About 252 million years ago, the world came very close to ending when the vast majority of species on the planet winked out of existence in an event known euphemistically as " The Great Dying ." Somehow, very violently, the period known to scientists as the Permian ended and the Triassic began, ushered in by a bang. Recently, scientists have argued that the bang in question was the violent release of lava over a huge stretch of Russian land known as the Siberian Traps during a flood basalt eruption —a class of eruption which pours out 200 billion gallons of molten rock , at a bare minimum. "We're looking for something catastrophic ," Michael Rampino , a geologist at New York University, told Newsweek , noting that whatever caused the extinction seems to have happened quickly. The Siberian Traps, which is the largest stretch of land on the planet that can host flood basalt eruptions , certainly fit that description. But although scientists had established that they … [Read more...] about Huge Siberian eruptions caused mass extinction—and left rock signature
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The Vizag Expo at the Engineering Ground in Visakhapatnam’s Andhra University is a sight to behold: an artificial forest has been enthralling children there. The summer holidays are starting with a bang with this first of its kind 60-day Robotic Animals Zoo and people have been lining up. While the draw of the circus with its animals performing tricks has steadily dwindled over time, in zoos, too, animals being caged in enclosures is not a comfortable sight for many. But at the Robotic Animals Zoo, 30 giant artificial wild birds and animals, including tigers, elephants and dinosaurs, have been mesmerising the visitors with a close-up view without any closed and caged enclosures. Raju Reddy, organiser of the zoo, said that the animals can do their own style of eye blinking, breathing and making sounds with sensors made using German technology. He said that the first of its kind robotic animals have been attracting people, especially children, at the beginning of summer holidays. … [Read more...] about Robotic Zoo in AP Lets You Get Up Close and Personal With Giant Artificial Animals
After a full two years of idling rooms, dwindling guests, and shrinking services, hotels across Asia are turning on the fairy lights once again. Returning guests gratefully collapsing at the altar of this renewed five-star devotion would do well to examine the miracles of 2022 with a healthily jaundiced eye. As with the nouvelle cuisine trap, the art of the restart revolves around the promise rather than any proffered tangibles. That one buttered pea rolling around your expensive bone china plate in an orgy of solitary ecstasy and the boast of a brand marquee that excites smartphone shutters, is considered enough to silence any dissenting murmurs. But we do recall that 500-thread count linen in finest Egyptian cotton, the Bose surround sound, the Carrara marble that moans, “prego” every time you step on it with calloused feet, and the butler service (to turn on your taps): “I know naathing... I’m from Barthelona.” Well, perhaps we might do the flamenco as someone explains to me … [Read more...] about The disappearing hotel: Where has all the service – and the butter – gone?
While Judge Amy Barrett awaits Senate confirmation as a Justice of the Supreme Court, there has been a drumbeat of editorials attacking her as a threat to the separation of church and state. This is not, of course, because of anything she has said. As a fact-check piece in USA Today noted, the judge has "never publicly said that she opposes the separation of church and state." And in writing about Catholic judges, she has said that "judges cannot—nor should they try to—align our legal system with the Church's moral teaching whenever the two diverge." Nonetheless, the ugly beat goes on—raising anxieties about the separation of church and state merely because Barrett is a devout Catholic. Of course, those who bang on this drum are usually quite sincere. They really believe that the "separation of church and state" is the Constitution's principle of religious liberty. But it is not. Does the phrase bear even remote resemblance to the First Amendment's guarantee that "Congress shall … [Read more...] about Judging Judge Barrett and the separation of church and state | Opinion
PALM SPRINGS — Mitch Nabhan had been patrolling the streets of Palm Springs for six hours when the call came in about a house on Calle De Maria. A native of the desert town, he didn’t need to look up the address. Nabhan turned the wheel on his city-issued Chevy Volt and sped off, hoping to keep his response time under his goal of 25 minutes. “I know practically where all of these addresses are,” he said, zipping past low-slung Midcentury Modern homes, adorned with ocotillo, agave and palo verde trees. As Nabhan drove, a co-worker back at the police station, adjacent to Palm Springs International Airport, looked up the address and confirmed the three-bedroom property was a short-term rental. That meant the tenants had to abide by some of the nation’s toughest rental compliance rules. Nabhan, a 6-foot-2-inch former high school football player, was the long arm of the law, prepared to enforce the rules with a dog-eared citation book. The first violation: a whopping $500. “I have … [Read more...] about Getting rowdy in Palm Springs? The party police are coming for you
They were children when the Russian soldiers came for them in the dead of winter 1940. The armed men who barged into their homes and gave them a half-hour to get dressed and pack a bag were called Soviets back then. And in the early days of World War II, they rousted Poles from their homes in what is now western Ukraine and shipped them off to the gulags in Siberia. For these survivors, reports that Ukrainians are now being deported to "filtration" camps deep inside Russia brought back painful memories of their own ordeals — mixed with deep sympathy for a new generation of victims. “I was just 3-and-a-half when the Russians came for us in the middle of the night, but I can still remember the sound of them banging on the door with rifles and bayonets and yelling 'Out! Out!” Marie Wypijewski, 85, told NBC News. "They made my father stand with his face to the wall while my mother packed and dressed us in the warmest clothes she could find." More than a million Poles were … [Read more...] about Reports of Russians deporting Ukrainians to camps trouble Stalin survivors