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Panchen Lama, the man “picked” by China as the second-highest figure in Tibetan Buddhism, has been appointed to the country’s top government advisory body.

Panchen Lama, the man "picked" by China as the second-highest figure in Tibetan Buddhism, has been appointed to the country’s top government advisory body. "According to Chinese state media the 19-year-old Panchen Lama was named a member of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference (CPPCC) on Sunday. He was among 13 people named to the CPCC ahead of a meeting of the body next week in Beijing, the Xinhua News Agency reported. The CPPCC, whose annual session begins on Wednesday, is made up of about 2,200 business leaders, religious figures, academics and celebrities. It serves in an advisory capacity to the National People's Congress, China's largely ceremonial legislature. The Panchen Lama, whose name is Gyaltsen Norbu, was appointed by Chinese authorities in 1995 over a boy chosen by the Dalai Lama, the exiled Tibetan spiritual leader. Gyaltsen Norbu is emerging as Beijing's choice to supplant the Dalai Lama as the public face of Tibetan Buddhism and has taken on an increasingly political role in recent years. He has made appearances with Communist Party leaders and publicly praised Chinese rule in Tibet."

A dark matter hurricane is crashing into Earth

Giving our solar system a "slap in the face."

Surprising Science
  • A stream of galactic debris is hurtling at us, pulling dark matter along with it
  • It's traveling so quickly it's been described as a hurricane of dark matter
  • Scientists are excited to set their particle detectors at the onslffaught
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We are heading for a New Cretaceous, not for a new normal

The climate change we're witnessing is more dramatic than we might think.

Image credit: NASA Goddard Space Flight Center from Greenbelt, MD, USA
Surprising Science

A lazy buzz phrase – 'Is this the new normal?' – has been doing the rounds as extreme climate events have been piling up over the past year. To which the riposte should be: it's worse than that – we're on the road to even more frequent, more extreme events than we saw this year.

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New study reveals what time we burn the most calories

Once again, our circadian rhythm points the way.

Photo: Victor Freitas / Unsplash
Surprising Science
  • Seven individuals were locked inside a windowless, internetless room for 37 days.
  • While at rest, they burned 130 more calories at 5 p.m. than at 5 a.m.
  • Morning time again shown not to be the best time to eat.
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