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  1. (CNN)Eugene A. Cernan, the last astronaut to leave his footprints on the surface of the moon, has died, NASA said Monday. He was 82. "We are saddened by the loss of retired NASA astronaut Gene Cernan, the last man to walk on the moon," the US space agency said on Twitter. Cernan was one of fourteen astronauts selected by NASA in October 1963. He served as as spacecraft commander of Apollo 17, the last scheduled manned mission to the moon for the United States. The mission launched on December 6, 1972 and returned on December 19. http://www.cnn.com/2017/01/16/us/eugene-cernan-dies/
  2. British firm unveils research which shows that the atmosphere could be used to spy on ordinary citizens in unprecedented detail EARTH’S atmosphere can now be turned into a massive spy lens using cutting edge technology. BAE Systems are designing a directed energy laser system that could allow military commanders to spy on enemy activities from space. BAE believe that within 50 years, one of their aircraft could use an “atmospheric lens” to observe people from very long distances using the Earth’s atmosphere as a tool. The lasers temporarily change the Earth’s atmosphere into magnifying glass structures which can alter light and radio signals. This means users can listen into radio signals for thousands of miles. A spokesperson said: “Within the next 50 years, scientists at BAE Systems believe that battlefield commanders could deploy a new type of directed energy laser and lens system, called a Laser Developed Atmospheric Lens which is capable of enhancing commanders’ ability to observe adversaries’ activities over much greater distances than existing sensors.” “Working with some of the best scientific minds in the UK, we’re able to incorporate emerging and disruptive technologies and evolve the landscape of potential military technologies in ways that, five or ten years ago, many would never have dreamed possible,” added Professor Nick Colosimo, BAE Systems’ Futurist and Technologist. High powered pulsed lasers will create a lens by manipulating the Earth’s atmosphere, scientists at BAE claim https://www.thesun.co.uk/news/2626083/bae-systems-turns-earths-atmosphere-into-massive-surveillance-system-using-lasers/
  3. Just eight super-rich men hold the same amount of wealth as the poorest half of the world’s population, according to an analysis from the charity Oxfam released Sunday night. Six of these billionaires, from Forbes’ list of the world’s richest people, are American entrepreneurs: Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates, Berkshire Hathaway chairman and CEO Warren Buffett, Amazon founder and CEO Jeff Bezos, Oracle co-founder Larry Ellison, former New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg and Facebook founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg. Rounding out the list are Carlos Slim, the Mexican tycoon, and Amancio Ortega, the Spanish founder of a retail conglomerate that includes clothing chain Zara. Together their net wealth ― assets minus debts ― amounts to $426 billion. Rest...PICS... http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/income-inequality-oxfam_us_58792e6ee4b0b3c7a7b13616
  4. What kind of chicken does your face look like? KFC just reached finger lickin’ levels of freaky. The fast food chain recently debuted facial recognition technology at a restaurant in Beijing, China, thanks to a partnership with the Chinese search engine Baidu. A spokesperson for KFC told The Guardian that the artificial intelligence-enabled system provides meal recommendations based on a consumer’s age and mood. According to a Baidu press release obtained by Tech Crunch, the machine would offer a male customer in his early 20s something like “a set meal of crispy chicken hamburger, roasted chicken wings and Coke.” On the other hand, a female customer in her 50s would be given a recommendation of “porridge and soybean milk for breakfast.” After making the meal assessment based on your features, the AI-enabled machine can reportedly save the picture of your face to remember your order for future KFC visits. http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/kfcs-new-facial-recognition-software-is-troubling-for-a-few-reasons_us_587ce160e4b09281d0eba03d?ir=Weird+News&utm_hp_ref=weird-news
  5. The Halley VI ice base is in danger from a growing ice crack Scientists at the British Antarctic Survey are abandoning their research station for the first time ever this winter after a new worrying crack developed in the ice sheet. The renowned Halley VI ice base, from which the hole in the ozone layer was first detected, was already scheduled to be relocated 14 miles across the Brunt Ice Shelf because of an encroaching fissure in the ice. But a new crack has been steadily growing to the north of the base, and computer modelling suggests that it could cause a large iceberg to calve away from the sheet, which could destabalise the area. Although the British Antarctic Survey (BAS) says nobody is immediate danger, they cannot be sure that conditions would not worsen during the difficult conditions of the southern polar winter when an evacuation would be impossible. http://www.telegraph.co.uk/science/2017/01/16/british-antarctic-survey-abandons-polar-base-worrying-crack/
  6. When Japan’s Akatsuki spacecraft pulled into orbit around Venus in December 2015 and turned on its instruments, it almost immediately discovered a bow-shape feature in the atmosphere stretching 6,000 miles, almost pole to pole — a sideways smile. More remarkably, while Venus’s winds blow at speeds up to 250 miles per hour and clouds whip around the planet every four days, this gargantuan sideways smile did not move, but remained fixed above the ground for four days. Because of Akatsuki’s large looping orbit, the spacecraft could not make more observations for a month. When the spacecraft looked at the same region again, the smile had disappeared. Except for a few brief glimmers in April and May last year, the smile has not returned. IMAGES HERE https://www.nytimes.com/2017/01/16/science/venus-wave-akatsuki.html?_r=0
  7. A Turkish cargo jet has crashed in Kyrgyzstan, killing a pilot and dozens of people on the ground. Most of the victims are believed to be residents of a village in the crash area when the Boeing 747 came down in dense fog near Manas airport. The plane reportedly crashed as it tried to land at around 7.30am local time (1.30am UK time) near the capital Biskek, in an area with a number of summer houses. Mukhammed Svarov, head of the crisis management centre at the emergencies ministry, said at least 30 people were dead after the plane damaged 15 buildings. http://www.aljazeera.com/news/2017/01/turkish-cargo-plane-crashes-kyrgyzstan-170116033328654.html
  8. Conservative author and television personality Monica Crowley is stepping away from her appointment to a senior communications role in Donald Trump's incoming administration, CNN confirms. The move comes after CNN's KFile uncovered multiple instances of plagiarism in her 2012 book, her columns for the Washington Times, and her 2000 Ph.D. dissertation for Columbia University. Crowley was slated to be the senior director of strategic communications for the National Security Council in Trump's administration. The Washington Times first reported the news of Crowley's decision. A transition official confirmed the move to CNN. "After much reflection I have decided to remain in New York to pursue other opportunities and will not be taking a position in the incoming administration," she told the Times in a statement. "I greatly appreciate being asked to be part of President-elect Trump's team and I will continue to enthusiastically support him and his agenda for American renewal." http://money.cnn.com/2017/01/16/media/kfile-crowley-out/index.html