Hubble Gets a Whiff of Super-Earth Atmosphere For The First Time | Smithsonian


Planet Janssen was one of the earliest super-Earths ever found, but it’s still one of the strangest.

First discovered in 2004, Janssen has the closest orbit to its sun of any super-Earth detected so far, which led scientists to believe that the combination of its exposure to solar radiation and surface temperature of over 3632 degrees Fahrenheit would have burned off any traces of an atmosphere, Elizabeth Howell writes.

Source: Hubble Gets a Whiff of Super-Earth Atmosphere For The First Time | Smart News | Smithsonian

Russia Wants to Turn Old Missiles Into an Asteroid Defense System | Smithsonian


Astronomers can detect large asteroids from a distance, but it is much harder to pick out asteroids smaller than 150 feet in diameter more than a few hours before impact.

The Chelyabinsk meteor, which exploded above central Russia in February 2013, was only about 50 feet in diameter but still damaged thousands of buildings and injured about 1,500 people.

According to Saitgarayev, the ICBM’s ability to be launched with little lead time makes the missile type a strong candidate for an asteroid defense system, Eric Limer reports for Popular Mechanics.

Source: Russia Wants to Turn Old Missiles Into an Asteroid Defense System | Smart News | Smithsonian

NASA: 4 Billion People at Risk as ‘Water Table Dropping All Over the World’


“The water table is dropping all over the world,” Jay Famiglietti, senior water scientist at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory, said at the time.

“There’s not an infinite supply of water.”

Source: NASA: 4 Billion People at Risk as ‘Water Table Dropping All Over the World’

The Secret Lives of Tumblr Teens | New Republic


Pizza’s strategy was brilliant: When a random Tumblr would write about “pizza”—either the food or herself—she’d reblog the post to her huge audience.

Source: The Secret Lives of Tumblr Teens | New Republic

The Golden Generation | The New Yorker


The West is the plan for many of China’s new rich.

In the past decade, they have swept into cities like New York, London, and Los Angeles, snapping up real estate and provoking anxieties about inequality and globalized wealth. Rich Chinese have become a fixture in the public imagination, the way rich Russians were in the nineteen-nineties and rich people from the Gulf states were in the decades before that.

The Chinese presence in Vancouver is particularly pronounced, thanks to the city’s position on the Pacific Rim, its pleasant climate, and its easy pace of life. China’s newly minted millionaires see the city as a haven in which to place not only their money but, increasingly, their offspring, who come there to get an education, to start businesses, and to socialize.

Source: The Golden Generation – The New Yorker

10 Health Benefits of Adding Honey to Your Diet


High-quality honey contains many important antioxidants. These includes phenols, enzymes and compounds like flavonoids and organic acids (5).

Source: 10 Health Benefits of Adding Honey to Your Diet

Here’s Why French People Are Getting Riled Up About the Circumflex | Smithsonian


One of the chief complaints is that the ministry is attempting to dumb down the language through this rule.

A student union group’s statement blasted education minister Najat Vallaud-Belkacem for “believing she was authorized to overturn the spelling rules of the French language.”

Source: Here’s Why French People Are Getting Riled Up About the Circumflex | Smart News | Smithsonian

Africa’s big banks are betting on fintech startups and bitcoin to beat disruption | Quartz


“Blockchain could be the most significant social and political innovation to impact Africa in 100 years,” says Arian Lewis, Barclays’ Head of Open Innovation.

A digital economy based on blockchain and bitcoin could hold African leaders to a new level of accountability.

“If digital currencies become adopted in African nations, it could significantly reduce corruption from government, it could provide transparency and control to every day citizens.”

Source: Africa’s big banks are betting on fintech startups and bitcoin to beat disruption – Quartz

EU anti-fraud office takes down fraudulent project network


Eight individuals have been found guilty of defrauding the European Union (EU) budget in a transnational case.

The European Anti-Fraud Office, OLAF, ran the operation code-named Operation Cocoon.

The case involved the investigation of 22 Research and Innovation projects conducted over 10 years in different European Union countries and amounting to more than 53 million euro.

Source: EU anti-fraud office takes down fraudulent project network

Fintech Firms Want Access to the Bank of England | Payment Week


Currently, only traditional banks are allowed to open accounts with the Bank of England. Accounts with the central bank have certain privileges, including a cheaper and more broad payment system.

As of right now, fintech companies, such as peer-2-peer lenders or online banks, use accounts with traditional banks for all of their transactions and other payment needs. This ends up being costly for fintech companies and presents many limitations on young startups with cash flow problems.

Source: Fintech Firms Want Access to the Bank of England | Payment Week

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