An amazing new technology that helps blind people navigate

How technology helped a blind athlete run free at the New York Marathon

It’s a literal road to nowhere. Stretching out from a roundabout outside the Robin Hood Airport in Doncaster, a small village in Northern England, it’s a wholly unremarkable stretch of slowly cracking pavement, bushes, and weeds, an idle strip of asphalt near long-term parking and a bland business park.

For 35-year-old runner Simon Wheatcroft, however, this stretch of unused roadway may as well be his gym, training center, and proving grounds, his own private version of the 72 stone steps that make up a Rocky montage. Wheatcroft knows every inch of this one-third-mile strip of asphalt — from the contours of the roadway to the feeling of its double yellow lines of paint under his sneakers. Despite the mind-numbing bore of jogging such a short length in endless loops, Wheatcroft had to memorize it. He’s blind.

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An interesting debate about the possibility of splitting California into 3 parts.


A proposal by the billionaire venture capitalist and Bitcoin investor Tim Draper to divide California into three separate states will appear on the November 2018 ballot after the “Cal 3” campaign garnered enough signatures for a statewide referendum.

Cal 3 is Draper’s latest effort to break up the country’s most populous state. In 2014, he spent $5.2m on a campaign to split the state into six pieces, but failed to qualify for the ballot when only about 750,000 of the 1.14m signatures collected were found to be valid.

This time around, Draper cut the number of new states in half, and cleared the requirement for petitioners, reportedly paying canvassers $3 per signature. The three new states would be Northern California, roughly comprising the northern half of the state, including San Francisco, Silicon Valley and Sacramento; Southern California, stretching from Fresno to the US-Mexico border; and California, comprising six coastal counties between Los Angeles and Monterey.

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One person’s amazing description of skydiving 18,000 ft over the Grand Canyon.


As if skydiving over the Grand Canyon didn’t already sound adrenaline racing enough, Paragon Skydive, the only company leading jumps outside of the national park, now wants to push you (and your instructor) out of an airplane at 18,000 feet (or basically as close to 18,000 feet above sea level as allowable by FAA regulations and local aircraft control) with their new Oxygen Jump, and who are you to argue?

To put this jump into perspective, most skydives happen at an elevation of about 12,500 feet. The added elevation allows for even more freefall time before needing to pull your parachute, giving you even more time to take in those grand views of mother nature’s greatest gift.

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World Cup 2018: Leading counter terror official warns Americans warned not to take electronic devices to Russia over hacking fears

Russian hacking

A leading counter-terror official has reportedly warned Americans against bringing their devices to the World Cup over hacking fears.

The director of the US National Counterintelligence and Security Center, William Evanina, told Reuters that travellers could be susceptible to hacking by the Russian government or criminals.

“If you’re planning on taking a mobile phone, laptop, PDA, or other electronic device with you – make no mistake – any data on those devices (especially your personally identifiable information) may be accessed by the Russian government or cyber criminals,” he said.

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A Scaredy Cat’s Guide to Skydiving


A Scaredy Cat’s Guide to Skydiving
Sure, jumping out of a plane sounds terrifying. But skydiving, a once-extreme pastime, isn’t the death-defying act it used to be. Here’s why

WHEN IT COMES to skydiving, most current big-budget action movies get it all wrong. You know the scene: The hero jumps out of an airplane and starts hurtling toward the ground, struggling to reach the ripcord and deploy the parachute before it’s too late. The most glaring misrepresentation here? The threat of imminent danger.

These days, jumping out of an airplane with a parachute strapped to your back is hardly the death-defying feat it once was. The seemingly limited amount of gear required—a parachute, helmet and, if you’re smart, goggles—has advanced to the point that blithely exiting a plane and living to tell about it is almost foolproof.

While people do get injured skydiving, the jump is generally less fraught than the drive to the airport. All skydivers now carry reserve chutes in case something goes amiss with the first one (it rarely does). Even if you find yourself paralyzed with fear in midair, you’re likely not going to plunge to your death. A small gizmo called an automatic activation device, or AAD, will blast the canopy open for you when you reach a predetermined altitude.

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Breakthrough in search for Martian life as Curiosity finds organic building blocks of life and finally unlocks the mystery of methane emissions on the red planet

Above, the Curiosity Mars rover vehicle can be seen at the site from which it drilled into a rock target called 'Buckskin' on lower Mount Sharp, where it found new evidence preserved in rocks on Mars that suggests the planet could have supported ancient life, as well as new evidence in the Martian atmosphere that relates to the search for current life on the Red Planet

‘The chances of being able to find signs of ancient life with future missions, if life ever was present, just went up,’ said Curiosity’s project scientist, Ashwin Vasavada of NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California.

NASA revealed details on the latest findings in a press conference Thursday afternoon.

While the announcement may not be the detection of life itself, the finding address factors that are ‘fundamental to our search for life,’ explained Paul Mahaffy, director of the Solar System Exploration Division at NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center, during the conference.

Organic molecules contain carbon and hydrogen, as well nitrogen and other elements.

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Is Listening to Music Good For Your Health?

pink headphone isolate on blue background.

If you’re looking for an easy way to transform your mood, cue the music.

Studies have shown that music can buoy your mood and fend off depression. It can also improve blood flow in ways similar to statins, lower your levels of stress-related hormones like cortisol and ease pain. Listening to music before an operation can even improve post-surgery outcomes.

How can music do so much good? Music seems to “selectively activate” neurochemical systems and brain structures associated with positive mood, emotion regulation, attention and memory in ways that promote beneficial changes, says Kim Innes, a professor of epidemiology at West Virginia University’s School of Public Health.

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Scientists turn to DNA technology in search for Loch Ness monster


An international team of scientists plans to dredge Scotland’s Loch Ness next month — seeking not the mythical monster, as so many have done before, but rather its DNA footprint.

Maybe. Don’t get your hopes up. Even the project’s leader, Neil Gemmell of New Zealand’s Otago University, doubts that the Loch Ness monster actually exists. The evolutionary genetics professor has been quite candid that he’s using the legend as a hook to attract interest in a study of the lake’s biodiversity.

That said, if the team does come across the genetic sequence of some immortal dinosaur or a behemoth previously unknown to science, they have promised to let us know.

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The surprising benefits that engaging in extreme sports can have.

extreme sports

Extreme sports are becoming increasingly popular. In fact, activities such as mountain biking, snowboarding and skateboarding continue to attract larger numbers every year. At the same time, a decline has been noted in other outside activities that are considered to be more traditional, including basketball. This is most likely linked to several factors, ranging from the increased adrenaline rush all the way to the positive mental and physical health aspects of participating in an extreme sport.
1. Gain the Ability to Stay Centered
Extreme sports can push you to your physical and mental limits. When this happens, it’s easy to lose your cool, but that can lead to potentially dangerous mistakes. Individuals who regularly perform feats such as jumping out of an airplane actually change the chemical makeup of their mind. When this happens, you become more capable of staying calm and centered during stressful situations. In other words, extreme sports can make the rest of your life easy to manage.

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The History of Skydiving


So mankind has come a long way from those humble, wingless origins. Aviation was always a goal, since some guy looked up into the sky and thought being up there would be a good idea. Whoever was first to think that was probably not quite right in the head, but that’s fine, because the idea caught on. Parachuting is no different as far as insane ideas go. With any Google search, you will find that the parachute was born out of a necessity, but caught on as a really strange way to jump off tall stuff for fun.

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