UK diplomatic cables shed light on Cuba ‘sonic attacks’ scare

FoI release shows how embassy and FCO staff sought to make sense of mystery illnesses Official emails and diplomatic telegrams marked as sensitive reveal for the first time how the British government scrambled to understand a series of alleged sonic attacks on US diplomats who became ill in mysterious circumstances while on duty in Cuba. The US government ordered all non-essential staff at its embassy in Havana to return home after dozens of diplomats and family members developed headaches, dizziness and problems with balance, concentration and sleeping in a wave of illness that struck between 2016 and 2018. Many reported falling ill in their homes or hotels after hearing penetrating sounds, described variously as grinding, buffeting or cicada-like chirps. The …

Nasa’s Voyager 2 sends back its first message from interstellar space

Nasa craft is second to travel beyond heliosphere but gives most detailed data yet Twelve billion miles from Earth, there is an elusive boundary that marks the edge of the suns realm and the start of interstellar space. When Voyager 2, the longest-running space mission, crossed that frontier more than 40 years after its launch it sent a faint signal from the other side that scientists have now decoded. The Nasa craft is the second ever to more than six years behind, after taking the scenic route across the solar system and providing what remain the only close-up images of Uranus and Neptune. Now Voyager 2 has sent back the most detailed look yet at the edge of our solar …

Strike a contrapposto pose to look more attractive, science says

Study finds pose makes waist-to-hip ratio seem lower on one side and looks more appealing Dancers do it, Instagrammers do it, even the Venus de Milo does it. When it comes to striking a pose, it seems the only way is contrapposto. Now research has shed light on why the attitude is so appealing. Experts say the pose, which involves standing with weight predominantly on one foot with a slight twist in the upper body, makes the waist-to-hip ratio appear strikingly low on one side of the body. A low waist-to-hip ratio reflecting studies have suggested the most popular imaginary women have even lower ratios in particular a very small waist a finding that might help to explain the appeal …

‘There are no excuses left’: why climate science deniers are running out of rope

Guardian environment correspondent Fiona Harvey recalls being heckled at the House of Commons, and explains how attitudes to climate have shifted in the last decade The shouted words rang out across the packed parliamentary corridor: Fiona Harvey is the worst journalist there is. Shes the worst journalist of them all, because she should know better. They were the words of Lord Lawson, former UK chancellor of the exchequer, turned climate denier and now the 97% of the worlds climate scientists whose work shows human responsibility for global heating, and failure to give equal weight to the tiny number of dissenters. As the science of climate chaos has become vastly clearer in the past two decades, and the warnings more stark, …

How vested interests tried to turn the world against climate science

For decades fossil fuel majors tried to fight the consensus just as big tobacco once disputed that smoking kills In 1998 a public relations consultant called Joe Walker wrote to the American Petroleum Institute (API), a trade association representing major fossil fuel companies, with a proposed solution to a big problem. In December the previous year, the UN had adopted the Kyoto protocol, an international treaty that committed signatory countries to reducing their greenhouse gas emissions in order to avert catastrophic climate breakdown. Reducing emissions represented a direct threat to the profits of fossil fuel companies and the API was working on an industry response. As promised, attached is the Global Climate Science Communications Plan that we developed during our …

Elon Musk unveils Starship designed to take crew on round-trips to Mars

SpaceX spacecraft would carry passengers anywhere in solar system and land back on Earth perpendicularly Elon Musk has unveiled a SpaceX spacecraft designed to carry crew and cargo to the moon, Mars or anywhere else in the solar system and land back on Earth perpendicularly. In a live-streamed speech from SpaceXs launch facility near the southern tip of Texas, Musk said on Saturday that the space ventures Starship is expected to take off for the first time in about one or two months and reach 19,800 meters (65,000ft) before returning to Earth and landing. He said it was essential for the viability of space travel to be able to reuse spacecraft, adding it was important to take steps to extend …

Scientists invent new technology to print invisible messages

Messages can only be seen under UV light and can be erased using a hairdryer Forget lemon juice and hot irons, there is a new way to write and read invisible messages and it can be used again and again. The approach, developed by researchers in China, involves using water to print messages on paper coated with manganese-containing chemicals. The message, invisible to the naked eye, can be read by shining UV light on the paper. With the use of hot air from a hairdryer, the message can be erased and the paper reused. Writing in the journal Original Article : HERE ; The Ultimate Survival Food: The Lost Ways

Dust cloud sparked explosion in primitive life on Earth, say scientists

Smashing of monster asteroid half a billion years ago thought to have caused mini ice age An enormous dust cloud that swept through the ancient solar system sent Earth into a mini ice age that sparked an explosion in primitive life on the planet, scientists say. The space dust was created when a monster asteroid was smashed to pieces in a violent collision somewhere between Mars and Jupiter nearly half a billion years ago. The destruction of the 93-mile-wide space rock scattered so much dust into the inner solar system that it blocked some of the sunlight falling on Earth, the researchers claim. As a result, temperatures dropped for at least 2m years. Because the cooling occurred over such a …

