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The Science And The Fiction Behind Blade Runner

Science — or strange permutations of it at least — is everywhere in the cinema. At any one time on movie screens around the world, humans are being threatened by lethal viruses, cured from terminal illness by miracle elixirs, rendered superhuman with bionic limbs or made obsolete by robots possessing artificial intelligence.


Green Tech Won't Save Our Planet

What does your vision of a sustainable future look like? Some people imagine a scenario whereby technology solves the world’s most pressing environmental problems.


How Much Has Global Warming Worsened California's Drought? Now We Have A Number

With each passing year, human-caused global warming bullies California for more water. Each year, the heat squeezes more moisture from soils and ecosystems.


You'll Miss It When It's Gone: Why Public Broadcasting Is Worth Saving

In an age of global media abundance, the notion that public broadcasting is a mechanism to address “market failure” is beguiling. It is also fundamentally wrong.


Three Holes In Government's Plan To Tax Overseas Online Shopping

Australian Treasurer Joe Hockey last week announced the existing GST exemption for low-value imports would be removed, starting July 1, 2017. Non-resident companies will be expected to collect and remit the GST to the ATO. But will such a system work in practice?


Taking Plants Off Planet -- How Do They Grow In Zero Gravity?

Gravity is a constant for all organisms on Earth. It acts on every aspect of our physiology, behaviour and development — no matter what you are, you evolved in an environment where gravity roots us firmly to the ground.


Space Mining Is Closer Than You Think, And The Prospects Are Great

In this week’s Q&A on the ABC, the American cosmologist Neil deGrasse Tyson gushed about the prospects of mining in space, and the benefits that might afford humanity.


Are Foxtel And Ten Going To Dominate Australian Sports TV?

One of the most interesting elements of the upcoming sporting broadcast rights deals is that they won’t kick off for two years, and look likely to last for five. Can we really look so far into the future to understand what both free-to-air and pay television will look like in two years, especially in a media environment so filled with uncertainty?


How Much Does Wind Energy Cost? Debunking The Myths

Are renewables pushing up the cost of electricity? That was the claim made by Alan Moran in an opinion piece for the Australian Financial Review. But the evidence actually suggests the opposite.


Is Breakfast The Most Important Meal Of The Day?

Personally, I need breakfast. Almost every morning, I wake up early feeling hungry, and it’s only once I banish my morning hunger that I’m ready to fire. By mid-morning, I take a break and enjoy a snack.

I’ve used a personal anecdote because it’s likely that eating breakfast – or skipping it – may simply reflect a personal preference for timing food intake. Not everyone enjoys eating first thing in the morning. But your first choice of foods may contribute to an overall healthy diet.


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