Where Did I Come From Mummy?

Who answers the hard questions nowadays? It is the right and responsibility of every parent to pass survival-skills to their progeny. In a bygone era, these skills could be rolled out in a leisurely fashion, sometimes into late teens. Today, the competition for a child's attention is much more fierce, and the code to live by is more likely to come from peers rather than parents. Perhaps we need to counter this with a more concerted effort in the early years. For generations, there was no substitute for sitting and reading stories at bed-time. Ultimate control was exercised by selecting the books brought into the home, with the possible exception of the odd Playboy that came in under the radar. The Internet has changed this landscape forever. The only useful suggestion I can make is that we try and replicate the success of shared-reading by extending time spent sharing the Internet-experience with our kids - perhaps way beyond what they would consider 'necessary'. Obviously teenagers would not tolerate this level of interference, so the process must occur earlier when parents still have some control over a child's environment.

How to make a black hole

Here's the science of black holes, from supermassive monsters to ones the size of ping-pong balls.

  • There's more than one way to make a black hole, says NASA's Michelle Thaller. They're not always formed from dead stars. For example, there are teeny tiny black holes all around us, the result of high-energy cosmic rays slamming into our atmosphere with enough force to cram matter together so densely that no light can escape.
  • CERN is trying to create artificial black holes right now, but don't worry, it's not dangerous. Scientists there are attempting to smash two particles together with such intensity that it creates a black hole that would live for just a millionth of a second.
  • Thaller uses a brilliant analogy involving a rubber sheet, a marble, and an elephant to explain why different black holes have varying densities. Watch and learn!
  • Bonus fact: If the Earth became a black hole, it would be crushed to the size of a ping-pong ball.

Russian reporters discover 101 'tortured' whales jammed in offshore pens

Protected animals are feared to be headed for the black market.

Politics & Current Affairs
  • Russian news network discovers 101 black-market whales.
  • Orcas and belugas are seen crammed into tiny pens.
  • Marine parks continue to create a high-price demand for illegal captures.
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China’s artificial sun reaches fusion temperature: 100 million degrees

In a breakthrough for nuclear fusion research, scientists at China's Experimental Advanced Superconducting Tokamak (EAST) reactor have produced temperatures necessary for nuclear fusion on Earth.

Credit: EAST Team
Surprising Science
  • The EAST reactor was able to heat hydrogen to temperatures exceeding 100 million degrees Celsius.
  • Nuclear fusion could someday provide the planet with a virtually limitless supply of clean energy.
  • Still, scientists have many other obstacles to pass before fusion technology becomes a viable energy source.
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