By Ashley Strickland
When astronaut Scott Kelly spent nearly a year in space, his heart shrank despite the fact that he worked out six days a week over his 340-day stay, according to a new study.
By Ashley Strickland
When astronaut Scott Kelly spent nearly a year in space, his heart shrank despite the fact that he worked out six days a week over his 340-day stay, according to a new study.
BY CRAIG WELCH, National Geographic
Joe Biden’s father sold used cars, steeping the future president in the world of combustion engines. The younger Biden washed vehicles on weekends, borrowed a Chrysler off the lot to drive to the prom, and hit automobile auctions to help stock his dad’s dealership. President Biden still owns the green ’67 Corvette his father gave him as a wedding gift, which he told Car and Driver magazine has “a rear-axle ratio that really gets up and goes.”
But if the White House’s resident motorhead gets his way—and that remains a big “if”—we may one day look back on the Biden presidency as the beginning of the end for gasoline-powered cars and trucks in the United States.
Biden is proposing sweeping reforms to the nation’s energy system to tackle climate change. But they aren’t just aimed at greening the electric grid or driving the nation away from coal and natural gas. Transportation accounts for more than a quarter of U.S. greenhouse gas emissions; it’s proven particularly thorny to figure out how to reduce that, given the number of vehicles on the roads. So, Biden is pitching a host of ways to steer the country toward electric vehicles, or EVs.
By nearly every measure, the popularity of EVs and hybrid vehicles is already surging. Yet despite an avalanche of promising news, the shift away from gas-fueled cars remains stubbornly marginal, compared with the scale of the problem, even as global temperature records driven by fossil fuel use are broken year after year. Clean vehicles still account for just 2 percent of cars sold in the United States, 5 percent in China, and 10 percent in Europe—and those are the world’s biggest markets.
“This transition is by no means inevitable,” says Nic Lutsey, with the International Council on Clean Transportation, an independent research outfit that works with policymakers around the world.
Yet analysts, environmentalists, clean-tech experts, and auto industry-backed researchers all say the right mix of regulation, consumer incentives, and research support might just be enough to spur dramatic acceleration. And thus far, these experts agree, Biden seems intent on pulling the right levers.
“The dam is breaking; the tipping point is here,” says Sam Ricketts, a member of the team that authored Washington Governor Jay Inslee’s climate action plan during his presidential run. Many of Inslee’s ideas have since found their way into Biden’s plans. “The question is how fast can the auto industry go,” Ricketts says, “and can it be fast enough to confront the climate crisis?”
That will depend in no small part on what happens next in Washington, D.C.—and whether Biden and the Democrats, who hold the White House and a razor-thin majority in Congress, can even get the pieces into place.
So close, yet so far
Vehicles powered by electricity have been around since the auto industry’s inception—several of the first 19th-century cars were powered by electrons. But their real promise wasn’t apparent until Toyota began globally mass-producing the Prius hybrid 20 years ago. Less than a decade later, Tesla introduced the Roadster, its all-electric sports car, and got a $465 million Department of Energy loan, jump-starting production of its all-electric sedans. The loan has since been repaid, and Tesla is currently worth seven times as much as General Motors.
Today, the trend is impossible to miss. Just since 2016 EVs and hybrid sales have nearly doubled in North America, and in 2018, for the first time ever, sales rose even as gas prices collapsed. Last year, with an economy wracked by COVID-19, electric or partly-electric vehicle purchases rose almost 5 percent over 2019 as auto sales overall declined by 15 percent.
There are electric Hummers, an electric Mustang, and an electric Harley-Davidson motorcycle, and North American car manufacturers plan to triple the number of non-gas-powered models by 2024 to 203.
Battery and motor prices are falling, and the innovation and economies of scale that come into play when companies like Amazon, which plans to buy 100,000 electric delivery vehicles in coming years, require more mass-produced vehicles almost certainly will drive them down more. Just as solar and wind energy now cost pennies to produce, the cost of buying a fossil-fuel-free car or truck, by some estimates, may match traditional vehicle prices in five years or less. Ford expects that an upcoming electric version of its popular F150 pickup will be vastly cheaper to own, over time, than the gas-powered original.
In all, more than seven million electrified vehicles now travel the world’s streets. Tesla alone has produced more than one million. BMW has sold a half million and hopes to double that by this year. Volkswagen, the world’s largest automaker, has proposed dozens of electric models.
Click here to read the full article on National Geographic.
BY TORI B. POWELL,
NASA astronaut Kate Rubins, 42, safely returned to Earth on Saturday after living aboard the International Space Station for six months, according to NASA. Rubins, along with Russian cosmonauts Sergey Kud-Sverchkov and Sergey Ryzhikov, arrived southeast of the town Dzhezkazgan, Kazakhstan, in a parachute landing at 10:55 a.m. local time.
