Art & Life

NASA Releases 360-degree View of Mars

VOA News The space agency, NASA, has released a stunning 360-degree video of the surface of the planet Mars. The video was taken by the Curiosity rover’s Mast Camera on Dec. 18. “This view of the downwind face of ‘Namib Dune’ on Mars covers 360 degrees, including a portion of Mount Sharp on the horizon,” according to NASA's description of the video. “The site is part of the dark-sand ‘Bagnold Dunes’ field along the northwestern flank of Mount Sharp.” NASA says the bottom of the dune nearest the rover is about 7 meters from the camera. The center of the…
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Art & Life

Icebergs Float on Pluto’s Nitrogen Ocean

VOA News NASA researchers say they have have spotted iceberg-like “hills” floating on a sea of frozen nitrogen on Pluto. The hills, which are seen in the “Sputnik Planum” plane inside the so-called “heart,” are from one to several kilometers across, according to photos beamed back to Earth from the New Horizons probe. NASA believes the hills are made of water ice because water is less dense than nitrogen. The hills, NASA says, move much like Earth’s icebergs and are “likely fragments of the rugged uplands that have broken away and are being carried by the nitrogen glaciers into Sputnik Planum.”…
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Art & Life

Centenarian Defies Stereotypes of Aging

June Soh Centenarians, people who live to be 100 years old are currently the fastest growing age group in the World.  And the has more than any other country, well over 50,000.  Living longer may be more common than it was, but living well and continuing a healthy, active lifestyle into the second century can be a challenge. VOA went looking for a centenarian to talk to and met Marbel Sawhill born in 1913.  She has maintained an extraordinary lifestyle and is managing to defy nearly every stereotype of aging. On a weekday, Sawhill is busy serving at a luncheon…
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Art & Life

Scientists May Have Found 9th Planet to Replace Pluto

VOA News One of the scientists responsible for demoting Pluto in our solar system may have found a replacement. California Institute of Technology Astronomers Mike Brown and Konstantin Batygin have run the numbers and say they are convinced they have found a giant planet way out in the farthest reaches of our sun's gravitational reach. The scientists say they have not seen the planet, but have determined that something they call a "distant eccentric planet" is pushing around a bunch of smaller objects out in deep space.  They do know, by its gravitational effects, it is huge, likely at least…
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Art & Life

On Balmy, Below-Zero Day at South Pole, There’s Work to Do

After a month at the South Pole, you begin to adapt to the frigid conditions. Your body becomes more efficient at generating heat and your metabolism shifts into overdrive — every calorie you consume is burned. As your tolerance of the polar environment changes, so do your perceptions of warm and cold. My first week on station was mind-numbingly chilly, temperatures hovered around minus 42 Celsius (minus -45 Fahrenheit). This week has been delightfully balmy, with highs between minus 23 Celsius and minus 20 Celsius (minus 10 Fahrenheit and minus 4 Fahrenheit). SOUTH POLE JOURNAL Refael Klein blogs about his…
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Art & Life

SpaceX Rocket Landing on Ocean Platform Fails

VOA News An unmanned rocket placed a $180 million climate-monitoring satellite into orbit Sunday, but then failed in an attempt to return to a platform floating in the Pacific Ocean off the coast of California. Technology entrepreneur Elon Musk's SpaceX rocket blasted off Sunday morning from a airbase in southern California, with a satellite designed to measure how global warming and sea level rise impacts coastal wind speeds and currents. A short while later, officials from Musk's California-based Space Exploration Technologies said on Twitter that the first stage of the 22-story rocket appears to have broken a landing leg while…
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Art & Life

Most Brilliant Supernova

Supernova: 50 Times Brighter than Milky Way Astronomers have been observing a fascinating cosmic event taking place some billion light years from Earth. Its the most luminous supernova in the universe.  Scientists say that its to be the most powerful supernova ever seen. They say the object at the center of this celestial wonder, is pumping out the energy of hundreds of billions of suns and is 50 times as bright as the entire Milky Way. The astronomers report that the object, now called ASASSN-15lh, might be a magnetar, a very rare type of star. But, even if it is…
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Art & Life

Milwaukee Restaurants Provide Gourmet Meals for Homeless

David Byrd Fine dining is usually reserved for those who can afford the typically costly meals. But in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, eight of the city's top restaurants are donating gourmet meals to a local homeless shelter. One of these establishments, the Sanford Restaurant, is considered one of the best upscale eating establishments in the Midwest. Its menu includes such items as chargrilled loin of elk with maple polenta, balsamic grilled romaine and tart cherry reduction; and lacquered quail and crisp veal sweetbread with grilled peach and braised collards. Now, Sanford its peers are providing meals for the city’s largest publicly funded…
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Art & Life

Human Activity May Delay Next Ice Age

VOA News Human activity may delay the next ice age by 100,000 years, according to a new study. Writing in the journal Nature, researchers from the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research say that even “moderate human interference with the planet’s natural carbon balance” could cause us to skip an entire glacial cycle. “Even without man-made climate change we would expect the beginning of a new ice age no earlier than in years from now – which makes the Holocene as the present geological epoch an unusually long period in between ice ages,” explains lead author Andrey Ganopolski. “However, our…
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Art & Life

CES Shows Off Technology Trends for 2016

Walking among the myriad expo booths at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas, one can get a pretty good idea of what lies ahead in the world of consumer technology — not only in home gadgets, but also on a highly professional level. In all the areas on display — robots, autonomous cars, 3-D printers, drones and others — advances are bringing us closer to a highly automated future, as devices are becoming smarter and easier to use. Drones that once required many hours of practice to avoid often-catastrophic crashes now perform air acrobatics, easily avoiding obstacles. "Our goal…
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