Physicists have discovered that rotating black holes might serve as portals for hyperspace travel

  • Scientists once thought that traveling into a black hole would kill you.
  • But now, physicists have run computer simulations to show that certain types of black holes — large, rotating ones — could serve as portals for hyperspace travel.
  • Some physicists believe that you’d arrive at a remote part of the Milky Way or perhaps in another galaxy altogether.
  • One of the safest passageways might be the supermassive black hole at the center of our galaxy, called Sagittarius A*.

Following is a transcript of the video.

Narrator: Black holes skirt the line between science fiction and science fact. On the one hand, scientists have seen real black holes in action, consuming unsuspecting stars that pass too close. But where reality ends and fiction takes over is at the edge of a black hole — a place called the event horizon, where no spacecraft has ever gone.

So, whatever happens beyond that boundary, inside of a black hole, is anyone’s guess. Scientists agree that if you travel far enough into a black hole, gravity will eventually become so strong that it kills anything in its path. But sci-fi films are more optimistic, depicting black holes as portals through space and time or gateways to other dimensions. And it turns out, some scientists now think the sci-fi buffs may be onto something. Black holes might be suitable for hyperspace travel, after all; it just takes the right kind of black hole.

At the center of every black hole is a point of infinite density, called a singularity. It’s what gives black holes their strong gravitational pull. And for decades, scientists thought singularities were all the same, so anything that passed the event horizon would be destroyed the same way: by being stretched and pulled like an infinitely long piece of spaghetti.

But that all changed in the early 1990s when different research teams in Canada and the US discovered a second singularity called a "mass inflation singularity." It still has a strong gravitational pull, but it would only stretch you by a finite amount, and potentially NOT kill you in the process, meaning, you might survive the trip through a black hole. More specifically, through a large, rotating black hole, which is where these types of singularities exist.

Now, astronomers obviously can’t travel through a black hole yet to test this theory. In fact, the best place to test this is at the supermassive black hole in the center of our home galaxy, the Milky Way, which is 27,000 light years away. Not conveniently close to the least.

Therefore, scientists instead run computer simulations to see what would happen if we did manage to reach an isolated, rotating black hole, and now, for the first time, a team of scientists at UMass Dartmouth and Georgia Gwinnett College has done exactly that.

Lior Burko: "You would feel a slight increase in temperature, but it would not be a dramatic increase. It’s just that you don’t have enough time to respond to the very strong forces. It would just go through you too quickly."

Narrator: He added that passing through a weak singularity is like quickly running your finger through a candle flame that’s 1,000 degrees Celsius. If you hold your finger in the flame long enough, you’ll get burned, but pass your finger through quickly, and you’ll barely feel a thing. Similarly, if you pass through a weak singularity with the right speed and momentum, and at the right time, you may not feel much at all.

As for what happens once you get through to the other side, no one really knows, but Burko has his own ideas. He says one possibility is that we’d arrive at some other remote part of our galaxy, potentially light years away from any planets or stars, but a second, and perhaps more intriguing, possibility is that we’d arrive in a different galaxy altogether. That’s if you even make it that far.

Scientists say more research is needed before we’re anywhere close to successfully traveling through a black hole. But when we are ready, one of the safest passageways might be the supermassive black hole at the center of our galaxy called Sagittarius A*, and it might just be our ticket out of the Milky Way.

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from SAI

This week in tech history: The birth of the internet and the first telephone call


At Engadget, we spend every day looking at how technology will shape the future. But it’s also important to look back at how far we’ve come — that’s what This Week in Tech History will do. Join us every weekend for a recap of historical tech news, anniversaries and advances from the recent and not-so-recent past. This week, we’re looking back at the creation of the internet, the first successful telephone call and the birth of the man who shaped modern physics as we know it.

The World Wide Web turns 30 (March 12, 1989)

Portugal: Web Summit 2018 - Day 1

The internet as we know it now is probably the defining technological achievement of the last generation, and it turned 30 this week. On March 12th, 1989, Tim Berners-Lee made his first proposal for a data-sharing service while working at the European Organization for Nuclear Research (CERN). Later in the year, he made the first successful transfer between an HTTP client and a server. So while we’re really just celebrating the birth of an idea that didn’t come to life for another eight months, it was one hell of an idea.

