All Scientific Papers Should Be Free; Here’s Why They’re Not

If science drops in a field but no other researchers are around to hear it, does it further the academic area of study? Howdy researchers, Trace here for DNews. Science is a process, it’s a way of thinking about the world around us. Most of these scientific processes are thought through and then published in a journal, but to read them you have to pay! Shouldn’t all this scientific knowledge be FREE!? Firstly, science is mostly paid for by grants from governments, non-profits, foundations, universities, corporations or others with deep pockets. We did a video about it. But, even though the science was paid for, that’s just the first half of the equation… the other half is the scientific journal. The first journals were published over 350 years ago as a way to organize new scientific knowledge, and that continues today. According to the International Association of Scientific, Technical and Medical Publishers, 2.5 million new scientific papers are published each year in over 28,000 different journals.

A new paper is published every 20 seconds. (and you thought we’d run out of stuff for DNews 😉). Researchers need others to read their paper so it can affect their field. So, they freely send their treasured manuscripts to journals for peer review and publication. When a manuscript comes in, specialists select and send the best manuscripts to volunteer experts in the field who are “carefully selected based on… expertise, research area, and lack of bias” for peer review. After that, the papers are copy-edited, compiled into an issue of the journal, physically printed and then shipped and/or published online! They’re, like, the nerdiest magazines in the world. All this costs money… According to a study in PLOS One this whole process can cost 20 to 40 dollars per page, depending on how many papers the journal receives and how many they have to reject. Someone has to pay for that, and there are three ways this can happen: authors can submit for free and readers/subscribers pay (called the traditional model), or authors pay and readers get it for free (called open-access), or both authors and readers pay!English-language journals alone were worth $10 billion dollars in 2013! I know what you’re thinking, just put them on the internet! Save on shipping, like newspapers and magazines! Well, even though publishers don’t have to print and ship big books of papers anymore, they often still do.

And, even if the journals were only online, servers and bandwidth need to be paid for, and that ain’t cheap. Publishing requires dollah bills, y’all and someone has to pay, and everyone gets their money differently… For example: the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) publishes the Science journals, and the Public Library of Science publishes PLoS One among others; both are nonprofits. But, while PLOS uses an open-access (free to you) model, Triple-A-S publishes six journals: five with a traditional model (you pay) and one open-access. Plus, there are for-profit journals like Macmillan Publishers, who own the journal Nature (and a mix of traditional and open access options). And the giant Reed Elsevier (now called RELX) publishes over 2000 journals some of which are open-access and some are traditional! So, though some are non-profits, they don’t always give it to YOU for free, and those that do still can charge researchers up to 2900 dollars to publish! While others make money off scientific research which makes some people feel icky.

The whole thing is confusing. Asking “what is worse: for-profits charging universities or readers for access, or open-access charging authors?” Shrug. The debate rages. Many scientists argue as the peer review is provided for free by the scientific community, and the papers are provided for free by the scientific community; access to the papers should. be. free. The EU agrees, ordering any publically-funded papers to be made free by 2020; pushing toward open access to science! In the US, where many of the papers originate, some scientists are calling for boycotts on for-profit publishing. In the end, there was a time when practitioners needed a physical reference to the latest scientific achievements. In the days before the internet, getting a journal in the mail must have been both exciting and illuminating, but now, thanks to digital publishing… this whole pay-for-science model is wont to change… People WANT the knowledge to be free, but no one knows how to do it.

As y’all know, more research is always needed, but should that research be behind a paywall? Let us know down in the comments, make sure you subscribe so you get more DNews everyday. You can also come find us on Twitter, @seeker. But for more how much science actually costs, watch this video..

Is Free Trade Bad For The Economy?

Throughout the 2016 election, candidates Donald Trump and Bernie Sanders have had clearly divided and opposing views. But one topic on which they share their opposition is that of free trade agreements. Many people have demonized free trade agreements like NAFTA and the TPP in the last year. So, what exactly are free trade agreements and what’s so bad about them? Well, first it is important to realize that the world economy, and by extension standards of living, are dependent on international trade. In practice, countries which produce more usually do better economically, and many countries enact trade rules which favor their own production. For example, in the 1920s, European farms were able to sell agricultural goods to the US very cheaply. This undercut American farmers, and so Congress passed the Smoot-Hawley Tariff, which raised taxes on imports. This artificially made foreign goods very expensive compared to domestic goods, now favoring the American farmer. Laws and rules like these are called “protectionist”.

