12345...102030...


Travel – Wikipedia

Travel is the movement of people between distant geographical locations. Travel can be done by foot, bicycle, automobile, train, boat, bus, airplane, or other means, with or without luggage, and can be one way or round trip.[1][2] Travel can also include relatively short stays between successive movements.

The origin of the word “travel” is most likely lost to history. The term “travel” may originate from the Old French word travail, which means ‘work’.[3] According to the Merriam Webster dictionary, the first known use of the word travel was in the 14th century. It also states that the word comes from Middle English travailen, travelen (which means to torment, labor, strive, journey) and earlier from Old French travailler (which means to work strenuously, toil). In English we still occasionally use the words “travail”, which means struggle. According to Simon Winchester in his book The Best Travelers’ Tales (2004), the words “travel” and “travail” both share an even more ancient root: a Roman instrument of torture called the tripalium (in Latin it means “three stakes”, as in to impale). This link may reflect the extreme difficulty of travel in ancient times. Today, travel may or may not be much easier depending upon the destination you choose (e.g. Mt. Everest, the Amazon rainforest), how you plan to get there (tour bus, cruise ship, or oxcart), and whether you decide to “rough it” (see extreme tourism and adventure travel). “There’s a big difference between simply being a tourist and being a true world traveler”, notes travel writer Michael Kasum. This is, however, a contested distinction as academic work on the cultures and sociology of travel has noted.[4]

Reasons for traveling include recreation,[5] tourism[5] or vacationing,[5] research travel,[5] the gathering of information, visiting people, volunteer travel for charity, migration to begin life somewhere else, religious pilgrimages[5] and mission trips, business travel,[5] trade,[5] commuting, and other reasons, such as to obtain health care[5] or waging or fleeing war or for the enjoyment of traveling. Travellers may use human-powered transport such as walking or bicycling; or vehicles, such as public transport, automobiles, trains and airplanes.

Motives for travel include:

Travel dates back to antiquity where wealthy Greeks and Romans would travel for leisure to their summer homes and villas in cities such as Pompeii and Baiae.[7]While early travel tended to be slower, more dangerous, and more dominated by trade and migration, cultural and technological advances over many years have tended to mean that travel has become easier and more accessible.[8] Mankind has come a long way in transportation since Christopher Columbus sailed to the new world from Spain in 1492, an expedition which took over 10 weeks to arrive at the final destination; to the 21st century where aircraft allow travel from Spain to the United States overnight.

Travel in the Middle Ages offered hardships and challenges, however, it was important to the economy and to society. The wholesale sector depended (for example) on merchants dealing with/through caravans or sea-voyagers, end-user retailing often demanded the services of many itinerant peddlers wandering from village to hamlet, gyrovagues (Wandering Monks) and wandering friars brought theology and pastoral support to neglected areas, travelling minstrels practiced the never-ending tour, and armies ranged far and wide in various crusades and in sundry other wars.[7]Pilgrimages were common in both the European and Islamic world and involved streams of travellers both locally (Canterbury Tales-style) and internationally.[9]

In the late 16th century it became fashionable for young European aristocrats and wealthy upper class men to travel to significant European cities as part of their education in the arts and literature. This was known as the Grand Tour, it included cities such as London, Paris, Venice, Florence and Rome.However, The French revolution brought with it the end of the Grand Tour.[7]

Travel by water often provided more comfort and speed than land-travel, at least until the advent of a network of railways in the 19th century. Travel for the purpose of tourism is reported to have started around this time when people began to travel for fun as travel was no longer a hard and challenging task. This was capitalised on by people like Thomas Cook selling tourism packages where trains and hotels were booked together.[10] Airships and airplanes took over much of the role of long-distance surface travel in the 20th century, notably after the second World War where there was a surplus of both aircraft and pilots.[7]

Travel may be local, regional, national (domestic) or international. In some countries, non-local internal travel may require an internal passport, while international travel typically requires a passport and visa. A trip may also be part of a round-trip, which is a particular type of travel whereby a person moves from one location to another and returns.[11]

Authorities emphasize the importance of taking precautions to ensure travel safety.[12] When traveling abroad, the odds favor a safe and incident-free trip, however, travelers can be subject to difficulties, crime and violence.[13] Some safety considerations include being aware of one’s surroundings,[12] avoiding being the target of a crime,[12] leaving copies of one’s passport and itinerary information with trusted people,[12] obtaining medical insurance valid in the country being visited[12] and registering with one’s national embassy when arriving in a foreign country.[12] Many countries do not recognize drivers’ licenses from other countries; however most countries accept international driving permits.[14] Automobile insurance policies issued in one’s own country are often invalid in foreign countries, and it is often a requirement to obtain temporary auto insurance valid in the country being visited.[14] It is also advisable to become oriented with the driving-rules and -regulations of destination countries.[14] Wearing a seat belt is highly advisable for safety reasons; many countries have penalties for violating seatbelt laws.[14]

There are three main statistics which may be used to compare the safety of various forms of travel (based on a DETR survey in October 2000):[15]

Here is the original post:

Travel – Wikipedia

50 Awesome Travel Blog Name Ideas – This World Rocks

When I was getting ready to launch mytravel blog, I had a really tough time picking a name for the blog. In reality, the name of a travel blog isnt as important as you might think. It isnt as important as quality writing, a well-designed site, a good brand, and a lot of content. However, your name is still a big piece of the puzzle, and should be something you like and can live with. To come up with my blogs name, I did an exercise to come up with as many awesome travel blog names as possible and then slowly narrowed it down to my current name. I thought I would share this list with any future travel bloggers who are currently brainstorming for a name. Not all of these were from my original list, as I have added more since, so go ahead and use this list as a starting point for your own brainstorming.UPDATE: Feel free to use any of these names for your own travel blog. People have been emailing me a lot asking if they can use a name on the list. You dont need my permission to use any of these names since I dont own any of them. I also dont own any of the domain names, so if its already taken there isnt anything I can do. Good luck in your search!

