Humanity








Kate Kelland reports on Reuters via MNN: Simon Baron Cohen has been battling with evil all his life. As a scientist seeking to understand random acts of violence, from street brawls to…


Cyriaque Lamar writes on io9:

The notion of a panhandling robot may sound like pure fiction, but roboticists in South Korea have worked together with MIT Media Lab to create with DONA, a motion-sensing bot built to solicit street donations.

DONA’s makers are donating the robot’s earnings to fund education in the Ivory Coast, so you won’t feel suckered dropping some won in its collection cup.



Joanna Eede writes for National Geographic:

Deep in one of the remotest parts of the Brazilian Amazon, in a clearing at the headwaters of the Envira River, an Indian man looks up at an aeroplane.

He is surrounded by kapok trees and banana plants, and by the necessities of his life: a thatched hut, its roof made from palm fronds; a plant-fiber basket brimming with ripe pawpaw; a pile of peeled manioc, lying bright-white against the rain forest earth.

The man’s body is painted red from crushed seeds of the annatto shrub, and in his hand…



800px-ATP_conferenceThe world’s population has had a rapid increase in the last decade, but India takes the cake. With the 2011 census updated, India’s population reaches 1.21 billion. BBC reports:

India’s population has grown by 181 million people over the past decade to 1.21bn, according to the 2011 census.

More people now live in India than in the United States, Indonesia, Brazil, Pakistan and Bangladesh combined.

India is on course to overtake China as the world’s most populous nation by 2030, but its growth rate is falling, figures show. China has 1.3bn people.

The census also reveals a continuing preference for boys – India’s sex ratio is at its worst since independence.

Female foeticide remains common in India, although sex-selective abortion based on ultraso











What a great article from Alasdair Wilkins on io9.com. Truly insightful. Alasdair Wilkins writes:
Halley's Comet

Ancient Greek texts reveal the earliest recorded sighting of the solar system’s most famous comet 2,500 years ago.

Since then, Halley’s Comet has repeatedly cameoed in history, getting credit for toppling armies, birthing empires, and even killing Mark Twain.

Halley’s Comet is the most famous of the short-period comets, which are comets that complete their eccentric orbits in 200 years or less.

It’s the only short-period comet that’s visible to the naked eye, and its 76-year circuit means it’s the one comet that pretty much everyone can hope to see once, if not twice, during their lifetime. Because of this uniqueness and its often dazzling appearances, it’s become something of humanity’s companion throughout human history, popping up again and again in historical records.


From the First Church of Mutterhals: Perhaps you’ve heard that Mel Gibson is not the most pleasant man to live with. There’s been a slew of leaked audio tapes featuring Gibson saying…


Stacie Adams writes on Smirking Chimp: A week or two ago the internets were ablaze with the news that not only did famed physicist Stephen Hawking appear to believe in the existence…