Great White May Be Leading Scientists to a Shark Nursery, As 15-foot Predator Located Off Bahamas

A 15-foot-long great white shark has been tracked to near the Bahamas and researchers believe the female could soon reveal the site of a great white shark nursery.

The shark, known as Unama’ki, is being tracked by research non-profit OCEARCH, who monitor hundreds of marine animals—ranging in size from whales to turtles—around the globe.

“When we first met Unama’ki, we knew she had the potential to lead us to a site where she might give birth. Today on the #OCEARCH Global #SharkTracker she’s in the Bahamas, roughly 50 miles northeast of Guana Cay on the edge of the Blake escarpment,” the non-profit said in a Tweet on Friday.

OCEARCH researchers first captured and tagged Unama’ki—who weighs around 2,000 pounds—in September, 2019 off the coast of Cape Breton in Nova Scotia, Canada.

Since then, the shark has traveled more than 12,500 miles, having swum almost the entire length of the North American east coast, entering the Gulf of Mexico, heading out deep into the Atlantic Ocean and reaching as far north as Newfoundland before finally heading south towards the Bahamas, near where she was located on October 29.

Researchers said it was “curious” that Unama’ki was making a similar journey to that previously made by two other large, mature, female, white sharks, known as Luna and Lydia.

“Could she be pregnant, and moving into a calmer area?” OCEARCH asked on Twitter. “We’re hoping she exposes a new #greatwhiteshark nursery to us next spring or summer.”

Another shark, known as Mary Lee, was previously tracked making a long journey into the open ocean before returning to shore near Long Island, where a white shark nursery has been found, OCEARCH Founding Chairman and Expedition Leader Chris Fischer previously told Newsweek.

OCEARCH researchers locate sharks using SPOT (Smart Position and Temperature) tags, which are mounted on the top of the shark’s first dorsal fin. Scientists receive an alert, known as a “ping”, when a tracking satellite overhead detects the fin breaking the surface of the water.

In addition to SPOT tags, OCEARCH researchers also try and fit sharks with both an acoustic tag and a Pop-off Archival Satellite Tag (PSAT.)

Acoustic tags record a shark’s location by communicating with receivers stationed on the bottom of the ocean, while PSATs collect data on depth, temperature and light levels, automatically detaching from the animal at one point between six months and a year.

Collecting this type of data while also taking biological samples from the sharks they capture, provides OCEARCH researchers with valuable new insights to these powerful marine predators.

great white shark Unama'ki
The great white shark Unama’ki aboard the OCEARCH research vessel.

Source A

Read more

White ‘cooling paint’ could slash carbon emissions from buildings

White 'cooling paint' could slash carbon emissions from buildings
White ‘cooling paint’ could slash carbon emissions from buildings

Buildings are a significant source of carbon emissions, particularly in the summer when enormous amounts of energy are required to keep the indoor space at a comfortable temperature. While industrial cooling systems are becoming more efficient and energy-conserving over time, researchers from Purdue University have created a simple solution that could drastically slash carbon emissions from buildings.

The researchers published their study in Cell Reports Physical Science, which details their eco-friendly invention: white paint that can keep buildings cool. This paint contains calcium carbonate, an abundant compound found in seashells and rocks, which creates a cooling effect because it absorbs almost no UV radiation due to its atomic structure.

Approximately 95.5 per cent of sunlight is reflected by the paint, which outperformed commercial white paint that only reflected 87.2 per cent of the sunlight. The effect of the cooling paint was significant — buildings were up to 10°C cooler than their ambient surroundings during the night and at least 1.7°C below the ambient temperature when the Sun was at its peak.

“Your air conditioning kicks on mainly due to sunlight heating up the roof and walls and making the inside of your house feel warmer. This paint is basically creating free air conditioning by reflecting that sunlight and offsetting those heat gains from inside your house,” said Joseph Peoples, a Purdue Ph.D. student in mechanical engineering and a co-author of the study, in the university’s press release.

cool paint purdue university
cool paint purdue university

Purdue researchers Xiulin Ruan (left) and Joseph Peoples using an infrared camera to compare the cooling performance of white paint samples on a rooftop. Credit: Purdue University/Jared Pike

In addition to preventing the need for air conditioning that is typically fueled by carbon-emitting fossil fuels, the researchers say that their cooling paint sends the sunlight’s heat into deep space. The cooling paint’s calcium carbonate scatters the sunlight’s wavelengths so that it can exit through part of the atmosphere, which is known as an atmospheric window, so it does not warm up the Earth’s surface. The cooling paint’s heat-reflective ability is a key feature that commercial white paints lack.

