Europe’s biggest battery storage system switched on

The site, said to be able to store enough electricity to power 300,000 homes for two hours, went online at Pillswood, Cottingham, on Monday. Its launch was brought forward four months as the UK faces possible energy shortages this winter. The facility was developed by North Yorkshire renewable power firm Harmony Energy using technology made by Tesla. Battery energy storage systems hold electricity generated from renewable sources such as wind turbines and solar farms before releasing it at times of high customer demand. The Pillswood facility has the capacity to store up to 196 MWh energy in a single cycle. It has been built next to the National Grid’s Creyke Beck substation, which will be connected to Dogger Bank.

— source | 21 Nov 2022

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Over 40,000 Rail Workers Go on Strike in the United Kingdom

On Tuesday, the Rail, Maritime and Transport Union (RMT) called over 40,000 workers for a four-day strike that will paralyze the United Kingdom until Saturday. The massive strike occurs after the failure of negotiations with the railway company Network Rail, which did not want to carry out a 7 percent increase in wages as requested by workers in a country whose inflation has already exceeded 11 percent. The latest protests have been led by health workers, doctors, ambulance drivers, postal workers, teachers. This week, nurses, highway maintenance workers and baggage handlers at London’s Heathrow airport will also go on strike.

— source | 13 Dec 2022

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Over 1,35,000 Vacancies in Army, IAF, Navy; Only 46,000 Posts Advertised in 2022

There are a total of 1,35, 891 vacancies in the three Armed Forces wings – Indian Army, Indian Air Force and Indian Navy, the government has informed Parliament. The total number of over a lakh vacancies are the highest in the Indian Army at 118,485, as on July 1, 2022, a total of 11,587 vacancies in the Indian Navy (sailors) as on September 30, 2022 and 5,819 vacancies in the Indian Army, according to a written reply in Lok Sabha by Ajay Bhatt, Minister of State for Defence. In reply to another question on the recruitment of women as officers in defence sector, Bhatt said they made up for 3.7% of officers (excluding AMC/ADC) in the Army, 21.25% of AMC (Army Medical Corp)/ADC – Aide De Camp (basically medical and assistant) officers, 100% of MNS (military nursing service) officers and 0.01% in the category of JCO/OR, as on July 1, 2022. In the Indian Navy, about 6% women were part of the personnel, while in the IAF 13.69% were officers (excluding the dental branch), as on December 1, 2022.

— source | 09 Dec 2022

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Keystone pipeline shut after 14,000-barrel oil spill in Kansas

Canada’s TC Energy shut its Keystone pipeline in the United States after more than 14,000 barrels of crude oil spilled into a creek in Kansas, making it one of the largest crude spills in the United States in nearly a decade. The cause of the leak, which occurred in Kansas about 20 miles (32 km) south of a key junction in Steele City, Nebraska, is unknown. It is the third spill of several thousand barrels of crude on the pipeline since it first opened in 2010. The 622,000 barrel-per-day Keystone line is a critical artery shipping heavy Canadian crude from Alberta to refiners in the U.S. Midwest and the Gulf Coast.

Workers deployed a boom on the surface of Mill Creek, in Washington County, Kan., on Thursday to contain oil that leaked from the Keystone pipeline system.Credit…Kyle Bauer/KFRM Radio, via Associated Press

— source | Dec 9, 2022

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Extinct ‘monkey lemur’ shows similarities to fossil humans

Analysis of teeth of extinct lemurs has revealed fascinating clues to the evolution of humans, a University of Otago study has found. monkey lemur, Archaeolemur, had novel anatomical features not seen in living lemurs, such as lacking a ‘tooth comb’ in the front of the mouth for grooming. The study, published in the American Journal of Biological Anthropology, aimed to assess the diet of Archaeolemur by analysing chipping in 447 teeth, comparing chipping frequencies to those of other primates. The results were surprising — with these remarkable extinct lemurs with dentitions resembling baboons in shape; but presenting tooth chipping patterns similar to fossil hominins such as Neanderthals.