Unfortunately, such a monumental innovation has had its share of unintended consequences. Berners-Lee himself is well aware of the internet’s many shortcomings, from the proliferation of fake news and the outsized voice it provides hate-filled trolls to the way a handful of tech giants have used it to consolidate power across a variety of industries from advertising to entertainment and beyond. And then there’s the vast digital divide that exists between people with fast, reliable internet and the many places where that’s still not an option.

Despite the problems it has created, the internet is still worth celebrating. While there are many serious issues with the internet in its current form, the fundamental ability to share vast swaths of data faster than we ever thought possible and communicate globally instantly is hugely important. That’s important for high-minded scientific, educational and safety concerns, sure, but it also lets the average person video chat with their parents from across the country, check their bank balance instantly, listen to nearly any song you can think of… the list is incredibly long. Yes, we’re in a period of reckoning with what we want the internet to be, but there’s no doubt it’s is worth fighting for.


First successful telephone call (March 10, 1876)

Before the internet, we had the telephone. Well, we still do, but let’s be honest, most of us carry our cellphones around because they can get us online anywhere we are. But until the rise of the internet, the telephone was probably the most transformative piece of communication technology the world had ever seen. And on March 10th, 1876, inventor Alexander Graham Bell placed the first successful telephone call to his assistant in the next room over. "Mr. Watson, come here; I want to see you" were the first words Bell spoke and successfully transmitted over his telephone.

Bell, like his father before him, spent much of his career studying speech and voice, becoming a professor of vocal physiology at Boston University in 1873. He eventually spent time working on a system to transmit over a telegraph-like system, building what would become the telephone with engineer Thomas Watson. In June of 1875, Bell and Watson transmitted sound vibrations between two receivers — no intelligible words were heard, but human-like sounds were heard on the receiving end.

By March of 1876, the system had improved enough that Bell believed it could transmit full speech. He had also filed for a patent for his system, which was awarded just three days before the successful March 10th test. Less than six months later, Bell tested his invention with a call placed over a two-mile distance. Obviously, that’s still a long way from the instantaneous, worldwide communication the telephone offers now, but it was a landmark development nonetheless.

Daily Herald Archive via Getty Images

Albert Einstein born (March 14, 1879)

Summing up the achievements and discoveries of Albert Einstein in a few hundred words is essentially impossible, but suffice to say he’s one of history’s most preeminent physicists. Born in Germany on March 14th, 1879, Einstein eventually moved to Switzerland and studied at the Federal Polytechnic Academy in Zurich. In 1905, Einstein earned his Ph.D. from the University of Zurich and published five papers that included his theory of relativity and his discovery that mass and energy were equivalent, which led to his famous E=mc^2 equation.

Over the years, much of his work was observed and validated, perhaps most notably in 1919 when astronomers studying a solar eclipse verified his general theory of relativity. At a high level, he theorized that gravity was a curved field in space-time rather than a pure force, as Isaac Newton had believed. Einstein believed the field was created by mass, which is why truly massive space objects like the sun would bend space and time.

Later in his life, Einstein settled in the United States, becoming a US citizen in 1940 and working from Princeton, NJ until his death in 1955. All told, he published more than 300 scientific papers during his life. No, he didn’t invent the precursor to the smartphone in your pocket, but he did basically shape the modern conversation of physics and our understanding of the structure of the universe. If you’re inspired to dig into Einstein’s work in more depth, biographer and science writer Andrew Robinson has five Einstein biographies (in addition to his own) to recommend over at Five Books.

from Engadget

10 crowdfunded products that you absolutely need in your life


10 crowdfunded products that you absolutely need in your life

Spending your hard-earned cash on something that’s still being crowdfunded is always a gamble because you never know if the thing you’re investing in will every make it to your doorstep. 

That’s why we’ve collected this list of 10 snazzy crowdfunded projects that actually went into production. As if that wasn’t good enough, each product in this list is also on sale.

There are few things more nourishing to the soul than replacing your morning commute with a smooth skateboard ride. But on the flip side, there are few things more inconvenient than having to carry around a skateboard all day.

