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Australia is no stranger to heatwaves. Each summer, large areas of the continent fry under intense heat for days on end, causing power outages, public transport delays, and severe impacts to human health. The estimated impact on our workforce alone is US$6.2 billon per year. Heatwaves are also Australia’s deadliest natural hazard, accounting for well over half of all natural disaster-related deaths.

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The Senate inquiry’s report into the planned closure of coal-fired power stations will no doubt shed light on the compelling health reasons to close them.

Coal-fired stations are a health hazard to their local communities and beyond due to the pollutants they emit. The resulting illnesses are a significant cost to health budgets. Climate change caused by burning fossil fuels brings its own health burdens.

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A beautiful full moon will grace our skies on Monday November 14 this year. Full moons always rise around sunset, so look for it towards the east during evening twilight. Every month, occasionally even twice a month, the full moon adorns the night. What makes this one so special is all the hype of the supermoon.

A quick glance at the statistics and you can see what everyone’s buzzing about.

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Dinosaurs have a fearsome reputation for their hunting abilities but less so when it comes to their intelligence. This is partly due to the fact that many species have long been thought to have had relatively small brains, their heads full of protective tissue that supposedly left little room for grey matter. But the recent discovery of the first recorded fossilised brain tissue could help challenge that image.

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I have become citizen number 62 of Asgardia, a new space nation dedicated to expanding peaceful exploration of space for the benefit of humanity. It is led by Igor Ashurbeyli, chairman of UNESCO’s Science of Space Committee and founder of the Aerospace International Research Centre in Vienna. At first glance, it’s an amazing concept and surely one that every space scientist should welcome.

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Driverless cars are an engineer’s dream. At last, a technology that promises to remove the human factor from the traffic system.

It is humans, after all, whose errors contribute to 75% of road crashes, who introduce undesirable randomness into the mathematical simplicity of traffic flows, and who have been characterised (somewhat tongue in cheek) as “monkey drivers” with slow reaction times and short attention spans.

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Drone footage is everywhere, whether used to film extreme sports, outdoor events, nature, music festivals, or just for its own sake. Recreational aircraft such as quadcopters, fixed-wing and mini drones are getting ever cheaper and easier to buy. They are fast becoming a must-have item for people who want to document their activities for social media, or just explore their neighbourhood.

As of today it will also be legally easier to use such aircraft in Australia, with the relaxation of Civil Aviation Safety Authority rules about “remotely piloted aircraft”, or RPAs.

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A massive change occurring in the space industry became apparent at the recent SPACE 2016 conference, one of the biggest annual international events related to space technology. The conference, in California earlier this month, involved significant players in the space industry from US government (NASA), the aerospace industry and for the first time, venture capitalists and start-ups.

So what is this massive change that is occurring in the space industry?

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Adult sexual content and culture has woven itself seamlessly into the fabric of the internet. Some of it is subtle, and some not so subtle, but there is now a wealth of dedicated porn websites available and plenty of demand to view the content.

One of the most popular is Pornhub, and according to its 2015 year in review, visitors to the website watched more than 4.3 billion hours of porn. Pornhub is just one of thousands of porn websites so these figures help us to gain some idea of just how much porn is available online.

So what are the chances of young children viewing porn online?

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By 2034/35, almost 20 per cent of Australians (6.2 million) are projected to be aged 65 or over. One sector already feeling the impact of the ageing population is construction. In Queensland, the number of construction workers aged 55 and over increased from 8% of full-time workers in 1992 to 14.2% in 2014. An ageing workforce is likely to increase the need for less physically demanding jobs or maybe technology might address this issue. Task automation and the industry’s innovation culture are two of the greatest areas of uncertainty for the construction industry.

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For nearly nine decades, science’s favorite explanation for the origin of life has been the “primordial soup”. This is the idea that life began from a series of chemical reactions in a warm pond on Earth’s surface, triggered by an external energy source such as lightning strike or ultraviolet (UV) light. But recent research adds weight to an alternative idea, that life arose deep in the ocean within warm, rocky structures called hydrothermal vents.

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Senate crossbencher Nick Xenophon will defy the requirement to provide his name when he fills out Tuesday’s census. With controversy surrounding the extension of the retention of names from 18 months to four years, Xenophon wants to prompt a test case on the validity of the requirement. He faces prosecution, and a cumulative fine of A$180 a day.

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Warning: This article will contain images of lotus seed pods and other examples of holes that some readers may find distressing. Avoid if you must! — Rae

Since the advent of the internet, people have been able to discuss their symptoms with others globally. Sometimes people with very unusual symptoms discover others with similar experiences, which they are then able to discuss without fear of ridicule. Discussion forums and support groups are formed and eventually a new medical condition may be recognised. A case in point is “visual snow”, which individuals experience as bright dots persistently floating like snow across their vision. Another is trypophobia.