Free trade agreements are, at their most basic, a series of compromises between countries. They remove protectionist restrictions and taxes, but also work to keep participating economies from falling apart without them. Most countries are members of the World Trade Organization, which regulates international trade agreements, and maintains the global economy. But one of the problems with Free Trade Agreements is that they can also hurt consumers. For example, in 2011, tobacco giant Philip Morris sued the country of Australia for implementing anti-smoking regulations. The company argued that the regulations would violate a portion of a 1993 trade agreement between Hong Kong and Australia because plain packaging would diminish their trademark. And even though the lawsuit failed to stop restrictions, it is an example of free trade agreement overreach. A much more common complaint, especially in the United States, is that free trade agreements lead to outsourcing, and a loss of American jobs. When the North American Free Trade Agreement was established between the US, Canada, and Mexico in 1994, it eliminated most taxes on imports and exports between those countries.

This made it cheaper to import food and goods from Mexico than it was to grow or make them in the United States. This led to considerably cheaper goods, and a net benefit for consumers. However, the trade agreement also led to outsourcing those same farming and manufacturing jobs to Mexico. It’s been estimated that one million jobs have been lost to NAFTA over the past two decades. In short, a free trade agreement makes it easier for foreign countries to compete with local production, making everything less expensive according to free market principles. But for those workers who actually have to compete with cheaper foreign labor or resources, they’re often forced to find new work. There are also a huge number of other considerations besides actual trade that go into free trade agreements, like environmental and copyright concerns. In the end, free trade agreements can make goods cheaper and more available.

However, this benefit can come at the expense of thousands, if not millions of jobs. The TPP is one such free trade agreement that has received major criticism. But what exactly is the big deal? Check out our video to learn more. Thanks for watching! Make sure to like and subscribe for more TestTube News every day..

Donald Trump Believes Climate Change Is A Hoax | All In | MSNBC

>>> PRESIDENT TRUMPMP BELIEVES CLIMATE CHANGE IS A HOAX. WE KNOW THIS BECAUSE HE HAS SAID IT OVER AND OVER AGAIN. >> SO OBAMA IS TALKING ABOUT ALL OF THIS WITH THE GLOBAL WARMING AND THE THAT. A LOT OF IT'S A HOAX. IT'S A HOAX. IT'S A MONEY MAKING INDUSTRY, OKAY? IT'S A HOAX. >> THE PRESIDENT HAS TWEETED CLIMATE CHANGE SKEPTICISM AT LEAST 115 TIMES INCLUDING A CLAIM THAT THE CONCEPT OF GLOBAL WARMING WAS CREATED BY AND FOR THE CHINESE. SO THE PRESIDENT HAS VERY FIRMLY ESTABLISHED HIS POSITION ON THE ISSUE AND HAS SHOWN NO INDICATION THAT HE HAS CHANGED THAT POSITION. BUT SINCE THE PRESIDENT'S VIEWS TEND TO BE MALLEABLE, LET'S SAY, REPORTERS HAVE BEEN ASKING THE PRESIDENT AND HIS AIDES THE SAME QUESTION OVER AND OVER AGAIN IN LIGHT OF THE PARIS DECISION.

DOES THE PRESIDENT STILL BELIEVE CLIMATE CHANGE IS A HOAX? >> DO YOU BELIEVE CLIMATE CHANGE IS A HOAX? >> THANK YOU, EVERYBODY. THANK YOU VERY MUCH. >> CAN YOU SAY WHETHER OR NOT THE PRESIDENT BELIEVES THAT HUMAN ACTIVITY IS CONTRIBUTING TO THE WARMING OF THE CLIMATE? >> HONESTLY, I HAVEN'T ASKED HIM. I CAN GET BACK TO YOU. >> YES OR NO? DOES THE PRESIDENT BELIEVE THAT CLIMATE CHANGE IS REAL AND A THREAT TO THE UNITED STATES? >> YOU KNOW, WHAT'S I INTERESTI ABOUT ALL THE DISCUSSIONS WE HAD THROUGH THE LAST SEVERAL WEEKS HAVE BEEN FOCUSED ON ONE SINGULAR ISSUE. IS PARIS GOOD OR NOT FOR THIS COUNTRY? THAT'S THE DISCUSSIONS I'VE HAD WITH THE PRESIDENT.

