“Planet Earth Report” provides descriptive links to headline news by leading science journalists about the extraordinary discoveries, technology, people, and events changing our knowledge of Planet Earth and the future of the human species.
A shapeshifting fungus lives in the dust. It’s infecting across the American West –the Valley Fever is mild for some, but for others it’s deadly. And it’s spreading as the climate warms
Superintelligent, Amoral, and Out of Control –-AI is no longer playing games. Are we prepared? Asks Toby Ord for Nautil.us The question we’re exploring is whether there are plausible pathways by which a highly intelligent AGI system might seize control. And the answer appears to be yes.
What Rome Learned From the Deadly Antonine Plague of 165 A.D.The outbreak was far deadlier than COVID-19, but the empire survived, reports The Smithsonian. Around 165 A.D., the Anatolian town of Hierapolis erected a statue to the god Apollo Alexikakos, the Averter of Evil, so that the people might be spared from a terrible new infectious disease with utterly gruesome symptoms. Victims were known to endure fever, chills, upset stomach and diarrhea that turned from red to black over the course of a week. They also developed horrible black pocks over their bodies, both inside and out, that scabbed over and left disfiguring scars.
What Might Be Speeding Up the Universe’s Expansion? –Physicists have proposed extra cosmic ingredients that could explain the faster-than-expected expansion of space, reports Quanta.com. “Discovering anomalies is the fundamental way that science makes progress,” said Avi Loeb, a cosmologist at Harvard University and one of dozens of researchers who have proposed solutions to the Hubble tension including decaying dark matter, inconstant dark energy, and modified gravity.
Scientists Are Studying Areas of Earth Where Time Is Mysteriously Missing –In mysterious rock formations known as “unconformities,” millions of years of Earth’s history are missing. Now, scientists have the best idea yet as to why.
The Pandemic –The Economic Damage Is Barely Conceivable. In America, people who lose jobs don’t necessarily get them back.
Is There Extraterrestrial Life, And Has It Visited Earth? asks Jim Clash for Forbes. There are There are millions if not billions of alien civilizations out there says astronaut Story MUsgrave.
Space Telescope Director Says Best Is Yet to Come for Hubble –Three decades into the life of the world’s most revered orbital observatory, Ken Sembach, director of the Space Telescope Science Institute, reflects on its future, reports Lee Billings for Scientific American.
The Eyes of Alien Life -One of Physicist Freeman Dyson’s schemes for discovering extraterrestrial life is pit-lamping. The term refers to a night hunting technique in which bright lights (headlights or mining lamps) are aimed into the bush. Many animals can be located this way because their eyes appear to glow. Behind the retinas of rabbits, deer, cats and other critters is a layer, the tapetum lucidum, that reflects the light back in the direction from which it comes. This betrays the animals’ presence, of course. Dyson says we should go pit-lamping for alien life living on the small, icy bodies of the outer solar system.
How the COVID-19 Pandemic Could End –Recent epidemics provide clues to ways the current crisis could stop, reports Scientific Amer rican.What no one knows yet is how the pandemic will end. This coronavirus is unprecedented in the combination of its easy transmissibility, a range of symptoms going from none at all to deadly, and the extent that it has disrupted the world. A highly susceptible population led to near exponential growth in cases. “This is a distinct and very new situation,” says epidemiologist and evolutionary biologist Sarah Cobey of the University of Chicago.
UFO Videos ‘Only Scratch the Surface’ of What the Pentagon Knows, Harry Reid Says –The former Senate Majority Leader says the “American people deserve to be informed” about UFOs. Reid, who was a senator for 30 years and was Senate majority leader from 2007 to 2015, helped to create a so-called “black budget” for the Pentagon’s UFO program, called the Advanced Aerospace Threat Identification Program, according to a 2017 New York Times investigation that revealed its existence.
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