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The Conversation 09/18/2020 13:29
Hurricanes Marco and Laura swept through the Gulf of Mexico just two days apart in August 2020. Here’s how active this year’s Atlantic hurricane season has been: When formed on Sept. 18, the National Hurricane Center ran out of names for only the second time since . Even more surprising is that we reached the 21st tropical storm of the year more than two weeks earlier than the only other time this happened, in 2005. The 2020 Atlantic hurricane season is far from over.
The Conversation 09/18/2020 09:58
An airtanker drops retardant to help stop the spread of the 2015 Eyrie Fire in the foothills of Boise, Idaho, which was ignited by sparks from construction equipment. Summer and fall are wildfire season across the western U.S. In recent years, wildfires have destroyed thousands of homes, forced hundreds of thousands of people to evacuate and exposed tens of millions to harmful smoke. Wildfires are a natural disturbance for these regions, but when combined with and housing growth – zones where development has spread into wild areas – they have become larger and more destructive. To make matters worse, humans are responsible for starting almost all the wildfires in developed areas that threaten U.S. homes.
The Conversation 09/18/2020 08:08
Production limits mean that not everyone can get access to a COVID-19 vaccine as soon as it's developed.. A committee of The National Academies of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine is readying a report with recommendations for equitable distribution of a COVID-19 vaccine. , bioethicist Dr. Nicole Hassoun of Binghamton University breaks down the elements in the from the committee and explains the key questions around vaccine distribution. Why is there a need for guidelines on how to distribute a COVID-19 vaccine? It’s clear that there for everybody initially. It just takes a long time to get 300 million doses of vaccine made, and if we’re looking at November as a potential date for a new vaccine, then people start thinking about, “Well, wha.
The Conversation 09/18/2020 08:08
Trucks, planes and storage facilities all need to be able to keep a vaccine cold. Just like a fresh piece of fish, vaccines are highly perishable products and must be kept at very cold, specific temperatures. The majority of – like the – are new . If they get too warm or too cold . And, just like fish, a spoiled vaccine must be thrown away. So how do companies and public health agencies get vaccines to the people who need them? The answer is something called the vaccine cold chain – a supply chain that can keep vaccines in tightly controlled temperatures from the moment they are made to the moment that they are administered to a person. Ultimately, hundreds of millions of people in the U.S. and are going to need a coronavirus vaccine – and
The Conversation 09/18/2020 08:07
A radar mosaic image of Venus. On Sept. 14, 2020, a new planet was added to the list of potentially habitable worlds in the Solar System: Venus. , a toxic gas made up of one phosphorus and three hydrogen atoms (PH₃), but otherwise difficult to make on rocky planets, This raises the tantalizing possibility that something is alive on our planetary neighbor.
The Conversation 09/18/2020 08:07
How many vaccines will be needed to vaccinate the world against COVID-19? An international, multi-billion-dollar race is underway to develop a COVID-19 vaccine, and progress is but with . If and when an effective vaccine is invented, its production will require an unprecedented effort to vaccinate people across the globe. However, for the country that invents a safe and effective vaccine, at least in the urgent short term, it will be politically difficult to export vaccines before their own population is immunized. “The only solution,” vaccine development scientist Sandy Douglas told The New York Times, “is to But how? Having the public sector fund contracts with vaccine makers is a key component to meeting this future, unprecedented, distr.
The Conversation 09/18/2020 08:06
A King County, Washington election worker verifies signatures accompanying ballots cast in the state's August primary. – all voters in – will be able to vote by mail in the 2020 presidential election, the most ever. And voters plan to actually do so. Voting by mail can help citizens limit their exposure to the coronavirus pandemic, while still exercising their . Mail-in voting requires more steps than voting in person, and it happens in people’s homes, rather than at a polling place with trained help nearby. So it is more likely to lead to . For many people, the biggest concern is in November. But in the presidential and congressional primary elections that have already happened this year, election scholars like me have seen that are at lea.
The Conversation 09/18/2020 02:13
Facebook. Facebook has the latest version of its successful standalone virtual reality (VR) headset, the . The new device packs more computing power and a sharper screen than its predecessor, and is also US$100 cheaper. Facebook’s Oculus Quest 2 (from AUD$479) is a powerful wireless VR headset for gaming and, Facebook hopes, much more. The Oculus Quest 2 is the latest step in Facebook’s long-term strategy of making VR more accessible and popular. Facebook recently brought all its VR work under the umbrella of , it has announced new applications like the , and will also for future Oculus devices. The compulsory link to Facebook has many consumers concerned, considering the social media giant’s . VR and its cousin, augmented reality (AR), are
The Conversation 09/18/2020 02:04
A , posted online this week by researchers at the Australian National University and elsewhere, estimates 71,000 Australians had COVID-19 by mid-July — 60,000 more than official number of cases diagnosed by that stage. The study involved testing 2,991 elective surgery patients in ten hospitals across four states, to see whether they had antibodies against SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19. The study initially found 41 positive patients (1.4%), but then adjusted for the false positives that would arise due to the imperfect specificity of the antibody test, which the researchers estimate would produce 11 false positives for every 1,000 tests.
