11 Jul

If the summer heat is keeping you indoors, you aren’t alone. In fact, a new study reveals that 30 percent of the global population experiences potentially fatal heat levels for at least 20 days or more each year. Due to climate change, this issue is only getting worse, with scientists estimating that these heat levels will rise to as much as 75 percent by the end of the century.

To avoid this danger, the study cautions that greenhouse gas emissions will need to drop dramatically. Even with a reduction in emissions, the study says one in two people will face a risk of dying due to heat at least 20 days a year.

09 Jul

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Association (NOAA) reports that coastal waters off the shore of Oregon have been filled recently with millions of translucent, slug-like creatures that measure from an inch to more than 2 feet in length.

Called pyrosomes and shaped like giant pickles, the organisms first showed up along Oregon's coast in 2015. In recent months, however, their numbers have soared into the millions, according to NOAA.

What's perhaps even more odd is that the creatures typically reside in tropical waters -- not the usually chilly waters of the Pacific Northwest.

Recently, researchers conducted a five-minute midwater tow off the Columbia River and managed to snare about 60,000 pyrosomes -- without wanting to. The researchers were hoping to find a different, rare fish and were forced to wade through the pyrosomes until they reached their goal.

07 Jul

Conventional wisdom has long held that the potential danger in misusing even one letter -- such as leaving the "r" out of "friend," turning the word into "fiend" -- is serious enough to warrant the hiring and retention of copy editors, grammar and usage mavens whose collective vigilance has been known to save many a crack reporter or star columnist from major embarrassment.

So when work broke that the New York Times was rumored to be considering layoffs among its copy editing staff of up to 50%, employees at the Old Gray Lady staged a walkout protest.

And what better way to make the point that copy editors are much needed -- more so today, arguably, than ever before -- than by displaying signs with messages that underscored the need for some careful copy editing.

05 Jul

The countdown has begun for the first Mars mission and scientists continue to come up with various ways to give explorers what they’ll need. One of those items is a Mars rover that is getting plenty of attention from sci-fi film fans.

NASA recently released its concept for the rover, which is being compared to the Batmobile. The rover was developed by Parker Brothers Concepts, a custom motorcycle and car builder based in Florida. The design is no surprise, considering Parker Brothers Concepts also designed a Batmobile replica for Saudi Arabia’s Team Galag.

03 Jul

Near the top of the list, far as videophiles are concerned: Uninterrupted high-speed streaming Internet that will allow passengers access to Netflix favorites.

Fast Company reports that airlines all over the globe are merging their on-board connectivity arrays to the latest iteration from Honeywell. Early results indicate that the Honeywell approach has cut operational costs by more than one-third, reduced fuel costs by upwards of 5%, and taken uninterrupted Internet experience to world-class speeds. Plus, the Honeywell systems have cut down on turbulence.

The company's flagship service, known as Connected Aircraft, recently embarked on a nationwide tour, beginning in San Francisco, where Fast Company's reporter got a first-hand look at things -- on a 35-year-old Boeing 757, of all places.

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