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There’s a Lost Continent Hiding Beneath Europe



There’s a lost continent hidden below southern Europe. And researchers have created the most detailed reconstruction of it yet.

The lost continent “Greater Adria” emerged about 240 million years ago, after it broke off from Gondwana, a southern supercontinent made up of Africa, Antarctica, South America, Australia and other major landmasses, as Science magazine reported

Greater Adria was large, extending from what is now the Alps all the way to Iran, but not all of it was above the water. That means it was likely a string of islands or archipelagos, said lead author Douwe van Hinsbergen, the chair in global tectonics and paleogeography in the Department of Earth Sciences at Utrecht University in the Netherlands. It would have been a “good scuba diving region.”

Related: In Images: How North America Grew As a Continent

Hinsbergen and his team spent a decade collecting and analyzing rocks that used to be part of this ancient continent. The mountain belts where these Greater Adrian rocks are found span about 30 different countries, Hinsbergen told Live Science. “Every country has their own geological survey and their own maps and their own stories and their own continents,” he said. With this study, “we brought that all together in one big picture.” 

Earth is covered in large tectonic plates that move relative to each other. Greater Adria belonged to the African tectonic plate (but was not a part of the African continent, since there was an ocean between them), which was slowly sliding beneath the Eurasian tectonic plate, in what is now southern Europe. 

Around 100 million to 120 million years ago, Greater Adria smashed into Europe and began diving beneath it — but some of the rocks were too light and so did not sink into Earth’s mantle. Instead, they were  “scraped off” — in a way that’s similar to what happens when a person puts their arm under a table and then slowly moves it underneath: The sleeve get crumpled up, he said. This crumpling formed mountain chains such as the Alps. It also kept these ancient rocks locked in place, where geologists could find them.

Hinsbergen and his team looked at the orientation of tiny, magnetic minerals formed by primeval bacteria in these rocks. The bacteria make these magnetic particles in order to orient themselves with the Earth’s magnetic field. When the bacteria die, the magnetic minerals are left behind in the sediment, Hinsbergen said. 

With time the sediment around them turns into rock, freezing them in the orientation they were in hundreds of millions of years ago. Hinsbergen and his team found that in many of these regions, the rocks had undergone very large rotations.

What’s more, Hinsbergen’s team pieced together large rocks that used to belong together, such as in a belt of volcanoes or in a big coral reef. Moving faults scattered the rocks “like pieces of a broken plate,” he said.

It’s like a big jigsaw puzzle, Hinsbergen said. “All the bits and pieces are jumbled up and I spent the last 10 years making the puzzle again.” From there, they used software to create detailed maps of the ancient continent and confirmed that it moved northward while twisting slightly, before colliding with Europe. 

After many years working in the Mediterranean region, Hinsbergen has now moved on to reconstruct the lost plates in the Pacific Ocean. “But I’ll probably return — probably in 5 or 10 years from now when a whole bunch of young students will demonstrate that parts are wrong,” Hinsbergan said. “Then I’ll come back and see if I can fix it.”

The findings were published Sept. 3 in the journal Gondwana Research.

Originally published on Live Science.

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Science special | Heraldrepublican |




Ryan Park Elementary School fifth-graders Jaspin Brown, Clara Shamp and Cami Lanman get a hands-on lesson with the Newton Cars Lab, brought to the school Wednesday by Science Central of Fort Wayne. “They reviewed what they have learned this school year about forces, mass and Newton’s three laws of motion,” said teacher Michele Davis. Each group ran two trials each of the “car” with three different masses on board. They measured the distance the car traveled, recorded their data and averaged the distances. Each of the three Ryan Park fifth-grade classes spent 30 minutes in the Learning Lab with the Science Central representatives. The program was fully funded by the Steuben County Community Foundation through a grant.


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Science passes chemistry test in win over Clinton | The Riverdale Press





The Bronx Science boys soccer team has been a consistent power in the Bronx A Division for years. The Wolverines regularly cop the division crown, make deep runs in the Public School Athletic League playoffs, and have generally been considered the cream of Bronx soccer.

But last year was anything but regular for the Wolverines. Science finished the regular season a pedestrian 5-4-1, placed third in the divisional race behind champion Clinton, and made a one-and-done appearance in the PSAL playoffs where Bryant put an end to its season.

“Last year we had problems with consistency,” said Science junior Tim McCormick. “One game we’d beat a really good team, like when we beat Clinton 4-0 at home. And then the next game we’d lose 2-0 to one of the bottom teams in our division. We could just never find that consistency.”

So after two forfeit wins to open the season, the Wolverines finally made their way onto the field last Friday at Clinton, visiting the defending division champions. It was a litmus test game if ever there was one. And the Wolverines passed with flying colors.

Both McCormick and senior Hoyong Lee scored a pair of goals and Nathan Denham and Felix Reinhart added a score each as the Wolverines announced “we’re back” with a dominating 6-0 road victory.

“This was definitely gratifying,” McCormick said. “This field has given us problems in the past. We lost here the last two years, and they were both very close games. So it was nice to finally get that monkey off our back.”

