the conversation

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.


Australia Hasn’t Had A Mass Shooting Since 1996

The recent Charleston murders have renewed the sporadic debates over whether gun control might have prevented this latest of tragedies.


Why Apple Won't End Up Paying More Tax In Australia

Treasurer Joe Hockey’s budget promise last week to “stop multinationals using complex schemes to escape paying tax” suggested a comprehensive regime to address tax avoidance by companies such as Apple, Google and Microsoft, as well as BHP and Rio Tinto.

All these five companies appeared before the recent Senate Committee hearings on corporate tax avoidance. However, a close look at the draft legislation suggests that the proposal is far from comprehensive.


The Beginning Of The End For Fossil Fuels

While wind and solar power have made great strides in recent years, with renewables now accounting for 22% of electric energy generated, the issue that has held them back has been their transience. The sun doesn’t shine at night and the wind doesn’t blow year-round — these are the mantras of all those opposed to the progress of renewables.


Faster-Than-Light Travel: Are We There Yet?

Long before the Empire struck back, before the United Federation of Planets federated, Isaac Asimov created Foundation, the epic tale of the decline and fall of the Galactic Empire. Asimov’s Empire comprised 25 million planets, knit together by sleek spaceships hurtling through the galaxy.


What Is 5G?

If you take a stroll outside today, you’ll see a lot of people with mobile phones, phablets or tablets in their hands making calls, using the internet to catch up on the news, watch videos, or interacting with others via Facebook, Tumblr or Twitter.


What Makes A Popular Science Video On YouTube

Hundreds of hours of video are uploaded to YouTube every minute, and hundreds of millions of hours are viewed daily, including many that cover areas of science. Despite this, if you want to use YouTube for science communication, reaching an audience is not always guaranteed.


Electric Vehicle Makers Need To Agree On Standards

Standards are a key part of technical progress and for the increased use of renewable energy. Solar power provides an obvious example — if a photovoltaic unit is used to put power back into the electricity grid, then the power needs to satisfy the standards for the grid in terms of voltage, cycles-per-second, and so on.


Why Aren't There Any Human Doctors In Star Wars?

Though set “a long time ago in a galaxy far, far away,” it isn’t hard to see in the Star Wars films a vision of our own not so distant future. But Anthony Jones, a physician with a long background in health care technology development, sees the Star Wars vision of medicine’s future as sheer fantasy. Specifically, he is struck by the dearth of doctors – at least human ones. “In Star Wars,” he says, “there are no people practicing medicine. Caring for patients seems to have been taken over by machines.”


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