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Renew Economy Thursday, May 21, 2015 - 11:27 Source

How quickly will households adopt battery storage, and will they be able to use Tesla to get off the grid?

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Cheeseburger Gothic Thursday, May 21, 2015 - 11:22 Source

Prologue. The Autopsy.

“Bit of a thickhead,” muttered Emmeline as she leaned into the job of taking off the top of the xenomorph"s skull. A few of the others laughed nervously. It wasn"t a particularly funny joke, but they needed the release. She had already burned through one large blade on the heavy duty autopsy saw. This thing really did have a remarkably thick skull. Thick enough that she wondered how much room could be left inside for the brainpan, especially given how much of it"s cranium was taken up by an outsized mouth and hundreds of needle-like teeth. All of them clotted with human flesh.

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Popular Science Thursday, May 21, 2015 - 11:01 Source

For a full decade, Gudmundar Olaffson was unable to move his right ankle. That's because it wasn't there. Olafsson's amputated lower leg was the delayed casualty of an accident from his childhood in Iceland, when he was hit by an oil truck. “I lived in pain for 28 years,” says Olafsson. “After 50-plus operations, I had it off.” For years after the operation he wore a Proprio Foot, a prosthetic with a motorized, battery-powered ankle, sold by the Reykjavik-based company Ossur.

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Popular Science Thursday, May 21, 2015 - 11:01 Source

In 1976, renowned astrophysicist Carl Sagan brought a weird, reflective prop with him to the Tonight Show Staring Johnny Carson. The toy was a mockup of a solar sail—a revolutionary idea for space travel propulsion that eschews fuel. “[It] travels on the radiation and particles that come out of the Sun—the wind from the Sun,” Sagan explained to Carson, comparing the technology to how an ordinary sail boat moves through the ocean.

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Popular Science Thursday, May 21, 2015 - 11:01 Source

Sci-Fi movies present no shortage of doomsday scenarios--asteroids, climate change and supervolcanoes just to name a few. But let's say that one of these situations actually occurs, and humans are annihilated with the exception of one male and one female. Could humanity survive?

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Popular Science Thursday, May 21, 2015 - 11:01 Source

Sometimes, other people interpret your words differently than you may have intended--like you're not on the same wavelength. Turns out that the neuroscience backs up that idea; words elicit unique neurological responses in different people's brains, according to a study published in the journal Neurocomputing. This revelation could lead to a whole new way for people to securely access their devices, no passwords required.

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Popular Science Thursday, May 21, 2015 - 11:01 Source

Concrete has been a go-to building material since Roman times. It's durable, easy to make, and relatively inexpensive. There's just one problem: It has a tendency to crack.

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Popular Science Thursday, May 21, 2015 - 11:01 Source

Synthetic versions of opiates like morphine and heroin have been prohibitively expensive to make, so the drugs are still made the old-fashioned way, from opium poppies. Now researchers have genetically modified yeast to complete one of the key steps in the synthesis process, according to a study published in Nature Chemical Biology, making fully synthetic opiates closer to becoming a reality. That means that opiates could be much more widely available, both to patients who need it and to the drugs' abusers.

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Popular Science Thursday, May 21, 2015 - 11:01 Source

In these United States summer is unofficially the sunny, sweltering weeks between Memorial Day and Labor Day. Yes, astronomically speaking, it's June 21 to September 23. We're choosing to ignore that here in favor of the cultural definition, because come on, early June feels way more like summer than mid-September.

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Popular Science Thursday, May 21, 2015 - 11:00 Source

From the body type alone, Sprite looks less like a drone and more like a sleek and modern water bottle aimed at hikers. It's a far cry from the standard four-rotored body of most drones, but that forms the Sprite's central sales pitch: a portable drone, that can slide easily into a backpack for outdoor use.

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Popular Science Thursday, May 21, 2015 - 11:00 Source

Today, President Obama addressed the graduating class of the Coast Guard academy in a speech that mentioned the phrase 'climate change' 26 times.

