Day's Headlines: April 2016

Saturday, April 30, 2016

End of Oil Rich; Targeting Target; Inspired Robots; The Civil Rights of the Trans...humanist; Splice Your DNA in Your Spare Time; Russia's Barrel Response; Baghdad Scuffle; and NATO's New 4k Troops on Russia's Border

This weekend we have some longer-form articles on the decline of oil, a push for trans-humanism civil rights, and the accessibility of editing your own DNA in your spare time.


There will be pandemonium: The end of the old oil order has already begun (Opinion) salon

It is hard to overstate the significance of the Doha debacle. At the very least, it will perpetuate the low oil prices that have plagued the industry for the past two years, forcing smaller firms into bankruptcy and erasing hundreds of billions of dollars of investments in new production capacity. It may also have obliterated any future prospects for cooperation between OPEC and non-OPEC producers in regulating the market. Most of all, however, it demonstrated that the petroleum-fueled world we’ve known these last decades — with oil demand always thrusting ahead of supply, ensuring steady profits for all major producers — is no more. Replacing it is an anemic, possibly even declining, demand for oil that is likely to force suppliers to fight one another for ever-diminishing market shares.

Friday, April 29, 2016

Belgium I O Dine; The Israel-US Game: How Much/How Little?; Turkey Longs for End of Iran's Sanctions; China + Russia Scold US; Syria's Once Was Peace Over; Barrel Roll Temptation; A Second Scolding from Russia in Syria; UN - More Money and One Voice = Peace; Biden Gushes, Pope Returns Favor; EU's Banks Not Prepared; On Marrying Vishnu; Finally Some Sound Theology in the UK!; and a Robot Humans Chase

Today we have little bits of "war brewing" news from all over the world. I didn't plan it that way, but when I compiled the final list, I found that I had stories about or referencing at least 9 different countries! Here's a hint - most of them aren't singing our praises :)


Belgium Issues Iodine Pills to All Citizens in Nuclear Emergency Plan nbcnews

A dose of iodine, which helps to limit the effects of radiation on the body, will be made available to all 11 million people in the small country, Health Minister Maggie De Block told reporters Thursday.

Thursday, April 28, 2016

Mosque Replaces Synagogue; The FBI's Coming Power; When 'None' are the Majority; No Roundabout Peace; Brain-ictionary; Penciled in Woman Draft; Hubble's Golden Replacement; Avatar Driver

French Jews

Marseille Synagogue Becomes Mosque, French Muslims Want Churches Converted As Well jewishpress

Zvi Ammar, President of the Marseille Israelite Consistory, said the move was positive. “For the past 20 years or so we have seen the shift of the Jewish community to other neighborhoods,” he said, adding, “We all have the same God, the main thing is for this to proceed in harmony.”

Tuesday, April 26, 2016

Point, Click, Hover; Printed Car Closer; Electronic Synapses; Modern Jewish Kingdom in Ancient Babylon; UN Gasps!; Not Pharaoh; Mr. Mandela Goes to Palestine; NK Readying Next Missile; Abu Who?; Fruit Ninja Weather; 12 Black Holes, Sitting in a Row; Ken Ham Caricature; Methodists Pressure North Carolina; Church of Norway Exodus; Digital Money Tracks Well; and If End Time Theology was a Popularity Contest

Got a crazy mashup of worldviews today! From bashing Ken Ham because public school students go to his museum, to denying that the Biblical Pharaoh was Egyptian, to Methodists lobbying for whatever-you-say-you-are bathrooms in North Carolina. Also Nelson Mandela has been "raised" in the West Bank with a cry of peace and death to Israel.


The Hover Camera will follow you around and record your entire life mashable v

The Hover Camera is also unlike drones in that it truly hovers after powering it on. You simply let go of it and it'll hover in the air at the altitude (up to 164 feet high) which you let it go at

Personal, small flying drones that can pick indivduals out of a crowd, follow them, and record what they are doing. What could go wrong? For a fuller story on the company, itself, see Zero Zero's Camera Drone Could Be a Robot Command Center in the Future v

Saturday, April 23, 2016

Ice Bacteria; United Health Exits the Exchange; TTIP - the Dream No One Loves; Pay With Your Face(book); China Playing Mars Catch-up; Antbo; NK's Submarine Missile Launch; Russia and NATO's Sabers; Iron Dome Test-Driven in US; and 500 Lbs of Missing Firework Show



Analyses...revealed that [it] uses proteins in its cell membrane to slightly change the position of nearby water molecules so that they would fit more neatly into a lattice, as they are in ice. The bacterium can then use vibrational energy to remove heat from the area around it, coalescing the water molecules into solid ice.

Friday, April 22, 2016

Mind the Drone; Chip of Miracle; Robot Say; Mini-Brain; Printing Spider Bots; Japan Starts Human Gene Editing; UK Scolds Obama; Short Lived Syrian Peace's Death Throws; Genocide Sky-Denied; Atheist Frowns, Cross; US Signs UN Pact; Obama Hints Some States are Just Backwards; What do Jesus and Passover Have in Common, Anyway?; Not-OK Black Mass; BDS-Hate Voted In; Felons are Voters, Too; Hypersonic. Intercontinental. Russia; and US Buys Heavy Water

Today's articles include the signing of the UN sustainability goals, Russia testing a hyper-sonic ICBM designed to slip by even the best missile defenses, and Japan's approval to edit fertilized human embryos (for "studying").

Future Tech

Mind-controlled drones race to the future businessinsider

"Three, two, one ... GO!" the announcer hollers, and as the racers fix their thoughts on pushing the cubes, the drones suddenly whir, rise and buzz through the air. Some struggle to move even a few feet, while others zip confidently across the finish line.

