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A Power Struggle Over Cobalt Rattles the Clean Energy Revolution

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KISANFU, Democratic Republic of Congo — Just up a red dirt road, across an expanse of tall, dew-soaked weeds, bulldozers are hollowing out a yawning new canyon that is central to the world’s urgent race against global warming.

For more than a decade, the vast expanse of untouched land was controlled by an American company. Now a Chinese mining conglomerate has bought it and is racing to retrieve its buried treasure: millions of tons of cobalt.

At 73, Kyahile Mangi has lived here long enough to predict the path ahead. Once the blasting starts, the walls of mud-brick homes will crack. Chemicals will seep into the river where women do laundry and dishes while worrying about hippo attacks. Soon a manager from the mine will announce that everyone needs to be relocated.

“We know our ground is rich,” said Mr. Mangi, a village chief who also knows residents will share little of the mine’s wealth.

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Kisanfu is a new cobalt and copper mine being built by a Chinese conglomerate in the Democratic Republic of Congo.Kisanfu is a new cobalt and copper mine being built by a Chinese conglomerate in the Democratic Republic of Congo.

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Click the link below for the article:

https://www.nytimes.com

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Einstein’s demon-haunted quantum world

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In November 1915, Albert Einstein presented his general theory of relativity to a bewildered Prussian Academy of Sciences in Berlin, the theory that revolutionized our view of the universe.

Einstein’s theory reframed the idea of gravity in a completely novel way, profoundly different from the then accepted theory, created by Isaac Newton in 1686. Newton’s theory worked beautifully describing a host of gravitational phenomena, from the orbits of planets and comets around the sun to the tides and the oblateness of the Earth. (The Earth is an oblate spheroid — that is, slightly flattened at the poles.) Rocket engineers still use Newton’s theory to calculate their paths to reach other worlds in the solar system. The theory only begins to fail when gravitational forces are extremely strong, far from our everyday lives. But its premise, Einstein discovered, albeit an excellent approximation, is profoundly wrong.

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Credit: ezstudiophoto / Adobe Stock

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Click the link below for the article:

https://bigthink.com/13-8/einstein-spooky-action-at-a-distance/?utm_source=pocket_discover

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Chemists discover new way to harness energy from ammonia

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A research team at the University of Wisconsin-Madison has identified a new way to convert ammonia to nitrogen gas through a process that could be a step toward ammonia replacing carbon-based fuels.

The discovery of this technique, which uses a metal catalyst and releases—rather than requires—energy, was reported Nov. 8 in Nature Chemistry and has received a provisional patent from the Wisconsin Alumni Research Foundation.

“The world currently runs on a carbon fuel economy,” explains Christian Wallen, an author of the paper and a former postdoctoral researcher in the lab of UW-Madison chemist John Berry. “It’s not a great economy because we burn hydrocarbons, which release carbon dioxide into the atmosphere. We don’t have a way to close the loop for a true carbon cycle, where we could transform carbon dioxide back into a useful fuel.”

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Credit: CC0 Public Domain

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Click the link below for the article:

https://phys.org/news/2021-11-chemists-harness-energy-ammonia.html?utm_source=pocket_discover

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Could One Shot Kill the Flu?

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In 2009, global health officials started tracking a new kind of flu. It appeared first in Mexico, in March, and quickly infected thousands. Influenza tends to kill the very young and the very old, but this flu was different. It seemed to be severely affecting otherwise healthy young adults.

American epidemiologists soon learned of cases in California, Texas, and Kansas. By the end of April, the virus had reached a high school in Queens, where a few kids, returning from a trip to Mexico, had infected a third of the student body. The Mexican government closed its schools and banned large gatherings, and the U.S. considered doing the same. “It was a very scary situation,” Richard Besser, who was then the acting director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, told me. Early estimates suggested that the “swine flu,” as the new strain became known, killed as many as fourteen percent of those it infected—a case fatality rate more than two hundred times higher than typical seasonal flu. The virus soon spread to more than a hundred and fifty countries, and the Obama Administration considered delaying the start of school until after Thanksgiving when a second wave could be underway. Manufacturers worried about vaccine supplies. Like most flu vaccines, the one for the swine flu was grown in chicken eggs. “Even if you yell at them, they don’t grow faster,” Tom Frieden, who replaced Besser as the director of the C.D.C., said, at a press conference.

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Illustration by Nicholas Konrad / The New Yorker

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Click the link below for the article:

https://www.newyorker.com/science/annals-of-medicine/could-one-shot-kill-the-flu?utm_source=pocket_discover

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Missed News 740

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News You might have missed!

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Some news you might have missed!

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NEWS TED TALKS
Why many Black employees don’t want to return to the office Hrishikesh Hirway: What you discover when you really listen | TED
Facebook whistleblower ‘shocked’ by company’s investment in metaverse Wendy MacNaughton: The art of paying attention | TED
Stephen Sondheim, Titan of the American Musical, Is Dead at 91 The 55 Gigaton Challenge | TED Countdown
Coronavirus Daily Briefing Are naps actually good for us? | Sleeping with Science
Your Daily AM Roundup The Art of Asking the Right Question | Caroline Reidy | TEDxTralee
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Your Friend Doesn’t Want the Vaccine. What Do You Say?

