Bubble Trouble

Those enthusiasts about China’s perky economy should heed the warnings of Premier Wen Jiabao on the dangers of overinvestment producing another economic bubble.

Those enthusiasts about China’s perky economy should heed the warnings of Premier Wen Jiabao on the dangers of overinvestment producing another economic bubble, writes The Washington Post’s David Ignatius. China watchers need to look more closely as its biggest problem is that its growth is unstable, Wen cautioned during a press conference two years ago. Last week he echoed these sentiments again, saying "We still face a very complex situation," in reference to what Ignatius calls "the twin dangers of overheating at home and the global recession abroad". He continues: "The rise of China is one of the blessed miracles of modern economic history. But Chinese leaders know they cannot repeal the economic laws of gravity. As the economist Herbert Stein observed decades ago, ‘"If something is 'unsustainable,' that means it won't be sustained.’ That is surely true with the unbalanced, export-led growth that has powered China's ascent."

Trusting your instincts is lazy: Poker pro Liv Boeree on Big Think Edge

International poker champion Liv Boeree teaches decision-making for Big Think Edge.

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Mining the Moon

How can we use the resources that are already on the Moon to make human exploration of the satellite as economical as possible?

The All-Terrain Hex-Limbed Extra-Terrestrial Explorer (ATHLETE), a prototype heavy-lift utility vehicle to support future human exploration of extraterrestrial surfaces, at right, is parked beside the Habitat Demonstration Unit - Pressurized Excursion Module (HDU-PEM), at left, a concept off-Earth living and work quarters for astronauts stationed on asteroids, the moon or Mars, 15 September 2010. Photo by: ROBYN BECK/AFP/Getty Images
Technology & Innovation

If you were transported to the Moon this very instant, you would surely and rapidly die. That's because there's no atmosphere, the surface temperature varies from a roasting 130 degrees Celsius (266 F) to a bone-chilling minus 170 C (minus 274 F). If the lack of air or horrific heat or cold don't kill you then micrometeorite bombardment or solar radiation will. By all accounts, the Moon is not a hospitable place to be.

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Here's when machines will take your job, as predicted by A.I. gurus

An MIT study predicts when artificial intelligence will take over for humans in different occupations.

Photo credit: YOSHIKAZU TSUNO / AFP / Getty Images
Surprising Science

While technology develops at exponential speed, transforming how we go about our everyday tasks and extending our lives, it also offers much to worry about. In particular, many top minds think that automation will cost humans their employment, with up to 47% of all jobs gone in the next 25 years. And chances are, this number could be even higher and the massive job loss will come earlier.

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Scientists reactivate cells from 28,000-year-old woolly mammoth

"I was so moved when I saw the cells stir," said 90-year-old study co-author Akira Iritani. "I'd been hoping for this for 20 years."

Yamagata et al.
Surprising Science
  • The team managed to stimulate nucleus-like structures to perform some biological processes, but not cell division.
  • Unless better technology and DNA samples emerge in the future, it's unlikely that scientists will be able to clone a woolly mammoth.
  • Still, studying the DNA of woolly mammoths provides valuable insights into the genetic adaptations that allowed them to survive in unique environments.
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