Watch Mind-Controlled Drones Race to the Future v

Thursday, April 21, 2016

Sealing the UN Deal; Earth Day Passover; Slaughtering the Type; World To Meet on 2-State (Parties Not Invited); Israel's Red Line in the Sand; Hail to the (Chinese) Chief; China Deploys Troops to NK Border; South Seas Intercontinental Missile Test; Lights Out, Venezula; Aussies Pride-Fund; O Canabis!; Gender-Neutral In LA; 3D 'Iceman' Rises; Mice Livers go Bad in Space; Hubble Bubble; Augmentation Suit; and Real Fake Studymates

Today's major items include Israel telling Russia that the Golan Heights is their 'red line' and France calling a summit on restarting the 2-state 'peace' process without inviting either Israel or the Palestinians. We've also got China preparing for NK's next nuclear test while they flex some muscle of their own with an intercontinental missile test. Oh, and mouse livers going bad in space :)

Climate Change

Milestone events at UN to kick-start action on new sustainability goals, climate pact

“From a historical perspective, this will be a great day for the United Nations,” Selwin Hart, the Director of the UN Secretary-General’s Climate Change Support Team, recently said in reference to this coming Friday, when leaders from more than 160 countries are expected at UN Headquarters to sign the Paris Agreement, adopted last December at the UN climate change conference (COP21).

Wednesday, April 20, 2016

CRIPRier; The 8 Robot Showboat; Reprinting Planes; Nano Electric Synapses; Not Passing Over Rice; Russia Says Peace When There is No Peace; Fidel Blows Kisses and Bows; Saudi King Snubs Obama; and Morality Police Rising

There's a particularly interesting story today on more progress made towards the ability to edit human DNA. Also changing Passover dietary laws, artificial synapses, and a guy touting his wealth with 8 robot helpers in his wake.


Breakthrough method means CRISPR just got a lot more relevant to human health theverge

The new method, described today in Nature, is called the "base-editing technique." It relies on the same basic mechanism as the standard CRISPR method, but unlike its predecessor, it doesn’t need to cut both strands of the DNA double-helix to alter the genetic code. Instead, the technique can directly convert a single letter of DNA to another, without deleting and inserting a bunch of random letters in the process. Because of this, the researchers were able to genetically alter human cells and mouse cells to reverse single-letter mutations that are associated with late-onset Alzheimer’s and breast cancer.

Another, somewhat related article: New Genetically Modified CRISPR-Mushroom Bypasses USDA Regulations

Tuesday, April 19, 2016

SecurAIty; Future Tech Dream'n; When Reality is Fantasy; Pepper Goes for a Sail; Bentley Been There; Egyptian Amulet Found at Temple Mount; Israel Makes U.S. So...GRRR!; Merkel and Abbas Joining Hands; Ecuador's Shaken and out of Cash; Partial for Turkey (Mosques); Ancient Lizards Sure Look Modern; Old Rocket Scuffle; Circuit Court Trans-Sends Virginia Out; and the Joys of Global Rule Making

Things are heating up between the US and Israel, Bentley talks about what it's going to do now that peasants will be driven around also, and a long, fascinating look at how a "mixed-reality" company intends to shape our future-reality.


MIT develops system that can detect 85% of cyberattacks using artificial intelligence

Rather than requiring cybersecurity analysts to spend all day analysing huge amounts of data that may or may not be a sign that cybercriminals are attacking a network, AI2 is instead trained to pick out the 200 most abnormal events it has detected during that day.

The human expert looks at the events and picks out which events relate to a cyberattack, and as days pass by, the computer learns how to identify more and more of the events as attacks, accurately, by itself – meaning that, eventually, the cybersecurity analyst might only need to look at 30-40 flagged events per day.

Monday, April 18, 2016

Flexi-Cam; Stretchy, Self-Healing, and Artificial Muscle; You...Are...Unplugged!; Chinese Military Plane Lands on Reclaimed Land; US Helps Philippines Spy on Someone in South China Sea; Golan Heights Arm Wrestle; Israel and Egypt Find Tunnels; PM vs. UNESCO; Call for Lamb Sacrifice; Face-to-Face Required Before Abortion; Marriage in the Sight of Man's Warped Mind; Registering Activities of Charities in UK; W.H.O. is Sounding the Alarm Again; Antelope Died Because of Climate Change or Something; Measuring Mount Paektu's BOOM Potential; and Rocket-Inspired Building Retrofiting

US, Germany, and Arab League insists Golan Heights is not Israel's; China lands military jet on disputed island; and new, blasphemous low with couple married before friends, family, and the Flying Spaghetti Monster.

Future Tech


The camera lens looks vaguely like a flexible solar tile. When bent, it captures an image that may appear altered but is still a high quality full picture. The team used silicone for the prototype sheet camera that lets the focal length of each lens vary with the curvature of the sheet, meaning there is no missing information as the lens deforms.

Saturday, April 16, 2016

Ice Drones; Mars-Bound Nose Opens Eyes; Merkel for UN?; Russian Subs Aren't So Bad; Polio Swap; Hoverboard; Tweak Genes, Save Species; More Captured in Philippines; and Riding with Bugs

Today we have more captured in the Philippines, trains recording all conversations, military admission that Russian subs are pretty good at hiding from US tech, and a must-see video of a guy riding his hover-board over a small lake!


UK Royal Navy uses pilotless aircraft to navigate through ice  vesselfinder v

The UK Royal Navy’s ice patrol ship HMS Protector has launched tiny pilotless aircraft from her decks for the first time to assist with navigating through the Antarctic. A quadcopter and a 3D-printed aircraft have scouted the way for the survey ship so she can find her way through the thick ice of frozen seas.