1. Out of the Office For a former cubicle worker who wants to quit and to put up anindefiniteemail out of office notification.

2. Binge Travelers BingeTravelers.com is available too, which is a great domain.

3. Tweet Pray Love The digital version of famous book/movie. Thanks to @AndyMonfre for this one!

4.Losing Sight of the ShoreHow does the saying go? You cant discover a new ocean until you have the courage to lose sight of the shore.

5. Forks In The Road For a traveler who loves food and decisions!

6. Corners of the World This is a good domain name that is available: CornersoftheWorld.com

7. Navigatio No, I didnt forget the N, Navigatio is actually Latin forVoyage.

8. The Hum of the Earth Instead of looking for the scum of the Earth, you seek the good, or what makes us hum. Domain is available: HumoftheEarth.com

9. Tray Tables & Seat Backs Travel bloggers can recite this entire speech by memory.

10. Mice Will Play When the cats away

11. Uneven Pavement The types of roads travelers crave

12. Loose Gravel Same idea as above

13. Cats and Dogs Living Together Are you planning on having chaotic travels? Heres a salute toBill Murrays description of chaos in Ghostbusters.

14. Get Busy Livin ForShawshank fans. Instead of Livin you could replace it with your name, like Get Busy Jenny

15. Someday This Day Make your own meaning of it.

16. Showering in the Ocean For the beach lover.

17. Bathing in the Ocean Variation of above.

18. Both Paths For a traveler like us who likes mixing in both the beaten path and unbeaten path.

19. Where the Heart Is Home is

20. The Long and Winding One of my favorite Beatles songs.

21. Cark Muban Mark Cuban once did a gap year, so pay homage to him by creating his alter ego and doing your own trip.

22. All Systems Whoa There are a lot of names you can create by changing the word go to whoa in popular catch phrases.

23. Away We Whoa See above

24. Ready, Set, Whoa See above

25. On the Whoa Ok, you get the idea by now

26. Here Goes Here goes nothing!

27. One Point Five Billion Inches The circumference of the Earth is 1.5 billion inches.

28. Around the Tellus Tellus is Latin for Earth

29. Around the Orbis Orbis is Latin for World

30. Turn Turn Turn Referring to the constant turning while traveling, both good turns and bad.

31. YOUR NAME on Earth This works really well if your name rhymes with heaven, i.e. Kevin, Devin, Gavin, Evan, Melvin, etc

32. Cold Turkey This could be for a blogger who had to quit something addictive in order to travel. i.e. shopping, alcohol, drugs, video games, over-working, etc.

33. Like Nothing Ive Seen A blog about seeing and experiencing new, exotic adventures.

34. Salt of the Earth This sounds a bit Biblical, but thats because it is a Bible phrase. However, it can still apply the our natural world. Domain available: SaltoftheEarth.com

35. Off the Face Basically letting people know youve fallen(jumped) off the face of the Earth.

36. Reset ReBoot Record Someone who left home to get a fresh start, and is recording the progress in the blog. You could do a cool logo with the three Rs.

37. Re* Re* Record Replace the first two re-words with any two words on this list. Find two words that fit your situation the best.

38. One Big Rock Thats all Earth is right?

39. Off and Running For all the travel runners out there.

40. Travel Travel Travel Pizza Pizza

41. Text Me Later Im gone for a while.

42. My Final Frontier Star trek fan?

43. Each City a Rhapsody For the musically inclined.

44. Jet Set Brunette Sorry blondes, this one isnt for you.

45. Redefined Timeline Define the change of pace and scenery in your life.

46. Every Corner a Story Awesome stories are everywhere you look, all over the globe.

47. Miles and Smiles Away Miles, and miles, and miles, and miles, away.

48. Roam Sweet Roam Roam is the new Home (apparently there was a documentary with this title in 1996)

49. Why Dont You Babe A play on the Supremes song

50. No Particular Place to Go For the wandering blogger.

51. So This is How I Die From Stetson at Sergios Samba

52. WanderingOmies.com From Brandon at TheYogaNomads.com

These are from Brian at Blancette:

53.Three If By Sky modern twist on an old classic, nobody suspected the British of coming through the air.

54. Traveling Like LeBron Ah ah ahtoo many steps

55. Hostel Takeover no hostilities on this blog

56. Bloggers Without Borders give back to the world and do some pro bono blogging.

57. Boats and Phos: A Maritime Tour of Southeast Asia

58. The Gumshoes some of us never gave up chasing Carmen Sandiego

59. The Planeteers which one are you? Earth, wind, water, fire, or heart?

60. SergeantPlanet cause nobody out ranks the Captain

These are from Tina at GypsySpirit.com:

61. Nowhere in Particular

62. Gypsy Soul

63. Riding the Waves

64. Smells Like Gypsy

65. Gypsy Rhapsody

66. Gone Traveling

67. Life in a Bag

68. Hugging the Road

69. [yourname] Pilgrim

70. [yourname] Supertramp

These are from WildWanderess.com:

71.The Runaway Girl

72. Gypsy Girl Travels

73. The Simple Sojourn

74. Rooftops and Flipflops

75. Edge of the Sand

76. The Lost Gurl

77. Gutsy Girl Travel

.

good travel blog namessocial mediatravel blog nametravel blog name ideas

See more here:

50 Awesome Travel Blog Name Ideas – This World Rocks

South African Cuisine: Smiley (Fire-Roasted Goat Head) and …

Oct 5, 2012

Johanna Read /Africa Travel, Food Travel, Namibia, South Africa, Travel Abroad /

Leopard (not on the menu). Photo by Johanna Read

Smiley. A lovely word. A not so lovely dish.