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Popular Science Thursday, May 21, 2015 - 11:00 Source

On Saturday, the United States arrested Hao Zhang, a professor at China's Tianjin University, as he landed in Los Angeles. The charges brought against him, detailed in an indictment filed April 1st in the District Court, are a curious mishmash of corporate espionage, all committed against U.S. defense research. According to the case brought by the federal government, Zhang was one of six people who conspired to steal the trade secrets behind several acoustic devices and replicate them in China.

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Harrangue Man Thursday, May 21, 2015 - 10:54 Source

Since giving up Diet Coke about six weeks ago (1), and being at home on gardening leave, I effectively gave up caffeine since I don't have to chug a coffee on a work morning to give me the pep to go to work. Last night I was tired but I had a nerd night to attend, kingdom building in a long running D&D 3.5 campaign (we're thirteenth level). So I had a coffee. I regretted the decision at 2:40 am after I'd spent about an hour trying to sleep without success, even resorting to counting backwards by seven from 1000 in an effort to bore me to slumber with basic math. That didn't work.

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MacroBusiness Thursday, May 21, 2015 - 10:53 Source

By Leith van Onselen The Actuaries Institute has undertaken modelling which claims that allowing home owners to use their superannuation savings to pay down their mortgage would save the typical income earner $127,000 in mortgage repayments and increase their wealth in retirement by around $100,000: We get a difference in relative wealth that’s quite substantial…

The post Actuaries get housing-super fix wrongly wrong appeared first on MacroBusiness.

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The Australian Independent Media Network Thursday, May 21, 2015 - 10:46 Source

Spending five weeks on the North American continent recently, four of them in the USA, was a great way to experience first-hand views and opinions on a variety of different subjects that penetrate the pores of the media in the land of the free.

It’s a good thing because when one observes the lunacy, ineptness and sheer bastardry of the LNP government here, seeing similar lunacy with the Republicans on the other side of the globe helps one to feel less isolated in one’s search for social sanity.

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MacroBusiness Thursday, May 21, 2015 - 10:42 Source

By Leith van Onselen Statistics New Zealand has released its permanent & long-term migration figures for April 2015, which revealed that net migration to New Zealand remained near record highs in seasonally adjusted terms: Moreover, net annual migration from New Zealand to Australia hit its lowest level in more than 23-years, with April also recording

The post Kiwi exodus turns to flood appeared first on MacroBusiness.

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Your Democracy Thursday, May 21, 2015 - 10:33 Source

 

the empire

Kerry, a former U.S. senator and presidential candidate, confronted such objections as “empty protectionism” during his speech to a small audience of Boeing workers and pro-trade guests, including Gary Locke, the former governor and ambassador to China.

“There is nothing progressive about blaming trade or trade agreements for the inevitable economic shifts that are brought on by technology and time,” Kerry said.

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MacroBusiness Thursday, May 21, 2015 - 10:23 Source

From Mac Bank: Meanwhile, the majors continue to increase supply. Rio Tinto’s plans to achieve a capacity of 360mtpa are well underway which should mean shipments from the company are 40mtpa higher in 2H this year than 2H14. Although Rio are contributing the most to supply additions this year, they are not alone – we estimate around 90mt

The post Where now for iron ore in 2015? appeared first on MacroBusiness.

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MacroBusiness Thursday, May 21, 2015 - 10:02 Source

From Westpac’s excellent Elliott Clark: The release of FOMC meeting minutes is an opportune time to reassess and update (if necessary) our expectations regarding monetary policy. Not only does this document typically provide clear guidance on the degree of consensus amongst members, it also outlines key macroeconomic trends in the minds of the Committee. In this instance, what is

The post Fed to hike in September? appeared first on MacroBusiness.