The crew served as Expedition 63-64 and began their mission on October 14 last year.
Rubins became the first person to ever sequence DNA in outer space on her first spaceflight, Expedition 48/49 in 2016. During her latest 185-day mission, Rubins conducted “hundreds of hours” of International Space Station research, including work on the Cardinal Heart experiment which studies the effects of gravity and cardiovascular cells at the cellular and tissue levels and could further knowledge of heart problems on Earth, NASA reported. Her research also included studying DNA sequencing and microbiology studies.
Click here to read the full article on CBS News.
The WITI Summit, June 22-24 in a VIRTUAL form, is the premier global event for women in technology. Executives, entrepreneurs and technology thought leaders from around the world convene online to build and expand strong connections in a welcoming environment and to foster women’s success in all technology related fields and organizations. 3,000+ attendees from 6 continents.
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By Asha C. Gilbert, USA TODAY
Mammals will have to take a seat in history books after a group of international scientists discovered a flying reptile with the oldest recorded opposing pollex – commonly known as a thumb.
In a report released Monday, scientists announced the finding of the ‘Monkeydactyl’ that lived 160 million years ago in a forest ecosystem in China during the Jurassic era.
Nicknamed the ‘Monkeydactyl’ by a friend of one of the report’s authors, the species is a pterosaur and scientifically known as Kunpengopterus antipollicatus. Pterosaurs were the first known vertebrates to evolve powered flight, according to the report.
The fossil was found in China in September 2019, with both hands having thumbs preserved in an opposed way, according to report co-author Fion Waisum Ma.
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Ma, a doctoral student at the University of Birmingham, said researchers used CT scans to enlarge the hands and look at anatomical features on the computer because of the small size of the fossil.
“The finding of the opposed thumbs isn’t something that happened after its death,” Ma said. “This discovery means opposed thumbs first appeared on Earth 160 million years in a flying reptile.”
Click here to read the full article on USA Today.
By Alyse Stanley, Gizmodo
Neuralink, the secretive neuroscience startup co-founded by Elon Musk, has been even more quiet than usual these days. That is, until this week when it released a YouTube video of a monkey appearing to play the classic video game Pong with its mind.
The video stars Pager, a 9-year-old macaque monkey who had a Neuralink implanted in either side of his brain roughly six weeks prior, according to the narrator. And apparently, he loves Pong. Before he learned how to play the game with his mind, though, researchers first conditioned him to use a joystick, rewarding him with “a tasty banana smoothie” through a straw whenever he moved an on-screen cursor to certain lit-up squares on a grid.
While he was maneuvering the joystick and happily slurping up his smoothie, the Neuralink devices in his brain recorded his brain activity, monitoring more than 2,000 electrodes implanted in the region of Pager’s motor cortex that controls hand and arm movements. Researchers could also interface with the devices in real-time by pairing their phones via Bluetooth.
That Neuralink data was then fed into a “decoder algorithm” to train it to predict Pager’s intended hand movements in real-time based on which neurons were firing. Following a short calibration period, the decoder understood Pager’s neural patterns well enough that the joystick was no longer needed. The narrator says that even with it disconnected, Pager continues to move the cursor around using only his mind. He then appears to play a game of so-called MindPong with no joystick insight.
“A monkey is literally playing a video game telepathically using a brain chip!!” Musk said in a tweet sharing the video Thursday.
More than four million people have watched it since then, and it’s currently among the top 10 trending videos on YouTube. If you’re interested, Neuralink also shared a video showing what the raw data behind Pager’s neural activity looks like while he’s busy playing.
Musk went on to discuss future plans for Neuralink’s devices in a series of tweets, echoing the video’s narrator that the ultimate goal for this technology is to enable people with paralysis to operate their computer or phone via their mind.
The initial versions of the device “will enable someone with paralysis to use a smartphone with their mind faster than someone using thumbs,” Musk wrote. “Later versions will be able to shunt signals from Neuralinks in brain to Neuralinks in body motor/sensory neuron clusters, thus enabling, for example, paraplegics to walk again.”
Back in August, Neuralink showed a live demo of the Neuralink implant in action, though on pigs rather than monkeys.
“It’s like a Fitbit in your skull with tiny wires,” Musk said at the time.
Click here to read the full article on Gizmodo.
By Ryan Whitwam
Scientists working at Fermilab in Batavia, Illinois have made some of the most important discoveries in physics over the years, including the existence of the top quark and characterizing the neutrino. Now, the team working on Fermilab’s Muon g−2 experiment has reported a tantalizing hint of a new type of physics, according to the BBC. If confirmed, this would become the fifth known fundamental force in the universe.