“We’re not moving heat from the [Earth’s] surface to the atmosphere. We’re just dumping it all out into the universe, which is an infinite heat sink,” said Xiangyu Li, a postdoctoral researcher at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and contributor to this study.

The researchers say that there is potential for this paint to be successfully applied on several surfaces including roads, roofs, and cars, which could have a significant global cooling effect. A study published in Nature Geoscience found that creating lighter surfaces could help to lower extreme temperatures by up to 3°C in cities, such as New York City, during the summer months, which would improve public health and lower both electricity usage and carbon emissions.

Canadians spend 90 per cent of their time indoors and in 2018, residential, commercial and industrial buildings accounted for 17 per

Read more

Two Black former DC Comics editors describe the career obstacles they faced, from white leadership saying they’d never be promoted to their achievements being undercut

DC Comics; Samantha Lee/Business Insider

© DC Comics; Samantha Lee/Business Insider
DC Comics; Samantha Lee/Business Insider

  • Harvey Richards and Lateef Ade “L.A.” Williams, two Black former DC Comics editorial staffers, told Business Insider they felt their careers at the company were hindered because of their race.
  • Richards was fired in December 2019 after 22 years and was the only Black editorial staffer at DC when he left. He was only promoted once. 
  • Williams exited in 2000 after six years without a promotion and after disputes with white members of DC leadership.
  • The careers of Richards and Williams cut across two decades, but the similarities in their experiences, from being told they’d never be promoted to a feeling that their achievements were not valued, show how little has changed for Black staffers.
  • DC’s small editorial team shapes the comics that inspire lucrative movies, video games, and merchandise. Richards and Williams said that it’s important for Black editors at DC to be in a position to champion diversity.
  • Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more stories.

Harvey Richards and Lateef Ade “L.A.” Williams have a lot in common. They both grew up reading comics with aspirations to work in the industry one day. They both ultimately nabbed roles on the editorial staff of DC Comics in the 1990s.


Load Error

And they are both Black men who say they never achieved their full potential at DC Comics because of their race.

There are differences in their stories — notably, the time periods. Williams exited his role as an assistant editor in 2000 after six years without a promotion, while Richards spent 22 years at the comics giant with just one promotion before he was fired in December 2019. 

But the similarities that cut across those two decades are striking and speak to how little has changed for Black editorial staffers at DC Comics and in the comics industry at large.

Richards was the only Black staffer in the main DC editorial department at the time of his exit in 2019, which included about 15 people, he said. He added that DC had since hired a Black assistant editor. DC declined to comment on personnel matters.

DC, which is home to Batman, Superman, and other iconic characters, is much larger than its comics editorial department, with around 200 employees on the publishing side. But the small team of editors shape the comics and characters that inspire lucrative movies, video games, TV shows, and merchandise.

“You need [Black] editors to help nurture talent to foster diverse characters,” Richards said.

Besides being the only Black editorial staffer at the time of his exit, Richards felt stymied in his own career, he said. In his 22 years at the company, he was only promoted once. He began as an assistant editor and 12 years later, in 2009, he was promoted to associate editor.

L.A. Williams can relate.

“My personality and work style is different than Harvey’s, who is different from every other name I could rattle off,” Williams said. “But no matter

Read more

Living near a White Dwarf

Recently, the first planet to orbit a white dwarf—the latter named WD 1856+534—was discovered through its transit in front of the tiny star once every 1.4 days. Remarkably, this giant planet, WD 1856b, is seven times bigger than the stellar remnant it transits. Most likely, there are rocky, Earth-size planets at similar distances from other white dwarfs—in which case they would possess a surface temperature similar to that of Earth. This hits us close to home.

In about a billion years, the sun will brighten up enough to boil away the oceans on Earth through a runaway greenhouse effect. In order to survive, our civilization will have to migrate outwards in the solar system. Seven billion years later, the core of the sun will shrink to its remnant, a white dwarf, carrying about half of the solar mass with the rest lost.

