Category: Science & Technology

L

Look up! Your guide to some of the best meteor showers for 2021

The best meteor showers are a spectacular sight but, unfortunately, 2021 starts with a whimper. Moonlight this January will wash out the first of the big three — the Quadrantids (seen above in 2020). After that, the year just gets…

9 tips to give yourself the best shot at sticking to new year’s resolutions

For many cultures, the dawn of the new year is marked not only with celebration, but also the opportunity for personal reflection and growth. But as the year progresses, our initial drive for self-betterment can falter. The good news is…

3 fallacies that blighted this year’s COVID commentary — have you fallen foul of any of them?

Throughout the pandemic we have seen a deluge of outright lies, conspiracy theories and pseudoscience from various peddlers of self-interest. But to a philosopher like me, more vexing than these calculated cases of disinformation has been the amount of sloppy…

The less equal we become, the less we trust science, and that’s a problem

In mid November, South Dakota emergency room nurse Jodi Doering tweeted her experience of caring for dying patients. Many, she said, were denying the existence of COVID-19 until their final breaths. Their last dying words are “this can’t be happening,…

Quantum philosophy: 4 ways physics will challenge your reality

Imagine opening the weekend paper and looking through the puzzle pages for the Sudoku. You spend your morning working through this logic puzzle, only to realise by the last few squares there’s no consistent way to finish it. “I must…

The ghost of Christmas yet to come: how an AI ‘SantaNet’ might end up destroying the world

Within the next few decades, according to some experts, we may see the arrival of the next step in the development of artificial intelligence. So-called “artificial general intelligence”, or AGI, will have intellectual capabilities far beyond those of humans. AGI…

The Great Google Crash: The World’s Dependency Revealed

Become smarter in 5 minutes by signing up for free today: https://cen.yt/mbcoldfusion4 – Thanks to Morning Brew for sponsoring today’s video. — About ColdFusion — ColdFusion is an Australian based online media company independently run by Dagogo Altraide since 2009.…

The world’s oldest story? Astronomers say global myths about ‘seven sisters’ stars may reach back 100,000 years

In the northern sky in December is a beautiful cluster of stars known as the Pleiades, or the “seven sisters”. Look carefully and you will probably count six stars. So why do we say there are seven of them? Many…

How to get people from Earth to Mars and safely back again

There are many things humanity must overcome before any return journey to Mars is launched. The two major players are NASA and SpaceX, which work together intimately on missions to the International Space Station but have competing ideas of what…

Not just complacency: why people are reluctant to use COVID-19 contact-tracing apps

This week’s announcement of two new COVID-19 vaccine pre-purchase deals is encouraging, but doesn’t mean New Zealanders should become complacent about using the NZ COVID Tracer app during the summer holidays. The immunisation rollout won’t start until the second quarter…

A thread of the cosmic web: astronomers spot a 50 million light-year galactic filament

At the very largest scale, the Universe consists of a “cosmic web” made of enormous, tenuous filaments of gas stretching between gigantic clumps of matter. Or that’s what our best models suggest. All we have seen so far with our…

How to keep COVID-19 at bay during the summer holidays — and help make travel bubbles a reality in 2021

Recent announcements on travel bubbles and quarantine-free travel between New Zealand and Australia from early next year will be welcome news for whānau and friends as well as businesses and the tourism industry. But as the prime minister made clear,…

Eastern Australia has hundreds of enigmatic volcanoes. New research shows how they formed

The landscape of eastern Australia is dotted with hundreds of extinct volcanoes. They gave rise to an environment to which Aboriginal people have been connected for tens of thousands of years, and the rich soils upon which modern Australia has…

What’s behind the gender imbalance in top-level chess?

Unlike the wildly popular Netflix chess-themed series The Queen’s Gambit, female players have struggled to climb to the top of the real-life chess world. Just 37 of the more than 1,600 international chess grandmasters are women. The current top-rated female,…