ENVIRONMENT


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Honk if Pluto is still a planet

4 Comments
04 September 2006 | Tim Thwaites
Honk if Pluto is still a planetThe outcry with which people greeted ex-planet Pluto’s change in status surprised many. Even the language used was astonishing. Pluto had been “demoted”, “banished” and “stripped of its status”. The Times of India reported people buying bumper stickers asking fellow drivers to “Honk if Pluto is still a planet”.


Changed climate will cook the elderly

4 Comments
04 September 2006 | Kate Mannix

Changed climate will cook the elderlyWhen the human body gets to 42°C, it starts to cook. Death is inevitable, and it is the most vulnerable who will go first. While the CSIRO has projections on the likely effects of climate change in Australia, there has been little work on what that will actually mean for human health outcomes in specific regions.


When human life is not really human life

6 Comments
07 August 2006 | Tim Thwaites

The term 'therapeutic cloning' is unfortunate, as it has nothing to do with replicating humans. Researchers undertaking therapeutic cloning would say that the circumstances under which they stimulate human eggs to develop ensure there is no way the result could ever become a human baby.


More 'special features' in store for DVD technology

2 Comments
24 July 2006 | Tim Kroenert
More 'special features' in store for DVD technologySpecial features are the DVD equivalent of a free set of steak knives. The appeal isn’t solely economic, either-film buffs are attracted to the idea of expanding their bank of esoteric movie knowledge. But special features are not the extent of the big studios' bag of tricks.


Virtual voyeurism

10 July 2006 | Margaret Cassidy
Webcams allow us to see ordinary life as it is being lived around the world. A myriad of sites takes us to tourist sites, places of worship, and even to the Antarctic.


Filters, fixes and flimsy in new Net policy

10 July 2006 | Paul Osborne
Communications Minister Helen Coonan's latest plan is to give every family in the country a free Internet filter program for their computer. The government is also putting more money into its NetAlert advisory service for parents and will roll out a community education program - all at a cost of $117 million.


Keeping an eye on our behaviour

10 July 2006 | Tim Thwaites
Warnings are more effective if accompanied by a photo of someone watching you.  Maybe this reflects our human evolution.  But if we are to talk sensibly about human evolution, we need a more sophisticated understanding of it than commonly prevails.


Being water wise

09 July 2006 | Tim Thwaites
Summertime, and the livin’s less easy—at least in southern Australia.


Big money

07 July 2006 | Tim Thwaites
Like most organisms, human beings are most comfortable in their own neighbourhood.


Heated topics

05 July 2006 | Tim Thwaites
The power of nature has been dominant this summer—the heat, the drought, the dust and the terrifying spectacle of the bushfires, sweeping away all in their path.


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