11 Jun

Under a principle known as 'Allemansrätten,' or the 'freedom to roam,' Swedish law dictates that all people have the right to travel to any part of the country. This guarantees that everyone has access to the Scandinavian state's natural wonders.

In that spirit, Sweden has listed the entire country on Airbnb, the popular vacation home/condo/cottage listing service. The listing, done in cooperation with the tourist group Visit Sweden, includes nine camera-worthy places ranging from a beach with monumental limestone columns to a location with cliffs that have been carved into existence by an ice sheet.

One of the listings sums up the "free for all" approach this way: “Swedish nature isn’t just a piece of land with trees and lakes and cliffs—it’s a home with all the necessities and amenities that any great home should have. It’s a place where you can eat berries from the ground, sleep under the stars, swim in the lakes and roam freely."

09 Jun

If you’ve ever wanted to own your own rocks or dust from the surface of the Moon, your opportunity may be just around the corner. A Florida company called Moon Express is preparing a mining expedition, where they’ll gather material from its surface to sell on Earth.

The spacecraft is scheduled for a 2020 launch, at which point it will become the first mining expedition by a private company. As soon as the craft lands on Earth, Moon Express will put the collected materials up for sale to the highest bidders.

07 Jun

It's long been accepted that humans split from apes about 7 million years ago in central Africa, staying there for another 5 million years before migrating elsewhere.

Now, though, scientists have evidence that bucks that belief: A pair of fossils of an ape-like being that sported human-like teeth have been discovered in Greece and Bulgaria. And the two finds date back to 7.2 million years ago.

The discovery of the new creature, known as Graecopithecus freybergi ("El Graeco" for short), demonstrates that the ancestors of humans were beginning to develop a good 200 millennia before the existence of the earliest known African hominid.

That would place the last ancestor-in-common of humans and chimpanzees in the Mediterranean region.

05 Jun

One more example of how our phones are becoming the center of our lives: Connecting to "smart" devices that are part of the Internet of Things (IoT) can now be accomplished via a specially designed smartphone.

While that might seem disconcerting to those who knew of a time when life didn't revolve around a hand-held supercomputer, the option to control smart devices with a phone makes more sense than simply giving in to One Almighty Device.

As data and content continue to be exchanged among devices at continuous rates, often in ways that people don't even notice, the smartphone arises as the device of choice for those who want and need to stay in the thick of a constant informational back-and-forth.

03 Jun

For patients who need to reduce calories and fat for health purposes, dairy is often toward the top of the list. Switching to skim milk and low-fat cheese can help trim waists and reduce health risks, but some don’t like the taste of low-calorie products. As a result, people may be consuming less dairy and therefore not enjoying the health benefits its calcium brings.

A new study may move consumers back toward regular dairy. Published in the European Journal of Epidemiology, the study revealed that dairy consumption doesn’t increase a person’s risk of heart attack or stroke, even when someone chooses the full-fat versions of dairy products. The study specifically addresses the popular misconception that dairy products are unhealthy and should be avoided.

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