Science & Health


The search for raw materials to feed the all-powerful Sarlacc of capitalism is pushing industries to increasingly remote and alien environments. One of the most exciting frontiers to emerge of late is the deep ocean — rife with valuable metals such as copper and zinc, as well as the rare Earth elements that drive our smartphones and computers. But as humanity's interest in plundering the deep of its riches heats up, scientists are warning that this new gold rush will have serious consequences.

Shared from Theconversation


While there are now more solar panels in Australia than people, the many Australians who live in apartments have largely been locked out of this solar revolution by a minefield of red tape and potentially uninformed strata committees.

In the face of these challenges, Stucco, a small co-operative housing block in Sydney, embarked on a mission to take back the power. Hopefully their experiences can serve as a guide to how other apartment-dwellers can more readily go solar.


According to data released today, there were 23,401,892 people who were counted in Australia on the night of the 2016 Census who were usually resident in Australia.

After adjusting for undercount and adding back those who were overseas on census night, the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) estimates that as of December 2016, Australia’s population was around 24.4 million.

Our population is growing – and fast. But can we trust the numbers?


A Spanish judge just ordered the body of Salvador Dalí to be exhumed for a paternity test. The order comes as a result of a lawsuit filed by a woman named Pilar Abel, a tarot card reader who claims to be Dalí's illegitimate daughter. In court, Abel claimed that her mother was working near the Dalí family's holiday home in the 1950s and that the two "had a friendship that developed into clandestine love". Now, Abel wants to be recognised as the surrealist's rightful heir.


Two tiny cube satellites orbiting out of contact and out of control around the Earth since May have been rescued by a team of UNSW engineers. NASA, CSIRO, Optus and the Defence Department weren't able to help, but a Dutch sound technician with access to a satellite dish from the 1950s stepped in to save the day.


Hutchinson, Kansas isn't the kind of place you'd wind up if you weren't looking to. The placid prairie town sits a solid hour's drive south of I-70, the interstate that most travellers use to blow across 684km of Kansas cornfield and cattle pasture as quickly as possible. But as soon as I entered the silver-roofed museum, which is flanked by an authentic Mercury-Redstone Launch Vehicle and a Gemini-Titan II rocket, I knew the extra hours of driving were going to be worth it. After all, how often is one greeted at the door by a Blackbird spy plane?


If David Lynch designed a planet, it would be Uranus. Much like every episode of Twin Peaks: The Return, Uranus is fiercely unique and weirdly endearing, even though it makes no fucking sense. The planet's spin axis is 98 degrees, so it essentially rotates on its side — and while we have some idea as to what could have caused that, no one's really sure. That's just how Uranus rolls, literally.


Hey, sailors! Welcome back to Animals Are Good: Cephalopod Week edition. Cephalopods, in case you're wondering, are a class of mollusks to which octopus, squid, and cuttlefish belong. As the week comes to a close, we'd like to give a much-deserved shoutout to one of the cutest tentacle-babies out there: the dumbo octopus (genus Grimpoteuthis).


Claiming that evolution is "debatable, controversial, and too complicated for students," Turkey's board of education has decided to stop teaching Darwinian natural selection in its schools. The move has infuriated the country's secular opposition, but it could embolden other countries to do the same.


In 1911, a monument was erected in Orlando, Florida in honour of the Confederate traitors who fought to uphold slavery in the South. This week that monument was moved from its prominent position (despite protests from local losers) to a nearby cemetery, but the controversy hasn't died away yet. A local chapter of the Daughters of the Confederacy wants to take possession of the monument's time capsule.