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Friday, Mar 06th

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At long last: Al Gore's satellite dream blasts off

Al Gore Satellite dream comes trueAl Gore's presidential career never left the ground. But a controversial space mission he dreamed up will soon take flight – literally -- after more than 15 years of being ridiculed and stalled.

A satellite inspired by Gore's ideas is slated to blast off Sunday, bound for a spot a million miles from Earth. From there the satellite, called the Deep Space Climate Observeratory or DSCOVR for short, will beam back pictures of the sunlit orb of our planet suspended in space, as Gore proposed nearly two decades ago.

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First Stars Fired Up 140 Million Years Later Than Previously Thought

starlightIt turns out that the "let there be light" moment in the early universe occurred much later than scientists previously thought, according to a newly published analysis of data collected from the European Space Agency's Planck telescope.

The time of the first stars, referred to by astronomers and cosmologists as the "reionization" epoch, is now thought to have occurred about 140 million years later than previously thought, or about 560 million years after the Big Bang, an event that formed our universe 13.8 billion years ago.

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Obama proposes 14 percent tax on U.S. companies' untaxed foreign earnings

Obama proposes foreign earnings taxPresident Barack Obama's fiscal 2016 budget would impose a one-time 14 percent tax on some $2 trillion of accumulated U.S. corporate profits earned abroad and set up a 19 percent tax on future foreign earnings, a White House official said on Sunday.

Revenues from the one-time tax be used to fund infrastructure projects and fill a projected shortfall in the Highway Trust Fund.

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160-million-year-old ‘dragon’ dinosaur discovered in China

160 million year old dinosaurIn the land before time, "dragons" walked the earth.

Canadian paleontologists uncovered a new species of mythically-proportioned dinosaur that most likely lived more than 160 million years ago, according to their findings, published this week.

Chinese farmers discovered the fossil of the 50-foot Qijianlong, or the "Dragon of Quijiang," while digging for a fish pond in southern China in 2006, CNN reported.

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Scientists have found a way to ‘unboil’ eggs – and it could be a life-saver

unboiling eggsIt sounds like the breakthrough that no one was asking for: scientists have announced they have managed to “unboil” an egg. In a disgusting-sounding experiment that you probably shouldn’t try at home, an international team of researchers have used urea, one of the main components of urine, and a “vortex fluid device” to uncook a hen’s egg.

They believe the findings could dramatically reduce costs in processes as far apart as cheese manufacturing and cancer research.

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Did Fishermen Find Evidence of an Unknown Group of Primitive Humans?

possible new humanoidIt isn’t everyday that a fisherman’s catch has the potential to alter what we know about extinct species of early humans.

LiveScience reports that a fossilized jawbone discovered in a fishing net off the western coast of Taiwan may belong to a previously unknown form of archaic human that once dwelled in Asia. The lower right mandible, complete with a short row of thick teeth, is thought to be from a hominin that lived between 10,000 and 190,000 years ago.

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Scientists Warn We're Ever-Closer To The Apocalypse

apocalypse closerThe world crept closer to doomsday on Thursday.

That's according to the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists, which each year updates the hands on a clock meant to symbolize how close we are to the annihilation of the human race, or midnight. For the last three years, the world was five minutes from the end. Today, we're three minutes away.

The two-minute move is symbolic, but it gives a sense of how grim the outlook some of the best scientific minds have for humanity. The decision to move the hands forward, said Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists executive director Kennette Benedict, came about largely due to the threats posed by anthropogenic climate change and the proliferation of nuclear weapons.

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