That’s what makes Linky so special: this high-performance mini-vehicle is also collapsible enough to fit in a backpack at your office or on a plane ride. The electronic battery inside has a 12-mile range, and can charge up to 85% in just 30 minutes. It’s also app and Bluetooth compatible, meaning you can monitor data from the board however you want.

Normally $1,099, you can snag one on sale for just $949.

RokBlok is a sleek device that enables you to play your favorite vinyls anywhere, without a plug or even separate speakers. Now there’s no reason to convert your vinyl collection to MP3 for your camping trip, no reason to leave your records behind at all. Plus, the way it works is genuinely a neat party trick: the device rests on top of the record and circles it like a race car, all the while blasting your favorite tunes.

The RokBlok is on sale for just $99, but you can save an additional 10% with code ROK10.

The Yaasa Elements blanket is more than just a way to keep warm on chilly nights — this is the world’s most powerful all-in-one wellness blanket, made from SeaCell recovery-supporting technology that promotes local blood flow and aids faster recovery after physical activity. If you’re trying to maximize your gains at the gym or just take better care of your body, this blanket can make a surprisingly large impact.

Normally $249, you can pick up a Yaasa Elements Throw Blanket on sale for just $189.

Are you one of those people who’s so worried about losing their keys, that after reading this sentence you can’t help but pat your pocket and try and see if they’re still there? This is the exact problem KeySmart solves: it doesn’t just help you find your keys, it helps you stop worrying that they’ll get lost in the first place.

This simple device holds up to 10 keys and then connects to your phone to be easily located via a loud beep if you ever lose it. Another neat perk: if you happen to lose your phone but have your keys, the technology also works in reverse.

KeySmart Pro is available for just $59.99.

In 2019, there’s simply no excuse for setting your phone flatly on a table, like some kind of peasant neanderthal troglodyte. Anybody who’s anybody spends their smartphone Netflix time watching their phone propped at a nice comfortable angle. Made from bamboo, the FODI origami stand can make this happen.

Normally $19.99, the FODI Origami Multi-Purpose Device Stand is on sale for just $14.99.

Sleep is one of the most important things you do, but it’s hard to tell if you’re doing a good job at it because you are, by definition, asleep when it happens. That’s what makes this device so useful: after you attach it to your finger, it monitors your body’s activity all through the night and even delivers vibrations to increase the chances of you changing positions, therefore helping to reduce sleep apnea. In the morning, you have yourself a full report of how your sleep went, and some advice on how to improve it.

GO2SLEEP is available for just $129.

There are three ways to learn guitar: First, you can buy one, stick it in your closet, and never touch it again. This way doesn’t work. Second, you can hire a teacher. This works, but is expensive.

Third, you can buy Fret Zealot: a clever gateway to learning songs. You simply attach the device to any guitar, and the LED lights tell you exactly where your fingers should go, allowing you to concentrate on technique and style rather than any other petty distraction.

Fret Zealot is available for just $199.

This device takes online precaution to a level you’ve probably never considered before: it helps you make sure nobody is accessing your data and devices by hacking into your WiFi. The so-called “Intelligent Intrusion Detection” notifies you if anything acts suspicious, so you can spring into action.

Normally $249.99, you can pick up the Gryphon Secure Router on sale for just $229.99.

This map turns your history of travel into a work of art by allowing you to “scratch off” the countries you’ve visited, making it a piece of art that’s completely unique to you and your life. Of course, nobody’s policing this for you, so you can also just scratch off all the countries you want to visit. 

Normally $45, the World Travel Tracker Scratch Off Map is on sale for $22.99.

Ever have trouble packing? If you answered “no,” you’re a liar, and if you answered “yes,” you’re going to love this seven-piece Vasco Packing Cube set.

Normally $159.99, these packing cubes are on sale for just $99.

from Mashable!

There’s a good reason why stubbing your toe hurts so much

  • Stubbing your toe hurts so much because you’re slamming a tiny surface with a force equal to 2-3 times your bodyweight.
  • Then a bundle of nerve endings called nociceptors fire a danger signal to your brain.
  • Although it’s not pleasant, this pain might have helped your ancestors step carefully and avoid injury and infection.