>> I'D LIKE TO GO BACK TO THE FIRST QUESTION THAT WAS ASKED THAT YOU DIDN'T ANSWER. DOES THE PRESIDENT BELIEVE TODAY THAT CLIMATE CHANGE IS A HOAX? >> YOU KNOW, I DID ANSWER THE QUESTION BECAUSE I SAID THE DISCUSSIONS THE PRESIDENT AND I HAD HAD OVER THE LAST SEVERAL WEEKS HAVE BEEN FOCUSED ON ONE KEY ISSUE. IS PARIS GOOD OR BAD FOR THIS COUNTRY? >> SHOULDN'T YOU BE ABLE TO TELL THE AMERICAN PEOPLE WHETHER OR NOT THE PRESIDENT STILL BELIEVES THAT CLIMATE CHANGE IS A HOAX? WHERE DOES HE STAND? >> AS I INDICATED SEVERAL TIMES THROUGH THE PROCESS, THERE'S ENOUGH TO DEAL WITH WITH RESPECT TO THE PARIS AGREEMENT AND MAKING AN INFORMED DECISION ABOUT THIS IMPORTANT ISSUE.

>> WHAT DOES THE PRESIDENT ACTUALLY BELIEVE ABOUT CLIMATE CHANGE? DOES HE STILL BELIEVE IT'S A HOAX? COULD YOU CLARIFY THAT? >> I HAVE NOT HAD AN OPPORTUNITY TO HAVE THAT DISCUSSION. >> WOULD IT BE POSSIBLE FOR YOU TO HAVE THAT CONVERSATION WITH HIM AND THEN REPORT BACK TO US AT THE NEXT BRIEFING? >> I IF CAN, I WILL. >> I WOULDN'T HOLD MY BREATH ON THAT ONE. IN THE ABSENCE OF A NEW ANSWER, WE MUST, ALAS, STICK WITH THE OLD ONE. THE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES, A NOTED AND CONSISTENT PEDDLER OF CONSPIRACY THEORIES ABOUT EVERYTHING FROM MILLIONS OF ALLEGEDLY ILLEGAL VOTERS TO PRESIDENT OBAMA'S FORGED BIRTH CERTIFICATE AND TED CRUZ'S DAD POSSIBLY BEING INVOLVED IN THE ASSASSINATION OF JFK ALSO BELIEVES THE MOST DANGEROUS AND DESTRUCTIVE CONSPIRACY THEORY, THE ONE THAT CLIMATE CHANGE IS MADE UP, I GUESS BY THE CHINESE, AND THAT ALL THOSE SCIENTISTS ACROSS THE WORLD MUST BE IN ON IT.

SO IS THAT WHY HE PULLED THE U.S. OUT OF THE PARIS ACCORD OR DI .

The Worldwide Phenomenon That’s Shrinking Animals

The threat of rising temperatures due to global warming will have serious effects on our tiny blue planet. Warming oceans could kill coral reefs, there might be less fresh water, more disease, less polar bears, more bark beetles, the list goes on. But here is one side effect you may not have heard of…smaller horses. That’s right, warmer temperatures could make some animals shrink. About 50 million years ago, after the dinosaurs died off, the Earth went through a series of warming events called hyperthermals, most likely from an increase of carbon. Most notably was what scientists call the Paleocene-Eocene Thermal Maximum (PETM), when temperatures rose between 5 and 8 degrees celsius, and stayed that way for almost 200,000 years. Now, scientists wanted to know how this global warming event affected the creatures living at the time, so they started studying ancient horse teeth.

