440: The Internet of Things by Philosophy Talk

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Smart TVs, refrigerators, cars, and houses—the internet of things refers to the networking of all the devices in our lives, as they gather data and interact with one another, apparently to make our lives easier. How will this augmented connectivity affect the way we live? If government agencies or hackers can potentially access the data our devices gather, what will become of privacy? Josh and Ken get smart with renowned computer scientist Carl Hewitt, editor of “Inconsistency Robustness (Studies in Logic).”
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How flame retardants affect children’s health by UC Science Today

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Exposure to flame retardant chemicals or PBDEs during pregnancy can affect children’s neurodevelopment. That’s according to Tracey Woodruff, an environmental health scientist at the University of California, San Francisco.

“There’s been studies in multiple locations including the United States and in other countries around the world and what was found was that women with higher exposures to PBDEs during pregnancies, their children had lower IQ scores.”

Woodruff says they measured IQ scores of 5 to 7-year-old exposed to these chemicals in infancy.

“For about 10-fold increase in PBDEs there was a drop of IQ score of about 4 IQ points.”

But how did women get exposed to the chemicals? Turns out, through furnishings at home.

“PBDE flame retardants are the class of chemicals that were used primarily in upholstered furniture, so polyurethane foam. They were put in as a requirement to flammability standards. They are also used sometimes in electronics.”
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A Smashup of Neutron Stars & Einstein’s Theory of Relativity with Astrophysics Curator Michael Shara by Science at AMNH

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Today, scientists announced that they have detected a spectacular collision of two neutron stars some 130 million light years away. The method of discovery is also making news: this was the first time ever that a cosmic event was perceived through both gravitational waves — ripples in space and time — and light—confirming Einstein’s general theory of relativity, which predicted that gravitational waves should travel at the speed of light.

More than 1,500 scientists around the world collaborated on this breakthrough, using the U.S.-based Laser Interferometer Gravitational-Wave Observatory or LIGO, the Europe-based Virgo detector, and some 70 ground- and space-based observatories. Museum astrophysicist Michael Shara, who was part of the research team, explains this thrilling discovery in the latest podcast.
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Blue: All Rise (Antony, iiii) by HarperCollins Publishers

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Blue first rose to fame and mega-stardom in 2001. With 3 UK Number 1 Platinum-selling albums, 2 Brit Awards and 16 million records to their name, they quickly became the crushes of choice for the noughties generation.

But their tendency to say exactly what they think, wear their hearts on their sleeves and court controversy (usually unintentionally) has meant that they’ve rarely left the limelight, or public hearts and minds, since.

Blue: All Rise: Our Story is the boys’ intimate tell-all account charting the highs and the lows of their incredible career, the stories behind the headlines, and our favourite face-palm-worthy Blue moments. With explosive new reveals, never-before-seen photos, and all the latest updates – including Simon’s engagement and his struggle with depression, Lee’s brush with cancer, Duncan’s devastation at the passing away of his best friend, original It Girl Tara Palmer-Tomkinson, and how Antony’s adapting to fatherhood all over again, this is the story every 2000s teen has been waiting for, from four lads who’ve come out the other side older, wiser and closer than ever.
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