Guardian: Climate Change Inaction Pushes 'Doomsday Clock' Closer to Midnight
The symbolic doomsday clock moved to three minutes before midnight on Thursday because of the gathering dangers of climate change and nuclear proliferation, signaling the gravest threat to humanity since the throes of the cold war.
It was the closest the clock has come to midnight since 1984, when arms-control negotiations stalled and virtually all channels of communication between the U.S. and the former Soviet Union closed down.
Autos Cheat Sheet: Was the Cadillac ELR the Electric Vehicle Flop of 2014?
When we rounded up the coolest electric vehicle concepts of 2014, that got us thinking about the other side of the equation. What about the newly released cars that confounded consumers, frustrated dealers, and got panned by the critics? Being the world of EVs, there weren’t enough examples for a list, so we narrowed it down to a single car that keeps popping up on the “biggest blunder” lists of 2014: the Cadillac ELR. Here’s a look at how one stylish plug-in hybrid became the consensus flop of the year.
Reuters: Obama Reveals Nuclear Breakthrough on Landmark India Trip
In a glow of bonhomie, U.S. President Barack Obama and Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi unveiled plans to unlock billions of dollars in nuclear trade and to deepen defense ties, steps they hope will establish an enduring strategic partnership.
The two countries reached an understanding on two issues that, despite a groundbreaking 2006 agreement, had stopped U.S. companies from setting up reactors in India and had become one of the major irritants in bilateral relations.
Motherboard: This Battery Has Lasted 175 Years and No One Knows How
There sits, in the Clarendon Laboratory at Oxford University, a bell that has been ringing, nonstop, for at least 175 years. It's powered by a single battery that was installed in 1840. Researchers would love to know what the battery is made of, but they are afraid that opening the bell would ruin an experiment to see how long it will last.
The bell’s clapper oscillates back and forth constantly and quickly, meaning the Oxford Electric Bell, as it’s called, has rung roughly 10 billion times, according to the university. It's made of what's called a "dry pile," which is one of the first electric batteries. Dry piles were invented by a guy named Giuseppe Zamboni (no relation to the ice resurfacing company) in the early 1800s. They use alternating discs of silver, zinc, sulfur, and other materials to generate low currents of electricity.
Businessweek: Oil Traders Look for a Bonanza Like 2009
The sudden collapse in oil prices has left the world awash in cheap crude. Analysts estimate that global production of excess oil -- oil for which there is no immediate demand -- is somewhere between 1 million and 2 million barrels a day. Oil traders are scrambling to find a place to store it all, leasing tankers at the fastest pace since the recession. With any luck, they’ll replicate a strategy that won them big profits in 2009, the last time oil was this inexpensive.
In 2008, oil prices crashed from $146 a barrel in July to $36 in December. Traders kept buying crude, but rather than sell, they sat on it and waited for prices to rebound. By the end of 2009, prices had almost doubled from their lows of a year earlier, and trading companies booked fat profits as they unloaded their stored oil.