perch in the sky, saying Thursday: “We’re all in this together.” “The perspective that we are subject to, that we are privileged enough to see directly with our…

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