by Tom Bosschaert

Feb. 14, 2013

Tom Bosschaert

This edition of Wormfood covers several intriguing world events, including the resignation of the pope and the decision of Julian Assange to run for Australian senate. We also cover a ton of environmental, energy, and science stories, all found below.

Global News

  • Pope Benedict XVI is to resign at the end of this month after nearly eight years as the head of the Catholic Church, saying he is too old to continue at the age of 85.
  •  North Korea conducted a widely anticipated nuclear test this past Tuesday, indicated by an "explosion-like" earthquake that monitoring agencies around the globe said appeared to be unnatural.
  • WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange has filed paperwork to run for a seat in the Australian senate as a member of the newly formed WikiLeaks party 

Business & Economy

Energy & Environment

  • First Solar Inc, the world’s largest maker of thin-film solar panels, may sell electricity at a lower rate than new coal plants earn, according to a regulatory filing from a project it purchased in New Mexico.
  • 11,000 Elephants Slaughtered in African Forest
  • Plugging In, Dutch Put Electric Cars to the Test

  • A new study indicates soot, known as black carbon, plays a far greater role in global warming than previously believed and is second only to CO2 in the amount of heat it traps in the atmosphere. Reducing some forms of soot emissions — such as from diesel fuel and coal burning — could prove effective in slowing down the planet’s warming.
  • Scotland aims for 50% renewable power by 2015

Science, Technology, & Design

  • NASA data may have uncovered galaxy's youngest black hole. A rare distorted supernova explosion leads scientists to believe they may be witnessing the birth of a black hole for the first time ever.
  • A billion dollar project claims it will recreate the most complex organ in the human body in just 10 years. But detractors say it is impossible. Who is right?
  • A 15-year old invents new method for diagnosing cancer which is 168 faster, 26000 times cheaper and 400% more reliable than common methods. He did most of his research via Google.

Urban Environment

  • China's shift from a rural to urban society is speeding up development projects, including one where a developer is flattening mountains to build a new city
  • Urban stormwater runoff is a serious problem, overloading sewage treatment plants and polluting waterways. Now, various U.S. cities are creating innovative green infrastructure — such as rain gardens and roadside plantings — that mimics the way nature collects and cleanses water.

Unexpected and Intriguing

  • Women in Paris finally allowed to wear trousers. A 200-year-old law forbidding women to wear trousers in Paris has finally been revoked.
  • Scientist discovers a 17-million digit prime number, "no practical use".
  • China's New Bachelor Class "An estimated 12 to 15 percent of Chinese men -- a population nearly the size of Texas -- will be unable to find a mate within the next seven years."

This bi-weekly digest is made by assembling items from all of Except’s people. Have questions, comments, or news items to suggest? E-mail Read past Wormfood global news reports here.

Feb. 14, 2013