JohnBerrio

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This physicist’s ideas of time will blow your mind

Time feels real to people. But it doesn’t even exist, according to quantum physics. “There is no time variable in the fundamental equations that describe the world,” theoretical physicist Carlo Rovelli tells Quartz.<p>If you met him socially, Rovelli wouldn’t assault you with abstractions and math to …

Quantum Mechanics

NASA’s Wild Plan To Build McMansions On Mars–Out Of Fungus

It’s actually a lot less crazy than it sounds.<p>I hate to break it to you, but there will not be any geodesic domes on Mars. At least not if Christopher Maurer is to be believed.<p>“You’ll see a lot of renders with glass domes and little houses, and things like that, but I don’t know those are serious …

Habitats

The white woman who called the cops on a black Yale student is waking the US to an ugly truth

It’s a familiar story. A black person is minding their own business. A white woman notices them and calls the cops.<p>The latest event in a long historical pattern took place at Yale University this week (paywall). A black graduate student, Lolade Siyonbola, was taking a nap in her dorm’s common room …

Women of Color

A Mind Without A Brain: The Science Of Plant Intelligence Takes Root

“My work is not about metaphors at all,” says Monica Gagliano. “When I talk about learning, I <i>mean</i> learning. When I talk about memory, I <i>mean</i> memory.” Gagliano, an evolutionary ecologist, is talking about plants. She’s adopted methods from behavioral experiments used to test animal intelligence and …

Consciousness

The Last Days of the Blue-Blood Harvest

Every year, more than 400,000 crabs are bled for the miraculous medical substance that flows through their bodies—now pharmaceutical companies are finally committing to an alternative that doesn't harm animals.<p>Horseshoe crabs are sometimes called “living fossils” because they have been around in …

Eli Lilly

The history of how train travel changed the whole world’s relationship with time

Time, famously, stops for no one. Yet it doesn’t pass the same way in every place—and at one point in human history, that was a major source of contention.<p>In the new book <i>The Order of Time,</i> published in April, quantum physicist Carlo Rovelli discusses the history of human tools used to measure time. …

Train Travel

You Won't Like The Consequences Of Making Pluto A Planet Again

Since its discovery in 1930, Pluto was heralded as the ninth planet in our Solar System. Pluto was the first world ever discovered beyond Neptune, and for nearly half a century, was the only world known beyond our last gas giant. Generations of schoolchildren learned mnemonic devices about their …

Astronomy

The pivotal place of the ancient Greeks in the history of drunkenness

<b>Dionysus, Greek god of wine (Shutterstock)</b><p>For all the fuss the Ancient Greeks made about being Greek, it’s notable that their god of wine was a foreigner<p>Mark Forsyth<p>May 6, 2018 8:30pm (UTC)<p><i>The following passage from "A Short History of Drunkenness:How, Why, Where and When Humankind has Gotten Merry</i> …

Ancient History

The epic mistake about manufacturing that’s cost Americans millions of jobs

Looking back, there were two kinds of people who lived in America in 2016: people who believed Donald Trump, and people who believed data.<p>Trump claimed on the campaign trail that globalization had destroyed US manufacturing—and in the process, the American economy—by letting China and other …

Economics

The US can eliminate its trade deficit or run the world’s dominant currency—but not both

Shrinking America’s yawning trade deficit is much harder than simply blocking imports and boosting exports—and will likely involve tough tradeoffs, according to Guggenheim Partners’ Scott Minerd.<p>“There is a reason why the United States has a structural trade deficit. That’s because the world wants …

Economics

MDMA can help people who suffer from PTSD, according to new research — and it could be approved by 2021

The idea of using recreational drugs to treat health problems is picking up pace. Recent research has shown how psychedelic drugs like LSD and magic mushrooms can be used to treat depressive symptoms, marijuana can treat pain and seizures, and even highly hallucinogenic drugs like DMT could have …

Depression

Marijuana Gives Health-Conscious Consumers Something Alcohol Cannot

The U.S. alcohol trade hasn’t had any real competition for more than eight decades, which has given it a clear path to become the mega $223 billion industry that it is today. But now that marijuana is legal in more parts of the country, booze slingers are starting to notice a slip in profits.<p>The …

Cannabis

The Fighting Has Begun Over Who Owns Land Drowned by Climate Change

One April morning in 2016, Daryl Carpenter, a charter boat captain out of Grand Isle, La., took some clients to catch redfish on a marsh pond that …

Real Estate

Black Woman Dragged to the Ground, Arrested by Officers in Alabama Waffle House Over Dispute About Plastic Utensils

Add asking about whether it’s protocol to pay for plastic utensils to the list of things you apparently can’t do while black without someone calling …

Move Over, Double Helix: A New Form of DNA Has Just Been Discovered

This is the first time it's ever been seen in a living cell.<p>When we learn about human genetics in high school biology class, one of the most basic …