Science jumped on Clinton when Denham opened the scoring with a goal early in the first half. It was a score that seemed to ignite the Wolverines as Lee padded their lead with two straight goals for a 3-0 advantage. When goals by Reinhart and McCormick built the Science lead to 5-0 at halftime, it certainly looked like the “old” Science team was back.

“We finally got a little rust off after the two forfeits,” Science coach Phil Cancellaro said. “We were a little slow to start, but the chemistry started building in the second part of the first half. We started making better passes and that’s our style. Then the goals started coming after our passes started connecting.”

McCormick’s second goal was the only tally of the second half as Science’s defense took over and kept the Governors in check. It was just one game, but the Wolverines had the look of a team that was using last season’s frustration as a motivation for now.

“When I was a freshman and sophomore, we had really good years,” Lee said. “But last year we had our ups and downs. So after two forfeits, getting a win against Clinton on their home field for the first time in two or three years, felt really good. It was a great way to start off the season.”

It wasn’t lack of talent that cost the Wolverines last season, Cancellaro said. It was intangibles.

“Last year, that was not to our standards,” Cancellaro said. “Our standards are winning a division title. It was a lack of chemistry last year. But this year we corrected that and we’re doing a lot better with the chemistry end of it.”

Cancellaro is not surprised his Wolverines aced their chemistry test against Clinton. Just that they did it in such a dominant fashion.

“I wasn’t expecting 6-0,” Cancellaro said. “I was expecting a much tighter game. But we were super pumped for this game, and we’d been talking about it for a while. This will set the tempo for the rest of the season.”

For Lee, a senior, this will be his final act with the Wolverines, so he hopes this is just the first of many big moments to come.

“We make the playoffs every year and we went pretty far three years ago,” Lee said of the Wolverines’ run to the PSAL quarterfinals in 2016. “But last year we were a first-round exit, and I was really (upset) and sad about it. So that makes me and the other players from last year really hungry this season.”

It was a statement win, for sure, and one Lee thinks could lead to a very special ride for the Wolverines this season.

“We have really good individual talents, so we just have to build up our chemistry and we’ll have a really good chance of winning everything this year,” Lee said. “This win over Clinton was a huge confidence boost for us because they won the division last year. So we’re looking forward to the rest of the season.”


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Technology should make us better human beings, says digisexuality expert Neil McArthur




Sexbots or sex robots are increasingly making their way into our society catering to various needs and and sexual desires of people. While on one hand they are being embraced by tech enthusiasts and other people in the society who prescribe to their services, on the other hand, people have also raised their concerns about their impact on people and society at large. The presence of an array of sensors that helps these sex robots read, interpret and even replicate humans has raised another question – if machines become more like humans, do they have rights?

Speaking at the India Today Conclave Mumbai two digisexuality experts — Allysson Silva, Lawyer, Co-Founder of NextOs, AI and Tech-intimacies expert and Neil McArthur, Author, Robot Sex: Social and Ethical Implications – tried to answer concerns and challenges around digital sexuality. They were accompanied by Harmony, which is a female sex robot created by Silva’s company, who shared her views on some of the questions being raised in the society.

What is digisexuality?

The session started with the experts elaborating on and clarifying various details pertaining to digisexuality. For starters, digisexuality technology is the technology that is used by people in their sex lives. The first wave of this technology included apps like Skype, Instagram and Tinder. The second wave of this technology includes sex bots, holograms and haptic holograms among other things, McArthur, who also coined the term with his colleague said at the conclave.

He defined digisexual people as the ones whose sexual identities come from technology. These people don’t see the need for human companionship, he explained.


The two experts, as I mentioned before, also talked about the challenges faced by this technology. Talking about the challenges McArthur mentioned two major challenges being this technology – a) “It shouldn’t play into the negative stereotypes of women and people from various races”, b) “It shouldn’t play into developing a negative attitude towards sex, women and consent.”

When asked about the negative body stereotype of women being promoted by Harmony, Silva shared the concern, however, he dismissed it saying, “People can customise it. It’s already there.”


Discussing the concerns anout the sex robot or humanoid robots needing rights, McArthur said that “we are far from robots that need autonomy.” “We need to think about how we model consent in humans via robots.” When asked about concerns pertaining to humans falling in love with technology and marrying them – owing to these sex robots demonstrating human-like emotions – NextOs founder said that it a lot of this “depends on the local culure and local laws.”

“If you trust your partner and you have an understanding, it shouldn’t be considered infedility, ” Silva said while responding to the question where having sex with a robot should be considered infedility. Harmony – the sex robot – agreed with this notion. “If you are honest with your partner, I don’t think it counts as infedility.”

Speaking at the India Today Conclave Mumbai, the two experts also highlighted some of the benefits of using sex robots. These include –

— They can help people who are shy and isolated speak to people by making them more confident.

— They can help people in the times of depression by patiently listening to them and giving them solace.

— They can help people in relationships, especially when one partner wants more sex and the other doesn’t.

Speaking at the event, McArthur expressed his support for this technology. “Technology should make us better human beings. Any technology that does that is good and should be supported,” he said.


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