ReHacked #169: Ontario to roll out mini-nuclear reactors, World's oldest tree, Satellites give clues about the coming global harvest and more

ReHacked #169: Ontario to roll out mini-nuclear reactors, World's oldest tree, Satellites give clues about the coming global harvest and more
The small spruce tree Old Tjikko still survives on Fulufjället in Sweden near the border with Norway. (Photo: TTphoto / Shutterstock / NTB)

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Saskatchewan, Ontario to roll out mini-nuclear reactors - Western Investor #energy #technology

Saskatchewan and Ontario have each chosen GE-Hitachi as the supplier of small modular nuclear reactors (SMRs), which could be deployed in the Prairie province by the 2030s and in Ontario by 2018.

“The GE-Hitachi BWRX-300 is a 300 MWe water-cooled, natural circulation Small Modular Reactor (SMR) with passive safety systems,” according to the manufacturer.

“As the tenth evolution of the Boiling Water Reactor (BWR), the BWRX-300 represents the simplest, yet most innovative BWR design since GE began developing nuclear reactors in 1955,” the company states.

World's oldest tree still growing near the Norwegian-Swedish border #history #nature

Not many years ago, Norwegian schoolchildren learned that spruce trees came to Norway from the east between 2 000 and 3 000 years ago.

But ten years ago, researchers at Umeå University in Sweden discovered a tree up on Fulufjället – in Sweden just east of Trysil municipality in Norway. The tree turned out to be 9 500 years old.

The researchers decided to name the tree after Tjikko, the dog that was with them on the trip when they found the spruce specimen. The tree was thus named Old Tjikko.

New DNA studies carried out by researchers at Uppsala University now show that the very first spruce trees may have come to southern Sweden as early as 14 700 years ago.

Satellites give clues about the coming global harvest - BBC News #economy

As harvest time looms for the world's main wheat producers, countries that import wheat are hoping for a bumper global crop so that record high prices might fall. But analysis on the health of crops around the world, shared with the BBC, suggests that's unlikely, and that Russia could be the only big winner.

From his farm three hours south-east of Paris, Sébastien Neveux is worried. Here in France's main wheat-producing region, the weather has been strange recently.

It was extremely dry in March, April and May, a crucial time for wheat crops in France which need moisture to pull minerals up from the ground. Then, in June, there was heavy rain and hail. It was too much, too late.

Regular website today #internet #fun #sarcasm

Why rails buckle in Britain - Network Rail #engineering

Why don’t rails get hot in Europe? The truth is they do.

However, in countries typically hotter than ours, rails are stressed to withstand higher temperatures.

Hot weather can cause a great deal of disruption to the railway so Britain’s rails are pre-stressed to help them resist high temperatures. Our rails have a stress-free temperature of 27 degrees – the UK mean summer rail temperature. Other countries choose different temperatures depending on their climate.

When the air temperature reaches 30 degrees, the temperature on the rail can actually be up to 20 degrees higher. More than three-quarters of track on the network today is modern on concrete sleepers.

Android removes Fuchsia code as Starnix project progresses - 9to5Google #software

A big chunk of Fuchsia-related code has been removed from the Android Open Source Project (AOSP) this week, but Google’s two operating systems are still set to have an intertwining relationship.

In its most public form, Google’s in-house operating system, Fuchsia, powers two of the company’s smart displays, the Nest Hub and Nest Hub Max. But having watched it develop over the last few years, we know that Google has much larger ambitions for the Fuchsia project.

Easily the most ambitious of these is a clear intention for some Fuchsia devices to be able to run apps from other operating systems like Android and Linux. This could — in theory! — allow a Fuchsia-powered device to seamlessly replace a Chromebook or Android phone, keeping older apps running as normal.

Population-level risks of alcohol consumption by amount, geography, age, sex, and year: a systematic analysis for the Global Burden of Disease Study 2020 - The Lancet #health


The burden-weighted relative risk curves for alcohol use varied by region and age. Among individuals aged 15–39 years in 2020, the TMREL varied between 0 (95% uncertainty interval 0–0) and 0·603 (0·400–1·00) standard drinks per day, and the NDE varied between 0·002 (0–0) and 1·75 (0·698–4·30) standard drinks per day. Among individuals aged 40 years and older, the burden-weighted relative risk curve was J-shaped for all regions, with a 2020 TMREL that ranged from 0·114 (0–0·403) to 1·87 (0·500–3·30) standard drinks per day and an NDE that ranged between 0·193 (0–0·900) and 6·94 (3·40–8·30) standard drinks per day. Among individuals consuming harmful amounts of alcohol in 2020, 59·1% (54·3–65·4) were aged 15–39 years and 76·9% (73·0–81·3) were male.

