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America On Alert

6 hours ago

What went wrong?

That was the top question after a frightening emergency alert hit people’s phones in Hawaii last weekend. The message warned of an imminent missile attack on the island and told recipients to seek shelter. “This is not a drill,” the warning ended.

Turns out, it wasn’t a drill. It was a mistake. From The New York Times:

Too Much Music: A Failed Experiment In Dedicated Listening

10 hours ago

In Clint Eastwood's 1988 film Straight No Chaser, Thelonious Monk road manager Bob Jones tells a story about Monk appearing on a television show sometime in the late '50s. Monk is asked what kind of music he likes, to which he replies "all kinds." The interviewer, hoping for a "gotcha" moment, smugly asks "even country?" to which the maverick pianist coolly deadpans, "I said all kinds."

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Now the story of a modern-day love affair - one in which the couple doesn't even get to hug each other until nine months into the relationship because they had never met in person.

Who can say why some gimmicks take off and others flop? But the Google Arts & Culture app tapped into the zeitgeist over the weekend, until it seemed like just about everyone with access to a camera phone and a social media account was seeking and sharing their famous painting doppelganger.

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And in All Tech Considered this week, we are talking about what is ahead for the tech industry in 2018.

(SOUNDBITE OF ULRICH SCHNAUSS' "NOTHING HAPPENS IN JUNE")

Altering A Species: Darwin's Shopping List

Jan 15, 2018

By genetically modifying organisms, we can now create glow-in-the-dark cats and fish, mice with singing voices, less flatulent cows, carbon-capturing plants,

It's just before Thanksgiving, and artist Christopher Marley is packing up items for a big exhibition outside Miami. Marley transforms poisonous snakes, tropical fish and exotic insects into works of art — and he just realized he forgot to frame a foot-long isopod that's still in the freezer.

What Your Smart Devices Know About You

Jan 14, 2018

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Remembering A Comet-Discoverer

Jan 14, 2018

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All Alexis Madrigal wanted was a coat. So when one popped up in a sponsored post on his Instagram feed, he was intrigued. He'd never heard of the retailer, but it billed itself as "luxury for modern gentlemen." Plus, the coat was a steal at under $100.

So Madrigal bought it. The jacket, however, turned out to be less an expression of luxury and more a lesson into how e-commerce has changed in the age of Instagram and Facebook.

In his words, what arrived in the mail "kind of looked like a carpet ... formed into a roughly coat like shape."

A 28-year-old man who allegedly hacked into thousands of computers to watch and listen to users has been indicted in Ohio. Federal prosecutors say Phillip Durachinsky created malware that enabled him to remotely access and turn on the cameras and microphones of computers.

Africa Tech Now, billed as the "No. 1 event showcasing African entrepreneurship," debuted at CES this year. The problem was, when I went to the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas to cover it for this blog, no one had heard of it. Not the media desk, the information booth or even the Moroccan and Egyptian aisles, which are obviously African but weren't part of the expo I was looking for.

I guess it's not surprising. Tech innovations from developing countries in Africa aren't exactly making headlines.

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New Year's weight loss goals can apply to our pets as well as ourselves. Dr. Deborah Linder, who heads the Tufts Obesity Clinic for Animals at Tufts University, explores pet obesity in this post originally for The Conversation.

Part 1 of the TED Radio Hour episode The Big Five.

About Tim Kruger's TED Talk

To tackle climate change, geoengineer Tim Kruger is developing technology that could remove large quantities of CO2 from the atmosphere. But he says it takes unprecedented cooperation to make it work.

About Tim Kruger

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A giant black hole located at the center of a galaxy 800 million light-years from Earth has been caught on camera letting out not one, but two massive "burps" of highly charged particles.

It is the first time astronomers have viewed the phenomenon twice in the same black hole.

Images released Thursday and credited to the Hubble Space Telescope and the Chandra X-ray Observatory were presented at the American Astronomical Society's winter meeting in National Harbor, Md., outside Washington, D.C.

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg announced Thursday that the social media giant would begin emphasizing more "meaningful" content on users' feeds — giving greater weight to posts from friends and family and less to businesses, brands and media.

In a long Facebook post of his own, Zuckerberg stressed that the social media platform — which has more than 2 billion active users worldwide — was created "to help people stay connected and bring us closer together with the people that matter to us."

The federal government's top fisheries experts say that three widely used pesticides — including the controversial insecticide chlorpyrifos — are jeopardizing the survival of many species of salmon, as well as orcas that feed on those salmon.

It's a fresh attack on a chemical that the Environmental Protection Agency was ready to take off the market a year ago — until the Trump administration changed course.

In a post published by the conservation organization Dian Fossey Gorilla Fund International (DFGFI) last month, the behavior of a mountain gorilla female in Rwanda was described in striking terms.

The 26-year-old female, named Pasika, has been traveling alone with her baby for more than seven months in Rwanda's Virunga mountains, ever since her social group fell apart at the death of its silverback leader. Her infant, Mashami, is now one year old.

Any teacher will tell you, class has never been the same since kids started coming to school with cellphones. Ancient Roman history will pretty much never win the day when competing with Snapchat and Instagram.

And sneaky as kids think they are, teachers know exactly what's going on when students look up with those zombie stares and constantly ask: "Can you say that again?"

Nearly two weeks after Logan Paul posted a YouTube video depicting an apparent suicide victim — and just over a week after he removed it and apologized — the online video platform has announced it is scaling back its relationship with the vlogging star.

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It's summer in Australia and extreme heat is causing bats' brains to fry.

Hundreds of fur-covered flying fox bats, which lack sufficient canopy cover and shade in Australia's suburbs, died outside Sydney over the weekend as temperatures soared to 117 degrees F, the hottest it's been since 1939.

An apology for "tweeting out such fake news" didn't come from a media member accused by President Trump, but from a Japanese astronaut whose growth in outer space was miscalculated.

In a tweet on Monday, Norishige Kanai claimed he had grown by as much as 3 1/2 inches since arriving at the International Space Station on Dec. 19.

Warming temperatures are having a profound and potentially devastating impact on one of the most important green sea turtle populations in the world.

Scientists were surprised to find that "virtually no male turtles" are being hatched in a key breeding ground in the northern Great Barrier Reef.

Like many reptiles, the sex of a turtle is determined by how warm the egg is as it's being incubated. And small temperature differences can cause dramatic changes in the male-to-female ratio.

Butterfly beak. Moth mouthpiece. Lepidoptera lips.

Call it whatever you want, the proboscis is a big deal. It's a defining feature of many moths and butterflies – the long, flexible mouthpiece that dips into flowers and draws out nectar.

In the 19th century, Ralph Waldo Emerson wrote in his essay Nature: "A man is a god in ruins."

Ever since people contemplated the existence of a divine dimension — and this belief must go back to the very early stages of Homo Sapiens or even earlier — with Neanderthals, a split occurred between the human condition and the eternal.

As humans, it is our curse and our blessing to be aware of our own mortality — and to suffer with the loss of our close ones — and, in a broader sense, with the predicament of others.

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