Our current understanding of particle physics is called the Standard Model, which we know is an incomplete picture of the universe. Concepts like the Higgs boson and dark energy don’t fully integrate with the Standard Model, and the Muon g−2 might eventually help us understand why. The key to that breakthrough could be the behavior of the muon, a subatomic particle similar to an electron. The muon has a negative charge, but it’s much more massive. So, it spins like a magnet, which is what points to a possible new branch of physics.
The roots of the Muon g−2 experiment go back to work done at CERN in the late 1950s. However, the instruments available at the time were too imprecise to accurately measure the “g-factor” of the muon, which describes its rate of gyration. The Standard Model predicts that muons wobble in a certain way, but the 14-meter magnetic accelerator at the heart of Muon g−2 shows that muons have a different g-factor. That might not sound significant, but even a tiny “anomalous magnetic dipole moment,” as scientists call it, could indicate something mysterious has affected the particles.
We currently know of four fundamental forces: gravity, electromagnetism, the strong force (nuclear cohesion), and the weak force (radioactive decay). Whatever is causing muons to misbehave in Muon g−2 could be a fifth force, but we don’t know what it is. Even if the team can confirm the result, we won’t necessarily know what this new force of nature does aside from perturbing muons. That part will take much more work. Theoretical physicists have speculated that the new force could be associated with an undiscovered subatomic particle like the Z-prime boson or leptoquark.
Read the full article at ExtremeTech.
The Mars helicopter Ingenuity has unlocked its two rotor blades as preparations continue for the vehicle’s first flight, due to occur no earlier than Sunday (April 11).
Ingenuity arrived on Mars Feb. 18 along with NASA’s Perseverance rover, having made the long trek out to the Red Planet tucked inside the rover’s belly. As of April 4, the little chopper has parted ways with Perseverance, preparing to take to the skies during a month-long test campaign. If Ingenuity’s Sunday sortie is successful, it will be the first powered, guided flight on another planet.
Image credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/ASU
“The blades of glory, aka rotor blades of the #MarsHelicopter, have been unlocked and are ready for testing,” NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) in California wrote in a tweet posted early today (April 8). “Next, we’ll do a slow-speed spin-up of the blades for the first time on the Martian surface.”
Ingenuity’s flight preparation process has been slow and cautious, in part because the 4-lb. (1.8 kilograms) helicopter made the journey to Mars in a folded configuration, tucked behind a protective shield.
After the rover dropped that shield and drove to the airfield, the helicopter’s personnel had to order the device to unpack and slowly unfold itself. Then Perseverance had to set Ingenuity directly on the Martian surface and drive away, allowing the helicopter’s solar panels to begin supporting the aircraft.
Unlocking and testing Ingenuity’s blades mark the last major milestones before the helicopter attempts to fly. NASA officials have said they will test the blades first at 50 and then at 2,400 revolutions per minute before the helicopter attempts to fly.
Read the full article at Space.com.
The Hispanic Alliance for Career Enhancement (HACE) Virtual Career Fair is FREE and easily connects you – in real-time – with employers seeking to hire mid-level to experienced Latinx talent on May 20, 1am – 3pm CDT.
Click here to register.
By Rob Thubron, TechSpot
What just happened? Will.i.am, best known as the frontman for the Black Eyed Peas, has made several pushes into the world of technology—not all of them successful. But the rapper hasn’t been put off by a few past failures. His latest project is a tech-packed face mask that features everything from noise-canceling headphones to Bluetooth connectivity. It’s also a lot more expensive than most masks: $299.
Created through a partnership with Honeywell, the Xupermask (pronounced “Super mask”) features dual three-speed fans and HEPA filters. That’s the same setup found on LG’s equally Cyberpunk 2077-looking PuriCare Wearable Air Purifier mask.
As Will.i.am was involved in the Xupermask’s creation, it has built-in active noise-canceling headphones for enjoying your tunes while looking like a Fallout character. There’s also a microphone, Bluetooth 5.0, and a magnetic earbud docking system.
Taking a leaf from Razer’s Project Hazel, the Xupermask boasts LED day glow lights, though they’re not of the RGB variety, as is the case with the PC accessory maker’s product. You also get 7-hour battery life.
Click here to read the full article on TechSpot.
By Neal Morrison – CareerCoach@CityCareerFair.com
In June 2020, job growth broke records with almost 4.8 million jobs gained. Moreover, this was during the COVID-19 pandemic. Virtual hiring methods, such as virtual career fairs, have facilitated most of this hiring.
Employers have turned almost exclusively to virtual recruiting events because of the benefits, which include safety, low cost, and convenience. Perhaps you should, too! Success is easy if you are prepared.