The Conversation 09/17/2020 23:28
Sam Roberts/ACE Open. Review: If the future is to be worth anything, curated by Patrice Sharkey and Rayleen Forester, ACE Open. “If the future is to be worth anything” rings true as a question for many in Australia’s art world today. It is an apt title for this ambitious survey exhibition measuring the pulse of contemporary art in South Australia. Partway through the gestation process for the artists making work for this survey, COVID-19 hit and artists retreated to their studios. But this has given a sharper focus to Patrice Sharkey and Rayleen Forester’s curatorial probe. This is the fourth survey exhibition of contemporary South Australian artists over the last two decades, following much larger survey exhibitions at the Art Gallery of Sou.
The Conversation 09/17/2020 23:23
University of Canberra Professorial Fellow Michelle Grattan and University of Canberra Assistant Professor Caroline Fisher discuss the week in politics. This week the pair discuss the numerous energy announcements made by the government, including a gas-led recovery, $1.9 billion for new and emerging energy technologies, as well as the likely outcomes from the national cabinet concerning the cap of returning international Australians, and the latest OECD report. Michelle Grattan does not work for, consult, own shares in or receive funding from any company or organisation that would benefit from this article, and has disclosed no relevant affiliations beyond their academic appointment.
The Conversation 09/17/2020 22:20
Shutterstock. You might have seen from The Guardian written by “a robot”. Here’s a sample:. I know that my brain is not a “feeling brain”. But it is capable of making rational, logical decisions. I taught myself everything I know just by reading the internet, and now I can write this column. My brain is boiling with ideas! Read the whole thing and you may be astonished at how coherent and stylistically consistent it is. The software used to produce it is called a “generative model”, and they have come a long way in the past year or two. But exactly how was the article created? And is it really true that software “wrote this entire article”? How machines learn to write. The text was generated using the latest neural network model for language,
The Conversation 09/17/2020 20:40
Frank Franklin II/AP. The International Olympic Committee (IOC) has long tried to insulate itself from politics in society, but wider issues have always been a part of sport - including the Olympics. Sometimes political statements have been subtle and accommodated by the IOC, such as Cathy Freeman’s at the 2000 Sydney Olympics, with the Aboriginal and Australian flags draped on her shoulders — a symbol of hope for reconciliation. The Olympics have, of course, also been subject to more confronting actions: , and a . While the IOC advocates for political neutrality, the Olympics are inherently contested terrain — a celebration of athleticism and, by virtue of national teams, a stage for geopolitical triumphs and tensions. Athletes are obviousl.
The Conversation 09/17/2020 15:50
Archie! Don’t run away… you should be in bed already and we still need to brush your tee-eeeth! Your four year old runs down the hallway without his pants on, knocking over that leaning tower of washing. Around the world, the impacts of COVID-19 have left some parents with more time with their children, but fewer resources to make it interesting as children go stir crazy. Luckily, there’s a fun and evidence-backed way to get your kids to try harder at the things you ask them to do, persist at them longer, and be stimulated — you just have to pretend. Without a minute establishing an imaginary narrative beforehand, it is a struggle to get my three year old to pack away his toys after play. So we end up being excavators dumping those “rocks”
The Conversation 09/17/2020 15:50
AAP/AP/SANA. Syrian President Bashar al-Assad may have successfully warded off a nine-year against his government, but he is being tested with economic turmoil and civilian protests amid the coronavirus pandemic and looming conflict in the eastern Mediterranean Sea. The civil war in Syria has been overshadowed as the world grapples with the COVID-19 pandemic and its grim economic and social ramifications. In March 2020, before the pandemic’s first wave reached its peak, the war was in full swing.
The Conversation 09/17/2020 15:50
Ian Dooley/Unsplash. Sex is fascinating, important, and sometimes scary. Sex is a normal part of life. Yet, the multiplicity and richness of sexual practices on social media rarely make it into everyday conversations. Nudes, it seems, are now part of everyday life. On social media, there are platform rules around what kinds of adult content is allowed. Some platforms heavily restrict displays of nudity or sexual activity; others allow it. But between these rules, people engage in a variety of tactics to control what facets of their identities can be seen by their audiences. The sociologist called this “audience segregation”: we make sure our different audiences – those to whom you are good daughter versus those to whom you are kinky sex godd.
The Conversation 09/17/2020 15:48
The point is, ladies and gentleman, that greed – for lack of a better word – is good. Greed is right. Greed works. Greed clarifies, cuts through, and captures the essence of the evolutionary spirit. Greed, in all of its forms – greed for life, for money, for love, knowledge – has marked the upward surge of mankind. – Gordon Gekko, 1987. Fifty years ago, well before the movie Wall Street, Chicago economist Milton Friedman set down what for many was the essence of the famous speech in Wall Street in an article for the New York times magazine entitled “”. His point, which along with his other contributions was recognised when he was awarded the in 1976, was that businesses serve society best when they abandon talk of “social responsibilities” a.
The Conversation 09/17/2020 08:39
The government is extending the COVID health measures for a further six months, until the end of March, in its latest acknowledgement that pandemic assistance will be needed on various fronts for a longer period. The extension, costing $2 billion, covers the telehealth services provided by doctors and a range of allied health professionals, home medicine delivery, and free COVID-19 pathology tests. It also includes the cost of funding for further personal protective equipment for the national medical stockpile, GP-led respiratory clinics, half the cost of activities to respond to COVID-19 in hospitals, and continuation of the private hospital agreement to ensure access to beds. Telehealth, which started in March, has proved highly popular w.

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