Could DNA reinvent data storage?

Featured Image: With DNA storage, all of the information on the internet could fit inside of a shoebox.

Sunday, 14 April 2019, New York, NY – No matter what form of data storage you choose, there is always some limitation. Not just on the amount of data you can store, but also on how long that mode of storage can last. Paper decomposes, hard drives deteriorate, and even stones will eventually erode. But recently, novel technology has the potential to expand both of those capacities dramatically – much more than any currently existing form of data storage – and can revolutionise data storage in the process. That novel technology is one that we are already familiar with – DNA.

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Prison Escape: Is it legal?

Featured Image: Prison. Turns out, it’s legal to escape it in Germany.

1 April 2019, London, UK – If you live in most countries, including the UK and the US, you can have at least ten years added to your sentence if you get put back into prison after having escaped. But not in Germany. Why? Because in Germany and a few other countries, you cannot be busted for escaping prison. It sounds ridiculous but it actually makes quite a lot of sense.

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How Hawaii became American

Featured Image: Mountains of Kauai

Saturday, 30 March 2019, San Francisco, CA – From kingdom, to republic, to territory, to state, the history of Hawaii is complex, and often fraught with outright stupidity that, in a perfect world, should not have even happened in the first place. We often think of that stupidity as being the annexation of Hawaii by the United States. A historical event described as awkward at best and genocide at worst, most of us think of Hawaii’s annexation as something that, under ideal circumstances, should not have even happened at all. But this post is not just about the annexation. The suffering of the Native Hawaiians from the 19th century onwards was not just caused by the United States. It was also, in part, a self inflicted wound.

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Habsburg Incest

Featured Image: Do you notice anything unusual about Charles’s family tree?

Saturday, 23 February 2019, Paris, France – The Habsburg Dynasty was one of the most influential royal houses in European history, originating in Austria and spreading to almost every European country. The Habsburgs may have been successful in achieving power and influence, but their one key failure is well-known: inbreeding. After hundreds of years, the Habsburg gene pool became progressively smaller and smaller until the royal line was eventually unsustainable. This is the story of Charles II of Spain, and even today is known within Spain as El Hechizado, or “the Bewitched”.

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Brexit

Featured image: British PM Theresa May suffered the biggest Commons defeat in British history when that body overwhelmingly voted to reject her exit plan.

Friday, 22 February 2019, London, United Kingdom – On 23 June 2016, a referendum was held to determine the future of the United Kingdom’s relationship with the European Union. The population was divided almost completely evenly on the issue, with 51.9% voting leave and 48.1% voting remain, an extremely narrow margin. The UK has not even left the European Union yet, but the fog of uncertainty floating over the country is already doing it damage.

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Fish Yogurt – Update

Featured Image: Russian President Vladimir Putin announces his interest in either dissolving or privatising the Russian State Yogurt Corporation, branded as YogCorp. For more information, check out our first blog post on fish yogurt.

Monday, 6 February 2018, Moscow, Russia – When you consider the stress of militarily invading other countries, suppressing the political opposition, cracking down on gay people, and dealing with an ongoing scandal of interfering with a foreign country’s democratic electionsone could say that Russian President Vladimir Putin has a pretty busy schedule. But for some reason, Putin has found time to make a surprise press release Sunday in regards to Russia’s failing fish yogurt industry. Specifically, Putin says he wants to work with the State Duma to eventually privatise or dissolve the российская государственная йогуртная корпорация (Rossiyskaya Gosudarstvennaya Yogurtnaya Korporatsiya, RGYK) (Russian State Yogurt Corporation), commonly known as YogCorp.

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Australia Day

Featured Image: Australia Day is supposed to represent all Australians, but controversy still lingers over its symbolisation of the struggle of the country’s Aboriginal peoples.

Saturday, 26 January 2019, Sydney, Australia – Today is Australia Day, Australia’s equivalent of America’s Fourth of July. On this day the Australian Government’s official celebrations include citizenship ceremonies, awards and knighthoods, and a controversial re-enactment of the arrival of the First Fleet. Indeed, Australia Day commemorates the anniversary of the arrival of British ships in Australia on 26 January 1788, to claim British sovereignty over the country’s eastern coast. And this simple fact has generated enormous controversy surrounding the discrimination, subjugation, and near-extermination of Australia’s indigenous peoples.

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