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MacroBusiness Thursday, May 21, 2015 - 09:40 Source

It’s open season now, from old man Gotti at Dad’s Army: In February 2013, China made it very clear to Australia that it was going to cut its iron ore and coal usage…That was the time when Fortescue had to lift its equity and prepare for a price fall, although, at that time, we didn’t

The post Old man Gotti puts boot into Twiggy appeared first on MacroBusiness.

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New Matilda Thursday, May 21, 2015 - 09:40 Source

Thanks to Pickering, his small team of comedy writes, and google.com, the South Australian senator no longer needs to run his costly inquiry into halal certification.

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Table Talk: Bob Ellis on Film and Theatre Thursday, May 21, 2015 - 09:38 Source

Whatever else they do, the starved and screaming children on the boats off Myanmar have shown how vile the Abbott government is, and how for a hundred, five hundred years historians will see them.

They may not suffer politically, just yet. They may not face the International Criminal Court, ever. But they cannot climb out from under the pile of sewage that is daily falling down on top of them while other jurisdictions demonstrate what mercy is, and maritime law.

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The Melbourne Urbanist Thursday, May 21, 2015 - 09:34 Source

Is driving quicker than taking the train?

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Croakey Thursday, May 21, 2015 - 09:30 Source

The Federal Coalition last week announced it was launching a new advertising campaign aimed at educating families and the broader community about the dangers of the drug ice, or crystal methamphetamine. Health Minister Sussan Ley said it would...

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MacroBusiness Thursday, May 21, 2015 - 09:13 Source

By Leith van Onselen The Coalition is going to rue the day that it decided against replacing Tony Abbott as Prime Minister. After Abbott’s failed ‘captain’s calls’ on the flawed Paid Parental Leave, Prince Philip’s knighthood, and the dumping of chief whip Phillip Ruddock (amongst others), it has been revealed that the decision to rule-out

The post Super debacle Abbott’s last ‘captain’s call’ appeared first on MacroBusiness.

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MacroBusiness Thursday, May 21, 2015 - 09:12 Source

By Chris Becker A dovish Fed didn’t rock markets overnight with the rebound in the US dollar continuing while oil rose on falling DOE inventories and stocks were flat or mixed across both sides of the Atlantic. Bond markets were generally poor, with the majors all losing 4-6 basis points although US 10 year Treasuries rallied on

The post Macro Morning (Fed schmed) appeared first on MacroBusiness.

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MacroBusiness Thursday, May 21, 2015 - 08:50 Source

By Leith van Onselen Several analysts have come forward arguing that Australia’s dwelling construction boom is on borrowed time and will likely peak over the next 12 months. Key amongst these is the Housing Industry Association, which has released forecasts predicting that dwelling commencements will peak this year at 205,490 before dropping by 10.6% next

The post Housing construction boom on borrowed time appeared first on MacroBusiness.

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MacroBusiness Thursday, May 21, 2015 - 08:13 Source

By Leith van Onselen Joe Hockey’s pronouncement on Budget night that there would be “no new taxes on superannuation under this government” appears to have backfired, angering seniors groups and undermining their support for reforms to the Aged Pension. Appearing last night on the ABC’s 7.30 Report, key lobby groups for older Australians – the

The post Coalition mis-judges superannuation opposition appeared first on MacroBusiness.

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MacroBusiness Thursday, May 21, 2015 - 08:02 Source

From Banking Day: Commonwealth Bank subsidiary Bankwest has imposed a loan-to-valuation ratio cap of 80 per cent on investor mortgages, as it tightens its lending standards to meet regulatory pressure to limit the growth of investment property lending. Bankwest said in a statement that the change would not affect existing investment mortgage customers or customers

The post Banks scuttle behind APRA’s investor loan limit appeared first on MacroBusiness.

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you said it... Thursday, May 21, 2015 - 07:20 Source


The Times of Israel blog entry, which Josh Bornstein did not write. Photograph: Screengrab

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