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Dr. Gagneur is a neonatologist and a professor of pediatrics at the University of Sherbrooke. His research has led to programs that increase childhood vaccinations through motivational interviewing. Dr. Tamerius is a former psychiatrist and the founder of Smart Politics, an organization that teaches people to communicate more persuasively.

The difference between people who eagerly want the Covid-19 vaccine and people who are hesitant is not as great as it may seem. Most vaccine holdouts are not anti-vaxxers or conspiracy theorists.

Before you demand that your loved ones get a shot, know that not all conversations are created equal. Research shows that many common persuasive styles — commanding, advising, lecturing, and shaming — not only don’t work but also often backfire.

To help you learn the basics of a method that works, we’ve created a vaccination chatbot based on the principles of motivational interviewing, a research-backed approach for encouraging people to get vaccinated that’s used by health care professionals to harness people’s innate drive for change.

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Albert Tercero

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Click the link below for the article:

https://www.nytimes.com

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How I Became Obsessed With Accidental Time Travel

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This year, I turned 30, a development that came with a breathless sense of dread at time’s passing. It wakes me up in the early mornings: Nocturnal terror breaks through the surface of sleep like a whale breaching for air. My ambition and fear kick in together until I get up, pour myself some water, and look out the window at the squid-ink sky and the string of lights along my neighbors’ houses. I lie down again after finding firmer mental ground, dry land.

So when a guy that my friend was seeing evangelized about “time slips” — a genre of urban legend in which people claim that, while walking in particular places, they accidentally traveled back, and sometimes forward, in time — I was a ripe target. Curious and increasingly existential, I Googled these supposed time slips. I found a global community of believers building an archive of temporal dislocations from the present. These congregants gathered in corners of the internet to testify about how, in the right conditions, the dusting of alienation that settles over the world as we age can crystallize into collective fiction.

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Credit…Photo illustration by Ricardo Tomás

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Click the link below for the article:

https://www.nytimes.com

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Missed News 739

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News You might have missed!

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Some news you might have missed!

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NEWS NEWS
‘We pray for them’: Biden pays tribute to Covid victims in Thanksgiving message ‘Afghan Girl’ from 1985 National Geographic cover is evacuated to Italy at age 49
With corporate tax off table, U.S. Democrats turn to billionaires to fund spending bill NYTimes: Ignoring Sanctions, Russia Renews Broad Cybersurveillance Operation
U.S. Intel Shows Russian Plans for Potential Ukraine Invasion Lakers star LeBron James has two fans ejected from courtside seats in Indiana
Polyp in Biden’s colon was benign, potentially pre-cancerous ‘Their goal is to bleed owners dry.’ $34 million victory in Florida HOA lawsuit is rare, experts say
Your Daily AM Roundup Coronavirus Daily Briefing
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Discovering the Oldest Figural Paintings on Earth

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Basran Burhan was born in Indonesia, on the centrally located island of Sulawesi. He studied archeology at Hasanuddin University, at first, he told me, mostly because he liked how it involved “a lot of outdoor activities.” After graduating, in 2010, he worked for a few different Indonesian research and cultural heritage institutions. He also became an independent archeologist, helping organize excavations for a researcher named Adam Brumm at Griffith University, in Australia. Burhan’s fieldwork struck Brumm as exceptional, and on the strength of it, Brumm tried to get Burhan into a Ph.D. program. But Burhan’s imperfect English delayed this project for a number of years. Instead, he kept working for Brumm and his team.

In 2017, Burhan was helping Brumm and other researchers plan their next season of fieldwork: searching for evidence of Paleolithic humans in Sulawesi. Earlier that year, Brumm had briefly explored a new area on the island that seemed promising. Burhan and a team of six Indonesian archeologists were sent there on a field exploration.

The survey lasted for several weeks. At some point, poring over a map of the island’s southern region, Burhan found his eyes drawn to an area he’d never noticed, let alone visited—a valley in a mountain region twenty miles or so northeast of the city of Makassar. There were no roads into the valley, and there was nothing on the map to suggest a way through the bush and mountain peaks. The map did indicate rice paddies and other signs of human habitation, but Burhan didn’t know if the area was currently populated. A good part of archeology is simply exploration. Burhan thought, Why not?

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The discovery of the Sulawesi warty pig helps put to rest the idea that figurative cave art was unique to Europe.Photograph courtesy Basran Burhan

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Click the link below for the article:

https://www.newyorker.com/science/elements/discovering-the-oldest-figural-paintings-on-earth?utm_source=pocket_discover

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Missed News 738

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News You might have missed!

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NEWS TED TALKS
‘A long fight’: relief across the US as men found guilty of murdering Ahmaud Arbery How to stay calm when you know you’ll be stressed | Daniel Levitin
Indiana teacher who exposed CRT teaching put on leave has email locked, banned from school buildings Ugly History: Japanese American incarceration camps – Densho
Is ghosting OK? Cutting off contact seen as more acceptable in short-term relationships | New Scientist Ugly History: The Spanish Inquisition – Kayla Wolf
Psaki refuses to retract Biden’s characterizations of Kyle Rittenhouse as White supremacist What really happened during the Salem Witch Trials – Brian A. Pavlac
Coronavirus Daily Briefing Ugly History: The U.S. Syphilis Experiment – Susan M. Reverby
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