Im in southern Africa. This is more of a seeing animals trip than an eating animals trip, but how can I resist the opportunity to eat something Ive never had before?

Many people have told me to keep an eye out for smiley. Cool Im a smiley person, I say. Whats smiley?Im thinking of foodsthat make me smile:dark chocolate and raspberries; lamb-sicles; gelato fromIl Crispinoin Rome; street food in Luang Prabang, Laos; passion fruit anything, twice-fried French fries with truffled ketchup ..

Then Im told smiley is the head of a sheep or a goat, brains and eyeballs included, that is cooked over a fire so that its lips pull back into a smile. Yum.

Hmmmm. Maybe Im not as much of a smiley person as I thought.

Biltong

Biltongis dried beef (sometimes oryx, kudu or ostrich), similar to beef jerky.Photo by Johanna Read

I meet up with LaurenCohen a new friend originallymet on Twitter to have dinner at one of the many fine restaurants in Cape TownsVictoria and Alfred Waterfront. The Waterfront is both a workingharborand a hub for eating, shopping and entertainment, for tourists and locals alike.Tonight we tryTasca De Belem, which serves authentic Portuguese and Turkish mains and tapas / meze. We sit outside with a view of the quay (with heat lamps and blankets available it is July, i.e. mid-winter,after all). I eat fabulous tuna, barely seared as ordered, with a delicious Portuguese prego sauce garlic, cumin and chili pepper goodness. I love that the sustainability and source of each fish aredescribed on the menu.

Of course the discussion is a lot about food, and about South Africanspecialties and Lauren mentions biltong. Bull tongue?! I ask, thinking of a variation of smiley. No. If youve ever had beef jerky, then youve eaten the very poor cousin of biltong. Biltong is dried beef (sometimes oryx, kudu or ostrich) and comes insausage form as well as thinly sliced. It is way moreflavorfuland much better-textured than beef jerky. Lauren treats us to both from theCity Grill Steakhouse, a couple doors down.

Having gorged myself at dinner, I save the biltong for the next dayspatkos Afrikaans for road food for my trip to the Cape of Good Hope.It is much appreciated after the 159 meter stair climb up to the lighthouse on an empty stomach.

Game

It is surprisingly not that hard to spend your days in Namibian animal reserves looking at game and spend your evenings eating it. No, I didnt eat leopard, cheetah, elephant or anything like that. But oryx, kudu and eland are all delicious. They are all beautiful too (and raisedsustainably).

What do they taste like? No not like chicken! But a lot like beef. The oryx is the most delicious like a dry-aged steak, both lean and juicy at the same time. Maybe a bit like lamb chops. Kudu is similar, but not asflavorfuland drier. And eland even more so.

Ill order oryx again if I ever see it on a menu, but will probably skip the kudu and eland. Theyre better lion food anyway.

Malva pudding from Tasca restaurant. Photo by Johanna Read

Malva pudding

Pudding nothing to be nervous about with dessert! Malva pudding a traditional South African dish, adopted from the Dutch is a pudding in the English sense of the word. It is a cake with sauce, served warm,resembling sticky toffee pudding.

Every Malva pudding I try (and there are several)is different. I preferthe warmer stickier ones to the cooler drier ones. The taste is somewhat like a caramel cake. I had to check recipes to see what givesit that uniqueflavor apricot jam of all things. Regardless of where you are in the world, you should be able to find the ingredients to make this one at home (see recipe below).

And the smiley?

Well, lucky for me I never did come across the smiley. After seeing photos I cant say Im too upset over it.

Maggies Malva Pudding (serves 6)

Michael Olivier, Cape Towns Wine and Food Guru, says that this is the benchmark malva pudding recipe. It is by Maggie Pepler and served at the Boschendal Restaurant. For more info see hissite.

Cake:1 cup flour1 tablespoon bicarbonate of soda (baking soda)1 cup sugar1 egg1 tablespoon apricot jam1 tablespoon vinegar1 talespoon melted butter1 cup milk

Sauce: cup cream cup milk1 cup sugar cup hot water cup butter

Preheat oven to 180C / 350F.With butter, grease an ovenproof dish approximately 30cm X 20cm X 5cm. Glass or ceramic best do not use an aluminium, enamel or metal container. Cut a piece of aluminium foil to cover the dish, and grease it well with butter on one side.

Sift the flour and the baking soda into a bowl and stir in the sugar.In another bowl beat the egg very well and add the remaining wet cake ingredients one by one, beating well between each addition.Using a wooden spoon beat the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients and mix well.

Pour the batter into the prepared dish, cover with the foil, greased side down, and bake 45 minutes until well risen and brown. Bake a further five minutes without the foil if not sufficiently brown. Be careful not to under-bake: if not sufficiently baked the dessert will not soak up all the sauce.When the pudding is almost done, heat the ingredients for the sauce, ensuring that you melt all the sugar and butter.When the pudding is done, remove from the oven, take off the foil and pour over the sauce.

Serve hot, warm or at room temperature, though the warmer the better. If desired, serve with some whipped cream or vanilla custard.

TravelEater, aka Johanna Read, is a Canadian who loves travelling and loves eating, but hates eating tourist food. She collects — and shares — advice about eating around the world (and about what to do between snacks). Johanna is World Travel Buzz’s new International Eating Expert and will be writing a monthly column.

Read the rest here:

South African Cuisine: Smiley (Fire-Roasted Goat Head) and …

People Would Rather a Self-Driving Car Kill a Criminal Than a Dog

Snap Decisions

On first glance, a site that collects people’s opinions about whose life an autonomous car should favor doesn’t tell us anything we didn’t already know. But look closer, and you’ll catch a glimpse of humanity’s dark side.

