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Why the search for oil will never stop

Even though oil has been behind much of the violence and environmental degradation of the past century, the search for black gold continues. And even if oil is responsible--with its fellow fossil fuels, primarily coal--for the climate change crisis, every last drop of the stuff looks set to be burned.

March 28, 2008 — David Biello

War recedes, but turns crueler

The world is getting to be a more peaceful place. In the last 10 years, conflicts in Angola, Sierra Leone, Democratic Republic of Congo, Nepal, Kosovo, East Timor, Liberia, to name just a few have been resolved, notes Jan Egeland, former emergency relief coordinator at the U.N.

March 27, 2008 — David Biello

Do the impoverished need industry?

There is a neglected aspect to efforts to eliminate poverty: industry. At least according to economist Erik Reinert of Tallinn Technical University in Estonia, who argues that the best way to feed more people is to make sure that more of them have industrial, non-agricultural jobs.

March 27, 2008 — David Biello

Kofi Annan: the peacemaker and his green revolution

Kofi Annan"”fresh from bringing peace to Kenya and as Columbia University president Lee Bollinger introduced him possibly the "true first global citizen""”spoke about the crisis facing not just that East African country but all of sub-Saharan Africa.

March 27, 2008 — David Biello

What is the state of the planet and the people on it?

NASA That's a question a host of speakers from across the globe aim to explore over the next two days at Columbia University. The Earth Institute's biennial conference gets underway today and we can expect updates from: Kofi Annan on the progress of a "green revolution" (read modern agricultural technologies like fertilizer) in Africa, a technique that has seen some success in Malawi, as well as John McArthur who co-heads the Earth Institute's own Millennium Villages Project.

March 27, 2008 — David Biello

The Power of Power Naps

_____________________ Tired? Take A Nap Jessica Payne and Matthew Walker
Harvard University and University of California at Berkeley Sleep is such a fundamental biological drive that it's shared by practically every species, from fruit flies to humans.

March 25, 2008 — Mind Matters

Polar bears will destroy the American way of life

The real threat isn't a changing climate upsetting the foundation of human civilization. The real threat is polar bears: At least that's the real threat according to many attendees at the recent Heartland Institute conference on global warming.

March 24, 2008 — David Biello

Intriguing books found around the Sci Am office, part one: murder

A Cultural History of Causality: Science, Murder Novels, and Systems of Thought By Stephen Kern From Google Books: This pioneering work is the first to trace how our understanding of the causes of human behavior has changed radically over the course of European and American cultural history since 1830.

March 21, 2008 — JR Minkel

Military robot dog cannot be knocked down

A kaleidoscope of emotions unfolds as I watch this video of BigDog, the four-legged pack robot. According to Boston Dynamics, the robotics company that's been developing the system since 2006, BigDog clocks in at four miles-per-hour, carries a load of 340 pounds and can scale a 35-degree incline.

March 21, 2008 — JR Minkel

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