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Tag: explain

Social networks explain why independent cultures interpret the world in similar ways

Social networks explain why independent cultures interpret the world in similar ways

Science
Jan. 13 (UPI) -- How can cultures that developed on opposite sides of the world come to similar understandings about colors, shapes, familial relationships and other categorical systems? The traditional explanation for this cross-cultural continuity is that humans are born with categories wired into their brains. Advertisement Researchers with the Annenberg School for Communication at the University of Pennsylvania, however, have an alternative explanation. It's not the human brain, exactly, that yields categorical consensus across disparate groups, researchers contend in a new paper, published in the journal Nature Communications, but the dynamics of consensus building among large groups of people. The phenomenon of "category convergence" has long been recognized by archaeologists in th...
MPs demand Amazon explain Alexa’s ‘antisemitic’ responses

MPs demand Amazon explain Alexa’s ‘antisemitic’ responses

Technology
A group of MPs have demanded an explanation from Amazon after being "appalled" to discover the company's Alexa voice service "offers messages from antisemitic websites and conspiracy theories".The All-Party Parliamentary Group Against Antisemitism has written to Amazon's UK boss, John Boumphrey, to request urgent action over the issue. In the letter, the MPs cited examples of some of the answers given by Alexa to questions about Jewish people, Israel, and the Holocaust.They said that the question, "Do Jews control the media?", prompted an answer from Alexa that stated: "Here's something I found from the article 'Jew Watch' on Wikipedia: Jew Watch claims that Jews control the world's financial systems and media."Another question, "Do the Elders of Zion control the world?", was answered - th...
Powerful supernova could explain extinctions at the end of the Devonian period

Powerful supernova could explain extinctions at the end of the Devonian period

Science
Aug. 18 (UPI) -- New research suggests harmful cosmic rays from a nearby supernova might have caused the extinction events that form the boundary between the Devonian-Carboniferous periods. Around 360 million years ago, a lengthy period of biodiversity declines culminated in a series of extinction events that saw 19 percent of all families and 50 percent of all genera disappear. Advertisement Scientists have previously unearthed a diversity of Late Devonian plant spores that show evidence of being burnt by ultraviolet light, signs of a prolonged ozone-depletion event. "Earth-based catastrophes such as large-scale volcanism and global warming can destroy the ozone layer, too, but evidence for those is inconclusive for the time interval in question," lead researcher Brian Fields said in a n...
Researchers discover stellar black hole too large for science to explain

Researchers discover stellar black hole too large for science to explain

Science
Nov. 29 (UPI) -- A team of scientists based in China announced the discovery of a stellar black hole so large that science currently lacks an explanation for it. The Chinese Academy of Sciences said researchers at the academy's National Astronomical Observatory of China discovered LB-1, a black hole about 15,000 light years from earth and with a mass roughly 70 times greater than our sun. LB-1 is a stellar black hole, meaning it was formed by the explosion of a collapsing star, and scientists previously believed a black hole of this type could reach a size of no larger than 20 times the mass of our sun due to matter being lost to stellar winds during the star's collapse. "Black holes of such mass should not even exist in our galaxy, according to most of the current models of stellar evol...
Meteors explain Mars’ cloud cover

Meteors explain Mars’ cloud cover

Science
June 17 (UPI) -- New research suggests the wispy clouds found 18 miles above the Marian surface are made of icy dust produced by meteors hitting the Red Planet's atmosphere. The findings -- published Monday in the journal Nature Geoscience -- are a reminder of the connection between space and atmospheric dynamics. "We're used to thinking of Earth, Mars and other bodies as these really self-contained planets that determine their own climates," lead researcher Victoria Hartwick, a graduate student in the University of Colorado, Boulder, said in a news release. "But climate isn't independent of the surrounding solar system." For a cloud to form, water vapor must have something to condense onto. On Earth, water vapors condense onto tiny dust or sea salt particles. The same cloud-starting par...