And they found that, when global temperatures rose, these horses shrank. During the PETM, one ancient horse species called Sifrhippus (siff-RIP-us), shrunk by 30%. But as the Earth cooled back down, it got 76% bigger. During the less drastic Eocene Thermal Maximum 2, another ancient horse, the Arenahippus shrank by 14%, going from about the size of a dog to about the size of a cat. Yeah, ancient horses were smaller than you might have thought. So, why the shrinkage? Well, one explanation might be Bergmann's rule, which states when the climate gets warmer, mammals get smaller so they can cool off more efficiently. Rising temperatures also see an increase in drought and a decrease in plant growth, which basically mean less food and water for the animals, which could result in smaller and smaller offspring. But this is more than a fun fact, because global temperatures are on the rise again and some shrinking has already been documented in modern day animals, like sheep, goats and reindeer. Now, there are other factors that could have been in play and the same dwarfing may not happen the same way it did over 50 million years ago.

But with some climate scientists predicting the earth’s temperature increasing by up to 6 degrees by the year 2100, there may be a lot to learn from studying these shrinking horses. And if history does indeed repeat itself, more tiny horses could be on the horizon. If you’re tired of talking about the tiny, why don’t you go watch this video on some of the largest creatures to ever walk the Earth, dinosaurs. Scientists have completely rewritten how they are categorized and it’s kinda crazy. Don’t forget to subscribe, share and come back for more on Seeker..

This Powerful New Technology May Be The Only Way To Explore Venus

Imagine we’ve successfully landed a robot on Venus! Nice job… [pause, checks watch] Annnd now it’s dead. Hello fellow carbon-based lifeforms, Ian here for DNews. I want you to imagine building a robot that can land on the surface of Venus. Actually, imagine building a robot that will land on the surface of HELL and you’ll have a better idea of what to expect. Yes, Venus is a toxic hellhole that’s not only hot enough on the surface to melt lead, but the thick carbon dioxide-rich atmosphere has a pressure about 90 times greater than Earth’s. This isn’t very good news for any robots we want to send there to explore the planet and do science. But there IS hope. NASA engineers at the Glenn Research Center in Cleveland, Ohio, are developing a new kind of integrated circuit that not only survives the rigors of being in space, it could also allow the delicate electronics inside Venus landers to live 100 times longer than previous efforts.

It’s not like we haven’t tried landing on Venus before. From the 1960s to the 1980s, the Soviet Union tried to send a series of 16 spacecraft to Venus as part of the Venera program — which included flybys, atmospheric probes and landers. Of the early landing attempts, Venera 3 to Venera 6 either burned up, crashed or got crushed by Venus’ atmosphere. Even though it got crushed before touchdown, Venera 4 has the historic distinction as being the first probe to transmit data from another planet’s atmosphere in 1967. In 1970, Venera 7 made history as the first ever soft landing on another planet. It sent back 23 minutes of data before dying. After this, the Soviets had more success from Venera 8 — which landed in 1972, returning 50 minutes of data. Venera 9 landed in 1975 and took the first ever black and white photos from another planet’s surface.

Venera 13, in 1981, and 14, in 1982, returned color panoramic views from Venus’ surface, revealing the alien geology and incredibly hazy atmosphere. In 1984, Russia launched the two Vega missions that included landers and atmospheric balloons. The US even gave Venus a go when they parachuted probes to the surface during the 1978 Pioneer Venus mission. One of the probes continued to transmit data an hour after landing on the surface. But all Venus surface missions quickly succumbed to the extreme heat and pressure, most lasting for less than a couple of hours. Venera 13 holds the record, lasting 127 minutes before melting. Although our technology has advanced since this exciting era of Venus exploration, we still don’t have the ability to protect them from the extreme environment for very long. Conventional silicon circuits stop working at high temperatures long before they start to melt. But now, NASA engineers are testing an extremely durable "silicon carbide semiconductor integrated circuit” — it’s a circuit made out of a new silicon mix that continues to function as a circuit should, only at much higher temperatures.

It was originally being developed for use in hot sections of fuel-efficient aircraft. Knowing that they could tolerate temperatures up to 900 degrees Fahrenheit, the NASA engineers placed samples of the circuit into the Glenn Extreme Environments Rig (GEER). This instrument not only replicates the temperatures found on Venus’ surface, it also applies the same pressures. And after 521 hours of extreme testing, the integrated circuits continued to operate as designed. To use conventional electronics in space, heavy shielding is needed to protect delicate components. If this new circuit technology is used for space robots, I’d imagine that this shielding may not be required, reducing weight, boosting electronics longevity in harsh environments, reducing launch weight and ultimately costs. But the thing that makes this kind of tech development REALLY interesting is the very obvious applications a highly durable integrated circuit has on Earth. Robotics are used in a range of industries and are increasingly being used in extremely hazardous environments — building tougher electronics to boost their operational lives would obviously be a bonus.

