Scientists detect ‘mass death’ of sea life off Russia’s Kamchatka

A Greenpeace handout photo showing the area off Khalaktyr beach on the Kamchatka peninsula that may have been contaminated with
A Greenpeace handout photo showing the area off Khalaktyr beach on the Kamchatka peninsula that may have been contaminated with toxic chemicals

Pollution off the Pacific shoreline of the remote Kamchatka peninsula has caused the mass death of marine creatures, Russian scientists said Tuesday.


Locals sounded the alarm in late September as surfers experienced stinging eyes from the water and sea creatures including seals, octopuses and sea urchins washed up dead on the shore.

Coming on the heels of a massive oil leak in Siberia, the latest incident has sparked a large-scale investigation with fears that poisonous substances in underground storage since the Soviet era could have leaked into the water.

A team of divers from a state nature reserve found a “mass death” of sea life at a depth of five to 10 metres (16-33 feet), Ivan Usatov of the Kronotsky Reserve said, adding that “95 percent are dead.”

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Top EU court bars mass collection of mobile, Internet data

Oct. 6 (UPI) — The European Court of Justice ruled Tuesday that member states cannot collect mobile and Internet data en masse, saying it’s illegal to gather such “general and indiscriminate information.”

The court ruling answered several cases brought by Privacy International and La Quadrature du Net.

Austrian privacy advocate Max Schrems had filed a lawsuit based on work by whistle-blower Edward Snowden that showed the United States doesn’t offer sufficient protection against surveillance by public authorities. His lawsuit opened the initial inquiry that lead to Tuesday’s decision.

“EU law precludes national legislation requiring a provider of electronic communications services to carry out the general and indiscriminate transmission or retention of traffic data and location data for the purpose of combating crime in general or of safeguarding national security,” the court said in a statement.

The court ruled in recent years that prevailing EU law bars member states from mandating

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Determining the mass of galaxy clusters — ScienceDaily

A top goal in cosmology is to precisely measure the total amount of matter in the universe, a daunting exercise for even the most mathematically proficient. A team led by scientists at the University of California, Riverside, has now done just that.

Reporting in the Astrophysical Journal, the team determined that matter makes up 31% of the total amount of matter and energy in the universe, with the remainder consisting of dark energy.

“To put that amount of matter in context, if all the matter in the universe were spread out evenly across space, it would correspond to an average mass density equal to only about six hydrogen atoms per cubic meter,” said first author Mohamed Abdullah, a graduate student in the UCR Department of Physics and Astronomy. “However, since we know 80% of matter is actually dark matter, in reality, most of this matter consists not of hydrogen

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Sentinels of ocean acidification impacts survived Earth’s last mass extinction

Sentinels of ocean acidification impacts survived Earth's last mass extinction
Several species of planktonic gastropods, including five sea butterflies (shelled) and two sea angels (naked). Credit: Katja Peijnenburg, Erica Goetze, Deborah Wall-Palmer, Lisette Mekkes.

Two groups of tiny, delicate marine organisms, sea butterflies and sea angels, were found to be surprisingly resilient—having survived dramatic global climate change and Earth’s most recent mass extinction event 66 million years ago, according to research published this week in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences led by Katja Peijnenburg from Naturalis Biodiversity Center in the Netherlands.


Sea butterflies and sea angels are pteropods, abundant, floating snails that spend their entire lives in the open ocean. A remarkable example of adaptation to life in the open ocean, these mesmerizing animals can have thin shells and a snail foot transformed into two wing-like structures that enable them to ‘fly’ through the water.

Sea butterflies have been a focus for global change research because they

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Sentinels of ocean acidification impacts survived Earth’s last mass extinction — ScienceDaily

Two groups of tiny, delicate marine organisms, sea butterflies and sea angels, were found to be surprisingly resilient — having survived dramatic global climate change and Earth’s most recent mass extinction event 66 million years ago, according to research published this week in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences led by Katja Peijnenburg from Naturalis Biodiversity Center in the Netherlands.

Sea butterflies and sea angels are pteropods, abundant, floating snails that spend their entire lives in the open ocean. A remarkable example of adaptation to life in the open ocean, these mesmerizing animals can have thin shells and a snail foot transformed into two wing-like structures that enable them to “fly” through the water.

