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Olivia Goldhill

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These New Solar Panels Can Create Electricity from Raindrops

April 11, 2016 FROM NEXTGOV arrow Scientists in China are developing a solar panel that could be used to generate power from an unlikely source—rain. Graphene, which consists of just a single layer of carbon atoms arranged in a honeycomb structure, was discovered a decade ago and has been put to several scientific uses. Previous work...

After 35 Years, the Man Who Shot Ronald Reagan Is Close to Being Free

April 4, 2016 In 1981, 35 years ago this week, John Hinckley Jr. attempted to assassinate President Reagan in an effort to impress actress Jodie Foster. He began shooting from just 10 feet away, leaving Reagan with abullet in his lung and three others with injuries. Press secretary James Brady suffered brain damage...

Scientists Believe Coffee Can Help Protect From Liver Disease

February 22, 2016 There are many health-related drawbacks associated with drinking too much coffee, such as insomnia and irritable bowel syndrome, but scientists believe they’ve uncovered a positive effect. Daily cups of coffee are linked with a reduced risk of cirrhosis liver disease, according to a recently published meta-analysis of nine previous studies....

Is Imposter Syndrome a Sign of Greatness?

February 2, 2016 Some of the most successful people in history have suffered from secret fear that they’re terrible at their jobs. “I am not a writer. I’ve been fooling myself and other people,” John Steinbeck wrote in his diary in 1938. “I always feel like something of an impostor. I don’t know...

Psychologists Have Built a Mathematical Model for Selfishness

January 25, 2016 Ever wonder why some people have a tendency to be nice—even in situations where it costs them—while others are constantly out for themselves? Psychologists from Yale University have built a formal mathematical model, combining game theory with ideas from behavioral economics, to show how humans evolved to develop two distinct...

Guess Which 2016 Candidate Features in an Islamist Terrorist Recruitment Video

January 4, 2016 Soundbites from Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump have been included in a recruitment film released by Islamist militant group al-Shabaab, an affiliate of al-Qaeda based in Somalia. Trump’s call to ban all Muslims from entering the US, which was met with cheers at his South Carolina rally in December, is...

African Extremist Group Al-Shebab Shows Trump in Recruitment Video

January 3, 2016 Soundbites from Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump have been included in a recruitment film released by Islamist militant group al-Shabaab, an affiliate of al-Qaeda based in Somalia. Trump’s call to ban all Muslims from entering the US, which was met with cheers at his South Carolina rally in December, is...

Well-Being is a Network of Characteristics We Can Build For Ourselves, Argues a Philosopher

December 22, 2015 Everyone wants a good life, but half the battle is figuring out just what that entails. Should we aim for professional success, romantic relationships, or exciting experiences? Michael Bishop, philosophy professor at Florida State University and author of recently published book The Good Life, argues that we should forget about...

Video: A Japanese Company Has Invented a Smartphone You Can Wash

December 7, 2015 FROM NEXTGOV arrow If you’ve ever wanted to give your smartphone a good scrub with soap and water, then you’re in luck: A Japanese company has invented a smartphone that can be thoroughly washed. Kyocera said it created the device, called Digno Rafre, by developing “better sealing” for the phone. It will go...

Algorithms Make Better Hiring Decisions Than Humans

November 30, 2015 Managers might like to believe that they have better hiring judgment than a computer, but a recent working paper (paywall) from the National Bureau of Economic Research suggests otherwise. The researchers looked at the employment record of 300,000 low-skill service sector workers across 15 companies. The jobs had low retention...