We can’t do DNews episodes without our sponsors. Thanks to Graze for sponsoring this episode. Graze makes snacking exciting by combining wholesome ingredients with flavors we all love, to create over 100 nutritionist-approved snacks. Go to graze.com and enter promo code DNEWS to get a free, sampler box delivered to your home or work..

What Ever Happened To Acid Rain?

I've finally figured it out. Prince must've been singing about ACID RAIN that was BLUE. Because carbonic acid turns litmus paper red… Blue plus red equals purple. If you know what I'm singing about up here. C'mon, raise your hand. Hello pH-balanced friends, Trace here for DNews. If you were to compare environmental issues to fashion trends—and I mean why wouldn’t you—then acid rain would be the equivalent of bell-bottom jeans. People started talking about it in the 60’s, then it slowly infiltrated media and pop culture, and by the mid-1970s’ seemingly everyone had an opinion on it, but since then, where did it go? To understand acid rain you have to understand "pH" levels. pH means "power of hydrogen," essentially it measure the kind of hydrogen in a solution. It's not super important to understand how it works, but it ranges from zero to 14 with zero (battery acid) being the most acidic and 14 (lye) being super alkaline (or basic): 7 is neutral — water is 7, milk is 6, sea water is 9… A change in even one number is a big deal, because pH is measured logarithmically, one number represents a 10-fold change! Okay, so, acid rain is bad, you guys.

Like really bad. It toxifies lakes and streams, destroys forests and threatens entire plant populations. Acid rain is even harmful to urban environments, where it eats away at limestone and marble buildings. All because its pH is crazy. I say crazy, because normal rain is acidic, just a little bit. As rain falls from they sky, it picks up carbon dioxide in the air, creating carbonic acid. This gives natural rain a pH of about 6, just slightly on the acid side — similar to urine or saliva. Regular rain becomes acid rain when it picks up not only carbon dioxide, but sulfur dioxide and nitrogen oxide, which contain much stronger acids. These make their way into our atmosphere when we burn fossil fuels to make energy. Once natural rain picks up this acid, its pH can drop as low as 3. That means that rain that goes from pH 6 to pH 3 — it’s 1000 times more acidic!.

Threes are things like citrus, kimchee, or soda! The effects of acid rain entirely depend on where it lands. For instance if it falls on limestone-rich soil, it doesn’t have much of an effect because limestone is naturally alkaline; it has a pH above 7. So mixing acidity with a lower pH just neutralizes it. In fact, to protect cultivated areas from acid rain damage, limestone can be added to soil as a sort-of pH-balancing fertilizer. Though that's pretty much out of the question for huge tracts of land in the wilderness. When acid rain falls on neutral or acidic soil, or on vegetation, that’s when things get bad. Living things have a hard time in acidic environments because the acid basically kills their growth enzymes — fish can't swim in orange juice! What’s more, hydrogen ions in the acid rain replace nutrients in the soil like calcium and magnesium, which are vital for plant growth. This is why we preserve things in vinegar, rather than water because the acid in the vinegar prevents pickles, or kimchi for all you foodies, from growing mold. Keep in mind that we’re talking about ecosystems, so everything is connected. Once acid rain infiltrates soil, it flows into streams and lakes, killing marine life.

Even water-dwelling animals that can live in acidic environments, like frogs, still end up dying, because the acid kills their food sources. This sort of environmental damage stems as far back as the industrial revolution; however the public didn’t really catch wind of it until the 1970’s, after it had already caused massive damage — and that's why you heard about it. Why you don't anymore, is because in the early 1990’s the US government passed a series of regulations that dramatically reduced sulfur dioxide emissions, and acid rain sorta fell off the radar. At least in the U.S…. Acid rain is still an issue in China and Russia, two countries with lots of factories and few environmental regulations. China is particularly bad, as it’s coal contains higher-than-normal-levels of sulfur. Even parts of eastern Europe, Canada and the United States still have rainwater that’s just too acidic.