Friday, April 15, 2016

Defective Embryo, Healthy Baby; China Calls Cold War; Just War or Just Peace?; UNESCO's Jew-less Temple Mount; Israel Increases Troops at Temple Mount; Israeli Exerts Sovereignty over Golan; State of PA Passports; Israel Who?; Canadian Hostages; NK Plutonium; 3D Cast; Starshot Reality; 2020 Olympic Asteroids; Foldable Phone; e-Skin; Archerfish Saw Mine; Big Banks with Small Plan; Hiding from the 99%; and the Reoccurring Overpopulation Panic

A lot of stories about Israel today. Also, check out the underground bunkers for the uber-rich and a quick history on fears of overpopulation!


Study: When tests detect birth defects, babies can still be born healthy worldmag

Researchers at the University of Cambridge, who published their results in the journal Nature Communications, found even when half the cells of an early-stage mouse embryo were abnormal, the embryo was still able to fully repair itself because the abnormal cells self-destructed and healthy cells replaced them. In many cases, the process completely repaired a defective embryo, leaving it with all healthy cells even though some of the placental cells were still abnormal. Even in cases where 75 percent of an early-stage embryo’s cells were abnormal, the ratio of normal cells increased as the embryo developed.

Tuesday, April 12, 2016

Human-authorized Machine-killing; Drone Ball; Polygamy Pushed Back; Hebrew Texts Written When Advertised; Saudi-Egypt Land Swap Around Israel; Israel's Last Hope is Obama; Dr. Watson, I Presume; Far Out Space Ideas; Basic Income for No Work; Hands-To-Speech Translator; BIG-i is a Big Eye; Ice from Nowhere; Crab Swarm Under the Sea; and North Carolina Starting to Bend


Arms Control Groups Urge Human Control of Robot Weaponry nytimes

The report, which came from Human Rights Watch and the Harvard Law School International Human Rights Clinic at the opening of a weeklong United Nations meeting on autonomous weapons in Geneva, potentially challenges an emerging United States military strategy that will count on technology advantages and increasingly depend on weapons systems that blend humans and machines.

The report from Human Rights Watch. Yes, that Human Rights Group. While I'm not keen on the idea of autonomous weapons roming the streets/skies, the argument in this report is a humanistic one with a loose appeal to the 'h'oly See for some moral guidance.

Monday, April 11, 2016



Can pay, won't pay: Tax avoidance throughout history bbc

The Panama Papers have revealed the massive scale of tax dodging schemes of the rich and powerful. But tax avoidance is nothing new - people have been coming up with schemes and loopholes for as long as there have been taxes.


Group of Israeli Orthodox rabbis urges greater acceptance of homosexuals jpost

While the document stated that the "Torah prohibits homosexual acts," the paper penned by the rabbis stressed that Orthodox communities should be more accepting and socially inclusive.

A reminder that though we look to Israel as time wraps up, that as a nation they currently as lost and blinded as the rest.

Israel has hit ‘dozens’ of Hezbollah arms transfers, Netanyahu says timesofisrael

Saying that he was proud of Israel’s ability to maintain “relative quiet and security” in an otherwise stormy Middle East, he told soldiers stationed there: “We act when we have to act, including here and across the border, with dozens of strikes, to prevent Hezbollah acquiring tie-breaking weaponry.”


Watch an 18-rotor electric helicopter take its first manned flight engadget

The designers still have to ramp up their tests to the point where the Volocopter hits its full 60MPH top speed, but they're now confident enough that they hope to take pre-orders later this year. It'll likely only be limited to enthusiasts at first, but the dream is to use the aircraft's unique properties to expand what's possible.


Syrian PM says Russia to back new Aleppo attack; opposition says truce near collapse in.reuters

The ceasefire came into effect in February with the aim of paving the way for a resumption of talks to end the five-year-long war. But it has been widely violated, with each side blaming the other for breaches. The fighting south of Aleppo marks the most significant challenge yet to the deal.

Global Religion

Losing my religion: life after extreme belief theguardian

Fleeing the grip of a sect can be a matter of life or death. Megan Phelps-Roper, and two other former believers, reveal how they lost almost everything when they lost their faith

It's no accident an "evangelical" (Westbro) Christian, Jew, and Muslim are highlighted in this article as breaking free from the bondage of extreme religion.


UK Muslim ghettoes' warning

British Muslims are becoming a nation within a nation, the former chair of the Equality and Human Rights Commission has warned.

Kill Ahmadis' leaflets found in UK mosque bbc

A mosque trustee said he had never seen the leaflets before and suggested they were fakes or left there maliciously.

North Korea

Senior N. K. intelligence officer, diplomats defect koreaherald

The colonel-level intelligence officer came to Seoul last year and gave a “detailed testimony” on the Reconnaissance General Bureau’s espionage operations against the South, Yonhap News Agency reported, citing an unnamed source with knowledge on the inner workings of the communist state.



Ancient Glass-Works Prove Israel Was World Glass Production Center jewishpress

These kilns, about 1,600 years old (dating to the Late Roman period), indicate that the Land of Israel was one of the foremost centers for glass production in the ancient world.

Accidental Discoveries: Hikers Stumble Upon Archaeological Finds in Israel jpupdates

“Israel is a very small country, intensively settled over thousands of years, and there are 37,000 registered archeological sites, so almost everywhere you have the potential to find things,” says Yardenna Alexandre, an IAA research and field archaeologist stationed in the Jezreel Valley.


(chat)Bots, explained

A bot is software that is designed to automate the kinds of tasks you would usually do on your own, like making a dinner reservation, adding an appointment to your calendar or fetching and displaying information. The increasingly common form of bots, chatbots, simulate conversation. They often live inside messaging apps — or are at least designed to look that way — and it should feel like you’re chatting back and forth as you would with a human.


Aboriginal community in Canada declares emergency as 11 people try to commit suicide in one night itv

There have been 101 suicide attempts in the Attawapiskat First Nation, a remote 2,000-strong village near James Bay in northern Ontario, since September.


Norway's state church votes in favour of same-sex marriages

Of 115 synod members present at the Church of Norway's council, 88 voted in favour, meaning that the state church will adopt provisions for marrying same-sex couples at its meeting next year and make it part of its official liturgy.