A white dwarf is a hot, dense, metallic crystal ball, roughly the size of the Earth—1.4 Earth radii in the case of WD 1856+534—that is slowly cooling off because it no longer has a central nuclear engine. There are 10 billion white dwarfs in the Milky Way galaxy because many sunlike stars have already gone through the process of dying. This is a result of a fortuitous coincidence between the life span of sunlike stars and the current age of the universe.

After a few billion years, a white dwarf cools to a surface temperature similar to that of the present-day sun. In particular, WD 1856+534 was estimated to have an age of 6 billion years and a surface temperature of 4,700 kelvins, somewhat lower than the current solar value of 5,800 kelvins. The newly discovered planet is 50 times closer to WD 1856+534 than the Earth’s distance from the sun.

Since this white dwarf is 76 times smaller in size than the sun, an observer located just inside the orbit of the newly detected planet, at about 1 percent of the Earth-sun separation, would witness an illumination similar to that on Earth, with WD 1856+534 occupying roughly the same angle as the sun does in our sky. In such a “habitable zone” around any white dwarf, the University of Washington’s Eric Agol suggested in a 2011 paper, liquid water could exist on the surface of a rocky planet, enabling the chemistry of life as we know it. Owing to the short orbital time, residents of a habitable world around WD 1856+534 would be busy celebrating their birthday once every 33 hours—the length of a year on that planet.

Given that the luminous surface area of a white dwarf is 10,000 times smaller than that of the sun, absorption features from a planet’s atmosphere during a transit of a white dwarf are much more easily detectable than for sunlike stars. During a full transit, which would last a few minutes, an Earth-size planet would occult the entire white dwarf. Given the proximity of the planet to the star, the transit repetition rate is hundreds of times larger compared

Read more

New ‘XR For Social Impact’ White Paper Surveys Use Cases For Immersive Technologies In Education, Healthcare, And Training

Games For Change releases social impact-driven XR landscape survey at the 2020 Unity for Humanity Summit.

Over the past decade, extended reality technologies (XR)—including augmented, mixed, and virtual reality—have graduated from the stuff of science fiction to that of mainstream reality. Games like Pokémon GO and Beat Saber have acclimated people outside of narrow insider communities to the potential of XR—in both gaming and non-gaming applications—as we push into the 2020s.

But while XR is increasingly included in conversations around possible zones of innovation, oftentimes it can be hard to understand the unique opportunities and risks associated with actually developing solutions using these technologies. This is particularly true for realms outside of games and entertainment, where value oftentimes needs to be established from the outset in order to justify the upfront investment of time and resources.

A new white paper from Games For Change, officially presented today at the Unity for Humanity Summit, seeks to offer a toolkit for understanding the unique affordances of XR through advances in three social impact spaces: Education, Healthcare, and Workforce Training [Disclosure: the author has curated Games For Change event programming but was not involved in the creation of this white paper]. The report, written by Archit Kaushik, aims to “untangle the wide net of applications cast by impact-driven XR for various stakeholders interested in engaging with this technology.” Its insights pull from subject matter expert interviews, existing research, and industry use cases.

“At G4C, we recognized that a lot of folks in our community were struggling to get up to speed with all of the rapid developments happening in this space,” said Raul Carvajal, XR for Change lead and production manager at Games For Change, in an interview with the author. “People may have heard the hype around virtual reality and other XR technologies set to change the world, but it’s difficult to get a nuanced understanding of what that means in practice. With this report, we wanted to communicate that nuance through some of the awesome use cases that we’ve come across over the last three years.”


The first industry referenced in “XR for Social Impact” is healthcare. Healthcare spending currently accounts for 18% of the US GDP, and spending in this vertical was already projected to rise prior to the Covid-19 pandemic. Since then, consumer spending in telehealth has increased by 46%. XR, which can increase presence in virtual settings, offers several key advantages for healthcare practitioners.

“From cognitive therapy to physical therapy to pain relief, XR is quickly transforming the healthcare industry, changing the way doctors provide care to patients,” the report reads, outlining the following six areas in which XR is impacting healthcare:

  • Access to Healthcare
  • Pain Management
  • Psychological Therapy
  • Anatomical Visualization
  • Medical Education
  • Physical Fitness & Rehabilitation


Immersive media

Read more