And even though our rain will likely never return to a 1960’s level of acidity, the effects of this environmental disaster will exist for decades. No domain extension will help you tell your story like a DOT COM or DOT NET domain name. And because you watch DNews, you can get 15% off Domain Dot Com’s names and web hosting by using the code DNews when you check out. So acid rain is still a problem, but what about the hole in the ozone layer? What ever happened to that? You can find out in this video here. Should we do a whole video about pH? That's kinda cool right? Do you have science questions? Tell us in the comments, make sure subscribe so you get the answers and thanks for tuning in to DNews..

Why Mormons identify with Syrian refugees

After the attacks in Paris, 31 governors in the US said that their states won't accept Syrian refugees even though the attacks were carried out by European nationals. Nearly every Republican governor in the nation joined the chorus, but one refused– this cartoon from The Salt Lake Tribune depicts Utah Governor Gary Herbert standing apart from the pack. This is somewhat unexpected because Utah is one of the most conservative states in the US. Republican presidential candidates have won Utah by at least 19 points in every presidential election since 1964. It's a really red state. Why then is Utah the one conservative state that has pro-refugee? The answer? Mormons. The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints the Mormon Church religious persecution hits really close to home. Shortly after the church was founded in 1830 it started growing rapidly, it wanted to create a new religious and political community it called Zion, and that didn't go over very well with the people of Ohio where the church set up its headquarters. The Mormons were violently driven out after just a few years.

Persecution continued as they moved west, violent clashes broke out in Missouri instigated by non Mormon trying to evict the Mormon settlers and prevent them from voting the governor of Missouri even issued an extermination order stating that the Mormons must be treated as enemies. By 1840 the Mormons were widely seen as a growing political and economic threat and no one really wanted them around. At the same time they started openly practicing polygamy, an illegal practice that gave mobs even more legal justification for hating the Mormons. By 1846 most Mormons were violently driven out of the United States. They settled in the high desert of Utah, which was a part of Mexico at that point. Every Sunday Mormons are reminded of this history from paintings that hang on the walls of their church to songs they sing to commemorate the early pioneers and their struggles. "Whether or not you are a descendant of pioneers, the Mormon pioneer heritage of faith and sacrifice is your heritage.

" now mormons may not be known as the most progressive or tolerant…"A Mormon bishop excommunicated a woman who demand equal rights inside the church" "The church has now clearly laid out that anybody who enters into a same-sex marriage is considered an apostate." But when Republicans turn away Syrian refugees and Donald Trump goes even further "Total and complete shutdown of Muslims entering the United States." Mormons remember that as the governor said recently in a Facebook post, "Utah is a state that was settled by religious exiles who withstood persecution after persecution" …and that's enough to get them to break with the conservative mainstream .

Why Do We Waste $1 Trillion Of Food A Year?

Food grows in nature. Bugs crawl on it. Fish poop all the time. Cows lick things you wouldn't want to touch. And fruits and vegetables literally grow in dirt — DIRT YOU GUYS. Hey flavonoids, Trace regurgitating some food science for DNews today. We all know food comes from the earth, so why do we expect it to look perfect? Ugly food, or food that doesn't "look right," doesn't get sold, and it makes up a ton of our food supply. According to the USDA 133 billion pounds and 161 billion dollars worth of food was wasted in 2010 by retailers and consumers. That's about 30 percent of all food production! Ugly food is part of that waste. Reducing food waste could help us feed more of our population, without increasing food production, and ugly food is a first step on that path, but it has a big climb to be accepted, because some humans have cognitive bias; we don't roll with the uggos. Humans assume attractive people are smarter, and have fewer diseases, so it would make sense that we'd also assume attractive food is better. There's a principle restauranteurs and chefs use called plating or presentation — chefs place the food on our plates to make it look good. And it works.

A study in the journal Appetite and another in Flavour looked at the importance of the aesthetics of food. They found not only does good looking food positively affect the flavor, but the actual plate it's on also affects how people feel about it. Unfortunately our cognitive bias for attraction likely goes far deeper than people, plating or the plates themselves. Even potatoes have to look good. Since it's founding in 1862 the U.S. Department of Agriculture has been a source of regulation, standardization and knowledge for how we grow and consume food. Today, it fights to comprehend and regulate the U.S. food systems, but some of its original regulations don't make sense anymore." The USDA ranks food by freshness, appearance, color, and size — among other things. Grade A milk, for example, can be used for… well, milk.

