Blind Love: For The Dogs

■    When Claire Johnson, 50, took her seeing-eye dog, Venice, to training classes in Stoke-on-Trent, England, the canine helper quickly became friends with fellow student Rodd, owned by 52-year-old Mark Gaffey. As the two dogs became inseparable pals, their sight-impaired owners struck up a friendship that soon turned into romance. Now, after an 11-month courtship, Johnson and Gaffey are to […]

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Here come the killer robots

If you think drone warfare has created some tricky moral dilemmas, said Robert H. Latiff and Patrick J. McCloskey, just wait until we start sending robotic soldiers into battle. Early prototypes of robots that can hunt down and destroy enemies with ferocious firepower are in development, and “what now seems like the stuff of Hollywood fantasy is moving toward realization.” […]

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Inequality: Why the poor are getting poorer

Why is America a nation of growing inequality? The yawning economic and cultural gap between the well-to-do and the working class—now wider than at almost any point in our history—has academics and pundits searching for explanations. Now, a new Harvard study provides an illuminating—and “horrifying”—insight into what’s going on. The affluent and the working classes, the study found, are raising […]

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Envying the lower castes

Suddenly everyone wants to be low-caste, said Badri Narayan. It used to be considered an extreme disadvantage to be in one of India’s oppressed castes or indigenous tribes. But decades of affirmative action and quota systems have changed all that. Now, many lower-middle castes are agitating to be reclassified as “more backward,” in effect “struggling to move down the ladder […]

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Dogs and pigs dying overnight in china

Yanshi, China Dead dogs, pigs: Another sudden mass animal die-off has left many Chinese worried about their own health. Scores of pigs and dogs dropped dead overnight in Dongtun village, apparently from poisonous gas emitted from a chemical plant. “All the dogs in the village had basically died off,” one resident said. “Those that hadn’t died were in their last […]

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Chinese waste-to-energy plant will be a mile in circumference

On the mountainous outskirts of Shenzhen, a fast-growing mega-city in China, the largest waste-to-energy plant in the world is on the horizon. You can bet that this disk-shaped trash-burning plant isn’t going to do any wonders for China’s notoriously bad air quality. It’s projected to burn 5,500 tons of trash per day — one-third of the waste Shenzhen produces. But the alternative […]

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Mapping the moon

Two NASA probes that spent last year orbiting the moon have returned stunning new geological maps that could help explain how it, Earth, and other planets in our solar system formed. The probes, named Ebb and Flow, flew identical orbits just miles above the moon’s surface to measure its gravity field. Slight disruptions in their paths—caused by the push and […]

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