Reporting in Science, researchers write of discovering four radio bursts from outer space. Physicist Duncan Lorimer, who detected the first such explosion in 2007, discusses what could be causing these radio signals, such as evaporating black holes, an idea proposed by Stephen Hawking in the 1970s.
A day at the shore can leave beachgoers with more than a sunburn — a gulp of seawater can expose swimmers to disease-causing microbes like norovirus, salmonella, and adenovirus. Marine scientist Rachel Noble and environmental medicine researcher Samuel Dorevitch discuss the risk, and what's being done to limit swimmers' exposure.
As New Yorkers braced themselves for Hurricane Sandy, coastal geologist Cheryl Hapke was out surveying Fire Island, a barrier island off the Long Island coast. Days later, Hapke was back to document the hurricane's effects and found a breach cutting the island in two. Now locals and scientists are debating whether the inlet should be filled in or left as nature intended.
Originally published on Tue December 17, 2013 9:53 am
How do you channel mass chaos into order?
Credit Joos Mind / Getty Images
What motivates dozens, thousands, even millions of people to come together on the Internet and commit their time to a project for free? In this hour, TED speakers unravel ideas behind the mystery of mass collaborations that build a better world.
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Social media guru Clay Shirky looks at "cognitive surplus" — the shared, online work we do with our spare brain cycles. While we're busy contributing to the web in our small ways, we're building a better, more cooperative world.
Founder of Wikipedia Jimmy Wales recalls how he assembled "a ragtag band of volunteers," gave them tools for collaborating to create a self-organizing, self-correcting, never-finished online encyclopedia.
Computer programmer Luis von Ahn wondered how else to use small contributions done by millions on the Internet for greater good. He put CAPTCHAs, those online puzzles to verify you're not a robot, to work by digitizing books and teaching foreign languages.
The "Giant Tabular Iceberg" floats in Antarctica's Ross Sea in December 2011. Under a proposed new international agreement, large sections of the oceans around Antarctica would become protected as a marine preserve.
The area of ocean set aside as a nature preserve could double or triple in the coming days, depending on the outcome of a meeting in Germany. Representatives from 24 countries and the European Union are considering setting aside large portions of ocean around Antarctica as a protected area. And the deal may hinge on preserving some fishing rights.
There are two proposals on the table: One would set aside huge parts of the Southern Ocean around East Antarctica; the other would focus on the Ross Sea, south of New Zealand.
Two hundred and eleven comments and counting — about poetry! We here at 13.7 have come to understand what the hot-button issues are for most people. The strongest responses happen in reaction to posts about religion and science, animal welfare, diet and children's issues.
Then — unexpectedly — my post on the relationship between science and poetry launched a vibrant and compelling discussion about the nature and importance of poetry.