Close water world, Facebook Big Brother, arguing bot, nuclear bombs, mass of Pacific garbage, retro-futurist bike, ancient cannabis

(Picture from Ali Express)
(Picture from Ali Express)

Closest habitable planet may be a water world — At a distance of 4.2 light years, Proxima b is the closest potentially habitable Earth-like planet outside our solar system. New research suggests this distant orb could be completely covered in water.
~ Pack your togs (hey all you US readers, ‘togs’ is New Zealand English for ‘swimming trunks’/’bathing suit’). 

Facebook won the Big Brother award in Belgium last Thursday — This was after people in the nation reached the conclusion the social juggernaut is the ultimate privacy villain. “Facebook is a multi-billion dollar company that has one commodity – you!” said Joe McNamee, Executive Director of European Digital Rights.
~ Go you!

The bots are weaving their ways into our society — Bigots argued at length with a bot. Arguetron is a simple bot created by Sarah Nyberg, inspired by the work of bot-maker Nora Reed. It was built with Cheap Bots Done Quick and JSON. It tweets progressive opinions every ten minutes and lies in wait to be discovered by the platform’s cornucopia of bigots spoiling for a fight, and boy, do they!
~ One thread lasted nearly 10 hours!


The true scale of nuclear bombs is terrifying — The weapons we’ve built after the first atomic bombs are so strong that you can basically use Hiroshima as a unit of measurement. The largest nuclear explosion in human history, the Tsar Bomba, detonated with a force of 50 megatons or the power of 3,333 Hiroshimas.
~ Humans, are we proud of our ‘progress’ or what? But wait, there’s more …

The vast patch of garbage floating in the Pacific Ocean is far worse than previously thought — An aerial survey found a much larger mass of fishing nets, plastic containers and other discarded items than imagined. A reconnaissance flight taken in a modified C-130 Hercules aircraft found a vast clump of mainly plastic waste at the northern edge of what is known as the Great Pacific Garbage Patch, which is located between Hawaii and California. The density of rubbish was several times higher than the Ocean Cleanup, a foundation part-funded by the Dutch government to rid the oceans of plastics, expected to find even at the heart of the patch, where most of the waste is concentrated.
~ Aw, so proud …


The bicycle of the future, in 1946 — Known simply as the Classic (and later the Spacelander), Bowden’s initial design for the bicycle included a motor that gave riders a little extra oomph while traveling uphill. They weren’t very popular and only 500 were sold, but now they’re super collectible.
~ My 2012 bike certainly looks very retro by comparison.

Ancient stoner — Some people choose to be buried with objects that are emblematic of what they cared for in life. In the case of a 2400-year-old skeleton recently uncovered in northwest China, that guy was all about that good bud.
~ There’s lots of other cannabis evidence around here too. 


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