Following is a transcript of the video.

Stubbing your toe hurts. It’s right up there with paper cuts and chapped lips. Annoying, minor injuries that hurt way more than they have any right to. But it turns out, there’s a good reason why stubbing your toe hurts so much.

When you stub your toe, you’re slamming it with a force equal to 2-3 times your body weight. That’s about the same force as a karate punch! And since your toe has a tiny surface area, that force can’t spread out. So the pain stays concentrated at the point of impact.

It’s the same reason it hurts more to step on the tiny, pointy end of a thumbtack than the wider, blunt end. But you don’t just feel an immediate shock like when you step on a thumbtack. There’s that aching throb that comes after. That’s because when you stub your toe, you’re actually hitting a bundle of special nerve endings called nociceptors. They all fire at once, blaring a danger signal.

But some signals travel faster than others. The faster, A-delta nociceptors fire the first wave of signal, which races at 20 m/s up thousands of densely-bundled nerve fibers and ultimately to your brain. That causes the sharp, sudden pain you feel at the moment of impact. But some nerve fibers called C nociceptors send a slower signal at only 2 m/s. So after a moment’s delay, a second wave of pain signals reach your brain. That’s the dull throbbing that lingers on.

You can find nociceptors all over your body, from your eyes to your bladder. But they’re concentrated at the highest densities in parts of your body you use to explore your environment, like your fingertips, and lips. That’s why accidents like paper cuts and chapped lips can also hurt more than they seem like they should. Now, your toe isn’t packed with as many nociceptors as your fingertips. But since there’s not much in the way of fat padding to cushion the blow it’s easy to set those unprotected nociceptors off. And that’s no coincidence.

Researchers suspect the pain we feel from mishaps like a stubbed toe might’ve saved our ancestors’ lives. Back before antibiotics, even the tiniest cut could mean a deadly infection. And feet, which were constantly in contact with dirty, bacteria-infested surfaces were particularly vulnerable. So people who had extra- sensitive feet might’ve been more careful about where they stepped. As a result, they’d be less likely to get infections and would live to pass on their genes.

So the next time you collapse to the floor, cradling your aching toe you can thank your great great great great great great grandpa for the privilege.

Join the conversation about this story »

from SAI

JPMorgan and Citigroup just closed bond desks for smaller trades in favor of algorithms. It’s another sign that robots are taking over.


bond trader, bond broker

  • Citi and JPMorgan in recent weeks closed down the teams on their corporate-bond trading desks that handle smaller sized bonds known as "odd lots." 
  • The margins on trading these smaller bonds were too thin to substantiate specific teams dealing the volume. Algorithms will now handle the trading of these bonds. 

Some of Wall Streets’ biggest corporate bond dealers are replacing humans with algorithms for a portion of their trades, another sign that the robot revolution is in full swing. 

Citigroup and JPMorgan both recently disbanded teams dedicated solely to trading small-sized corporate bond transactions, known as odd lots, according to people familiar with the matter. The teams dealt primarily with retail clients who typically deal in the smaller, less liquid bonds.  

Read more: A group of nearly 30 bond dealers is about to start sharing prices on a new platform, and it could shine a light on the market when it’s ‘riskier than ever’

At Citi, the responsibilities of eight traders who had been part of the corporate bond retail desk (six in investment grade and two in high yield) were subsumed into the firm’s electronic bond trading platform in within the past few weeks, according to two people with knowledge of the matter. That means the handling of the odd-lot bonds will be managed by algorithms instead of humans. 

At least two of the traders, Keith McCluskey and Jim Berry, have left Citigroup. It’s not clear what has happened to the other six. The traders didn’t respond to requests for comment sent through LinkedIn. 

We have significantly enhanced our infrastructure and trading capabilities to create a better experience for clients,” a Citi spokeswoman said in a statement.

The path to the change was paved in September 2018, when Citi reorganized the corporate bond trading team to bring institutional trading teams and the retail trading teams under one leadership.

