The U.S. is ready for tornadoes, but not tsunamis.
That's the conclusion of a panel of scientists who spoke this week on "mega-disasters" at the American Geophysical Union's science policy meeting in Washington, D.C.
The nation has done a good job preparing for natural disasters like hurricanes and tornadoes, which occur frequently but usually produce limited damage and relatively few casualties, the panelists said. But government officials are just beginning to develop plans for events like a major tsunami or a large asteroid hurtling toward a populated area.
Climate change seems like this complicated problem with a million pieces. But Henry Jacoby, an economist at MIT's business school, says there's really just one thing you need to do to solve the problem: Tax carbon emissions.
"If you let the economists write the legislation," Jacoby says, "it could be quite simple." He says he could fit the whole bill on one page.
Basically, Jacoby would tax fossil fuels in proportion to the amount of carbon they release. That would make coal, oil and natural gas more expensive. That's it; that's the whole plan.
Local doctors are concerned about cases of metal bristles getting stuck in people’s intestines. The University Health System and the Methodist Hospital have teamed up to study the strange but growing problem.
The bristles come from those wire brushes used to clean the barbecue grill, and people sometimes ingest the tiny wires without knowing it.
Johnny Littrell of Floresville said it happened to him and the pain felt like an ice pick sticking into his abdomen.
"They did a CAT scan and said I had a piece of bone in my intestines," he said.
In case you missed it Monday, we're rebooting our technology blog to focus on the intersection of innovation and culture. The updated approach both widens our view of technology — for example, two-ply toilet paper was innovative at one point — and sharpens our gaze. You won't find general tech business news in this space anymore.
We want to turn now to a new study about social media, specifically Facebook. You've probably seen that the site is unbelievably popular among college students. You can find them posting updates on the bus, chatting in the library, tagging photos while they walk. But even though nearly every student has Facebook, there's a new study that says different groups use the site in many different ways. And according to the study, at least, that can have surprising implications for student success in college and even beyond.
Every year, people add 30 billion tons of carbon dioxide to the air, mostly by burning fossil fuels. That's contributing to climate change. A few scientists have been dreaming about ways to pull some of that CO2 out of the air, but face stiff skepticism and major hurdles. This is the story of one scientist who's pressing ahead.
Sony and Microsoft are preparing to launch their latest gaming consoles this fall with price tags from $400 for the PlayStation 4 and $500 for the Xbox One. But this week, a $99 game console went on sale and sold out at Target and Amazon.
Originally published on Thu June 27, 2013 11:48 am
Many people know how to buy things in cyberspace. But what about doing business in outer space? That's the question PayPal says it wants to answer. Citing the looming era of space tourism, the company is creating the PayPal Galactic project along with the SETI Institute, "to help make universal space payments a reality."