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In October 2020, an undergraduate student at Hillsdale College in Australia made an exciting discovery when analysing radio telescope recordings of the star Proxima Centauri, the nearest stellar neighbour to our sun, just four and a quarter light years away. Buried in the data, he found a narrowband transmission at a frequency of 982.002 megahertz, a band rarely used for human transmissions. The signal was observed on five occasions over several days and only when the telescope was pointed towards Proxima Centauri. …


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If we leaf through history books, we see a story of war after war: war between nations, civil wars, wars of conquest, religious wars, genocidal wars, wars for resources and even wars based on misunderstandings. Throughout history, we have celebrated warriors and generals, and if we are to trust science fiction stories, war will follow us into space, where we will continue to fight amongst ourselves or against warlike or just hapless aliens. It sure looks like we can’t live without war.

Archaeological research suggests that war is as old as mankind. When homo sapiens sought to leave Africa and…


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Mythology and legends abounds with characters with long or endless lives: Methuselah, Ziusudra of Shuruppak, The Eternal Jew, Merlin the Magician, and the Count of St. Germain. Some of these characters are portrayed as tragic, maybe as cautionary tales for people who dream of eternal lives rather than enjoying the few decades they have on. Nevertheless, achieving immortality and eternal youth has been a quest for mankind for as long as we have dabbled in magic, alchemy, or science. The famous Philosopher’s Stone of alchemy, which can turn base metals to gold, was supposed to be just a step on…


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We have lived with the coronavirus pandemic for half a year by now, and there are no signs indicating that it will end any time soon. In fact, the pandemic is currently resurging all over the world, leading to the introduction (or reintroduction) of harsh restrictions in many countries. Hopes that it will ‘just end’ and go away by itself, like the Spanish Flu did a century ago, may be overly optimistic, and we are still waiting anxiously for a vaccine that works. …


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In traditional national economics, the economy of a state is compared to the private economy of a family or company. There is an income and a set of ex- penses, and if expenses exceed the income, debt is accrued, which isn’t sustainable at length. In the case of a state, the income mainly derives from taxes, while the expenses are government spending. If the government spends more than it receives in taxes, the result is budget deficit and a growing national debt. To balance the books, governments must then increase taxes, reduce spending, or sell off state assets.

According to…


Digital pathogens behave much like their biological counterparts. So how vulnerable are we to a global computer virus outbreak?

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Pandemics past and present have all been biological in nature. They started from a disease pathogen, often one that made the jump from animal to human contagion. The textbook definition of a pandemic is ‘an epidemic of disease that spreads across a large region, for instance multiple continents or worldwide, af- fecting a substantial number of people’. However, could we imagine a pandemic that wasn’t biological in nature? …


Some say that statues of people whose actions offend modern sensibilities should remain because they are important parts of our history, while others say that they must be torn down. Maybe there is a third and better way.

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As part of the Black Lives Matter protests, statues of Columbus, slave traders, Confederate generals, and alleged racists have been toppled or petitioned to be torn down. …


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The use of fossil fuels is the main cause of climate change since their burning releases carbon dioxide (CO₂), the most important greenhouse gas. It may be necessary to extract massive amounts of CO₂ from the atmosphere to combat climate change. Fortunately, we won’t have to store the gas, because it could be put to better use in the future.

One of the great climate sins is the release of CO₂ in the atmosphere. …


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How will an increased need for social distancing influence how we travel and commute?

Public transport systems will be very important in the future, not just if we want to reduce carbon emissions, but also because compact transport is required for the growing megacities. However, during epidemics and pandemics like the COVID-19 pandemic that rages at the time of writing, we are told to keep our distance to each other. …


Moore’s Law has driven technological advances for half a century — but it is reaching a wall.

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It all started in 1965 when chipmaker Gordon Moore, who later co-founded Intel Corporation, in an article in Electronics Magazine predicted that the number of components in integrated circuits would double every year for the next ten years — which proved true. In 1975, he revised his prediction to say that the density of transistors in integrated circuits would continue to double every two years; something that became known as Moore’s Law.

This rapid advance in digital technology has driven basically all technological…

Klaus Æ. Mogensen

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