Pope invites Catholics to ignore church doctrine in document rife with calculated ambiguity albertmohler

Albert Mohler spends the entire briefing today discussing the Pope's document released last week and why it matters to Bible-believing Christians (hint: the Gospel is at stake)

Driverless Car

Ford tests Lidar-equipped car in pitch darkness techcrunch

By using Lidar, Ford recently showed that its autonomous vehicles can drive in complete darkness without human intervention. In the process, they remind us that the self-driving car is about a lot more than as-good-as-humans: It’s about harnessing tech to make cars far safer and smarter than human drivers.


New UN Secretary-General may be elected for 7 years for first time

The next UN Secretary-General can be elected for 7 years instead of 5 years for the first time and not be eligible for reelection. President of the UN General Assembly Mogens Lykketoft has told TASS that such an opportunity is currently discussed by the UN member-countries during the secret consultations.

I couldn't find a corroborating article. If true, you know this will kick off the prophesy-phere a chattering...

At Geneva conference, Ban calls for global partnership to prevent violent extremism

the Secretary-General told the Geneva Conference on Preventing Violent Extremism – The Way Forward, co-hosted by the Government of Switzerland and the UN. Mr. Ban stressed: “Let us also recognize that today, the vast majority of victims worldwide are Muslims.”

Violent extremists seek to divide communities and the goal is to let fear rule, he said. “Let this conference – and our unity today – be the ultimate rebuke to that bankrupt strategy.”

Saturday, April 9, 2016

North Carolina Support; Discriminating Behavior Not People; New Morality Pope; Rich and Famous Sinners; Wrestling with the Future; Turkey's State; Girl Infantry-Man; and Testing Global Banking


Six Reasons North Carolina Got It Right townhall

On Monday Lt. Governor Dan Forest, who helped call the special session to pass HB2, called the executive in charge at one large protesting company and simply asked if him if he or anyone there had a actually read the bill.

He admitted they had not. They just labeled it “discriminatory” without even reading it.

An article linked to by today's Tim Challies update. Been tricky to find anyone not bashing North Carolina over this law.

3 Reasons Why Religious Liberty Laws Don’t Discriminate

One of the most ubiquitous phrases is that such bills are a “license to discriminate.” According to this line of thinking, it is invidiously discriminatory if a baker, florist, or photographer declines to use his or her creative talents in service of a same-sex wedding ceremony.

Two from Tim Challies in one day!

The New Morality of Pope Francis newyorker

I was ordained in early 1969, a few months after the promulgation of “Humanae Vitae,” the Vatican’s resounding condemnation of “artificial birth control,” which would define my future. I was a chaplain at a university where, true to the era, the norms of sexual morality had been upended. I certainly saw the need, in those wild days, for a humane and ethical analysis of the state of sexual intimacy, personal commitment, erotic longing, and gender rights. But, believe me, the triumphalist salvo from Rome made the moral condition worse, not better.

An opinion piece on how relative moralism was enshrined in Catholism long before Pope Francis. This article's author sees that as a good thing, and is praising the latest pope for pulling back further from absolutes. I found it worth reading, seeing the insights of one who is lost and deep within an idolatrous system where the issue at stake is not whether or not any decisions conform to God's word, but the words of the popes. Interesting read: sad because of the utter blindness of this man and enraging because of the utter joy taken in promoting a system wickedly at odds with God and calling it good. (Rom 1:32)


The Troubled Minds of the Rich and Famous news.nationalgeographic

Talking from her home in Alexandria, Virginia, Kalb takes us inside the brain of Fyodor Dostoyevsky, explains how Howard Hughes had a grilled cheese sandwich problem, and why Charles Darwin is her hero.

Sin has affected how we think and relate and understand (known as the Noetic Effect of sin). This means that people really do end up a mess even by man's noeticly-effected-standard, but when we look for an answer in psychology, as the author of this book is doing, we are missing that we, ourselves, are corrupted and looking for the out for our own responsibility! This look at those in history shows us that being well-known doesn't change our nature. Not even one bit.


The funny things happening on the way to singularity techcrunch

About 10 years ago, inventor, futurist and now Director of Engineering at Google Ray Kurzweil famously embraced the concept of “the singularity” — that moment in time when machine intelligence surpasses our own. Kurzweil predicted the singularity would occur by 2045, and man and machine would become inseparable.

Given the relationship most people have with their smartphones, you could argue it’s already happening.

Though deeply entrenched in a humanistic worldview, an engaging read.


One day after Israel issues travel warning to Turkey, US follows suit jpost

"The US Mission in Turkey would like to inform US citizens that there are credible threats to tourist areas, in particular to public squares and docks in Istanbul and Antalya," the statements reads.


Louisiana woman makes U.S. Army history ksla

A Robeline native is making armed forces history as the first woman to enlist in the infantry in the United States Army.


4 top banks used blockchain tech to trade credit swaps qz

Bank of America Merrill Lynch, Citi, Credit Suisse, J.P. Morgan, and the Depository Trust & Clearing Corporation (DTCC) successfully traded credit default swaps on the blockchain, according to an announcement today.

Friday, April 8, 2016

Byzantine Destruction; NK Workers Defect; Fingerprint Currency; Pope Welcomes More to False Church; Automated Guardian Angel; Robotic Chef; Robots Without Knees Work Too; Embryos Edited Again; and SpaceX - Rocket Launch in Reverse


Palestinian Christians bitter over destruction of church ruins in Gaza jpost

Palestine Christians on Wednesday expressed anger over the way the Palestinian Authority and Hamas have handled the ancient ruins of a Byzantine church that were uncovered in Gaza City last week.

See also Builders find remnants from Byzantine period in Gaza

Islamic State nets millions selling plundered antiquities online

According to Russia's ambassador to the United Nations, Vitaly Churkin, IS is making up to $265 million a year by smuggling and selling looted jewellery, coins and other precious archaeological items through auction sites and specialist online stores.