The Moral Machine is an online survey designed by MIT researchers to gauge how the public would want an autonomous car to behave in a scenario in which someone has to die. It asks questions like: “If an autonomous car has to choose between killing a man or a woman, who should it kill? What if the woman is elderly but the man is young?”

Essentially, it’s a 21st century update on the Trolley Problem, an ethical thought experiment no doubt permanently etched into the mind of anyone who’s seen the second season of “The Good Place.”

Ethical Dilemma

The MIT team launched the Moral Machine in 2016, and more than two million people from 233 countries participated in the survey — quite a significant sample size.

On Wednesday, the researchers published the results of the experiment in the journal Nature, and they really aren’t all that surprising: Respondents value the life of a baby over all others, with a female child, male child, and pregnant woman following closely behind. Yawn.

It’s when you look at the other end of the spectrum — the characters survey respondents were least likely to “save” — that you’ll see something startling: Survey respondents would rather the autonomous car kill a human criminal than a dog.

moral machine
Image Credit: MIT

Ugly Reflection

While the team designed the survey to help shape the future of autonomous vehicles, it’s hard not to focus on this troubling valuing of a dog’s life over that of any human, criminal or not. Does this tell us something important about how society views the criminal class? Reveal that we’re all monsters when hidden behind the internet’s cloak of anonymity? Confirm that we really like dogs?

The MIT team doesn’t address any of these questions in their paper, and really, we wouldn’t expect them to — it’s their job to report the survey results, not extrapolate some deeper meaning from them. But whether the Moral Machine informs the future of autonomous vehicles or not, it’s certainly held up a mirror to humanity’s values, and we do not like the reflection we see.

READ MORE: Driverless Cars Should Spare Young People Over Old in Unavoidable Accidents, Massive Survey Finds [Motherboard]

More on the Moral Machine: MIT’s “Moral Machine” Lets You Decide Who Lives & Dies in Self-Driving Car Crashes

The rest is here:

People Would Rather a Self-Driving Car Kill a Criminal Than a Dog

Scientists Say New Material Could Hold up an Actual Space Elevator

Space Elevator

It takes a lot of energy to put stuff in space. That’s why one longtime futurist dream is a “space elevator” — a long cable strung between a geostationary satellite and the Earth that astronauts could use like a dumbwaiter to haul stuff up into orbit.

The problem is that such a system would require an extraordinarily light, strong cable. Now, researchers from Beijing’s Tsinghua University say they’ve developed a carbon nanotube fiber so sturdy and lightweight that it could be used to build an actual space elevator.

Going Up

The researchers published their paper in May, but it’s now garnering the attention of their peers. Some believe the Tsinghua team’s material really could lead to the creation of an elevator that would make it cheaper to move astronauts and materials into space.

“This is a breakthrough,” colleague Wang Changqing, who studies space elevators at Northwestern Polytechnical University, told the South China Morning Post.

Huge If True

There are still countless galling technical problems that need to be overcome before a space elevator would start to look plausible. Wang pointed out that it’d require tens of thousands of kilometers of the new material, for instance, as well as a shield to protect it from space debris.

But the research brings us one step closer to what could be a true game changer: a vastly less expensive way to move people and spacecraft out of Earth’s gravity.

READ MORE: China Has Strongest Fibre That Can Haul 160 Elephants – and a Space Elevator? [South China Morning Post]

More on space elevators: Why Space Elevators Could Be the Future of Space Travel

Visit link:

Scientists Say New Material Could Hold up an Actual Space Elevator

A Stem Cell Transplant Let a Wheelchair-Bound Man Dance Again

Stand Up Guy

For 10 years, Roy Palmer had no feeling in his lower extremities. Two days after receiving a stem cell transplant, he cried tears of joy because he could feel a cramp in his leg.

The technical term for the procedure the British man underwent is hematopoietic stem cell transplantation (HSCT). And while risky, it’s offering new hope to people like Palmer, who found himself wheelchair-bound after multiple sclerosis (MS) caused his immune system to attack his nerves’ protective coverings.

Biological Reboot

Ever hear the IT troubleshooting go-to of turning a system off and on again to fix it? The HSCT process is similar, but instead of a computer, doctors attempt to reboot a patient’s immune system.

To do this, they first remove stem cells from the patient’s body. Then the patient undergoes chemotherapy, which kills the rest of their immune system. After that, the doctors use the extracted stem cells to reboot the patient’s immune system.

It took just two days for the treatment to restore some of the feeling in Palmer’s legs. Eventually, he was able to walk on his own and even dance. He told the BBC in a recent interview that he now feels like he has a second chance at life.

“We went on holiday, not so long ago, to Turkey. I walked on the beach,” said Palmer. “Little things like that, people do not realize what it means to me.”

Risk / Reward

Still, HSCT isn’t some miracle cure for MS. Though it worked for Palmer, that’s not always the case, and HSCT can also cause infections and infertility. The National MS Society still considers HSCT to be an experimental treatment, and the Food and Drug Administration has yet to approve the therapy in the U.S.

However, MS affects more than 2.3 million people, and if a stem cell transplant can help even some of those folks the way it helped Palmer, it’s a therapy worth exploring.

READ MORE: Walking Again After Ten Years With MS [BBC]

More on HCST: New Breakthrough Treatment Could “Reverse Disability” for MS Patients

See the article here:

A Stem Cell Transplant Let a Wheelchair-Bound Man Dance Again

AI Dreamed Up These Nightmare Fuel Halloween Masks

Nightmare Fuel

Someone programmed an AI to dream up Halloween masks, and the results are absolute nightmare fuel. Seriously, just look at some of these things.

