05 Feb

Mentioned among other issues during the U.S. Presidential campaign was a reference to what some in New Hampshire believed to be their state's biggest problem: Heroin use.

One culprit cited in the growing epidemic: Opioids, usually in pill form, which mimic the effects of heroin until the brain essentially gets used to the pills and wants a stronger "fix." Enter heroin.

That's right. Prescription painkillers have become a gateway drug that eventually results in death. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, "Opioids (including prescription opioids and heroin) killed more than 33,000 people in 2015, more than any year on record." Perhaps even more alarming, almost 50% of all opioid overdose fatalities were connected to a prescription opioid.

Like those that oral surgeons routinely hand out to patients undergoing wisdom tooth extractions.

03 Feb

An interesting structure was recently spotted in the ice of Antarctica, leading UFO enthusiasts to speculate that it might be extraterrestrial in nature. Google satellite images show the staircase, located deep in the wilderness of the polar region of the continent.

The theory states that aliens used the staircase as part of a landing site at some point. A member of a UFO conspiracy theory forum discovered the staircase while looking at satellite images following a debate about why high-profile personalities like former astronaut Buzz Aldrin visited Antarctica recently.

01 Feb

Environmentalists have worked hard to educate the population on climate change. So a recent report that the Earth is actually greener than it has been for the past 30 years was surprising. As experts explain, though, the report isn’t all it seems on the surface.

The report came following comparisons of satellite imagery that revealed more plants and vegetation than in previous decades. Unfortunately, scientists say this increase in green surface area comes at the expense of other resources. More plant life in Australia, for instance, has drained water sources in areas. Without water, those plants won’t have longevity.

30 Jan

Boston Dynamics isn't going to waste any time with airborne drones -- at least for the time being.

According to the MIT Technology Review, "nimble-legged robots under development at [the] secretive Google subsidiary are getting ever more capable and clever."

At a recent conference in Spain, Boston Dynamics CEO Marc Raibert demonstrated advances made by his researchers. His company focuses on "dynamically balancing legged machines," says the Review.

Raibert showed off a contraption known as SpotMini,a four-legged creation that's roughly the same size as a larger canine. The company has in the past demonstrated how SpotMini could work in a conceptual home by emptying a dishwasher, opening doors, and working its way up and down stairs.

28 Jan

Former and wannabe hippies rejoice! Volkswagen recently announced that its signature Hippie Wagon, the camper van, will soon return as an electric-powered vehicle -- one that ostensibly will both help to save the planet and, like its much-beloved predecessor, should also serve as a moving canvas of artistic expression.

Purists might lament that the updated camper, known as the Budd-e Concept, includes a wraparound sofa instead of an actual bed, like the original had, and the body hardly resembles that of the vintage bus itself. In fact, the old vehicles are so revered by some that certain hippie enclaves across the U.S. are sometime referred to as "where old VW campers come to die."

But design differences amount to a small price to pay to have the chance to relive or embark anew on epic road trips that only a VW camper owner can appreciate. A partial resurrection, then, with climate-friendly improvements, should prove acceptable.

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