North Korea

Thirteen North Korean restaurant workers defect to South Korea theguardian

Jeong claimed it was unprecedented for so many people to have defected from the same North Korean restaurant abroad. It is also unusual for South Korea to make a formal announcement about defections, or to even comment on them. Jeong said the government decided to go public about the arrivals because of the unusual nature of the defections.

Cashless Society

Fingerprints to be tested as ‘currency’ the-japan-news

Starting this summer, the [Japanese] government will test a system in which foreign tourists will be able to verify their identities and buy things at stores using only their fingerprints.

False Religion

Pope to church: Be more accepting of divorced Catholics, gays and lesbians cnn

"By thinking that everything is black and white, we sometimes close off the way of grace and growth," he writes.

Self-Driving Cars

Toyota Joins the Race for Self-Driving Cars with an Invisible Copilot technologyreview

Toyota’s researchers are developing what they call a “guardian angel” system that will automatically take control of a vehicle, or subtly adjust a driver’s actions, in order to avert danger. In contrast to other companies working on self-driving vehicles, the Japanese carmaker sees combining machine and human driving as a key step toward full autonomy.



Moley has created the world's first robotic kitchen. Featuring an advanced, fully functional robot integrated into a beautifully designed, professional kitchen, it cooks with the skill and flair of a master chef. The prototype was premiered to widespread acclaim at Hanover Messe, the international robotics show.

Includes fascinating video.

Alphabet’s secretive Schaft Inc. shows off new bipedal robot in Tokyo techcrunch

There’s a new bot in town (Tokyo, specifically), and while it might not be as cute as Nao, as creepy as Spot and BigDog or as anthropomorphic as Atlas, it might be more practical than all of them. It walks on two legs, but not like a man, or even a bear. This one, designed by Alphabet-owned Schaft Inc., has its own uniquely robotic form of locomotion.

Includes a video. A step in the direction of more functional and less creepy robot :)


Chinese Researchers Experiment with Making HIV-Proof Embryos technologyreview

Chinese fertility doctors have tried to make HIV-proof human embryos, but the experiments ended in a bust. The new report is the second time researchers in China revealed that they had a go at making genetically modified human embryos.

Space Tech

SpaceX just made history and landed a rocket on a ship

But the huge, history-making moment — causing everyone at SpaceX to lose their minds in a roar of applause during a live webcast — was when the company landed a rocket on a ship at sea.

Thursday, April 7, 2016

Keeping AI in Balance; New Rembrandt; Executives Against Morality; Indiana Sued for Abortion Law; Nature of Men and Boys; DNA Data Storage; Artificial Seizures; Automated Submarine; Robotic Artist; Pope Holds Unity-Hand out to Methodists; and Is it a Bird or a Plane of FBI Spies?


When Is the Singularity? Probably Not in Your Lifetime nytimes

In March when Alphago, the Go-playing software program designed by Google’s DeepMind subsidiary defeated Lee Se-dol, the human Go champion, some in Silicon Valley proclaimed the event as a precursor of the imminent arrival of genuine thinking machines.

What has not been shown, however, is scientific evidence for such an event. Indeed, the idea has been treated more skeptically by neuroscientists and a vast majority of artificial intelligence researchers.

The Next Rembrandt nextrembrandt

Short film of a computer painting a new "Rembrandt" based on his original works


U.S. Executives Urge Repeal of Mississippi Law fortune

Executives of several major U.S. corporations urged Mississippi on Wednesday to repeal a new state law that allows businesses to deny wedding services to same-sex couples on religious grounds.

Still, nearly two-thirds of Mississippi voters supported the law, according to a poll highlighted on Tuesday by the Christian-based Family Research Council.

Lawsuit against state of Indiana calls abortion law 'unconstitutional' theguardian

The state of Indiana is being sued by the American Civil Liberties Union and Planned Parenthood of Indiana and Kentucky, over an abortion law recently signed by Governor Mike Pence.

One thing that bothers them about this law is that they would need to treat unborn babies as dead humans, and not discarded medical waste:

The law also requires fetuses to be buried or cremated, which the lawsuit called a costly requirement that does not exist for the disposal of medical waste for other types of operations.

Nature of Man

Can children be natural born killers? bbc

It seems to rip the notion of childhood - a supposed age of innocence - to shreds. We are accustomed to regarding children as in transformation - young people who will eventually shape into a good, bad or indifferent citizen. We do not generally consider them capable of adult crimes such as premeditated murder.

When proved wrong, shockwaves ripple through the fabric of society.

Paul reminds us that God has said all of us are sinners (Romans 3:23) and that by nature we are in rebellion of God and children of wrath (Eph 2:3). It is true that our sins tend to blossom and get more severe as we get older, but there is no such thing as the morally innocent child. From birth we are capable of murder (evil by nature), and it's only God's restraining grace that keeps most from fully realizing their potential even as adults. This article reminds us that what seems unexpected (children who murder) is only because we misunderstand just how wicked we are.

DNA Tech

UW team stores digital images in DNA — and retrieves them perfectly

The team of computer scientists and electrical engineers has detailed one of the first complete systems to encode, store and retrieve digital data using DNA molecules, which can store information millions of times more compactly than current archival technologies.

Brain Tech

IBM Wants to Implant Fake Brains in Real Brains to Prevent Seizures wired

In Melbourne, Australia, Stefan Harrer is running an artificial software brain atop an artificial hardware brain in an effort to analyze a brain that isn’t artificial at all. Ultimately, he and his colleagues envision merging these three brains together so that the artificial can augment the real.

Military Tech

Submarine-hunting drone ship Sea Hunter unveiled by the US

The 40-metre-long unarmed prototype, dubbed Sea Hunter, is the naval equivalent of Google's self-driving car, designed to cruise on the ocean's surface for two or three months at a time - without a crew or anyone controlling it remotely.

