The Dollar's Future

Harvard economics professor Martin Feldstein says the U.S. dollar will remain a strong reserve currency, but that our national debt makes the Euro a competitive alternative.

"The major risk to the sustained role of the dollar is the large and growing US national debt. After varying between 25% and 50% of GDP for the past half-century, the recent budget deficits have caused the debt to reach 62% of GDP. The official non-partisan Congressional Budget Office predicts that the policies that now seem most likely could push the debt to 100% of GDP by the end of the decade. Foreign investors might therefore fear that future US administrations will be tempted to reduce the real value of that debt by allowing a higher inflation rate. But that is unlikely, given the Fed’s general anti-inflationary consensus and the very short average maturity—roughly four years—of the national debt."

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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