Adaptation isnt enough. Weve got to throw everything at the climate crisis | Fiona Harvey

Jonathan Franzen preaches the gospel of adaptation. But without cutting emissions, it wont work, says Guardian environment journalist Fiona Harvey When were faced with threats of inundation, our reaction has traditionally been to build walls. Sea-level rises, storms and floods have been held back with solid barriers, seawalls and dykes. We have used walls to keep out people, too: the fact that this has failed throughout the ages has not stopped its recent According to the UN, climate-related disasters are already taking place at the rate of one a week, though only a few of them such as number of people facing water shortages set to leap from 3.6 billion today to 5 billion by 2050. At least $1tn a …

‘Ecological grief’: Greenland residents traumatised by climate emergency

Islanders are struggling to reconcile impact of global heating with traditional way of life, survey finds The climate crisis is causing unprecedented levels of stress and anxiety to people in Greenland who are struggling to reconcile the traumatic impact of heating with their traditional way of life. The first ever national survey examining the human impact of the climate emergency, revealed in the Guardian on Monday, shows that more than 90% of islanders interviewed fully accept that crisis is happening, with a further 76% claiming to have personally experienced global heating in their daily lives, from coping with dangerous sea ice journeys to having sled dogs euthanised for economic reasons tied to shorter winters. Original Article : HERE ; The …

For women like me, postponing the menopause would be a blessing | Sonia Sodha

Scientific advances that prolong fertility can only be a benefit to many would-be mothers Let us imagine for a moment that we lived in a world where male fertility dropped off a cliff by the time men hit their mid 40s, leaving a group of men who wanted to have children but couldnt. When would science have produced a fix? I am going to hazard a guess that it would have been quite some time ago. But it has taken until 2019 for a fledgling treatment to delay the menopause by up to 20 years to be offered to women, even though the idea has been around for treatment involves removing and freezing a small piece of ovarian tissue from …

Pro-LGBT Coca-Cola adverts spark boycott calls in Hungary

Campaign linked to Sziget festival criticised by senior member of ruling Fidesz party Advertisements by Coca-Cola relating to a popular music festival in called him Trump before Trump, and Nigel Farage and Italys Matteo Salvini are admirers. For many liberals, and increasingly for some of his supposed allies in the EPP, he signifies all that is rotten, corrupt and downright scary in contemporary politics on the continent. The age of liberal democracy is at an end, Orbn told the Hungarian parliament shortly after Fidesz Hungary and the rest of Europe from the evils of migration from the Middle East and Africa. He has brushed off protests from the disgruntled urban elites. One thing Orbns admirers and detractors agree on is …

He, she, or … ? Gender-neutral pronouns reduce biases study

Researchers find usage boosts positive feelings towards women and LGBT people More than 100 failures litter the battleground that is the hunt for an English gender-neutral singular pronoun. From thon, ip and hiser to hem, ons and lers, the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, those who used gender-neutral pronouns for the cartoon task were more likely to use non-male names in their short story. The gender-neutral pronoun also appeared to improve positive feelings towards LGBT people. The word hen, the researchers believe, helped to combat mental biases that favoured men, and raise awareness of other genders. Sabine Sczesny, a professor of social psychology at the University of Bern, said the research was further evidence that gender-inclusive language could …

‘All Hong Kongers are scared’: protests to widen as rural residents fight back

Sleepy town of Yuen Long becomes battleground after suspected gangster attack on commuters Yuen Long, a quiet residential area close to the Chinese border, has become the unlikely next battleground of Hong Kongs protest movement. Over the last seven weeks, demonstrators have planned rallies across the territory in parks, along main roads, in the airport and outside government offices calling for the withdrawal of an extradition bill and making other political demands. But Yuen Long, known as one of the more remote, isolated areas in the north-west, had never been on the agenda. On Sunday that changed. Commuters returning from dinner, going to meet friends or some coming back from the pro-democracy rally in central Hong Kong, pulled into the …

Museum of underwater art to open on Australia’s Great Barrier Reef

Submerged sculptures and others that appear at low tide to be installed at several Queensland sites, as part of a project that also aims to rehabilitate sections of the reef From a colour-changing figure warning of warming seas to a sunken skeletal greenhouse encrusted with coral, a new museum of underwater art in Australias Great Barrier Reef marine park aims to raise awareness of the threatened ecosystem and rehabilitate parts of the reef. Created by British sculptor and environmentalist Jason deCaires Taylor, the deCaires Taylor hopes the museum will help to shape public debate and inform environmental policy. Our oceans are going through rapid change, and there are huge threats, from rising sea temperatures to acidification, and a large amount …