Saturday, April 1, 2023

BIG Wrap

Doubleheader slugfest – sea slug loses its body and keeps living, twice

Scientists have discovered that some decapitated sea slugs can regrow hearts and whole new bodies, the CBC reports. Biology researcher Sayaka Mitoh and Nara Women's University aquatic ecology professor Yoichi Yusa cut off the heads of 16 sea slugs. Six started regeneration and three survived. One lost and re-grew its body twice.

France eases travel restrictions to seven countries

France's foreign ministry said a "compelling reason" was no longer needed for travel to Australia, Israel, Japan, Singapore, South Korea, New Zealand, and Britain, reports the BBC. Non-essential travel was banned by the French government on Jan. 31. French Tourism Minister Jean-Baptiste Lemoyne said the decision to ease restrictions was taken because of the improving health situation in the seven countries.

This just in – celebrities are not necessarily the best investment advisers

The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission issued today a warning to investors about buying shares of special purpose acquisition companies (SPACs) based on endorsements from Hollywood actors, professional athletes, and famous musicians, reports Bloomberg. “It is never a good idea to invest in a SPAC just because someone famous sponsors or invests in it or says it is a good investment,” the agency said in a statement. In a related news flash, BIG Media...

White-hat hackers snag bugs money

Hackers earned a record US$40 million in 2020 for reporting software flaws via a leading bug bounty reporting service, reports the BBC. HackerOne suggested the pandemic had given "volunteers" more time to pursue the endeavour. Added YesWeHack chief executive Guillaume Vassault-Houlière: "Given the new risks and the importance of cyber-security in the economic survival of companies, an increasing number of chief information security officers have turned to bug bounties."

Artificial neural network mirrors human brain in image recognition

A claim by Open AI, the research company founded by Elon Musk, that its artificial neural network CLIP shows behaviour very similar to a human brain has scientists hopeful for the future of AI networks' ability to identify images in a symbolic, conceptual, and literal capacity, reports Tech Xplore.

Pro sports leagues tally billions in COVID-19 losses

When a COVID-19 positive test shut down an NBA game between the Dallas Mavericks and Denver Nuggets at this time last year, it was clear that the fast-spreading virus would have an impact on pro sports leagues. But could anyone have imagined the extent of the challenges to come? Counting lost ticket sales, concessions, sponsorships and television revenue, Forbes estimates that North America's four major sports leagues and the National Collegiate Athletic Association together have taken...

Gateway Foundation’s hotel project offers rooms with a lot of space

Courtesy Orbital Assembly Corp.   According to the Gateway Foundation, construction is expected to begin in 2026 on Voyager Station, the first space hotel. Plans call for it to be built by Orbital Assembly Corp. and have similar amenities to an upscale Earth-based hotel with, well, a view like no other. As CNN reports, it will consist of a rotating wheel made of 24 modules featuring weightless and reduced-gravity recreational activities.

Saudis boost crude prices

Saudi Arabia raised April pricing for crude exports eastward to the highest levels since just before they instigated a brief price/supply war a year ago. The Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries and allies decided at a meeting March 4 that it would be sticking with output cuts that have buoyed the market this year. Meanwhile, Russia wants to add production to prevent U.S. producers from adding output and capturing market share, Bloomberg reports.

Singapore takes to sea in fishing for clean energy

As part of the Singapore government's wide-ranging "green plan", the city-state has pledged to increase solar energy use four-fold to three percent by 2030 –enough to power about 350,000 households per year, reports Tech Xplore. With land at a premium, Singapore is diving into the "new frontier" of floating solar farms, including one in the Johor Strait that features 13,000 panels anchored to the sea floor. A 122,000-panel farm under development in the Tengeh Reservoir will...

Diamond-handed investors blinging record cash to market

Retail investors are pouring funds into U.S. stocks at a rate 40% higher than in a record-breaking 2020, according to Bloomberg. Retail traders, many of them newbies, are jumping all over stock-market dips, leaving analysts wondering how long the novice bull ride will last.