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Sunday, Nov 23rd

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Scientists Not So Sure 'Doomsday Machine' Won't Destroy World

Still worried that the Large Hadron Collider will create a black hole that will destroy the Earth when it's finally switched on this summer?

Um, well, you may have a point.

Three physicists have reexamined the math surrounding the creation of microscopic black holes in the Switzerland-based LHC, the world's largest particle collider, and determined that they won't simply evaporate in a millisecond as had previously been predicted.

TVNL Comment: Again we point out the REAL threats to our lives. Men in caves don't threaten the world. The real threats are right in front of us and we never even notice them.

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NASA faults equipment in Columbia shuttle disaster

A NASA report on the last minutes of Space Shuttle Columbia cited problems with the crew's helmets, spacesuits and restraints, which resulted in "lethal trauma" to the seven astronauts aboard.

But the report also acknowledged that "the breakup of the crew module ... was not survivable by any currently existing capability."

The spacecraft broke up while re-entering Earth's atmosphere near the end of its mission on February 1, 2003.

The NASA report found the astronauts knew for about 40 seconds that they did not have control of the shuttle before they likely were knocked unconscious as Columbia broke apart around them.

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Scientists create world's thinnest material

Researchers have created the world’s thinnest sheet - a single atom thick - and used it to create the world’s smallest transistor, marking a breakthrough that could spark the development of super-fast computer chips.

This innovation will allow ultra small electronics to take over when the current silicon-based technology runs out of steam, according to Prof Andre Geim and Dr Kostya Novoselov from the University of Manchester.

They reveal details of transistors that are only one atom thick and fewer than 50 atoms wide in the journal, Nature Materials.

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Inventor's 2020 vision: to help 1bn of the world's poorest see better

Some 30,000 pairs of his spectacles have already been distributed in 15 countries, but to Silver that is very small beer. Within the next year the now-retired professor and his team plan to launch a trial in India which will, they hope, distribute 1 million pairs of glasses.

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Scientists Discover New Element, the Heaviest Yet Known to Science

The new element, Governmentium (Gv), has one neutron, 25 assistant neutrons, 88 deputy neutrons, and 198 assistant deputy neutrons, giving it an atomic mass of 312.

These 312 particles are held together by forces called morons, which are surrounded by vast quantities of lepton-like particles called peons.z

Since Governmentium has no electrons, it is inert; however, it can be detected, because it impedes every reaction with which it comes into contact. A tiny amount of Governmentium can cause a reaction that would normally take less than a second, to take from 4 days to 4 years to complete.

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Top Scientist Rails Against Hirings

The president of the nation's largest general science organization yesterday sharply criticized recent cases of Bush administration political appointees gaining permanent federal jobs with responsibility for making or administering scientific policies, saying the result would be "to leave wreckage behind."

"It's ludicrous to have people who do not have a scientific background, who are not trained and skilled in the ways of science, make decisions that involve resources, that involve facilities in the scientific infrastructure," said James McCarthy, a Harvard University oceanographer who is president of the American Association for the Advancement of Science. "You'd just like to think people have more respect for the institution of government than to leave wreckage behind with these appointments."

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Evidence found of solar system around nearby star

For the first time, astronomers think that they've found evidence of an alien solar system around a star close enough to Earth to be visible to the naked eye.

They say that at least one and probably three or more planets are orbiting the star Epsilon Eridani, 10.5 light-years — about 63 trillion miles — from Earth. Only eight stars are closer.

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