New Clean Energy Source
By intensely focusing the sun's rays on a rare earth oxide, researchers have discovered a reactor that could produce fuel from water in an easily stored form.
The reactor hits ceric oxide with an intense blast of focused sun, which heats up the material enough that it starts to shed the oxygen from its lattice. The material then merrily strips the oxygen from either water or carbon dioxide if they're nearby, leaving hydrogen or carbon monoxide—which can be combined to form hydrocarbon fuels using further catalysts. Still in its early stages, the reactor demonstrates a sun-to-fuel efficiency of 0.7%-0.8%, but according to researchers these are "largely limited by the system scale and design rather than by chemistry."
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China's Chang'e 4 biosphere experiment marks a first for humankind.
- China's Chang'e 4 lunar lander touched down on the far side of the moon on January 3.
- In addition to a lunar rover, the lander carried a biosphere experiment that contains five sets of plants and some insects.
- The experiment is designed to test how astronauts might someday grow plants in space to sustain long-term settlements.
She met mere mortals with and without the Vatican's approval.
- For centuries, the Virgin Mary has appeared to the faithful, requesting devotion and promising comfort.
- These maps show the geography of Marian apparitions – the handful approved by the Vatican, and many others.
- Historically, Europe is where most apparitions have been reported, but the U.S. is pretty fertile ground too.
Arranged marriages and Western romantic practices have more in common than we might think.
In his book In Praise of Love (2009), the French communist philosopher Alain Badiou attacks the notion of 'risk-free love', which he sees written in the commercial language of dating services that promise their customers 'love, without falling in love'.
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