Kurt O'Brien

423 Flips | 7 Magazines | 4 Likes | 1 Following | 81 Followers | @kurtlivia | Keep up with Kurt O'Brien on Flipboard, a place to see the stories, photos, and updates that matter to you. Flipboard creates a personalized magazine full of everything, from world news to life’s great moments. Download Flipboard for free and search for “Kurt O'Brien”

Different Tastes: How Our Human Ancestors' Diets Evolved

Our human ancestors began tasting food differently sometime after the human family tree branched off from the ancestors of chimpanzees, researchers …

The Microbiome Diet: Evolving Past Paleo

For the past several years, the biggest buzzword in diet has been Paleo. This approach to food supposedly re-creates the way our ancestors ate during the Paleolithic period, before the invention of agriculture. Although there are many different incarnations of Paleo, they all agree on one thing: …

Book Review: Seriously Dangerous Religion: What the Old Testament Really Says and Why It Matters

I had lunch today with two friends, both of whom are involved in apologetics ministries. We discussed the biggest weakness among evangelical …

How long to travel to Alpha Centauri?

The distances between stars are vast, which is why star travel is so far. Read here about conventional propulsion and warp drives, plus about …

A 200-year life is a fate worse than death

Scientists have discovered the genes that give bowhead whales a 200-year lifespan. But who wants to live that long?<p>In <i>The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy</i>, Marvin the robot is left outside the time machine and has to wait for millions of years while his friends travel through millennia in an …

Whales

The EAGLE Has Helped Astronomers To Successfully Replicate The Universe [Video]

Astronomers have successfully recreated the universe. For the first time, a virtual universe that very closely mimics the real deal has been …

Is space-time a property of mass?

Imagine looking at a quasar millions of light years away. From your perspective, a photon emitted by the quasar has spent millions of years …

Studying Caenorhabditis elegans In Space

Studying Caenorhabditis elegans In Space

Jane Hawking: ‘I firmly believed in Stephen and his brilliance’

Eddie Redmayne won a Golden Globe for his portrayal of Stephen Hawking in The Theory of Everything. But how did the scientist’s first wife Jane Hawking, whose book it is based on, feel about the film?<p>Golden Globes 2015: full coverage<p>More on The Theory of Everything<p><b>The Theory Of Everything was based</b> …

Motor Neurone Disease

Heads Will Roll: 5 of Nature's Most Brutal Bug Decapitators

From head-popping flies to deadly dung beetles, see our roundup of insect headhunters.<p>When it comes to the ruthless headhunters of the insect world, looks can be deceptive.<p>Take the tiny, seemingly unassuming tropical flies that make their living by slicing the heads off ants, as reported this month …

Leo Tolstoy’s theory of everything

<b>Leo Tolstoy (Wikimedia)</b><p>Before writing some of the greatest novels in history, Tolstoy asked some of philosophy’s hardest questions<p>Irina Paperno<p>January 11, 2015 12:00am (UTC)<p>Excerpted from “’Who, What Am I?': Tolstoy Struggles to Narrate the Self”<p>Tolstoy’s first diary, started on March 17, 1847, at …

Elon Musk Uses This Ancient Critical-Thinking Strategy To Outsmart Everybody Else

But while he dropped out of the program after only a few days, the field left an impression on the billionaire-to-be.<p>Perhaps most crucially, it trained him in <b>"first principles thinking,"</b> a mode of inquiry that relentlessly pursues the foundations of a problem.<p>"I think it's important to reason from …

New Theory Suggests That We Live In The Past Of A Parallel Universe

Whether through Newton's gravitation, Maxwell's electrodynamics, Einstein's special and general relativity or quantum mechanics, all the equations that best describe our universe work perfectly if time flows forward or backward.<p>Of course the world we experience is entirely different. The universe …

Dark Matter

Genes link human speech and bird song - Futurity

Birds and humans use essentially the same genes to speak, according to analysis of the genomes of 48 species from across their "family tree."

Did Deadly Gamma-Ray Burst Cause a Mass Extinction on Earth?

A gamma-ray burst, the most powerful kind of explosion known in the universe, may have triggered a mass extinction on Earth within the past billion …

What are the odds there is life in outer space?

Ever since humans acknowledged the enormity of the universe, we have intuited that life must exist somewhere, either in our galaxy or some galaxy …

Study Eyes Influence of Religion on Future Space Exploration

A new study by a political science professor in Ohio has taken a close look at how a person's religous beliefs can influence personal opinions on …

Science fiction: How not to build a future society

Science fiction films have many warnings for us – not least, how the road to a perfect future society is fraught with peril. Quentin Cooper loads up the DVD player to see what lessons we can learn.<p>Science-fiction films sometimes offer us a future so bright we’ve got to wear shades. But mostly we’re …

Science Fiction

Enthusiasts and Skeptics Debate Artificial Intelligence

Kurt Andersen wonders: If the Singularity is near, will it bring about global techno-Nirvana or civilizational ruin?<p><b>THE GREAT SCHISM</b><p>Artificial intelligence is suddenly everywhere. It’s still what the experts call “soft A.I.,” but it is proliferating like mad. We’re now accustomed to having …

The quest for a reactionless spacecraft thruster

<i>The torsion balance is contained in an evacuated lucite cylinder. The hardwood frame is leveled and stabilized with lead weights (gray bricks, in the</i> …

Landing On A Comet Is Extremely Difficult | Video

Space Time……….Can we really travel through time to the future or past?

Albert Einstein was the one who discovered that we can’t separate time from space, they are one thus the name space time. Einstein further …

Stunning Snapshot Shows Birth of Alien Solar System

A Chilean observatory catches a protoplanetary disk in action.<p>Talk about your ultimate baby picture! Astronomers have snapped the best image ever seen of the actual birth of new planets around a young, sunlike star.<p>The astonishingly detailed photo reveals the planet-forming dust disk around the …

You’re powered by quantum mechanics. No, really…

For years biologists have been wary of applying the strange world of quantum mechanics, where particles can be in two places at once or connected over huge distances, to their own field. But it can help to explain some amazing natural phenomena we take for granted<p>Every year, around about this time, …

What is a Wormhole and Will Wormhole Travel Ever be Possible?

Science fiction’s favorite method for exploring the universe, most recently in the movie Interstellar, won't be easy.<p>As a curious species, humans have long dreamed of traveling to the farthest depths of space. That's the major theme of the upcoming science fiction epic <i>Interstellar</i>, which will take …

Physics

New home test shakes up colon cancer screening

Starting Monday, millions of people who have avoided colon cancer screenings can get a new home test that's noninvasive and doesn't require the icky …

Drinking Coffee, for Your Health

Research suggests that a person's consumption of the beverage is determined in part by his or her DNA—and that its benefits could extend beyond a caffeine buzz.<p>In college, when I worked part-time as a barista at a local coffee shop, I would often serve the same customers day in and day out. To the …

U.S. spy agency predicts a very transhuman future by 2030

The National Intelligence Council has just released its much anticipated forecasting report, a 140-page document that outlines major trends and …

Singularity