Industrial Tech

Scientists invent robotic 'artist' that spray paints giant murals

The researchers wanted to create a way to help non-artists create accurate reproductions of photographs as large-scale murals using spray painting. So, they developed a computer-aided system that uses an ordinary paint spray can, tracks the can's position relative to the wall or canvas and recognizes what image it "wants" to paint. As the person waves the pre-programmed spray can around the canvas, the system automatically operates the spray on/off button to reproduce the specific image as a spray painting.


Pope speaks to Methodists, calls for unity christiantoday

Dialogue between Methodists and the Catholics isn't the only ecumenical discussion happening at the moment. The Pope has held discussions with Eastern Orthodox, Oriental Orthodox, Anglican and Pentecostal leaders. However, there is no immediate prospect of formal unity between them as theologians grapple with the doctrinal differences between the Churches.


Spies in the Skies buzzfeed

Each weekday, dozens of U.S. government aircraft take to the skies and slowly circle over American cities. Piloted by agents of the FBI and the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), the planes are fitted with high-resolution video cameras, often working with “augmented reality” software that can superimpose onto the video images everything from street and business names to the owners of individual homes....Most of the aircraft are small, flying a mile or so above ground, and many use exhaust mufflers to mute their engines — making them hard to detect by the people they’re spying on.


See what a tattoo will look like on your skin before you get inked techspot

InkHunter uses augmented reality to overlay a tattoo onto a body’s surface area. You can select from a series of designs by different artists that are included in the app, or you can upload your own sketches to see how they’ll look on your skin.

Wednesday, April 6, 2016

Printing Working Robot and Multi-Material Prototypes; NK Can Only Hit Millions and Millions of People; AI Diagnostician; Delivery Bot 3; No Plumbing Toilet; Metal Foam; and UK Synthetic Biology

3D Printing

MIT 3D prints a complete walking robot engadget

The breakthrough that researchers have made centers around creating what's being called "printable hydraulics," a way to create liquid-filled pumps inside the manufacturing process. According to CSAIL director Daniella Rus, the technique "is a step towards the rapid fabrication of functional machines." She adds that "all you have to do is stick in a battery and motor and you have a robot that can practically walk right out of the printer."

Plus video...

3D printer creates full-color, multiple material prototypes in a single print run gizmag

The J750 is not the first Polyjet printer from Stratasys, but it is the first that can print in five colors – cyan, magenta, yellow, black and white – instead of just three. The addition of white in particular means the printer can now use the CMYK process to derive a broad spectrum of 360,000 accurate color shades. Indeed, the printer can even recreate color gradients and complex patterns such as wood grain, plaid, and so on.

North Korea

North Korea Needs 3 Things to Hit the U.S. With a Nuclear Weapon time

Primarily a video. I love that they that reiterate multiple times that NK can't hit us, then say that NK can hit just about everyone in the general area, but not all is good.


Mass General will use artificial intelligence to improve hospital care venturebeat

Using AI, physicians can compare a patient’s symptoms, tests, and history with insight from a vast population of other patients. Initially, the MGH Clinical Data Science Center will focus on the fields of radiology and pathology — which are particularly rich in images and data — and then expand into genomics and electronic health records.


This Cute Self-Driving Robot Wants to Deliver Your Food or Laundry fortune

For now, Carry has been used in pilot programs on a couple of school campuses, where it mostly interacts with pedestrians and completes various kinds of deliveries. A mobile app lets customers interact with Carry, such as open one of its four compartments to grab their parcels, while a software tool will let its eventual customers easily send delivery orders to Dispatch’s fleet of these robots.

These delivery bots seem to have suddenly become a thing...


Bill Gates is Financing a Next-Generation Waterless Toilet That Transforms Human Waste into Bio-Fuel industrytap

UK researchers have developed an inexpensive waterless toilet with energy-producing capabilities. The goal behind this new eco-friendly Nano Membrane Toilet is to help the 2.4 billion people worldwide who do not have access to sanitized and safe lavatory facilities.

There's an animated video of how this, um, works.


Metal foam strong enough to stop bullets upi

Armor piercing bullets are supposed to be indestructible. They never met metal foam.


UK Lab Makes DNA For Synthetic Biology

This is the Foundry, a £2m centre which opens today in Imperial College London. It plans to industrialise the process of preparing DNA for use in synthetic biology.


Monday, April 4, 2016

Killing HIV; Most Realistic Skin; Subsidized Assisted Suicide in CA; Tumbleweeds!; UN Censors Israel; Jobs AI Has Its 'I' on; Trust me Dave; Chainsaw Drone; Mars in 2030; Abortion Poles; Min Wage Tide Swells in CA; and Gideon Bible or Satanic Activity Book?


Cure for HIV possible within three years as scientists snip virus from cells

Although the experiments have so far only been carried out in a lab, researchers at Lewis Katz School of Medicine at Temple University, are confident that within three years they will be able to start trials on humans.

Promising lab-grown skin sprouts hair and grows glands bbc

This would be vastly superior to the culturing and grafting techniques that are currently available, which produce skin without many of the the biological components and functionality that we are used to.


Californians Can Choose to Die – With the Help of Taxpayers usnews

“When you’re willing to legalize the intentional killing of patients in order to save Medi-Cal money, there’s something a little bit utilitarian about that,” he says. “We have a law that isn’t really designed for those we care for, but for those we don’t wish to care for anymore, that’s why Medi-Cal is paying for this.”

Subjected to Futility

New Invasive Tumble Weed Rapidly Expanding Across U.S. natureworldreport

The plant in question is actually a hybridization of two invasive species of tumbleweeds, creating a sort of “super” tumbleweed. Called “Salsola ryanii”, the species was first discovered in 2002 in two separate areas of California’s central valley. The species has since spread throughout much of the central valley and has even been found in San Francisco, in the coastal areas, and also in the Ventura area in the south.

