Archive for May 27th, 2012
Oregon State University scientists just identified a new reason why some curry dishes, made with spices humans have used for thousands of years, might be good for you.
New research has discovered that curcumin, a compound found in the cooking spice turmeric, can cause a modest but measurable increase in levels of a protein that's known to be important in the "innate" immune system, helping to prevent infection in humans and other animals.
Are you an introvert or extravert? Here is a quick, easy and, in my experience, fairly accurate way to determine your own typology and start living a healthier, happier, more meaningful life.
A new day dawns on Triton. It's going to be a cold one, much like the last. And the one before that… and every day since the moon settled into its present orbit around Neptune. Even the volcanoes here spew out cold gases and liquid water rather than hot magma. But below the frigid surface, which registers a temperature of -235 °C, there's something more clement: a liquid ocean.
Excerpted from “The Fate of the Species: Why the Human Race May Cause Its Own Extinction and How We Can Stop It, by Fred Guterl”
The eminent British scientist James Lovelock, back in the 1970s, formulated his theory of Gaia, which held that the Earth was a kind of super organism. It had a self-regulating quality that would keep everything within that narrow band that made life possible. If things got too warm or too cold—if sunlight varied, or volcanoes caused a fall in temperatures, and so forth—Gaia would eventually compensate. This was a comforting notion. It was also wrong, as Lovelock himself later concluded. "I have to tell you, as members of the Earth's family and an intimate part of it, that you and especially civilization are in grave danger," he wrote in the Independent in 2006.
The world has warmed since those heady days of Gaia, and scientists have grown gloomier in their assessment of the state of the world's climate. NASA climate scientist James Hanson has warned of a "Venus effect," in which runaway warming turns Earth into an uninhabitable desert, with a surface temperature high enough to melt lead, sometime in the next few centuries. Even Hanson, though, is beginning to look downright optimistic compared to a new crop of climate scientists, who fret that things could head south as quickly as a handful of years, or even months, if we're particularly unlucky. Ironically, some of them are intellectual offspring of Lovelock, the original optimist gone sour.