Oliver Mawdsley

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You can help name newly discovered planets, if you follow the rules

For decades, the names given to newly discovered planets have almost always failed to live up to the excitement these celestial finds represent. (Take for example forgettable monikers such as CFBDSIR2149, HD 189733b, 55 Cancri e, and Kepler-69c.) The organization that oversee's the naming of new …

New form of carbon said to be strongest material ever found

The strongest known material in the world may have just been dethroned. Researchers from Rice University have calculated the properties of a little-studied form of carbon known as carbyne, and they've determined that it should have a "specific strength surpassing that of any other known material." …

New Awesome Mammal In The Raccoon Family Found In South America

It's been right under our noses for years, and we never noticed it.<p>We don't discover new mammals very often, let alone new mammals in well-known families like Procyonidae (which includes the raccoons, coatis, and ringtails). So we are <i>very</i> pleased to introduce you all to the newest member of the …

Study refuels debate over whether Voyager 1 has left solar system

New research says NASA misinterpreted magnetic field data and that, in fact, Voyager 1 entered interstellar space July 27, 2012. Even some previous skeptics are intrigued.<p>August 15, 2013|By Monte Morin<p>An artist's depiction of a Voyager spacecraft. A study published… (NASA )<p>Voyager 1, where are …

Element of the week: einsteinium | video

What do Ivy Mike, plutonium and Gabon, Africa share in common?<p>This week, we meet the element einsteinium, which has the atomic symbol <b>Es</b> and the atomic number <b>99</b>. The atomic symbol was originally <b>E</b> but was later changed by the International Union of Pure and Applied Chemistry (IUPAC) to conform to …

Free Church calls for 'conscience' clause in gay marriage laws

Scottish clergymen should be given greater legal protection against having to conduct gay marriages by the inclusion of a “conscientious objector” clause in the legislation, church leaders have said.<p>The Free Church of Scotland said a conscience clause, similar to that included for medical staff …

Ukip accepts £25,000 donation from e-cigarette firm

The UK Independence party has been given a £25,000 donation by an electronic cigarette company, while opposing new Brussels rules that would regulate non-tobacco nicotine products as medicines.<p>Electoral Commission records show Ukip accepted the funding in May from Pillbox38, a Blackburn-based firm …

Tories should talk about race, says one of Cameron's black advisers

The Conservatives still have questions to answer about race and the party's attitude towards ethnic minority voters, one of David Cameron's only black advisers has said.<p>Shaun Bailey, a Tory and former Downing Street aide, spoke out after a survey showed Britain's minority ethnic vote might …

EU migrant benefits to be at centre of Brussels talks, sources claim

David Cameron will put curbing the benefit rights of EU migrants at the centre of his reform plan when he meets leaders in Brussels for talks to win back powers for Britain, sources have claimed.<p>Angela Merkel, the German chancellor, this week raised Conservative hopes for the Prime Minister’s …

So When Will the Economy Recover? Probably Never

Forget the headlines, our economy is on the high road to ruin. Its apparent recovery is artificial and the reality is that our government is set to …

‘Oldest man in the world’ discovered in Bolivia, and he attributes his long-life to long walks and quinoa

He has spent a lifetime eking out a living in barren mountains but 123-year-old Carmelo Flores Laura looks set to be named the oldest living person …

Does Maleficent's change of plot hint that Disney is growing up?

When it comes to Hollywood studios, it's fair to say that Disney attracts more than its fair share of sulky schadenfreude. During the 90s and early 2000s, the name alone became synonymous with a sort of plasticky "all-American" fakeness, and even to this day, a news story about Disney losing money …

What happens to your Macbook Air battery in a year

I love my 2010 Macbook, but lately she’s become less of a workhorse and more of a gentle farm pony you feed carrots to at the barn. She tires easily …

Microsoft Rolls Back Plans For Xbox One Launch

Microsoft is readjusting its target for the Xbox One launch from 21 countries on day one, to 13. The tech giant cited concerns about meeting demand and the desire to ”get the best Xbox One experience the first day it is available,” presumably referring to online services. While we still don’t know …

Woody’s Women

In nearly every Woody Allen movie, from <i>Bananas</i> to <i>Midnight in Paris</i>, which opened this year’s Cannes film festival, there is a central male character who’s a facsimile of Woody Allen (neurotic, brainy, urban). And, like a sun encircled by planets, Allen surrounds his cinematic twins with a …

Microsoft Calls Foul After Google Yanks YouTube Access In New Windows Phone App

This morning Google admitted that it had yanked access to YouTube from Microsoft’s brand-new Windows Phone application. This came fewer than 50 hours after the launch of the application. Windows Phone users were predictably disappointed.<p>What happened? In the intervening hours I’ve learned enough to …