Is ethanol a handout to the agricultural lobby?

By now, most people have heard of ethanol, and know it can be made from corn, really anything which contains hydrogen and carbon can be a fuel, but I digress. Should ethanol become big, which it will take about five to ten years to get cars made which  can run on  E85 or pure ethanol on the road in large numbers with fueling stations in all 50 states.  If ethanol becomes big, by which  I mean it supplants petrol (gasoline  in the  US), it will push the price of corn up and should provide a stable price for corn, great news for farmers, and assuming the government cuts back on agricultural subsidies as a result good for republican senators because it lets them talk up trimming government spending, not that the agricultural lobby would support cutting subsidies but still, it sounds like the agricultural lobby wins big if ethanol supplants petrol, so is this why ethanol is John Edwards and many other people's big plan to cut CO2 emissions?

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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