— source University of Otago | Dec 12, 2022

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Stop Open Field Tests of GM Mustard

Following the go-ahead for production and field testing of hybrid seeds of genetically modified (GM) mustard, All-India Peoples Science Network (AIPSN) has demanded that the open field tests, if any, be conducted with “utmost precautions and in carefully selected locations to ensure strict isolation from neighbouring fields of mustard”. The statement from the AIPSN comes after the Genetic Engineering Appraisal Committee (GEAC) permitted on October 18 field testing of the DMH II variety of GM mustard. It has called the approval “the most significant step in India regarding GM foods” since the moratorium announced on the release of Bt Brinjal in 2010.

— source | 08 Dec 2022

[Ban GMO]

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On social media false news travels faster than true stories

A new study by three MIT scholars has found that false news spreads more rapidly on the social network Twitter than real news does — and by a substantial margin. false news stories are 70 percent more likely to be retweeted than true stories are. It also takes true stories about six times as long to reach 1,500 people as it does for false stories to reach the same number of people. When it comes to Twitter’s “cascades,” or unbroken retweet chains, falsehoods reach a cascade depth of 10 about 20 times faster than facts. And falsehoods are retweeted by unique users more broadly than true statements at every depth of cascade. The paper, “The Spread of True and False News Online,” is published today in Science.

The bottom-line findings produce a basic question: Why do falsehoods spread more quickly than the truth, on Twitter? the answer may reside in human psychology: We like new things. False news is more novel, and people are more likely to share novel information. And on social networks, people can gain attention by being the first to share previously unknown (but possibly false) information.

People respond to false news more with surprise and disgust, whereas true stories produced replies more generally characterized by sadness, anticipation, and trust. So while the researchers “cannot claim that novelty causes retweets” by itself, as they state in the paper, the surprise people register when they see false news fits with the idea that the novelty of falsehoods may be an important part of their propagation.

The MIT scholars say it is possible that the same phenomenon occurs on other social media platforms, including Facebook, but they emphasize that careful studies are needed on that and other related questions.

— source MIT News Office | Mar 8, 2018

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Tor Browser 12.0 Released

Tor Browser 12.0 is now available from the Tor Browser download page and also from our distribution directory. This new release updates Tor Browser to Firefox Extended Support Release 102. Once again, the time has come to upgrade Tor Browser to Firefox’s newest Extended Support Release. As part of that process, anything that may conflict with Tor Browser’s strict privacy and security principles has been carefully disabled.

— source | Dec 7, 2022

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The world’s insurance bill from natural disasters this year: $115 billion

Extreme weather events have caused an estimated $115 billion in insured financial losses around the world this year according to Swiss Re, the Zurich-based reinsurance giant. That’s 42 percent higher than the 10-year average of $81 billion. The firm estimates that $50 billion to $65 billion of the total losses are a result of Hurricane Ian, the category 4 storm that pummeled parts of Florida’s west coast in late September with torrential rain, a 10-foot storm storm surge, and winds topping 140 miles per hour. Swiss Re ranks Ian as the second costliest natural disaster ever, in terms of insurance losses, after Hurricane Katrina struck south Louisiana in 2005.

— source | Dec 02, 2022

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Climate change protester jailed for 15 months in Australia

Last Friday, a young woman who briefly blocked one lane of the Sydney Harbour Bridge in a protest over governments’ refusal to halt climate change was jailed for 15 months and then denied bail for an appeal. This chilling punishment highlights the resort by Australia’s governments—Labor and Liberal-National alike—to draconian anti-protest laws to try to suppress opposition to their pro-business agenda. This includes protecting the fossil fuel super-profits being made by the coal, oil and gas conglomerates on the back of the US-NATO proxy war against Russia in Ukraine.

The jailing of Deanna “Violet” Coco is designed to send a wider message of intimidation directed against any protests that cut across the interests of the corporate elite. She was the first person to be sentenced under laws introduced by the New South Wales (NSW) Liberal-National government in April that impose fines of up to $22,000 and jail terms of up to two years for protests on roads, rail lines, tunnels, bridges and industrial estates.

— source | Dec 6, 2022

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