Aug 31 – Sep 6 Weekly News


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The brain-hacking chip could give us superpowers

Elon Musk put a computer chip in a pig's brain. This could lead to computer-to-brain technology in humans. Mr. Musk is a technology pioneer. He makes electric cars and space rockets. Gertrude the pig shows his latest project - to allow us to control computers with our brains. This could enhance our brainpower. He believes his technology is a giant leap into the future. He said it will change our lives by giving us superhuman powers.

Results from Gertrude the pig show the potential the technology has. It could help people with brain conditions like strokes and dementia. It could wire our brain directly to the Internet. As in a science fiction movie, we could control devices just by using our thoughts. The most futuristic part of the technology is what Musk calls "superhuman cognition". This will help us to stop artificial intelligence becoming strong enough to destroy the human race.


India and Russia share chess gold medal after the Internet fails

The gold medal for the 44th Chess Olympiad went to India and Russia. Olympiad happens every two years. This year was online for the first time because of coronavirus. Some games in the final came to an end when two Indian players lost their Internet connection. Officials said they had to award the gold medal to the two countries because it was fair. The Indian players lost time when their Internet connection failed.

This year's competition had teams from over 160 countries. The final was the second time teams had problems. A player from Armenia was disconnected during a match. Officials rejected his appeal so Armenia went home in protest. Officials said there were "unprecedented circumstances" in the final. They said a "global Internet outage severely affected" two of the Indian players in the final. They added that the lost connection happened, "when the outcome of the match was still unclear".


R&B singer Akon to build a futuristic city

The singer Akon will build a city from scratch. He has raised money for a futuristic city of 300,000 people on Africa's west coast. He will call it Akon City. He said it was a "real-life Wakanda" - the city from the movie "Black Panther". Akon was born in the USA to Senegalese parents. He said construction on the $6 billion project will start next year and take three years to finish. He hopes it will provide much-needed jobs for Senegalese people.

Designs on show dreamlike, shining glass and steel skyscrapers. They were inspired by traditional African sculptures. Akon wants his high-tech city to be a port of call for Senegalese and other Africans facing racial injustice around the world. He said people are treated unfairly, "in ways that you can never imagine". He added: "If you're coming from the diaspora and you want to visit Africa, we want Senegal to be your first stop."


Bodybuilder delivery helps sushi business in Japan

A sushi restaurant has a new idea to help its business. It is using bodybuilders to deliver sushi. The 60-year-old restaurant is in Japan. It is owned by a sushi chef and bodybuilder Masanori Sugiura. He came third in a world bodybuilding championship this year. He had fewer customers because of coronavirus. His delivery service is called "Delivery Macho". Customers must order over $66 of sushi to get it delivered by a bodybuilder.

The service is very popular and has been trending on Twitter. Mr. Sugiura has delivered sushi as far away as Tokyo, which is around 350km from the restaurant. Customers can ask the delivery men to take their shirt off and pose for photos, while socially distanced. This has helped to increase sushi orders. Mr. Sugiura has also helped to employ people out of work. He gave his friends from fitness gyms jobs as delivery staff.


Hong Kong begins mass Coronavirus testing

The Chinese territory of Hong Kong has started a mass testing program for the novel coronavirus. More than 500,000 people in the city of 7.5 million signed up for the testing before it began. The process is expected to last at least a week, possibly two. The program is aimed at identifying silent carriers of the virus — those without symptoms — who could be spreading the disease. Thousands of people lined up at more than 100 testing centers Tuesday, on the first day of the program.

Critics are distrustful of the program, which receives support from China’s central government. Some have expressed fear that the tests could be used to collect DNA from Hong Kong residents. Hong Kong leader Carrie Lam told “This large-scale universal community testing program is beneficial to fighting the epidemic and beneficial to our society,” Lam said. The effort would help the city overcome the health crisis and was a necessary step before the return of normal day-to-day activities, she added.


'Flying Car' test successful for Japanese company

People have long dreamt of a car that flies through the sky. Japan’s SkyDrive has carried out a successful, but modest test flight of such a vehicle carrying a person. It is just one of the many “flying car” projects around the world. In a video shown to reporters last week, a vehicle that looked like a motorcycle with propellers lifted up to two meters off the ground.

Tomohiro Fukuzawa heads the SkyDrive effort. He said he hopes the flying car can be made into a real-life product by 2023. However, he noted the importance of safety. “Of the world’s more than 100 flying car projects, only a handful has succeeded with a person on board,” he told. “I hope many people will want to ride it and feel safe.” The machine so far can fly for just five to 10 minutes, but if the flight time can be extended to 30 minutes, the car will have more possibilities. The Japanese government has expressed support for the futuristic project, with a “road map” for business services by 2023.


Black Holes Merge Into Unusual Size

Black holes are becoming stranger — even to scientists who study planets and other objects in outer space. Astronomers recently reported the discovery of the signal from a violent collision of two black holes. The event, which took place long ago, created a new black hole of a size that scientists had never seen before. California Institute of Technology physicist Alan Weinstein said that the finding was the “biggest bang” ever observed by human beings since the Big Bang.

The Big Bang is a term many astronomers use to explain the beginning of the universe. Black holes are compact areas of space. They are so dense that not even light can escape. Astronomers’ calculations suggest that anything in between the two sizes did not make sense. That was because stars that grew too big before the collapse would generally destroy themselves, leaving no black holes. Blackhole collisions have been observed before. But the black holes involved were smaller to begin with. Scientists still do not know how supermassive black holes at the center of galaxies formed, but this new discovery may offer a clue.


Scientists study complete dinosaur skeleton

The first complete dinosaur skeleton was found in southern England in 1858. The bones belonged to a creature called Scelidosaurus. The early British paleontologist Richard Owen incompletely described its body in papers that were published in 1861 and 1863. But for years, scientists did not pay much attention to Scelidosaurus. That has now changed. Scientists have recently finished several careful studies of the dinosaur’s remains. The findings suggest the creature had an unusual build. University of Cambridge paleontologist David Norman recently published his fourth study on the Scelidosaurus.

Norman wrote, “dinosaurs had only been known from scraps of bone and some teeth.” Scelidosaurus lived about 193 million years ago. It was an early member of the evolutionary family that led to the dinosaur group called ankylosaurs. Ankylosaurs were armored dinosaurs. Their bodies were so strong that they are sometimes called the tank dinosaurs. Scelidosaurus was about 4-meters-long. It had four legs and ate plants. It was covered in bony plates with hard, pointy spikes.

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