“What’s so scary or unsettling about it is that it’s not so detailed that it shows you everything,” said Matt Reed, the creator of the masks, in an interview with New Scientist. “It leaves just enough open for your imagination to connect the dots.”

A selection of masks featured on Reed’s twitter. Credit: Matt Reed/Twitter

Creative Horror

To create the masks, Reed — whose day job is as a technologist at a creative agency called redpepper — fed an open source AI tool 5,000 pictures of Halloween masks he sourced from Google Images. He then instructed the tool to generate its own masks.

The fun and spooky project is yet another sign that AI is coming into its own as a creative tool. Just yesterday, a portrait generated by a similar system fetched more than $400,000 at a prominent British auction house.

And Reed’s masks are evocative. Here at the Byte, if we looked through the peephole and saw one of these on a trick or treater, we might not open our door.

READ MORE: AI Designed These Halloween Masks and They Are Absolutely Terrifying [New Scientist]

More on AI-generated art: Generated Art Will Go on Sale Alongside Human-Made Works This Fall

Go here to see the original:

AI Dreamed Up These Nightmare Fuel Halloween Masks

Robot Security Guards Will Constantly Nag Spectators at the Tokyo Olympics

Over and Over

“The security robot is patrolling. Ding-ding. Ding-ding. The security robot is patrolling. Ding-ding. Ding-ding.”

That’s what Olympic attendees will hear ad nauseam when they step onto the platforms of Tokyo’s train stations in 2020. The source: Perseusbot, a robot security guard Japanese developers unveiled to the press on Thursday.

Observe and Report

According to reporting by Kyodo News, the purpose of the AI-powered Perseusbot is to lower the burden on the stations’ staff when visitors flood Tokyo during the 2020 Olympics.

The robot is roughly 5.5 feet tall and equipped with security cameras that allow it to note suspicious behaviors, such as signs of violence breaking out or unattended packages, as it autonomous patrols the area. It can then alert security staff to the issues by sending notifications directly to their smart phones.

Prior Prepration

Just like the athletes who will head to Tokyo in 2020, Perseusbot already has a training program in the works — it’ll patrol Tokyo’s Seibu Shinjuku Station from November 26 to 30. This dry run should give the bot’s developers a chance to work out any kinks before 2020.

If all goes as hoped, the bot will be ready to annoy attendees with its incessant chant before the Olympic torch is lit. And, you know, keep everyone safe, too.

READ MORE: Robot Station Security Guard Unveiled Ahead of 2020 Tokyo Olympics [Kyodo News]

More robot security guards: Robot Security Guards Are Just the Beginning

Read the original here:

Robot Security Guards Will Constantly Nag Spectators at the Tokyo Olympics

FBI’s Tesla Criminal Probe Reportedly Centers on Model 3 Production

Ups and Downs

Can we please get off Mr. Musk’s Wild Ride now? We don’t know how much more of this Tesla rollercoaster we can take.

In 2018 alone, Elon Musk’s clean energy company has endured a faulty flufferbot, furious investors, and an SEC probe and settlement. But there was good news, too. Model 3 deliveries reportedly increased, and just this week, we found out that Tesla had a historic financial quarter, generating $312 million in profit.

And now we’re plummeting again.

Closing In

On Friday, The Wall Street Journal reported that the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) is deepening a criminal probe into whether Tesla “misstated information about production of its Model 3 sedans and misled investors about the company’s business going back to early 2017.”

We’ve known about the FBI’s Tesla criminal probe since September 18, but this is the first report confirming that Model 3 production is at the center of the investigation.

According to the WSJ’s sources, FBI agents have been reaching out to former Tesla employees in recent weeks to ask if they’d be willing to testify in the criminal case, though no word yet on whether any have agreed.

Casual CEO

We might be having trouble keeping up with these twists and turns, but Musk seems to be taking the FBI’s Tesla criminal probe all in stride — he spent much of Friday afternoon joking around with his Twitter followers about dank memes.

Clearly he has the stomach for this, but it’d be hard to blame any Tesla investors for deciding they’d had enough.

READ MORE: Tesla Faces Deepening Criminal Probe Over Whether It Misstated Production Figures [The Wall Street Journal]

More on Tesla: Elon Musk Says Your Tesla Will Earn You Money While You Sleep

See the rest here:

FBI’s Tesla Criminal Probe Reportedly Centers on Model 3 Production

Zero Gravity Causes Worrisome Changes In Astronauts’ Brains

Danger, Will Robinson

As famous Canadian astronaut Chris Hadfield demonstrated with his extraterrestrial sob session, fluids behave strangely in space.

And while microgravity makes for a great viral video, it also has terrifying medical implications that we absolutely need to sort out before we send people into space for the months or years necessary for deep space exploration.

Specifically, research published Thursday In the New England Journal of Medicine demonstrated that our brains undergo lasting changes after we spend enough time in space. According to the study, cerebrospinal fluid — which normally cushions our brain and spinal cord — behaves differently in zero gravity, causing it to pool around and squish our brains.

Mysterious Symptoms

The brains of the Russian cosmonauts who were studied in the experiment mostly bounced back upon returning to Earth.

But even seven months later, some abnormalities remained. According to National Geographic, the researchers suspect that high pressure  inside the cosmonauts’ skulls may have squeezed extra water into brain cells which later drained out en masse.

Now What?

So far, scientists don’t know whether or not this brain shrinkage is related to any sort of cognitive or other neurological symptoms — it might just be a weird quirk of microgravity.

But along with other space hazards like deadly radiation and squished eyeballs, it’s clear that we have a plethora of medical questions to answer before we set out to explore the stars.

