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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

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

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

For the Pentagon, it's easy being green

The U.S. Navy has successfully shot down NROL 21 (aka USA 193), the crippled and covert National Reconnaissance Office (NRO) satellite. (See SciAm's slide show here.) Whereas skepticism was voiced by some, the mainstream media outside of the science and technology press largely went along with the U.S...

February 21, 2008 — Michael J. Battaglia

Lunar eclipse: tonight!

It's not quite the worldwide phenomenon of last March, but a partial eclipse hits the U.S. east coast at 8:43 PM tonight and proceeds to totality at 10:01 PM.

February 20, 2008 — David Biello

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