At JPMorgan, a team of less than five people who had been trading in odd lot corporate bonds, got absorbed into the larger credit trading group over the last few weeks, according to two people with knowledge of the move. The bank decided that it could still serve clients just as well by disbanding the group and steering the volumes onto its electronic trading infrastructure, the people said. Most of the traders are still at JPMorgan. 

A bank spokesman declined to comment further. 

The moves come as big banks are trying to cut-costs and slash unprofitable business lines, particularly in their trading units. JPMorgan and Citi were thought to be the last two dealers to have dedicated teams for odd-lot trades. 

Mike Nappi, vice president of investment grade corporate bond trading at Eaton Vance, told Business Insider he estimates 75-80% of trading on bonds under $1 million is handled by machines. Unless a firm is able to do a high volume of odd-lot trades — he cited Charlotte-based Millennium Advisors as an example — the profit margins are too thin to maintain a large human team. 

"It’s a trend we’re going to continue to see over the next few years," Nappi said. "That is where the market is headed for those types of trade sizes, no question."

And while the majority of algorithms operate in bonds under $1 million, the machines are getting more advanced. Nappi said he believes some dealers have algos that have permission to operate in deals as high as $2 million.

Only at the $5 million mark do the algos completely disappear, he added. Automating deals above that mark gets tricky, Nappi said, as firms are concerned about filling up the space on their balance sheet with large bonds they might not be able to move. 

See more: ‘The boom in the new corporate bond trading platforms is over’: There could be a wave of M&A in the bond-trading business

Nappi said there is a myth most traders aren’t open to automation in their space because they feel they’ll be out of a job. While it’s true that just like in the general economy, machines will reduce the number of some jobs, it will also streamline others.

With algorithms handling smaller deals, traders will be freed up to handle bigger trades. 

"I think most traders would welcome that stuff going electronic because there is plenty to do away from the small odd-lot electronic trade," Nappi said. "If I can spend more time with the difficult trades, that is great. If I have to hand trade 100 odd lots, that is just going to take time."

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NOW WATCH: The wives of high-level cocaine traffickers reveal how their husbands took down ‘El Chapo’

from SAI

A recipe for beating the record of most-calculated digits of pi


Editor’s note: Today, March 14, is Pi Day (3.14). Here at Google, we’re celebrating the day with a new milestone: A team at Google has broken the Guinness World RecordsTMtitle for most accurate value of pi.

Whether or not you realize it, pi is everywhere you look. It’s the ratio of the circumference of a circle to its diameter, so the next time you check your watch or see the turning wheels of a vehicle go by, you’re looking at pi. And since pi is an irrational number, there’s no end to how many of its digits can be calculated. You might know it as 3.14, but math and science pros are constantly working to calculate more and more digits of pi, so they can test supercomputers (and have a bit of healthy competition, too).

While I’ve been busy thinking about which flavor of pie I’m going to enjoy later today, Googler Emma Haruka Iwao has been busy using Google Compute Engine, powered by Google Cloud, to calculate the most accurate value of pi—ever. That’s 31,415,926,535,897 digits, to be exact. Emma used the power of the cloud for the task, making this the first time the cloud has been used for a pi calculation of this magnitude.

Here’s Emma’s recipe for what started out as a pie-in-the-sky idea to break a Guinness World Records title:

Step 1: Find inspiration for your calculation.

When Emma was 12 years old, she became fascinated with pi. “Pi seems simple—it starts with 3.14. When I was a kid, I downloaded a program to calculate pi on my computer,” she says. “At the time, the world record holders were Yasumasa Kanada and Daisuke Takahashi, who are Japanese, so it was really relatable for me growing up in Japan.”

Later on, when Emma was in college, one of her professors was Dr. Daisuke Takahashi, then the record holder for calculating the most accurate value of pi using a supercomputer. “When I told him I was going to start this project, he shared his advice and some technical strategies with me.”

Step 2: Combine your ingredients.

To calculate pi, Emma used an application called y-cruncher on 25 Google Cloud virtual machines. “The biggest challenge with pi is that it requires a lot of storage and memory to calculate,” Emma says. Her calculation required 170 terabytes of data to complete—that’s roughly equivalent to the amount of data in the entire Library of Congress print collections.