Superman at 80: How two high school friends concocted the original comic book hero

<b>This image released by Warner Bros. Pictures shows Ben Affleck, left, and Henry Cavill in a scene from, "Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice." (Clay Enos/Warner Bros. Pictures via AP) (AP)</b><p>In 1938, a cultural icon was born<p>Brad Ricca<p>April 21, 2018 11:29pm (UTC)<p>This article was originally published on …

All the places in the world you can (legally) get high on 4/20

April 20 marks the unofficial high holiday of stoner culture, when cannabis enthusiasts around the world celebrate the fine art of smoking pot (or eating it or vaping it or drinking it). This has been a huge year for marijuana legalization, and there are more places to legally light up on 4/20 than …

A veteran defense lawyer explains how the feds could flip Michael Cohen

Donald Trump and his advisors are increasingly worried that Michael Cohen—Trump’s longtime lawyer, whose home and offices were raided by the FBI last week—will be impelled to cooperate with federal prosecutors.<p>“They’re going to threaten him with a long prison term and try to turn him into a canary …

Trade war or not, China risks a “Minsky moment”

<b>(AP Photo/Andy Wong)</b><p>Putting Trump’s tariffs in perspective<p>Marshall Auerback<p>April 17, 2018 8:00am (UTC)<p>This article originally appeared on AlterNet.<p>The transformation of China’s economy, both in terms of GDP growth rate and poverty reduction since it started its transition to the market system in …

Curious Questions: Why do the British drive on the left?

The rest of Europe drives on the right, so why do the British drive on the left? Martin Fone, author of 'Fifty Curious Questions', investigates.<p>Here …

Can you live in a world filled with nothing but water?

It looks like the galaxy is full of water worlds, but scientists are divided on whether life would succeed there<p>Roughly 39 light-years away toward the constellation Aquarius is a planet that hosts a global ocean so deep it drowns the land. Set sail anywhere on that water world and you will never …

The country that pioneered wellness is adopting cannabis as a cure

Zurich, Switzerland<p>For centuries, Switzerland has led the way when it comes to what we now call “wellness,” peddling the healing powers of crisp Alpine air, clear blue skies, and fine Swiss botanicals.<p>In the 1800s, Alexander Spengler, a German refugee working as a country doctor in the remote …

Cannabis

Don’t fear germs — at least not too much

Microbes are neither purely “good” nor “bad”<p>Throughout my childhood, my role models in life warned me about bacteria and germs. “Wash your hands so you don’t get any germs” and “Don’t touch that — it’s covered in bacteria” were some of the phrases I took to heart. I was on my way to being a …

Massive minimum wage study finds significant gains for low-income workers and few downsides

<b>(Getty/Matt_Brown)</b><p>This research builds on previous studies that have chipped away at opposition to the policy.<p>Cody Fenwick<p>April 7, 2018 9:29pm (UTC)<p>This article originally appeared on AlterNet.<p>A new study on the minimum wage confirms previous research that found the policy raises wages for …

Economics

We won our lawsuit against the US government over paywalled immigration data

Above the forwarded email I sent to my editor in March 2015 were the following remarks: “FYI, FOIAing two databases because they charge $13,000 a piece per year to access them.” Three years later, a federal district court judge says I’m entitled to that data—the only near-comprehensive records of …

Who was here first? A new study explains the origins of ancient Indians

A new paper authored by 92 scientists from around the globe that was posted online this weekend could settle some major questions about the subcontinent’s history and what that means for various theories of Indian civilisation. The paper, titled “The Genomic Formation of South and Central Asia,” …

Anthropology

The Atomic-Bomb Core That Escaped World War II

Before two deadly nuclear mishaps, scientists used to risk “tickling the tail of a sleeping dragon.” An Object Lesson.<p>In 1946, shortly after the end of World War II, the physicist Louis Slotin stood in front of a low table at the Los Alamos National Laboratory, concentrating intensely on the object …

Nuclear Energy

A revolution in our sense of self

In a radical reassessment of how the mind works, a leading behavioural scientist argues the idea of a deep inner life is an illusion. This is cause for celebration, he says, not despair<p>At the climax of <i>Anna Karenina</i>, the heroine throws herself under a train as it moves out of a station on the edge …

Consciousness

Lying is a fundamental part of American police culture

<b>(Getty/Chalabala)</b><p>Cops lie under oath so often they even have a nickname for the practice<p>Kali Holloway<p>March 31, 2018 9:59am (UTC)<p>This article originally appeared on AlterNet.<p>Police officers lie under oath in court so often that they’ve even given the practice a nickname. “Behind closed doors, we …

Justice

We now have the first clear evidence cell phone radiation can cause cancer in rats

This week, following three days of live-broadcast peer review sessions, experts concluded that a pair of federal studies show “clear evidence” that cell phone radiation caused heart cancer in male rats.<p>This substantially changes the debate on whether cell phone use is a cancer risk. Up until this …