PHI PHI ISLANDS, Thailand: A boat cuts through waves in the darkness of dawn. Black silhouettes of limestone cliffs loom large as the captain steers his vessel towards a small bay within their cradle. It's Maya – the crown jewel of Phi Phi Islands in southern Thailand. With its powdery white sand and crystal-clear blue lagoon sheltered on three sides by towering cliffs, Maya Bay was chosen to portray a fictional paradise beach hidden from the rest of the world in Danny Boyle’s 2000 movie The Beach, starring Leonardo DiCaprio. Its stunning beauty then shot to global fame and boosted mass tourism that brought some 5,000 visitors to the bay each day.The sun is emerging from the horizon. Gently, the boat glides towards a deserted beach, bypassing young corals. On board, marine conservationists get ready to meet a group of new visitors to the bay – blacktip reef sharks.About 90 of them are cruising back and forth along the shoreline. Many more are further … [Read more...] about Sharks return to Thailand’s famous Maya Bay after tourist ban
Famous scientists today
Trying to look at the future world is a fascinating avocation. But, it has become a serious profession for those responsible for strategic planning for their corporations, organizations and especially nations. What will the world be like in 10 to 20 years from now? Most people now will still be alive at that time. Anyone looking at the future must accept the inevitability of Artificial Intelligence and robots playing a greater role in our lives. Several writers have concluded that in the field of robotics today is very much like the world of the internet 20 years ago. We are only in chapter one; but, the improvements in robotics will come at warp speed just like it did in the internet age. During those early days of dial-up modems, it was almost impossible to imagine that in a decade there would be an internet video service like YouTube streaming over 6 billion hours of video every month. Many people look with dread to a future of AI and robots. The famous scientist, Stephen … [Read more...] about Culture and robots
caption Kelly, left, and Mark at age 3 in 1967. source NASA Johnson/Flickr The documentary “Three Identical Strangers” follows the story of a secret study conducted in three genetically identical siblings who were separated at birth. The study was the only twin study that followed siblings from infancy. But due to controversies over ethics, the authors never published it and the data is sealed. Twin experiments can give scientists insights into how different habits, treatments, or lifestyles affect two people with the same genetic makeup. In other twin studies, researchers have found that on average, environment and genetics have a 50/50 influence on a person’s traits and disease. Currently, NASA is using twins to study the effects of space on humans and mice. Twins have always fascinated scientists, especially as the subjects of studies about the influence of environment and genetics. The new documentary … [Read more...] about A new documentary chronicles the lives of triplets separated at birth in a controversial study — here’s how scientists continue to use twins in research
caption What’s the planet going to be like for future generations? source NASA On June 23, 1988, NASA climate scientist James Hansen told the US Senate it was time to acknowledge that climate change was happening and take action to limit its effects. Thirty years later, the world has continued to burn fossil fuels faster and faster, cranking planet-warming carbon dioxide levels higher than they’ve been for millions of years. Without taking action soon, it’ll cost future generations trillions to try to deal with the problem. Exactly 30 years ago, James Hansen, the director of NASA’s Institute for Space Studies, told the US Senate that the question of the day – whether climate change was happening – was no longer in doubt. “It is time to stop waffling so much and say that the evidence is pretty strong that the greenhouse effect is here,” Hansen told … [Read more...] about Past generations created a climate crisis for Millennials and Generation Z. Today marks 30 years of inaction.
caption Climate scientist James Hansen is honored at MIT in Cambridge, Massachusetts, July 21, 2017. source REUTERS/Brian Snyder James Hansen, a NASA climate scientist, thrust climate change into the public spotlight 30 years ago in front of a Senate committee. Hansen says we’ve failed to address the problem in the three decades since. But he’s not giving up. Along with his granddaughter, Hansen is a plaintiff in a case that is putting the onus on the federal government to solve the problem. Thirty years ago today, NASA climate scientist James Hansen gave a Senate committee a dire warning: the Earth’s temperature was rising, and humans were to blame. “‘It is time to stop waffling so much and say that the evidence is pretty strong that the greenhouse effect is here,” Hansen told reporters following his testimony. June 23, 1988 is frequently cited as the first … [Read more...] about A famous scientist first warned Congress about climate change exactly 30 years ago today. James Hansen wishes he’d been wrong.