Step 3: Bake for four months.

Emma’s calculation took the virtual machines about 121 days to complete. During that whole time, the Google Cloud infrastructure kept the servers going. If there’d been any failures or interruptions, it would’ve disrupted the calculation. When Emma checked to see if her end result was correct, she felt relieved when the number checked out. “I started to realize it was an exciting accomplishment for my team,” she says.

Step 4: Share a slice of your achievement.

Emma thinks there are a lot of mathematical problems out there to solve, and we’re just at the beginning of exploring how cloud computing can play a role. “When I was a kid, I didn’t have access to supercomputers. But even if you don’t work for Google, you can apply for various scholarships and programs to access computing resources,” she says. “I was very fortunate that there were Japanese world record holders that I could relate to. I’m really happy to be one of the few women in computer science holding the record, and I hope I can show more people who want to work in the industry what’s possible.”

At Google, Emma is a Cloud Developer Advocate, focused on high-performance computing and programming language communities. Her job is to work directly with developers, helping them to do more with the cloud and share information about how products work. And now, she’s also sharing her calculations: Google Cloud has published the computed digits entirely as disk snapshots, so they’re available to anyone who wants to access them. This means anyone can copy the snapshots, work on the results and use the computation resources in less than an hour. Without the cloud, the only way someone could access such a large dataset would be to ship physical hard drives. 

Today, though, Emma and her team are taking a moment to celebrate the new world record. And maybe a piece of pie, too. Emma’s favorite flavor? “I like apple pie—not too sweet.”

For the technical details on how Emma used Google Compute Engine to calculate pi, head over to the Google Cloud Platform blog.

from Official Google Blog

Youth will strike worldwide for climate action on Friday


On Friday, March 15, thousands of protests are planned across the globe with young people skipping school to protest against environmental inaction by their governments.  This event is being organized by Fridays for Future globally and by US Youth Climate Strike in the US.

While the Global Climate Strike’s main day of protest is this Friday, March 15th, many protests are scheduled to continue occurring weekly or monthly (you can find them color-coded by frequency on this map).  Global youth intend to broadcast their exhortation to climate action to the people in charge of our planet’s future, until governments act in a suitably strong manner to fix this urgent problem.

The movement’s genesis

The “Fridays for Future” movement was started in 2018 by then-15-year-old Greta Thunberg, who skipped school to sit on the steps of Swedish parliament.  She has been doing the same every Friday since last August.  Her reasoning is: Why bother going to school to secure your future when those with political and economic power are currently acting to dismantle that future?

In addition to her weekly protests at Swedish parliament, she made international headlines when she recently confronted the world’s elites at the World Economic Forum in Davos.  Many applauded her precociousness, including those who she confronted, though commitments towards action were noticeably absent.

The message in Davos was that children do not have the wealth or political power to effect change themselves, so it is the responsibility of those who do have that power to act sensibly and not ruin the living systems which these children’s future relies on.

Why it’s necessary

Climate change is different from other problems because we cannot negotiate our way out of it.  On the other side of the negotiation table is physics, and physics is not known for budging when asked politely to do so.  It has set a time limit, an ultimatum, and we humans have no choice but to respect that ultimatum and act accordingly.

After decades of science continuing to confirm that this problem is bad, just yesterday we learned that, even if the world were to go zero-carbon, large Arctic temperature rises are likely to happen regardless.  Soft action is not going to solve this problem.  If zero carbon isn’t enough, then the world needs to go negative carbon (actively sequestering more carbon than we emit), and it needs to do so now.  When mass extinction of species is at stake, drastic and immediate action is called for.

And despite the Paris Agreement and subnational organizations like the US Climate Alliance picking up where their federal government is slacking off, very few countries are taking action.  The world needs stronger action, and it needs it now.  Otherwise, these kids will inherit a much worse future from their parents.

And what are the kids to do?  For the most part they unfortunately do not have the right to vote on issues that will affect them for the entire rest of their lives – the better part of a century – and are instead beholden to the inaction of the rest of the voting populace.

