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David Goggins
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Bryan Cranston
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International Poker Champion
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Amaryllis Fox
Former CIA Clandestine Operative
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Chris Hadfield
Retired Canadian Astronaut & Author
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Intergalactic "G" Mail

Question: Can we utilize the orbital gravity of the outer planets to propel messages far beyond our solar system? (Submitted by Aaron Anderson)

Michio Kaku:  Aaron, so many times scientists have wondered is it somehow possible that we can set up an interplanetary communication system so we don’t have to wait hours to days for messages to go back and forth within the solar system.  For example, if you want to communicate with the Mars Rover sometimes it takes up to 20 minutes, 20 minutes for a signal to go from Earth to Mars—and then another 20 minutes for a message to come back.  You certainly cannot carry on a conversation between two people this way.

So some people have said, “What about gravity or what about another way to send messages around the solar system?”  Well there is a problem there.  First of all, Newton said that gravity moves instantly throughout the solar system.  If the sun, for example, were to disappear right now—right now the sun were to disappear, Newton would say that instantly throughout the universe everybody knows that our sun has disappeared. But along comes Einstein who says, “Not so fast. Not so fast. If the sun were to disappear the shockwave of gravity travels at the speed of light." So it would take eight minutes, eight minutes for us to be aware of the fact that our sun has disappeared.  So gravity waves also travel at the speed of light.  Now, to be, fair no one has ever measured this.  I repeat: no one has ever measured the speed of gravity.  However, most scientists do believe that gravity travels at the speed of light. 

So in other words, to answer your question: we simply don’t know of a communication system that would allow us to link up all the planets of the solar system instantly.  Light can’t do it.  Gravity can’t do it.  We’re faced with the fact that Einstein is the cop on the block.

Could the power of gravity be harnessed as a means of nearly instantaneous communication between planets—and even galaxies?

The “new normal” paradox: What COVID-19 has revealed about higher education

Higher education faces challenges that are unlike any other industry. What path will ASU, and universities like ASU, take in a post-COVID world?

Photo: Luis Robayo/AFP via Getty Images
Sponsored by Charles Koch Foundation
  • Everywhere you turn, the idea that coronavirus has brought on a "new normal" is present and true. But for higher education, COVID-19 exposes a long list of pernicious old problems more than it presents new problems.
  • It was widely known, yet ignored, that digital instruction must be embraced. When combined with traditional, in-person teaching, it can enhance student learning outcomes at scale.
  • COVID-19 has forced institutions to understand that far too many higher education outcomes are determined by a student's family income, and in the context of COVID-19 this means that lower-income students, first-generation students and students of color will be disproportionately afflicted.
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The biology of aliens: How much do we know?

Hollywood has created an idea of aliens that doesn't match the science.

Videos
  • Ask someone what they think aliens look like and you'll probably get a description heavily informed by films and pop culture. The existence of life beyond our planet has yet to be confirmed, but there are clues as to the biology of extraterrestrials in science.
  • "Don't give them claws," says biologist E.O. Wilson. "Claws are for carnivores and you've got to be an omnivore to be an E.T. There just isn't enough energy available in the next trophic level down to maintain big populations and stable populations that can evolve civilization."
  • In this compilation, Wilson, theoretical physicist Michio Kaku, Bill Nye, and evolutionary biologist Jonathan B. Losos explain why aliens don't look like us and why Hollywood depictions are mostly inaccurate.
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Live on Tuesday | Personal finance in the COVID-19 era

Sallie Krawcheck and Bob Kulhan will be talking money, jobs, and how the pandemic will disproportionally affect women's finances.

Masturbation boosts your immune system, helping you fight off infection and illness

Can an orgasm a day really keep the doctor away?

Image by Yurchanka Siarhei on Shutterstock
Sex & Relationships
  • Achieving orgasm through masturbation provides a rush of feel-good hormones (such as dopamine, serotonin and oxytocin) and can re-balance our levels of cortisol (a stress-inducing hormone). This helps our immune system function at a higher level.
  • The surge in "feel-good" hormones also promotes a more relaxed and calm state of being, making it easier to achieve restful sleep, which is a critical part in maintaining a high-functioning immune system.
  • Just as bad habits can slow your immune system, positive habits (such as a healthy sleep schedule and active sex life) can help boost your immune system which can prevent you from becoming sick.
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How DNA revealed the woolly mammoth's fate – and what it teaches us today

Scientists uncovered the secrets of what drove some of the world's last remaining woolly mammoths to extinction.

Ethan Miller/Getty Images
Surprising Science

Every summer, children on the Alaskan island of St Paul cool down in Lake Hill, a crater lake in an extinct volcano – unaware of the mysteries that lie beneath.

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