While Grade B milk and lower is used for butter, cheese and so on. The idea being to protect the consumer. Milk in liquid form is more susceptible to bacterial infection. But some of these regs don't make sense. Take cauliflower color, for example. Color 1 cauliflower should be "bright white to creamy white," according to USDA standards. But not for a specific reason! The silly thing about USDA recommendations is that cauliflower left in a farmer's field doesn't stay white, it has to be harvested early to meet this standard, because the sun turns it a dull yellow! Yet, "yellow or other abnormal color [that] materially detracts from the appearance" is unacceptable, says the USDA. Our bias against ugly food goes all the way back to regulation. The USDA says this is so we can share a "common language" for our food. But, yellow cauliflower is just as nutritious as white.

Another regulation states that green peppers have to be 90 percent green. Again, same nutrition, just regulated this way for common language. So, because it can affect the grade, and thus the price, this ugly, perfectly nutritious food stays in the field to rot. Any number of things can cause this, from the wrong color, the wrong shape, not enough leaves or too many. On top of that bushels of fruits and vegetables never leave warehouses due to blemishes, bruising, or discoloration. Wasted food has a value of 1 trillion dollars worldwide, and could feed billions more people. Now, the “ugly food movement” to get these weirdo plants harvested and on the dinner table is gaining ground. More grocery stores, farmers markets, and even restaurants are buying and serving "substandard" food. Which is great, because c'mon, it's exactly the same, it just looks weird. And hey, I look weird, but y'all still like me, so why not a green pepper that's like… 85 percent green? Or a potato with an extra bump? Or a double carrot! All the way across the sky. The ugly food movement is making it big lately, and our friends at seeker stories followed a chef who transformed “ugly food” and turned it into an amazing six course meal which was served out of a dumpster.

Seriously, it's weird. But super interesting. Watch it here. Do you care what your food looks like or are you just a human trash compactor? Tell me..

Why You Should ALWAYS Unplug Your Electronics

Are you watching a web-enabled TV while browsing on your smartphone with your laptop nearby? Think about unplugging! Because you’re wasting energy, money AND heating up the planet. Hello everyone, tech addict Amy with you today on DNews. Odds are you’re watching this on a computer or phone that you plug in but rarely, if ever, powerdown. Well, listen up, because perpetual “stand-by” mode is really not a good thing! As we become more connected and more dependent on all the latest gadgets and appliances, we’re inadvertently using electricity when we don’t need to. This includes computers that have a “sleep” mode, DVRs that sit idle waiting to record the next “Game of Thrones,” that silly clock on your microwave and your plugged-in, fully-charged laptop. For most of these appliances, they draw power from the mains simply because they’re plugged-in and not because they’re doing anything useful.

In a study of Northern Californian households carried out by the Natural Resources Defense Council, researchers found that 23 percent of residential energy consumption was coming from idle devices. On average in these homes, there were 65 such devices. Roughly a quarter of all energy use comes from appliances and devices that aren’t currently doing a thing. This may not sound like a lot, but the study crunched some numbers. Assuming that the whole of the United States has a similar addiction to useless machines plugged into the wall, we, as a nation, consume an extra 64 billion kilowatt-hours of electricity per year — that’s the equivalent power consumption of Alabama and Arizona for 12 months! If there were powerplants dedicated to keeping idle devices on standby mode, we’d need 50 large (500-megawatt) stations to make that happen.

Obviously, there’s a cost. This excess energy use translates to approximately 19 billion dollars per year, which averages out to about 165 dollars per US household per year. But the cost isn’t just financial, it’s environmental. Idle electronics account for 44 million metric tons of carbon dioxide emissions per year — that’s nearly 5 percent of carbon dioxide generated by the US residential sector per year. Carbon dioxide is a powerful greenhouse gas, so it stands to reason that if households would just unplug their electronics while they’re not being used, another source of the greenhouse gas can be limited. So unplug your devices! Turn off your power bars! And be be aware of how much you actually need your computers. Odds are, you shut a lot of things down, save yourself some money, and help the planet. And if you’re super keen, why not get in on the ground floor and help develop the tech that will help save our environment! Tech innovations are constantly changing our lives.