So they are expressing their voice in the best way that they can.  Unfortunately, decisions are being made for them by people who, in their wisdom, have led us into this situation and seem to have no intention of leading us out.  And the younger generations are the ones who will have to suffer the effects of those decisions

Resistance to the protests

As is the case with many protests, those who are uninterested in responsible action to save the climate or who do not respect the democratic process have already started to write off the message of this protest with banal statements along the lines of “they’re just trying to get out of school.”  But this is lazy reasoning.  This protest has a clear message, so engage with that message.  To refuse children the opportunity to use one of few methods they have to express their voice is authoritarian and disrespectful to democratic values.

In a piece in the LA Times, climate communicator Bill McKibben and student climate activist Haven Coleman liken this to civil rights protests in the 60s.  Martin Luther King called for a student strike and said “don’t worry about your children…they’re gonna be all right…For they are doing a job not only for themselves but for all of America and for all mankind.”  King, in his Letter from Birmingham Jail, also lamented those who are “more devoted to ‘order’ than to justice; who prefer a negative peace which is the absence of tension to a positive peace which is the presence of justice; who constantly say: ‘I agree with you in the goal you seek, but I cannot agree with your methods of direct action’.”  To deny these youth their method of action is to deny them justice.

Indeed this action is just, and necessary. Opponents of action will say that these kids should spend their time getting educated instead of skipping school.  But if these individuals stand against climate action, then perhaps they could gain a little education from these kids.  We’ve known for nearly 50 years that this is happening, yet little has been done in that time to confront the issue.  The generation which has been alive all that time and failed to act – or at least those within it who argued in favor of inaction – has lost their moral authority to condescend to children on this issue.

Blame and fault

It is tempting to think about climate issues as somebody else’s problem.  The individual suggests that it’s not their fault, it’s the corporations.  The corporations suggest that it’s not their fault, it’s consumer demand.  Governments suggest that it’s not their fault, it’s public opinion.  Media doesn’t feel like reporting on it because it doesn’t get them enough clicks.  Everybody wants to pass the buck so they can just move along without thinking about it.

And during all of this, the kids, who are only just learning about the world they’ve been born into, see a bunch of “adults,” who all caused this problem, bickering and pointing fingers instead of taking action.

The long and short of it is that this is everyone’s problem, and we’re not going to solve it without everyone’s action.

Individuals must act to be responsible in their consumption.  Corporations must act in making their products in the least environmentally damaging way possible.  Governments must act in aligning incentives such that pollution is no longer ignored, or worse yet incentivized, and to guide their populations towards a sustainable future through large-scale collective action.  Media must correctly describe the severity of the problem, give it the appropriate amount of coverage, and stop letting fossil-funded lobbyists who deny science and work to harm the world control the conversation.  Older generations must act by sustainably using resources so as not to steal them from future generations, or leave the world in a worse way than they came into it.  Everyone needs to consider the planet we all share with every action they take.

And kids must act by holding older generations to task in whatever way they can with the limited power they have.

This strike on Friday is one attempt at action.  Thank you, youth of the world.  Hopefully we’ll see more of this.  And maybe adults will finally get it together to solve the biggest, most urgent problem the world has ever faced.

To find a climate protest near you, check the Global Climate Strike For Future map.  Events are largely organized by youth, but adults are welcome and encouraged to attend.

from Electrek

Molten Hot Lava Versus Dry Ice, Scientist Pours One Out To See What Happens And It’s Awesome


I don’t really spend anytime whatsoever thinking about dry ice or lava. For starters, I grew up and Florida and the only times I’ve ever been close to volcanoes have been in Panama, Costa Rica, and Iceland. Lava just isn’t something I find myself thinking about but this science experiment definitely piqued my curiosity.

Likewise, I cannot recall a time when I needed dry ice. I’m not sure I could even tell you where to buy dry ice if you needed to. I assume the grocery store would carry it but that could be wrong.

The last time I even saw the stuff was when I loaned my parents my YETI Cooler when they were on a week-long road trip and they loaded it up with glass bottles of juice + dry ice not realizing that the cooler keeps regular ice frozen for a week. The end result was pretty hilarious. I got some panicked text messages from them about how everything in the cooler exploded because it had gotten *TOO COLD* and the glass shattered. Let that be a lesson to never load up your YETI with dry ice.

