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NASA's getting ready to plunge a spacecraft deeper into the sun than ever before

The Solar Probe Plus mission will start with the launch of a spaceship that will complete 24 orbits of the sun. Then, after completing seven flybys of Venus to get closer and closer, the spacecraft will dive into the corona, or the outer atmosphere of the sun.<p>The three closest orbits will be just …

Astronomy

Scientists Discover Perplexing Purple Orb At The Bottom Of The Sea

“Oh what is that? I actually have no idea.”<p>Scientists can be heard discussing a bright purple blob on the video released by Nautilus Live this month, and they seem completely stumped. The crew of the E/V Nautilus operated by Ocean Exploration Trust have stumbled upon a potentially new, unknown …

Nature

One type of energy is killing fossil fuels

Clean energy is killing fossil fuels.<p>Investment in renewable energy technology — solar and wind power — is now seeing twice as much global funding as fossil fuels, according to Bloomberg.<p>The reason: the economics of renewable energy are drastically improving.<p>Solar power is a technology, not a fuel, …

Renewable Energy
Weather

North Korea rocket launch: UN to hold emergency meeting

UN chief calls long-range rocket launch ‘deplorable’ and South Korea says it will start talks with US on missile defence<p>The United Nations security council has condemned North Korea’s launch of a long-range rocket, after an emergency meeting in New York and calls by the US, South Korea and Japan …

North Korea

C'est un scandale: Fury in France over spelling changes

Proposed changes could soon alter the spelling of 2,400 words in the French language. One major change will be the disappearance of the circumflex - …

Language

Donald Trump mocks Jeb Bush for asking his 'mommy' to campaign with him

During a campaign rally on Sunday, Trump maintained that the audience at Saturday night's Republican debate only booed him because they were Bush donors who were unhappy with Trump's insurgent campaign.<p>"And then you wonder why they booed me when I attacked poor, poor, poor Jeb Bush who brings out …

Donald Trump

Canadian, World, Politics and Business News & Analysis

First ever solar road to be built in France

<b>France is planning to build the world’s first solar road which will supply power to millions of people.</b><p>A new thin solar panel roadway surface called …

Clean Energy

Carbon dioxide from the air converted into methanol

The danger posed by rising levels of atmospheric carbon dioxide has seen many schemes proposed to remove a proportion it from the air. Rather than …

Scientists are scrambling to come up with ways of getting plastics out of our oceans — and they’ve proposed some pretty unusual ideas

Located on the southern tip of the Pacific island chain of Hawaii, Kamilo Beach is an isolated stretch of black volcanic shoreline in the middle of nowhere.<p>Just a few hundred yards from shore, humpback whales rise up from the depths, colorful fish fill the reefs and rare sea turtles swim in to nest …

Pollution

We Can't Let it Be... More Plastic Than Fish in Our Sea

<i>Photo: NOAA</i><p>News that plastic pollution will exceed all the fish in the sea by 2050 is beyond appalling -- it's unacceptable. We need bold action to stop plastic garbage from choking out ocean life.<p>One ocean and two big problems: We need to end overfishing and confront our throwaway society. Both …

Pollution

Earth - What is the point of saving endangered species?

In 1981, mountain gorillas were at rock-bottom. Confined to a small mountain range in central Africa, with humans encroaching on their habitat bringing poaching and civil war, their population was estimated at just 254. They would all have fitted into a single Boeing 747.<p>Today things look a little …

Ecology

Trumping Political Science? Lessons from Donald Trump's Surprising Campaign

It is unclear if Donald Trump has rewritten the rules of political campaigning but he has unquestionably left pundits and political scientists baffled by his success. Most careful observers of politics (present authors included) believed Trump would have washed out quickly and decisively. His …

The Republican primary contenders have a big televised dust-up

SUCCESSFUL in Iowa and surging in New Hampshire, Marco Rubio went into the televised Republican debate on February 6th knowing two things. He was due …

Government

Rubio's Broken Record

With apologies to Donald Trump, who went out of his way to insult the audience at Saturday night's Republican presidential debate, the consensus on …

Government

We Thought Marco Rubio Lost The Debate, But New Hampshire Might Think Differently

We here at FiveThirtyEight endorse the conventional wisdom, for a change. Like most other people covering the event, we thought that Marco Rubio had …

Government

Ancient 4,500-year-old boat discovered in Egypt

Archaeologists from the Charles University in Prague have unearthed a 4,500-year-old 59-foot boat at a site in Egypt.<p>While working at the site of the Abusir necropolis near Cairo the archaeologists discovered 4,500-year-old wooden planks that formed part of the boat. The boat’s size, alongside …

Archaeology

Google reportedly plans to release a Gear VR competitor later this year

New Nexus-style headset would likely rely on Android VR<p>It looks like Google Cardboard is just the beginning of the company's virtual reality push. A new report from <i>The Financial Times</i> indicates that Google is planning to release a more substantial virtual reality product akin to Samsung's Gear …

Augmented Reality