Virtual Career Fairs take place online between candidates and employers through laptops/desktops, tablets or mobile phones. There are four different types – Video, Chat/Text, Phone, 3D and any combination. I will update you here on Virtual Video (VV), which has emerged as the favorite of both employers and candidates. It is the closest replication of in-person (face-to-face) interviewing possible.
Candidates and employers find viewing and speaking online to be very private, professional and engaging.
Within the virtual video setting, your basic in-person interviewing skills can be deployed with similar success. However, there are detractors that can mute your greatest efforts and enhancers that will help you stand out.
Here are the most important points to consider for an optimized, successful interview.
1. Test your Camera/Microphone and ensure that your device and Internet connection are operating correctly.
TIP – Most Virtual Video platforms perform best when using Chrome or Firefox. Allow yourself the opportunity to test your device the night before. If there is a problem, you’ll have time to resolve it. Have the event organizer’s tech support contact or help line information available.
2.Register and log in early to confirm when you are scheduled to interview with your desired employers.
TIP – Select an appointment later in the recruiter’s schedule because recruiters have occasional computer issues, too. Also, after interviewing for a few hours, they may get distracted while working from home. Note who you are interviewing with and if other recruiters/interviewers are available. You might not connect with the first recruiter. Review all their profiles on LinkedIn and see if you can find any common interest points to warm up the start of your interview conversation. It will make you memorable to the interviewer.
3.Make sure to upload your resume to the Virtual Video Career Fair platform when you register.
If you procrastinate with this update, you may forget. If a recruiter/ interviewer does not have access to your resume BEFORE the VV Career Fair, your appointment will most likely be canceled. TIP – Have a copy of your uploaded resume on hand to reference when being interviewed. You will not have time to go find it because each interview is between 10 and 15 minutes.
4. Do not be put off by a recruiter / interviewer when they open up the conversation by saying, “We’ve got to keep this brief.”
In addition, they may start the interview with a rapid-fire series of questions. Recruiters will be rushed and cramped for time. Nevertheless, go along because when they concluded their questions and ask, “Can we set up a Zoom meeting in an hour or tomorrow?” – You are in the game! – You may be set for a more extensive interview with the staffing or hiring manager. This is where the hiring decisions are made. TIP – Say “YES!”
5. Think of each first session with an interviewer on the (VV) career fair platform as an introduction to being considered for a more extensive interview to follow. Because you only have a few minutes to answer and ask questions, some compare this to speed table dating. TIP – Have five questions memorized to ask the recruiter / interviewer. Make one of them, “What’s your email address?”
6. Your online visual appearance has to be on the spot and at its best.
There are no re-dos. Preferably, set up your interview space in an area or closed room where only you control light and sound. If you can’t sit facing natural light from a window, place two lamps in front of you on either side of your laptop/desktop/device. This will produce a balanced, smooth lighting to enhance your appearance over Virtual Video. Position your face and upper arms so they are visible within the screen – as if you were setting comfortably across from the recruiter / interviewer at a desk. TIP – When using a mobile phone / device place it upon a stack of books to raise and keep steady your image. Don’t forget to let everyone know your meeting schedule/ Quiet/ No Access time – Post a reminder note outside your space so your interview won’t be accidentally video-bombed.
7. Make sure your meeting with the recruiter/interviewer always remains professional and courteous.
Be genuine and authentic without getting personal. TIP – When speaking, look toward the camera and not at the picture of the interviewer on your screen. This will convey you are attentive and engaged with the conversation. No eating, drinking or yawning during the interview regardless of how relaxed you may be.
8. No Negative Thoughts Allowed!
Although the recruiter/interviewer will remain in character and appear momentarily empathetic, you blew it and it will work against you. TIP – As the old saying goes, “Don’t discuss sex, religion, politics or personal tales of woe.”
9. Most of all, keep a positive attitude because mastering the skills of virtual interviewing along with regular participation in Virtual Video Career Fairs will more than ever before exponentially increase your chances of getting hired.
TIP – Even when you are employed, continue to participate in Virtual Video Career Fairs to better your compensation and employment opportunities. As a passive career or job seeker, you will be in greater demand.
10. Always keep learning how to apply and leverage your Virtual Video Interviewing skills to amp up your career and job opportunities.
Virtual Career Fair 102 will update you on How to Find the Best Virtual Video Career Fairs for you among the Employer-Hosted, Job Board-Promoted, Career Fair Organizer-Produced and more. Find more details and send your questions to CareerCoach@CityCareerFair.com.
City Career Fair salutes its over 5,000 satisfied corporate, government, and non-profit clients for ACTIVELY supporting their Diversity Recruitment Initiatives. We invite you to recruit along with most major employers at our upcoming Virtual Video and In Person Diversity Career Fairs for top talent from
the Multicultural, Women, People with Disabilities, LGBTQ, Mature Workers and Veteran communities.