Let’s start with acknowledging that dry ice is frozen carbon dioxide, and the temperature of dry ice is -109.3 degrees Fahrenheit or -78.5 degrees Celsius. The temperature of molten lava is somewhere between 1,300 to 2,200 F or 700 and 1,200 degrees Celsius….So, who ya got?

The YouTube channel PressTube put together this clip where they create lava and then dump it over a bowl of dry ice.

As my colleague Paul pointed out, this could easily be viral marketing for the White Walkers battle in the final season of HBO’s Game of Thrones. The fire barely puts up a fight. It releases that haunting sound and then turns into some pretty badass art though.

If I was rich and threw lots of fancy house parties I’m fairly certain that I’d just hire YouTubers like this to come to my parties and perform outrageous science experiments for my guests. If you’re not spending your wealth on extravagant shit like that then you honestly have no business being rich.


If you think the $1,000 iPhone XS is too cheap, don’t worry — this company made a $24,500 iPhone with a mechanical clock on its back



  • A Russian company called Caviar that makes luxury versions of existing smartphones has had its way with the iPhone XS and XS Max.
  • The Caviar iPhone XS Grand Complication Skeleton Diamond Edition is dressed in black titanium, gold, 252 diamonds, and it has a mechanical clock on its back. 
  • The cheapest of Caviar’s Diamond Edition Grand Complication iPhones is the 256GB iPhone XS at $23,320. The most expensive is the 512GB iPhone XS Max at $24,460.

Custom, multi-thousand-dollar iPhones adorned in gold, diamonds, and rare animal skins are nothing new, but the Caviar iPhone XS Grand Complications Skeleton Diamond Edition is a little different.

Indeed, there’s a mechanical clock right in the middle of its back.

The Caviar iPhone XS Grand Complication Skeleton Diamond Edition is available in both the iPhone XS and XS Max, and in the 256GB and 512GB storage options. 

As you’d expect, delivery is free, and the transaction is accompanied by a "personal consultant."

One thing that’s somewhat questionable when you’re spending that much on a product is the one-year warranty. That’s it? One year? And that’s just for the electronics — the outer-dressing and coverings are only warrantied for 30 days. 

Regardless, check out this $24,500 iPhone:

SEE ALSO: This $4,000 iPhone X has its own solar battery — and the first one will be mailed to Elon Musk

The Caviar iPhone XS and XS Max’s back has black engraved titanium, gold plating, and 252 diamonds.

On the lower back, there’s an upside-down notch in gold plating with Caviar’s name on it.

You’ll also get to see which of the 99 Caviar iPhones you bought.

See the rest of the story at Business Insider

from SAI

How Paying Your Credit Card Minimum Puts You in a Debt Spiral


Image: Ludde Lorentz on Unsplash

If you have a credit card, you should, theoretically, know how missing a payment or paying off less than your total balance each month can lead to a debt spiral. The interest rate on credit cards is very high compared to other financial products, and it compounds when you don’t pay your balance off in full each month.

And credit cards make it easy to fall into that debt spiral. One way they do this is that your issuer will display the “minimum balance due” each month prominently on your bill/online account, and if you don’t know any better and continually pay off just the minimum, you can end up owing a lot more money over the long term.

CNBC explains how paying off just the minimum each month can add up quickly:

The average household with credit card debt owes roughly $5,700, while those under the age of 35 owe $5,808. If you only paid the minimum on a $5,000 debt at the current average interest rate [which is over 17 percent], you’d be in debt for over 18 years and pay roughly $11,400 in interest.

As Lifehacker previously wrote, some issuers’ minimum payment is as little as one percent of your total balance. And while they say this gives you, the consumer, more flexibility, it’s really just a way for them to profit off of you. (That said, if you’re in a period of financial strain, a minimum balance does allow you to keep up your credit score/keep creditors off of your back until you get back on your feet.)

That’s why it’s important to think of a credit card as a tool, and use it as a means to an end. It’s easy to spend more than you can afford, but you should only charge as much as you can pay off in a single month. Credit card companies are counting on the fact that you won’t.

from Lifehacker