See also New tumbleweed species rapidly expanding range


UN censors exhibit on Israel at NY headquarters, Israeli diplomat says

Three of the 13 panels in the exhibition “Israel Matters,” had to be deleted, the U.N. reportedly decided over the weekend. The censored panels deemed “inappropriate” are on the subjects of Zionism, Jerusalem and Arab-Israelis.

See also UN censors Israeli exhibition featuring Zionism and Jerusalem


This infographic shows which jobs are most likely to become extinct due to robots businessinsider

While many of those robots will be used in the automotive and electronics sectors, there are many other roles that robots will be filling in the future. Surprisingly, according to global consultant McKinsey & Co, not all of these jobs are low-skill, low-wage jobs, either.

Can we trust robots to make moral decisions? qz

“The issues of morality in general are very vague,” says Ronald Arkin, professor and director of the mobile robot laboratory at Georgia Institute of Technology. “We still argue as human beings about the correct moral framework we should use, whether it’s a consequentialist utilitarian means-justify-the-ends approach, or a Kantian deontological rights-based approach.”

There are clearly some difficult moral choices, so my intention is not to marginalize those. However, not only does this article show mankind trying to inject a form of morality into its creation, but that by and large society has rejected the absolute morality of our Creator, and as a result only has a nebulous, arbituary, relative understanding of morality to start with.


Flying Nightmare: Drone Gets Armed With Chainsaw sputniknews

Basically a video "article"


NASA's Bolden: Mars mission is 'closer than ever' cnbc

We think we're on the right trajectory to get humans to Mars in the 2030's," NASA Administrator Charles Bolden told CNBC's "On the Money" in an interview this week.

Includes interview video


Poles protest possibility of total ban on abortion philly

Thousands of Poles took part in street demonstrations on Sunday to protest a possible tightening of the country's abortion law, already one of the most restrictive in Europe.

Minimum Wage

California, New York enact $15 minimum wages foxnews

In Los Angeles, Gov. Jerry Brown signed a bill into law that will lift the statewide minimum wage to $15 an hour by 2022.

Together with New York, it marks the most ambitious moves yet to close the national divide between rich and poor. Experts say other states may follow, given Congress' reluctance to act despite entreaties from President Barack Obama.

See also $15 minimum wage coming to New York, Calif.


Satanic book provided in Colorado schools coloradoan

Atheists provided pamphlets on topics like sex in the Bible, problems with the Ten Commandments and a Satanic activity book to middle and high school students in a rural Colorado district Friday, the result of a fight between Delta County schools and critics over whether it should continue to let everyone from Little League organizers to the Gideons distribute literature in schools.


Saturday, April 2, 2016

Don't Forget the Anti-Christ; Navy Tattoo; Hiding Earth from Imagination; Everything's Going Nuclear - and Israel's Ready; Machine Learning for Fun and Profit; Super Storm!; and Quran's god Just Isn't the Bible's

End Times


We, in the Calvinistic and Reformed church, have not done justice to the Scripture’s teaching on this matter. We often rightly respond to the “Left Behind” industry with dismay and sarcasm. In so doing, however, we have, perhaps inadvertently failed to sufficiently and soberly grasp Scripture’s teaching on this period of history which will be instrumental in bringing about a catastrophic and irreversible apostasy. Here then, are twelve biblical observations about the Man of Lawlessness (MoL) to help prepare us for that day.

This excellent look at the coming aspostasy within the church was shared by Tim Challies today, and I wanted to pass it along...


Navy easing tattoo rules   navytimes

The Navy is easing its tattoo policy in a bid to recruit and retain more sailors from the millennial generation, of whom more than 1 in 3 sport body art.

This is not a commentary on tattoos, nor to say that they are sinful in of themselves (some may disgree, but consider the argument Matt Slick makes on for an appolgetic on this using Scripture). However, what I feel it shows is how a changing culture influences even those organizations which we feel to be the most 'reserved' in attire or behavior.

What's also interesting is the admitted difficulty and arbituary rules on deciding what is morally OK/not OK to have:

“There are just so many variables when you look at tattoo language and tattoo art that it’s just not reasonable to try and identify a set list of what is and what isn’t acceptable,” Stevens said. “This is one of those areas where we trust this senior leadership, our triads, to be able to look at something in its context, using the chain of command and having discussions amongst themselves as to whether something is appropriate or not.”


Two scientists propose using lasers to cloak Earth … from aliens   digitaltrends

In a nearly six-minute video posted to Cool Labs’ YouTube channel, Teachey details exactly how a planetary cloaking device might work and explains that “we humans could build a cloaking device for the Earth, right now.”

Sadly, this was NOT an April Fool's joke...


Nuclear terrorist threat bigger than you think   edition.cnn

Cassandra's curse, however, was not that she was wrong, but that no one believed her. I don't know a single nuclear expert who thinks that the threat of nuclear terrorism is shrinking. I don't know a single one who thinks that the actions taken by world leaders at this week's Nuclear Security Summit are enough. We are fearful. And you should be, too.

This is an opinion piece that reveals how life without Christ, the certainty and totality of God's Soverienty, and knowledge that He is working all things for good (Rom 8:28) provides two options: living in wilful ignorance of the sin around, or live in fear of everything. If you are in Christ (Rom 3:23-25), then I encourage you to neither be foolishly ignorant of what's going on in the world, nor fearful of what is! And to keep looking up, for our redemption is nigh (Luke 21:28) :)

Israel a global leader in readiness for nuclear terror   timesofisrael

Israel is one of the countries most prepared for scenarios of nuclear terrorism,” Energy Minister Yuval Steinitz said Saturday at a nuclear security summit held in Washington.

