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Showing posts from October 17, 2014

Lockheed Martin’s New Fusion Reactor Might Change Humanity Forever

By Jesus Diaz

This is the interior of an invention that could change civilisation as we know it: A compact fusion reactor developed by Skunk Works, the stealthy experimental technology division of Lockheed Martin. It is the size of a jet engine, power aeroplanes, spaceships, and cities—and they say it will be operative in only 10 years.

Aviation Week had exclusive access to their secret laboratories and talked to Dr. Thomas McGuire, the leader of Skunk Work’s Revolutionary Technology division. And revolutionary it is, indeed: Instead of using the same design that everyone else is using—the Soviet-derivedtokamak, a torus in which magnetic fields confine the fusion reaction with a huge energy cost and thus little energy production capabilities—Skunk Works’ Compact Fusion Reactor has a radically different approach to anything people have tried before. Here are the two of them for comparison:

Above: The traditional Soviet tokamak design of the International Thermonuclear Experimental Reactor…

Russian president warns Europe of gas supply ‘risks’

Russia’s President Vladimir Putin has warned of “major transit risks” to Europe’s gas supplies from his country this winter unless Ukraine settles a gas dispute with Moscow.

“There will be no crises through a fault of Russian participants of energy cooperation in Europe,” Putin said during a visit to Serbia on Thursday, adding, “But there are major transit risks.”

“If we see that our Ukrainian partners — as in 2008 — start siphoning off our gas from the export pipeline system in an unauthorized manner then we will also — like in 2008 — be gradually reducing supplies by the amount that has been stolen,” Putin said.

He made the comments ahead of significant talks with EU leaders and his Ukrainian counterpart, Petro Poroshenko, in the Italian city of Milan later on Thursday and Friday.

The Russian president, meanwhile, expressed hope that the talks and separate energy discussions next week would resolve the dispute.

A fresh round of gas negotiations between Moscow, the EU and Kiev with the ai…

Middle Easterners See Religious and Ethnic Hatred as Top Global Threat

Europeans and Americans Focus on Inequality as Greatest Danger With growing conflicts engulfing the Middle East, people in the region name religious and ethnic hatred most frequently as the greatest threat to the world. Moreover, publics across the globe see the threat of religious and ethnic violence as a growing threat to the world’s future. But in Europe, concerns about inequality trump all other dangers and the gap between the rich and the poor is increasingly considered the world’s top problem by people living in advanced economies, including the United States. Explore Global Opinions of the Greatest Dangers to the World
Elsewhere, Asians and Latin Americans are somewhat divided about the world’s greatest danger, but pollution and environmental problems as well as the spread of nuclear weapons are high on their list of threats. African countries see AIDS and other infectious diseases as the most pressing issue in the world today.1 These are among the findings of a recent survey b…

Greatest Dangers in the World

Our 2014 Global Attitudes survey in 44 countries asked which among five dangers was considered to be the “greatest threat to the world.” Many in the Middle East said religious and ethnic hatred was the greatest threat, while Europeans tended to choose inequality. Africans are more concerned with AIDS and other infectious diseases, while scattered countries, many with good reason, chose the spread of nuclear weapons or pollution and environmental problems as the top danger.

The dots below represent the countries that express the highest level of concern about each danger category. The geographical clustering shows that countries’choices often reflect regional concerns as well as internal problems.

Views in:Religious & ethnic hatredInequalityAIDS & other diseasesNuclear weaponsPollution & environmentLebanon58%17%