Full Sail’s Simulation & Visualization degree program was designed to create future engineers who will develop systems for the twenty-first century. All of Full Sail’s Web & Tech programs are designed specifically to flex as new methods and applications unfold, allowing students to remain relevant and informed throughout their entire academy journey. To learn more about these programs, and all of Full Sail’s technology degree programs, visit fullsail.edu/DNews. So electronics are a culprit, but what else in our houses are damaging the environment? Trace has the rundown in this video right here. So with some new knowledge, will you be changing your device habits? Let us know in the comments below, don’t forget to like this video and subscribe for a new episode of DNews every day of the week..

The Crazy Tech Behind America’s Arctic Missile Defense

So, we found a bunch of huge sci-fi satellite dish things…on the top of a mountain…in Alaska…and they look like this! And we just figured out why they’re there and what they do…and it’s really weird! Hey everyone, Amy here. Our friends at Seeker went on a shoot to Alaska recently, and they came back with a story that we just had to tell on DNews. It’s about a huge, ambitious military project called White Alice. By now the whole thing is barely a footnote in the history of the Cold War…but 60 years ago, it was revolutionary for the military, and for Alaska. In order to get why White Alice was so important, you have to understand a few things about Alaska. First: it’s huge, it’s empty, and it’s wild. In the mid 1950’s, it was home to just 215,000 people, spread across an area that’s twice the size of Texas. That made modern communication a pretty big hassle. Stringing telegraph or phone lines between cities meant crossing hundreds of miles of rugged, usually frozen terrain. The huge distances made radio communication flaky; even high-frequency signals fritzed out when the Northern Lights appeared! This was all a big problem because, during the Cold War, the US military needed good comm networks in Alaska.

Pearl Harbor was still fresh in everyone’s mind, and the government feared a far-North sneak attack from the Soviets…remember, Alaska and Russia are 53 miles apart at the Bering Strait. It’s such a narrow divide that the region became known as the “ice curtain”. The US and Canadian air forces set up a series of radar listening posts along the Arctic Ocean, but they needed a way to relay information across the state, and fast. And that is where White Alice came in. Beginning in 1955, the Air Force and Army built a network of communications hubs that used a very new technology to connect with one another. Phone calls and other data were transmitted via microwaves, beamed into the air, bounced off the Earth’s upper atmosphere, and back down to a receiving site. Each hub had two sets of dishes: one set for receiving a signal, and another for broadcasting it back out to the next hub. The process, called “tropospheric scattering”, had (and still has) a lot of advantages over other technologies.

First, bouncing signals off the upper atmosphere means that hubs don’t need a clear line of site to communicate…which is a useful thing in a mountainous place like Alaska. This way, White Alice sites could be 200 miles apart. The signal could also support multiple phone calls at the same time, something few other systems could manage. And, crucially for the military, it was secure. Once a signal is beamed out, it can only be received at one exact spot – making it next to impossible to intercept the signal along the way. All in all, the military built 22 tropospheric scattering sites across Alaska, eventually spending around $300 million dollars. And it wasn’t alone. Similar networks sprung up around the world – the US even connected Hawaii to the Philippines through the Pacific Scatter System. But it might have had the biggest impact on Alaska, uniting the new state in ways that no other technology could have.

But…before White Alice was even complete, a new technology arrived to replace it. In 1957 the Soviets launched Sputnik 1, the world’s first artificial satellite. US development of satellite communications ramped up, and by 1967, just 8 years after the network’s completion, the government began to divest from the very system it built. Interestingly, White Alice remained in use until the late ‘70s as a civilian phone network. And today, the military still uses tropo scattering networks here and there…because they’re still really secure. But this remains the era of satellites. Now, the reason we have all this footage is that the White Alice hub outside of Nome still stands today…it’s one of the last tropo scattering sites in Alaska to escape demolition.

The electronics there are long dead, but the structures themselves still serve a final purpose: they’re unmistakable landmarks, visible for miles. And they still help hunters and travelers out on the tundra find their way home to Nome. Like I mentioned earlier, this story came out of a much larger trip to the Bering Strait – and the Seeker Daily team has a great video about how the whole world might need the Strait soon. To watch that video now, click here. And as always, thanks for watching..