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Spotify reports ‘spike of sadness’ activity: One Direction to blame

Spotify reports ‘spike of sadness’ activity: One Direction to blame

Services like Twitter provide snapshots of many things: at their smallest level, of an individual. Looked at more broadly, they tell stories with numbers that give a look at the effect certain news and world happenings have, and how those effects play out in different regions. Though you mightn't have cared, you've likely heard news that the boy band One Direction has experienced a shake up, with one member deciding to part ways. That news has blasted through Facebook and other social networks, and has caused what Spotify calls a "spike of sadness" on its own service.

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Researchers: Antarctic ice shelves melting spiked in the last decade

Researchers: Antarctic ice shelves melting spiked in the last decade

Some researchers have undertaken a big effort to monitor the rate of Antarctic ice selves melting, and what they've found again shows that the ice is melting faster than ever before, particularly in the last decade when a spike in the rate was observed. Such information comes from a recent study detailing work done by a research team headed by the Scripps Institution of Oceanography. According to the newly published study, the rate of ice shelf melting in some areas has increased by 18-percent over the past nearly 20 years, and there's no signs of that slowing down.

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White House details plan to fight drug-resistant bacteria

White House details plan to fight drug-resistant bacteria

Drug-resistant bacteria is a serious problem, causing thousands of deaths in the US (and even more elsewhere) and millions of hard-to-treat illnesses every year. It's important to address the issue, and while some campaigns aiming to educate the public on how to help prevent this have taken place, they haven't been enough. Now the White House is getting involved, with the Obama administration detailing its recent past efforts and future plans for addressing the issue, including the development of diagnostic tests and limiting inappropriate prescriptions.

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Lousy mobile providers threatened with prison time in Africa

Lousy mobile providers threatened with prison time in Africa

Nigeria is following the lead of Tanzania and Zambia by enforcing jail time on substandard mobile operators. From now on, if a mobile company in Africa regularly delivers inferior service to its customers, the network operators could be sent to prison. These charges are handed down by Nigeria's Consumer Protection Council (CPC) which operates as a sort of government sponsored consumer watchdog group. It seems strict, but this heavy punishment is on the line because the Nigerian government feels consumers are being tricked into paying for shady, low quality services.

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Sling TV: A&E, History, H2 and Lifetime channels go live

Sling TV: A&E, History, H2 and Lifetime channels go live

Earlier this month, Sling TV announced that it would be adding more channels to its core package for subscribers: History, H2, Lifetime, and A&E. Fast-forward to today, and those channels are now live, giving subscribers more options without requiring the purchase of an add-on package. There are several add-on packages available too, however, which cost $5 each and tack on groups of channels that are in some way related, such as cooking networks.

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Endangered “Magic Rabbit” caught on camera in China after 20 years

Endangered “Magic Rabbit” caught on camera in China after 20 years

The endangered Ili pika ("Magic Rabbit"), a small rabbit with mouse-like ears, has been caught on camera in China for the first time in two decades. The images were published by National Geographic last week, giving a glimpse at the decidedly adorable little mammal as it perched on rocks in the Tianshan Mountains in China. The mammal is commonly described as resembling a teddy bear, due to its rounded ears, and it was first discovered back in 1983 entirely by accident.

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Researchers create new form of ice using graphene sheets

Researchers create new form of ice using graphene sheets

Researchers have managed to create a new type of ice, something that results from using a couple sheets of graphene to flatten a drop of water. This is done on the microscopic level, and the new type of ice is called "square ice", referring to the square grid-like pattern of the atoms. The ice is created at room temperature, which makes it all the more notable, and follows an initial discovery made back in 2012 when a team of researchers noted that water vapor will pass through graphene oxide, but not helium gas or related gases.

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Students create bass-blasting extinguisher to put out fires

Students create bass-blasting extinguisher to put out fires

A pair of students have developed a modern version of the trusty and ever-handy fire extinguisher, and it's a rendition that is sure to titillate dubstep lovers far and wide: it uses a blast of bass to put out the flames. The extinguisher was made by engineering students Seth Robertson and Viet Tran, who funded the creation themselves and used it as a class project for a senior-level class. The result is a 20lb hand-held device that puts out flames without making a mess, and that has the potential to aid in putting out big fires.

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CERN’s LHC is delayed by repairs before its 2nd run

CERN’s LHC is delayed by repairs before its 2nd run

The Large Hadron Collider (LHC) is preparing for its second run in Switzerland, but it has it some snags along the way. This second round of collisions will use particle beams operating at 6.5 TeV, which is much higher energy than the collider's first run. Although seven out of eight machine sectors are considered ready to go, one sector has encountered a problem which will need to be repaired before any further preparation for the collider's next run. The necessary corrections could delay the LHC's second run by a few weeks.

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Star Wars wall-mounted heads glow, are up for pre-order

Star Wars wall-mounted heads glow, are up for pre-order

Having animal heads mounted on one's wall has thankfully fallen out of fashion, but there's a new type of decoration to fill the void: wall-mounted Star Wars characters' heads, which have the added perk of glowing and add simulated cracks to your drywall. The wall-mounted heads are the type of thing you'd find in a kid's room or similar places, but this isn't a place of judgement -- having a glowing Darth Vader smashing through your entertainment room wall is awesome, and there's no shame in acknowledging that.

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