Scientists Say The Asteroid That Killed The Dinosaurs Almost Wiped Us Out Too

HughPickens.com writes: Conventional wisdom states that mammalian diversity emerged from the ashes of the Cretaceous/Tertiary mass extinction event, ultimately giving rise to our own humble species. But Joshua A. Krisch writes at This Week that the asteroid that decimated the dinosaurs also wiped out roughly 93 percent of all mammalian species. “Because mammals did so well after the extinction, we have tended to assume that it didn’t hit them as hard,” says Nick Longrich. “However our analysis shows that the mammals were hit harder than most groups of animals, such as lizards, turtles, crocodilians, but they proved to be far more adaptable in the aftermath.” Mammals survived, multiplied, and ultimately gave rise to human beings.

So what was the great secret that our possum-like ancestors knew that dinosaurs did not? One answer is that early mammals were small enough to survive on insects and dying plants, while large dinosaurs and reptiles required a vast diet of leafy greens and healthy prey that simply weren’t available in the lean years, post-impact. So brontosauruses starved to death while prehistoric possums filled their far smaller and less discerning bellies. “Even if large herbivorous dinosaurs had managed to survive the initial meteor strike, they would have had nothing to eat,” says Russ Graham, “because most of the earth’s above-ground plant material had been destroyed.” Other studies have suggested that mammals survived by burrowing underground or living near the water, where they would have been somewhat shielded from the intense heatwaves, post-impact. Studies also suggest that mammals may have been better spread-out around the globe, and so had the freedom to recover independently and evolve with greater diversity. “After this extinction event, there was an explosion of diversity, and it was driven by having different evolutionary experiments going on simultaneously in different locations,” Longrich says. “This may have helped drive the recovery. With so many different species evolving in different directions in different parts of the world, evolution was more likely to stumble across new evolutionary paths.”

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Paul Ryan ally doubts speaker will ever fully endorse Trump

American politics has been ‘reformed to death’He has been called an “intellectual prodigy” and is one of the most influential thinkers and writers in conservative Republican politics. Yuval Levin, founding editor of National Affairs magazine, is also an informal adviser to House Speaker Paul Ryan, R-Wis., the most prominent Republican national leader to decline — at least so far — to endorse presumptive GOP presidential nominee Donald Trump. Levin also worked as a White House policy adviser to former President George W. Bush and has since been part of a movement within Republican politics to move the party toward a solutions-oriented disposition, in contrast to many in the party whose main goal has been to block the agenda of President Obama and the Democrats.



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Donald Trump unlikely to pick woman or minority as running mate

Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump acknowledges the crowd after giving an energy speech at the Williston Basin Petroleum Conference, Thursday, May 26, 2016, in Bismarck, N.D. (AP Photo/Charles Rex Arbogast)The possibility of appearing to pander is among the reasons Donald Trump would be unlikely to pick a woman or a minority as his vice presidential running mate, his campaign chairman says.



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Drivers Prefer Autonomous Cars That Don’t Kill Them

“A new study shows that most people prefer that self-driving cars be programmed to save the most people in the event of an accident, even if it kills the driver,” reports Information Week. “Unless they are the drivers.” Slashdot reader MojoKid quotes an article from Hot Hardware about the new study, which was published by Science magazine.
So if there is just one passenger aboard a car, and the lives of 10 pedestrians are at stake, the survey participants were perfectly fine with a self-driving car “killing” its passenger to save many more lives in return. But on the flip side, these same participants said that if they were shopping for a car to purchase or were a passenger, they would prefer to be within a vehicle that would protect their lives by any means necessary. Participants also balked at the notion of the government stepping in to regulate the “morality brain” of self-driving cars.
The article warns about a future where “a harsh AI reality may whittle the worth of our very existence down to simple, unemotional percentages in a computer’s brain.” MIT’s Media Lab is now letting users judge for themselves, in a free online game called “Moral Machine” simulating the difficult decisions that might someday have to be made by an autonomous self-driving car.

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Internet Trolls Hack Popular YouTube Channel WatchMojo

An anonymous reader writes: WatchMojo, one of the most popular channels of YouTube with over 12 million subscribers, has been hacked. Subscribers of one of YouTube’s most popular channels, WatchMojo, were greeted with an unusual surprise on Wednesday evening, as a couple of hackers, known only as Obnoxious and Pein, hacked the lineup of the channel’s videos. The two hackers then proceeded to rename almost all of WatchMojo’s videos with the title “HACKED BY OBNOXIOUS AND PEIN twitter.com/poodlecorp.” Since the channel was compromised, the hackers have uploaded two new videos, “Top 5 Facts About the Yakuza,” and a video about Neanderthal myths. Apart from these, however, the hackers have not touched anything else on the channel. Though, most of WatchMojo’s videos still remain hacked as of writing. The popular channel announced that it is fully aware of the hack. WatchMojo further stated that it has already contacted YouTube about the incident and that it is already starting to fix the changes to its videos.

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No new signal from EgyptAir jet since day of crash as search intensifies

People light candles during a candlelight vigil for the victims of EgyptAir flight 804, at the Cairo Opera house in CairoCAIRO/PARIS (Reuters) – No new radio signal has been received from an EgyptAir jet since the day it crashed in the Mediterranean last week, sources close to the investigation said on Friday. A radio signal picked up on the day of the crash from the plane's emergency locator transmitter (ELT) allowed officials to determine a broadly defined search zone, but nothing new has since been detected, the sources told Reuters. "There has been nothing since day one," a source familiar with the investigation said.



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New York Criminalizes the Use Of Ticket-Buying Bots

An anonymous reader writes: If you failed to get tickets for your favorite band, even though your finger was poised on the “buy” link the instant they went on sale, don’t worry — you never stood a chance. They were probably snapped up by bots that, in one case, bought 1,012 Madison Square Garden U2 tickets in less than a minute. The state of New York has declared that scalpers who use them could get fines and even jail time. “New Yorkers have been dealing with this frustrating ticket buying experience for too long,” says state assembly member Marcos Crespie. Using such bots was illegal before, but only brought civil, not criminal sanctions. However, a three-year investigation by NY attorney general Eric. T. Schneiderman found that the practice was so widespread that the state had to take harsher measures. Ticketing outlets and credit card companies revealed that bots scoop up the best seats in seconds, which scalpers then resell at prices many times over face value. Scalpers who exploit such software could now face criminal, class A misdemeanor charges.

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