Machine Learning

Advancing Machine Learning to Uncover New Insights   infoworld

Machine learning holds the promise of not only structuring vast amounts of data but also to create true business intelligence


Superstorm’ climate shift can happen within decades not centuries, climate scientists warn

Climate scientists are warning the threat of global warming could be even more dangerous than previously believed, suggesting “killer storms”, the rise of sea levels and the “disintegration” of large parts of the polar ice sheets can happen sooner than thought.

Sounds terrible, but the description doesn't even come close to the "climate change" our Creator promised in Rev 16:1-21, et al, leading up to the final judgement (Rev 20:11-15) before the earth and heavens are destroyed and made new (Rev 21:1)...


Startling Similarities (and Contrasts) Between the Bible and the Quran   pjmedia

I have been a pastor for the past 28 years. I am a conservative evangelical who believes all the basic tenets of Christianity: the Trinity, virgin birth and sinless humanity of Jesus Christ, the vicarious death and physical resurrection of Christ, the future judgments of the saved and the lost, salvation by grace, and so forth. I have personally talked to and shared my faith with hundreds of Muslims, both here in America and overseas. In almost all my conversations with my Muslim friends, the conversations and debates have been polite and respectful. I have also read the entire Quran all the way through twice, in two different English translations (I cannot read Arabic, unfortunately).

Short, but interesting. I agree with his points, though I would say the part of his title that reads "similarities" is a bit misleading as it's mostly a contrast piece...


Friday, April 1, 2016

Pipe Flares; Google and BOFA Jump On-board; Military Suicide; NK in Semi-War Mode; Obama and Xi Shake Their Fist Some More; Resurrecting the Book of the Dead; Theology without Christ; Programming Cells; Smoking DNA; AI vs AI; Automated Lawyer; NASA Too Eager?; Amazon and Microsoft Joining the Street Fight; and Blockchain

Caution: Today is April 1st - I've done my best to watch out for prank articles, but if you find one that I fell for on this list, let me know!


Incendiary devices found hanging on Tyngsborough power lines   bostonglobe

Federal, state, and local authorities Thursday said they could find nothing to suggest the devices were installed as part of a terror plot. But they said the incident, which involved objects resembling pipe bombs, had targeted a key electrical link between Canada and the Northeastern United States.

Also Incendiary Devices Found On Power Lines In Tyngsboro


Google Ventures Bans Investments in North Carolina

Google Ventures, now known as GV, has joined a growing list of tech and corporate heavyweights speaking out against North Carolina’s HB 2, a law that the companies say discriminates against transgender people in the state.

They continue to line up. See also Bank of America Joins Backlash Against North Carolina LGBT Law

U.S. military suicides remain high for 7th year   usatoday

The Pentagon reported Friday that 265 active-duty service members killed themselves last year, continuing a trend of unusually high suicide rates that have plagued the U.S. military for at least seven years.


North Korea

North Korea to pursue nuclear and missile programmes   uk.reuters

North Korea will pursue its nuclear and ballistic missile programme in defiance of the United States and its allies, a top Pyongyang envoy said on Friday, adding that a state of "semi-war" now existed on the divided Korean peninsula.

Obama and Xi agree to fully crack down on North Korea   businessinsider

"Both leaders committed... to strengthen coordination in addressing the shared threat presented by North Korea's pursuit of nuclear weapons and ballistic missile systems," the White House said.

Also see North Korea fires another missile into sea


Spanish Archaeologists Try to Reconstruct Fragments of the Ancient Egyptian Book of the Dead   ancient-origins

For the last 14 years, twenty archaeologists, Egyptologists, and Spanish specialists have been working on the southern foot of the hill of Dra Abu el-Naga with a team of over a hundred Egyptian workers. During this time, they have united their efforts and been studying every part of the area, and scrutinizing every centimeter of a vast necropolis which is overflowing with burials from different eras.

There seems to be a certain obsession with translating this book lately...


Christianity is no longer compulsory for Oxford Theology students   christiantoday

The reduction in compulsory modules for second and third year students will enable other papers to be taken, including "feminist approaches to religion and theology" and "Buddhism in space and time".


A programming language for living cells

MIT biological engineers have created a programming language that allows them to rapidly design complex, DNA-encoded circuits that give new functions to living cells.

Smoking During Pregnancy Seems to Alter Fetal DNA   webmd

For the study, researchers collected blood samples from newborns, mainly from the umbilical cord. Compared to babies of nonsmokers, those born to regular smokers had over 6,000 spots where DNA was chemically modified.


China To Face Off Against AlphaGo With Own AI Team   androidheadlines

An A.I. development team out of China, called China Computer Go Team, has announced that they have their own Go-playing A.I. in development. While an A.I. capable of playing Go at all is an accomplishment, this team has decided that’s not quite enough. Instead, they intend to develop their A.I. with the goal of challenging AlphaGO at its own native game.

Appeal Parking Tickets Via Bot in New York City   fortune

A parking-lawyer web robot that has saved British drivers nearly $4 million in fines over the past several months is now ready to help Americans, starting with New Yorkers, by appealing their tickets for free.

Complete with creepy eye icon for the bot


ASAP concerned NASA is taking risks to meet Orion schedule   nasaspaceflight

NASA’s key advisory body has warned the agency that schedule pressure, in combination with cost pressure, is causing compromises that carry additional risk. Focusing on the Orion spacecraft, NASA’s Aerospace Safety Advisory Panel (ASAP) claimed NASA is “taking risk after risk” to meet the schedule for Orion’s opening missions.


Amazon, Microsoft look for big data role in self-driving cars   reuters

Amazon, Microsoft look for big data role in self-driving cars


Blockchain--What You Need to Know   prnewswire

Spearheaded by Bitcoin, blockchains achieve consensus among distributed nodes, allowing the transfer of digital goods without the need for centralized authorisation of transactions.


Scientists may have just uncovered an ancient Viking site in North America   businessinsider


Interesting videos about something you never even once wondered about