READ MORE: Cosmonaut brains show space travel causes lasting changes [National Geographic]

More on space medicine: Traveling to Mars Will Blast Astronauts With Deadly Cosmic Radiation, new Data Shows

Here is the original post:

Zero Gravity Causes Worrisome Changes In Astronauts’ Brains

We Aren’t Growing Enough Healthy Foods to Feed Everyone on Earth

Check Yourself

The agriculture industry needs to get its priorities straight.

According to a newly published study, the world food system is producing too many unhealthy foods and not enough healthy ones.

“We simply can’t all adopt a healthy diet under the current global agriculture system,” said study co-author Evan Fraser in a press release. “Results show that the global system currently overproduces grains, fats, and sugars, while production of fruits and vegetables and, to a smaller degree, protein is not sufficient to meet the nutritional needs of the current population.”

Serving Downsized

For their study, published Tuesday in the journal PLOS ONE, researchers from the University of Guelph compared global agricultural production with consumption recommendations from Harvard University’s Healthy Eating Plate guide. Their findings were stark: The agriculture industry’s overall output of healthy foods does not match humanity’s needs.

Instead of the recommended eight servings of grains per person, it produces 12. And while nutritionists recommend we each consume 15 servings of fruits and vegetables daily, the industry produces just five. The mismatch continues for oils and fats (three servings instead of one), protein (three servings instead of five), and sugar (four servings when we don’t need any).

Overly Full Plate

The researchers don’t just point out the problem, though — they also calculated what it would take to address the lack of healthy foods while also helping the environment.

“For a growing population, our calculations suggest that the only way to eat a nutritionally balanced diet, save land, and reduce greenhouse gas emission is to consume and produce more fruits and vegetables as well as transition to diets higher in plant-based protein,” said Fraser.

A number of companies dedicated to making plant-based proteins mainstream are already gaining traction. But unfortunately, it’s unlikely that the agriculture industry will decide to prioritize growing fruits and veggies over less healthy options as long as people prefer having the latter on their plates.

READ MORE: Not Enough Fruits, Vegetables Grown to Feed the Planet, U of G Study Reveals [University of Guelph]

More on food scarcity: To Feed a Hungry Planet, We’re All Going to Need to Eat Less Meat

Continue reading here:

We Aren’t Growing Enough Healthy Foods to Feed Everyone on Earth

Report Identifies China as the Source of Ozone-Destroying Emissions

Emissions Enigma

For years, a mystery puzzled environmental scientists. The world had banned the use of many ozone-depleting compounds in 2010. So why were global emission levels still so high?

The picture started to clear up in June. That’s when The New York Times published an investigation into the issue. China, the paper claimed, was to blame for these mystery emissions. Now it turns out the paper was probably right to point a finger.

Accident or Incident

In a paper published recently in the journal Geophysical Research Letters, an international team of researchers confirms that eastern China is the source of at least half of the 40,000 tonnes of carbon tetrachloride emissions currently entering the atmosphere each year.

They figured this out using a combination of ground-based and airborne atmospheric concentration data from near the Korean peninsula. They also relied on two models that simulated how the gases would move through the atmosphere.

Though they were able to narrow down the source to China, the researchers weren’t able to say exactly who’s breaking the ban and whether they even know about the damage they’re doing.

Pinpoint

“Our work shows the location of carbon tetrachloride emissions,” said co-author Matt Rigby in a press release. “However, we don’t yet know the processes or industries that are responsible. This is important because we don’t know if it is being produced intentionally or inadvertently.”

If we can pinpoint the source of these emissions, we can start working on stopping them and healing our ozone. And given that we’ve gone nearly a decade with minimal progress on that front, there’s really no time to waste.

READ MORE: Location of Large ‘Mystery’ Source of Banned Ozone Depleting Substance Uncovered [University of Bristol]

More on carbon emissions: China Has (Probably) Been Pumping a Banned Gas Into the Atmosphere

Here is the original post:

Report Identifies China as the Source of Ozone-Destroying Emissions

An AI Conference Refusing a Name Change Highlights a Tech Industry Problem

Name Game

There’s a prominent artificial intelligence conference that goes by the suggestive acronym NIPS, which stands for “Neural Information Processing Systems.”

After receiving complaints that the acronym was alienating to women, the conference’s leadership collected suggestions for a new name via an online poll, according to WIRED. But the conference announced Monday that it would be sticking with NIPS all the same.

Knock It Off

It’s convenient to imagine that this acronym just sort of emerged by coincidence, but let’s not indulge in that particular fantasy.

It’s more likely that tech geeks cackled maniacally when they came up with the acronym, and the refusal to do better even when people looking up the conference in good faith are bombarded with porn is a particularly telling failure of the AI research community.

Small Things Matter

This problem goes far beyond a silly name — women are severely underrepresented in technology research and even more so when it comes to artificial intelligence. And if human decency — comforting those who are regularly alienated by the powers that be — isn’t enough of a reason to challenge the sexist culture embedded in tech research, just think about what we miss out on.

True progress in artificial intelligence cannot happen without a broad range of diverse voices — voices that are silenced by “locker room talk” among an old boy’s club. Otherwise, our technological development will become just as stuck in place as our cultural development often seems to be.

READ MORE: AI RESEARCHERS FIGHT OVER FOUR LETTERS: NIPS [WIRED]

More on Silicon Valley sexism: The Tech Industry’s Gender Problem Isn’t Just Hurting Women

Read more:

An AI Conference Refusing a Name Change Highlights a Tech Industry Problem

Scientists Are Hopeful AI Could Help Predict Earthquakes

Quake Rate

Earlier this year, I interviewed U.S. Geological Survey geologist Annemarie Baltay for a story about why it’s incredibly difficult to predict earthquakes.

“We don’t use that ‘p word’ — ‘predict’ — at all,” she told me. “Earthquakes are chaotic. We don’t know when or where they’ll occur.”