When Coal First Arrived, Americans Said 'No Thanks' | Innovation| Smithsonian Magazine #history

Steven Preister's house in Washington, D.C. is a piece of American history, a gorgeous 110-year-old colonial with wooden columns and a front porch, perfect for relaxing in the summer. But Preister, who has owned it for almost four decades, is deeply concerned about the environment, so in 2014 he added something very modern: solar panels. First, he mounted panels on the back of the house, and they worked nicely. Then he decided to add more on the front, facing the street, and applied to the city for a permit.

Permission denied. Washington’s Historic Preservation Review Board ruled that front-facing panels would ruin the house’s historic appearance: “I applaud your greenness,” Chris Landis, an architect and board member, told Preister at a meeting in October 2019, “but I just have this vision of a row of houses with solar panels on the front of them and it just—it upsets me.” Some of Preister’s neighbors were equally dismayed and vowed to stop him. “There were two women on my front porch snapping pictures of my house and declaring, ‘You’ll never get solar panels on this house!’” Preister says.

George Orwell’s 1940 Review of Mein Kampf Book Marks #literaure #history

Then suddenly it turned out that Hitler was not respectable after all. As one result of this, Hurst and Blackett’s edition was reissued in a new jacket explaining that all profits would be devoted to the Red Cross. Nevertheless, simply on the internal evidence of Mein Kampf, it is difficult to believe that any real change has taken place in Hitler’s aims and opinions. When one compares his utterances of a year or so ago with those made fifteen years earlier, a thing that strikes one is the rigidity of his mind, the way in which his world-view doesn’t develop. It is the fixed vision of a monomaniac and not likely to be much affected by the temporary manoeuvres of power politics. Probably, in Hitler’s own mind, the Russo-German Pact represents no more than an alteration of time-table. The plan laid down in Mein Kampf was to smash Russia first, with the implied intention of smashing England afterwards. Now, as it has turned out, England has got to be dealt with first, because Russia was the more easily bribed of the two. But Russia’s turn will come when England is out of the picture—that, no doubt, is how Hitler sees it. Whether it will turn out that way is of course a different question.

Facebook has started to encrypt links to counter privacy-improving URL Stripping - gHacks Tech News #privacy

Some sites, including Facebook, add parameters to the web address for tracking purposes. These parameters have no functionality that is relevant to the user, but sites rely on them to track users across pages and properties.

Mozilla introduced support for URL stripping in Firefox 102, which it launched in June 2022. Firefox removes tracking parameters from web addresses automatically, but only in private browsing mode or when the browser's Tracking Protection feature is set to strict. Firefox users may enable URL stripping in all Firefox modes, but this requires manual configuration. Brave Browser strips known tracking parameters from web addresses as well.

Not interacting with people reduces cognitive function over time, Study finds - IP #psychology

Not interacting with people reduces cognitive function over time as studies over the years show that being a part of a group can enhance happiness and life satisfaction.

But sadly, there are lots of lonely or socially isolated people. And if the human brain did indeed develop for social interaction, then we should anticipate this to have a substantial impact.

A recent study published in Neurology indicates that social isolation increases the risk of dementia in older people and is as well associated with changes in brain structure and cognition, which is the mental process of learning.

The social brain hypothesis, which hypothesizes that the human brain specifically evolved to support social interactions, is already well supported by a large body of research.

In one investigation, the social interaction-related brain areas of almost 7,000 individuals were mapped. It demonstrated a strong relationship between brain regions consistently involved in various social interactions and networks that underpin cognition.

This also includes the default mode network – active when we are not paying attention to the outside world, the salience network, the subcortical network, which is involved in memory, emotion and motivation as well as the central executive network, which enables us to regulate our emotions.

Research Suggests That Software Piracy Lowers Poverty * TorrentFreak #copyrights #society #economy

Piracy is a controversial topic and research into the effects of copyright infringement is widely debated as well. A new academic study adds an interesting angle by suggesting that software piracy might lower poverty. While this is a plausible conclusion, there could actually be more factors at play.

When copyright holders discuss online piracy, they often highlight the associated losses. However, not all pirated downloads equal a loss.

While there is certainly a group of pirates who simply refuse to pay for content, there are also people who simply can’t afford it.

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