Sea butterflies have been a focus for global change research because they make their shells of aragonite, a form of calcium carbonate that is 50 percent more soluble than calcite, which other important open

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Tesla Battery Day tech won’t be mass produced until 2022

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The expectations around Tesla Battery Day, the event in which Tesla showcases its advancements in battery technology, are immensely high, partially because of Tesla CEO Elon Musk hyping it up to no end. 

But some of the stuff that Tesla’s about to unveil won’t reach mass production until 2022. 

This comes from Musk himself. In a series of tweets, the Tesla CEO said that the new battery tech will affect the company’s long-term production, “especially Semi, Cybertruck & Roadster, but what we announce will not reach serious high-volume production until 2022.”

Musk also pointed out that the company plans to increase battery cell purchases from Panasonic, LG, CATL, and possibly other manufacturers. But Tesla

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The State Of Mass Surveillance

Co-Founder and CEO of Startpage, the world’s most private search engine.

The U.S. Patriot Act, devised and enacted only weeks after 9/11 in 2001, has become a huge symbol of the massive expansion of government surveillance in the U.S. Twelve years later, in 2013, Edward Snowden’s release of National Security Agency (NSA) material was the first major revelation that the government could illegally, and possibly unconstitutionally, seize the private records of millions of individuals who had not been suspected of any wrongdoing, and had been hiding all of this from its citizens for 12 years. 

The history of mass surveillance in the U.S. runs deep. Examples include reports in 2013 from documents from Snowden detailing how the NSA is able to collect anyone’s personal data via cellphones, laptops, search history, Facebook, Skype and chatrooms. According to a report from the Guardian, all of this allows the NSA

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Hopes fade for more survivors in Australian mass whale stranding

Only a few dozen of the 470 whales stranded on Australia’s coast can still be saved, rescuers warned Thursday, as they weighed euthanising those animals in most distress. 

At least 380 pilot whales have died since their ill-fated pod was discovered beached on Tasmania’s rugged western seaboard four days ago — Australia’s largest-ever mass stranding.

Around 70 of the creatures have survived and the death toll is expected to rise as the window for rescue now begins to close.

“We’ve got about 25 animals that we think have the strength to be successfully released,” said Tasmania’s Parks and Wildlife Service manager Nic Deka, adding the “hard physical yakka (work)” of rescuers would continue until nightfall.

A crew of around 60 conservationists and skilled volunteers have spent days wading in the icy water of Macquarie Harbour, surrounded by the cries of anguished whales slowly dying.

Pilot whales — which can grow

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Tesla says its battery innovations will deliver its goal of a $25,000 mass market electric car

Tesla held its Battery Day event on Tuesday to discuss a variety of innovations it has developed and is pursuing in battery technology for its vehicles. At the event, Tesla CEO Elon Musk and SVP of Powertrain and Energy Engineering Drew Baglino detailed new anode and cathode technology it’s working on, as well as materials science, in-house mining operations and manufacturing improvements it’s developing to make more more affordable, sustainable batteries — and they said that taken together, these should allow them to make an electric vehicle available to consumers at the $25,000 price point.

“We’re confident we can make a very, very compelling $25,000 electric vehicle, that’s also fully autonomous,” Musk said. “And when you think about the $25,000 price point you have to consider how much less expensive it is to own an electric vehicle. So actually, it becomes even more affordable at that $25,000 price point.”

This

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Elon Musk warns new Tesla battery tech won’t reach mass production until 2022

Whatever is unveiled during Tesla’s Battery Day event on Tuesday won’t enter “serious high-volume production” until 2022, the company’s CEO Elon Musk has cautioned on Twitter. The time-scale means the technology will mainly impact Tesla’s Semi, Cybertruck, and Roadster projects, the CEO said, adding that the company will continue to buy third-party battery cells even if Tesla decides to make its own.

Musk’s comments suggest that any new battery tech shown at Tuesday’s event will be at the prototype stage, ruling out its imminent use in Tesla’s current mass-market vehicles like the Model 3 or Model Y. Musk points towards the “extreme difficulty” in scaling new technology as being to blame, noting that making “the machine that makes the machine is vastly harder than the machine itself.”

Musk’s statements also make it clear that Tesla will still need to purchase third-party battery cells over the coming years even if

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