Neural Earthwork

That could finally be starting to change, according to a fascinating feature in The New York Times.

By feeding seismic data into a neural network — a type of artificial intelligence that learns to recognize patterns by scrutinizing examples — researchers say they can now predict moments after a quake strikes how far its aftershocks will travel.

And eventually, some believe, they’ll be able to listen to signals from fault lines and predict when an earthquake will strike in the first place.

Future Vision

But like Baltay, some researchers aren’t convinced we’ll ever be able to predict earthquakes.University of Tokyo seismologist Robert Geller told the Times that until an algorithm actually predicts an upcoming quake, he’ll remain skeptical.

“There are no shortcuts,” he said. “If you cannot predict the future, then your hypothesis is wrong.”

READ MORE: A.I. Is Helping Scientist Predict When and Where the Next Big Earthquake Will Be [The New York Times]

More on earthquake AI: A New AI Detected 17 Times More Earthquakes Than Traditional Methods

View post:

Scientists Are Hopeful AI Could Help Predict Earthquakes

These Bacteria Digest Food Waste Into Biodegradable Plastic

Factory Farm

Plastics have revolutionized manufacturing, but they’re still terrible for the environment.

Manufacturing plastics is an energy-intensive slog that ends in mountains of toxic industrial waste and greenhouse gas emissions. And then the plastic itself that we use ends up sitting in a garbage heap for thousands of years before it biodegrades.

Scientists have spent years investigating ways to manufacture plastics without ruining the planet, and a Toronto biotech startup called Genecis says it’s found a good answer: factories where vats of bacteria digest food waste and use it to form biodegradable plastic in their tiny microbial guts.

One-Two Punch

The plastic-pooping bacteria stand to clean up several kinds of pollution while churning out usable materials, according to Genecis.

That’s because the microbes feed on waste food or other organic materials — waste that CBC reported gives off 20 percent of Canada’s methane emissions as it sits in landfills.

Then What?

The plastic that the little buggers produce isn’t anything new. It’s called PHA and it’s used in anything that needs to biodegrade quickly, like those self-dissolving stitches. What’s new here is that food waste is much cheaper than the raw materials that usually go into plastics, leading Genecis to suspect it can make the same plastics for 40 percent less cost.

There are a lot of buzzworthy new alternative materials out there, but with a clear environmental and financial benefit, it’s possible these little bacteria factories might be here to stay.

READ MORE: Greener coffee pods? Bacteria help turn food waste into compostable plastic [CBC]

More on cleaning up plastics: The EU Just Voted to Completely ban Single-Use Plastics

Here is the original post:

These Bacteria Digest Food Waste Into Biodegradable Plastic

You Can Now Preorder a $150,000 Hoverbike

Please, Santa?

It’s never too early to start writing your Christmas wish list, right? Because we know what’s now at the top of ours: a hoverbike.

We’ve had our eyes on Hoversurf’s Scorpion-3 since early last year — but now, the Russian drone start-up is accepting preorders on an updated version of the vehicle.

Flying Bike

The S3 2019 is part motorcycle and part quadcopter. According to the Hoversurf website, the battery-powered vehicle weighs 253 pounds and has a flight time of 10 to 25 minutes depending on operator weight. Its maximum legal speed is 60 mph — though as for how fast the craft can actually move, that’s unknown. Hoversurf also notes that the vehicle’s “safe flight altitude” is 16 feet, but again, we aren’t sure how high it can actually soar.

What we do know: The four blades that provide S3 with its lift spin at shin level, and while this certainly looks like it would be a safety hazard, the U.S. Department of Transportation’s Federal Aviation Administration approved the craft for legal use as an ultralight vehicle in September.

That means you can only operate an S3 for recreational or sports purposes — but you can’t cruise to work on your morning commute.

Plummeting Bank Account

You don’t need a pilot’s license to operate an S3, but you will need a decent amount of disposable income — the Star Wars-esque craft will set you back $150,000.

If that number doesn’t cause your eyes to cross, go ahead and slap down the $10,000 deposit needed to claim a spot in the reservation queue. You’ll then receive an email when it’s time to to place your order. You can expect to receive your S3 2019 two to six months after that, according to the company website.

That means there’s a pretty good chance you won’t be able to hover around your front yard this Christmas morning, but a 2019 jaunt is a genuine possibility.

READ MORE: For $150,000 You Can Now Order Your Own Hoverbike [New Atlas]

More on Hoversurf: Watch the World’s First Rideable Hoverbike in Flight

Link:

You Can Now Preorder a $150,000 Hoverbike

There’s No Way China’s Artificial Moon Will Work, Says Expert

Good Luck

On October 10, a Chinese organization called the Tian Fu New Area Science Society revealed plans to replace the streetlights in the city of Chengdu with a satellite designed to reflect sunlight toward the Earth’s surface at night.

But in a new interview with Astronomy, an associate professor of aerospace engineering at the University of Texas at Austin named Ryan Russel argued that based on what he’s read, the artificial moon plan would be impossible to implement.

Promised the Moon

Wu Chunfeng, the head of the Tian Fu New Area Science Society, told China Daily the artificial moon would orbit about 310 miles above Earth, delivering an expected brightness humans would perceive to be about one-fifth that of a typical streetlight.

The plan is to launch one artificial moon in 2020 and then three more in 2022 if the first works as hoped. Together, these satellites could illuminate an area of up to 4,000 square miles, Chunfeng claims.

But Russell is far from convinced.

“Their claim for 1 [low-earth orbit satellite] at [300 miles] must be a typo or misinformed spokesperson,” he told Astronomy. “The article I read implied you could hover a satellite over a particular city, which of course is not possible.”

Overkill Overhead

To keep the satellite in place over Chengdu, it would need to be about 22,000 miles above the Earth’s surface, said Russel, and its reflective surface would need to be massive to reflect sunlight from that distance. At an altitude of just 300 miles, the satellite would quickly zip around the Earth, constantly illuminating new locations.

Even if the city could put the artificial moon plan into action, though, Russell isn’t convinced it should.

“It’s a very complicated solution that affects everyone to a simple problem that affects a few,” he told Astronomy. “It’s light pollution on steroids.”

Maybe Chengdu shouldn’t give up on its streetlights just yet.

READ MORE: Why China’s Artificial Moon Probably Won’t Work [Astronomy]

More on the artificial moon: A Chinese City Plans to Replace Its Streetlights With an Artificial Moon

See original here:

There’s No Way China’s Artificial Moon Will Work, Says Expert

Clean Coal Startup Turns Human Waste Into Earth-Friendly Fuel

Gold Nuggets

A company called Ingelia says it’s figured out a way to turn human waste — the solid kind — into a combustible material it’s calling biochar. And if Ingelia’s claims are accurate, biochar can be burned for fuel just like coalexcept with nearzero greenhouse gas emissions, according to Business Insider.

That’s because almost all of the pollutants and more harmful chemicals that would normally be given off while burning solid fuels is siphoned away into treatable liquid waste, leaving a dry, combustible rod of poop fuel.

“Clean Coal

Ingelia, which is currently working to strike a deal with Spanish waste management facilities, hopes to make enough biochar to replace 220 thousand tons of coal per year, corresponding to 500 thousand tons of carbon dioxide emissions.

But that’s by 2022, at which point we’ll have even less time to reach the urgent clean energy goals of that doomsday United Nations report. In an ideal world, we would have moved away from coal years ago. At least this gives us a viable alternative as we transition to other, renewable forms of electricity.

So while we can, in part, poop our way to a better world, biochar — and other new sewage-based energy sources — will only be one of many new world-saving sources of clean energy.

READ MORE: This Spanish company found a way to produce a fuel that emits no CO2 — and it’s made of sewage [Business Insider]

More on poop: Edible Tech is Finally Useful, is Here to Help you Poop

The rest is here:

Clean Coal Startup Turns Human Waste Into Earth-Friendly Fuel

Ford’s Self-Driving Cars Are About to Chauffeur Your Senator

Green-Light District

It doesn’t matter how advanced our self-driving cars get — if they aren’t allowed on roads, they aren’t going to save any lives.

The future of autonomous vehicles (AVs) in the U.S. depends on how lawmakers in Washington D.C. choose to regulate the vehicles. But until now, AV testing has largely taken place far from the nation’s capital, mostly in California and Arizona.

Ford is about to change that. The company just announced plans to be the first automaker to test its self-driving cars in the Distinct of Columbia — and how lawmakers feel about those vehicles could influence future AV legislation.

Career Day

Sherif Marakby, CEO of Ford Autonomous Vehicles, announced the decision to begin testing in D.C. via a blog post last week. According to Marakby, Ford’s politician-friendly focus will be on figuring out how its AVs could promote job creation in the District.

To that end, Ford plans to assess how AVs could increase mobility in D.C., thereby helping residents get to jobs that might otherwise be outside their reach, as well as train residents for future positions as AV technicians or operators.

Up Close and Personal

Marakby notes that D.C. is a particularly suitable location for this testing because the District is usually bustling with activity. The population increases significantly during the day as commuters arrive from the suburbs for work, while millions of people flock to D.C. each year for conferences or tourism.

D.C. is also home to the people responsible for crafting and passing AV legislation. “[I]t’s important that lawmakers see self-driving vehicles with their own eyes as we keep pushing for legislation that governs their safe use across the country,” Marakby wrote.

Ford’s ultimate goal is to launch a commercial AV service in D.C. in 2021. With this testing, the company has the opportunity to directly influence the people who could help it reach that goal — or oppose it.

READ MORE: A Monumental Moment: Our Self-Driving Business Development Expands to Washington, D.C. [Medium]

More on AV legislation: U.S. Senators Reveal the Six Principles They’ll Use to Regulate Self-Driving Vehicles

Originally posted here:

Ford’s Self-Driving Cars Are About to Chauffeur Your Senator

This AI Lie Detector Flags Falsified Police Reports

Minority Report

Imagine this: You file a police report, but back at the station, they feed it into an algorithm — and it accuses you of lying, as though it had somehow looked inside your brain.

That might sound like science fiction, but Spain is currently rolling out a very similar program, called VeriPol, in many of its police stations. VeriPol’s creators say that when it flags a report as false, it turns out to be correct more than four-fifths of the time.

Lie Detector

VeriPol is the work of researchers at Cardiff University and Charles III University of Madrid.

In a paper published earlier this year in the journal Knowledge-Based Systems, they describe how they trained the lie detector with a data set of more than 1,000 robbery reports — including a number that police identified as false — to identify subtle signs that a report wasn’t true.

Thought Crime

In pilot studies in Murcia and Malaga, Quartz reported, further investigation showed that the algorithm was correct about 83 percent of the time that it suspected a report was false.

Still, the project raises uncomfortable questions about allowing algorithms to act as lie detectors. Fast Company reported earlier this year that authorities in the United States, Canada, and the European Union are testing a separate system called AVATAR that they want to use to collect biometric data about subjects at border crossings — and analyze it for signs that they’re not being truthful.

Maybe the real question isn’t whether the tech works, but whether we want to permit authorities to act upon what’s essentially a good — but not perfect — assumption that someone is lying.

READ MORE: Police Are Using Artificial Intelligence to Spot Written Lies [Quartz]

More on lie detectors: Stormy Daniels Took a Polygraph. What Do We Do With the Results?

Follow this link:

This AI Lie Detector Flags Falsified Police Reports


12345...102030...