Article on diving the lost Ancient Ruins of Lion City at Qiandao Lake in China, with exclusive underwater photography.
Source: Dive the Ancient Ruins of Lion City at Qiandao Lake
ep below the calm surface of Qiandao Lake in the Zhejiang Province of China lie the mysterious ruins of two ancient cities, dating back to the Han and Tang dynasties.
Disaster has struck. A micrometeroid has hit the International Space Station (ISS), and the air inside has begun to rush out of the hole into the vacuum of space. But in a matter of seconds, before the station is destroyed, the hole seals itself and keeps the ISS and its crew intact.
Source: Watch This Amazing Self-Healing Material That Could Instantly Repair Damaged Spacecraft | IFLScience
Scientific researchers are elated after a ghostly fish measuring just 10 centimetres was spotted alive for the first time, more than two kilometres below the ocean’s surface.
Source: Rare ‘ghost fish’ spotted alive for the first time more than 2500 metres below ocean surface – 9news.com.au
A dagger entombed alongside the mummy of Egyptian pharaoh Tutankhamun was made with iron that came from a meteorite, researchers say.
Source: Tutankhamun’s knife was ‘made from meteorite iron’ – BBC News
had brought my dogs to be part of a “Doggy De-Stress Day” on the campus of a local university. These are becoming more common for many colleges in North America and usually take place during midterm exam or final exam periods. The way it works is that dogs (often therapy dogs, but sometimes just well-behaved pets) are brought to campus and students get a chance to pet and interact with the dogs. The rationale here is that during exam periods stress levels run high in the student population, and there is am
Source: The Data Says “Don’t Hug the Dog!” | Psychology Today
A huge 3,600 sq mile (9,300 sq km) coral reef system has been found below the muddy waters off the mouth of the river Amazon, astonishing scientists, governments and oil companies who have started to explore on top of it.
Source: Huge coral reef discovered at Amazon river mouth | Environment | The Guardian
The research vessel Nautilus is a floating laboratory equipped with cameras that can peer deep down to the ocean floor. Researchers with the Ocean Exploration Trust posted a video on Monday showing an unusual find. The Nautilus spied a small bright-purple orb underwater in the Channel Islands off the coast of California.
Source: Explorers spot mysterious purple orb on ocean floor – CNET
Scientists have shed light on why life on Earth took millions of years to recover from the greatest mass extinction of all time.The study provides fresh insight into how Earth’s oceans became starved of oxygen in the wake of the event 252 million years ago, delaying the recovery of life by five million years.
Source: Ancient rocks reveal how Earth recovered from mass extinction
Cambridge researchers have identified – and shown that it may be possible to control – the mechanism that leads to the rapid build-up of the disease-causing ‘plaques’ that are characteristic of Alzheimer’s disease.
Source: Physicists discover how proteins in the brain build-up rapidly in Alzheimer’s
Most people think that making a backup plan is always a good idea, and previous scholarship has focused almost exclusively on the benefits of planning. However, we highlight an unintended cost of making backup plans: a lower chance of successfully achieving your primary goal.
Source: Having a “Plan B” Can Hurt Your Chances of Success – Scientific American
Dreaming about positive events in the future makes you feel better now, but may make you feel worse later on, new research finds.The more positively people fantasised about the future, the more depressive symptoms people experienced up to seven months later, the study found.The findings kick against the ubiquitous self-help advice to ‘think positive’.
Source: Think Twice Before Overdoing The Positive Thinking, Cautions Psychology Study – PsyBlog
When New Horizons flew past Pluto last summer, NASA Administrator Charles Bolden heralded it as “the capstone event to 50 years of planetary exploration” adding that the Pluto encounter “completed the initial survey of the solar system.” NASA’s science chief John Grunsfeld said: “there is very little terra incognita in our solar system today.” These statements are based on an outdated view of our solar system — the hierarchical view of nine planets, with Pluto at the outer end, accompanied by a smattering of less-important bodies — and they threaten the future of NASA’s solar system exploration.
Source: Pluto is not the end | The Planetary Society
Hidden deep within the Orion Nebula is a host of previously unseen faint brown dwarfs – planetary bodies that are the missing link between large planets and small stars.
Source: Elusive brown dwarfs found lurking deep in the Orion Nebula
if we were to have our very own Enterprise today, how much would it cost to run?Well an engineering company from Derby has claimed to work out an annual cost for maintaining the world’s most advanced spaceship.How much? £10,342,817.36.
Source: How Much Does The USS Enterprise Cost To Run? This Company Tried To Work It Out
Russia’s space agency Roscosmos intends to send an orbiter and a lander to Jupiter within the next 10 years.
Source: Jupiter, Prepare to Share Your Secrets With Russia
Voice as a form of secure ID is becoming more widespread, with Barclays announcing it is using the technology for telephone banking customers.All Barclays’ personal telephone banking customers are eligible to use the system, although they can opt out.The technology recognises a customer’s unique formation of words, cancelling the need for security questions or passwords.A number of banks are at various stages of introducing similar technology.
Source: Banks turning to voice recognition – BBC News
Divers exploring a sunken 17th-century gunship from Sweden say they have discovered what they believe to be cheese.”The smell and the texture of the material really points in that direction,” Lars Einarsson
Source: 340-year-old cheese discovered at shipwreck site and, man, does it stink – Home | As It Happens | CBC Radio
a large part of our Galaxy, called the Extreme Inner Disk, has no young stars. Co-author Michael Feast notes: “Our conclusions are contrary to other recent work, but in line with the work of radio astronomers who see no new stars being born in this desert.”
Source: A giant stellar void in the Milky Way
The other week I was lucky enough to be able to attend my first roundtable discussion with Arum at the Caledonian Club in London. These are held with key individuals across the industry to discuss key trends; with this time being a discussion on “the Future of Collections”. Great to be part of this and even got to write a piece for the website.Welcome to the Caledonian ClubThe Caledonian club was indeed very grand. Advertised as a piece of Scotland in London, you do indeed walk in to see stag heads, stone staircases and portraits on the wall. It certainly transported me to some of my visits with the National Trust for Scotland. (Although in Scotland I seem to remember consuming more tea and toasted sandwiches than Haggis and Neeps, but can’t complain, it was extremely pleasant).“The Future of Collections”The work conversation was engaging and I was struck by a couple of things. The extent of digital adoption, across all age groups The normalisation of customer centric collectionsDigital adoption: Beyond the tipping pointWe have all got used to interacting online, applying for products, purchasing items, checking balances and statements. From the conversation it really felt we are now reaching the critical mass of users, where you have to be online and full functionality is expected. The feedback is now being heard… “many individuals prefer to interact via an app than by person”.We all have experience of this, with many relatives, who never used computers, now becoming technology adopters. The fear of computers has largely disappeared, everyone is and needs to be online. This includes the collections process too and the pressure is on.Customer centric: Have we forgotten how to collect?It has been interesting the last few years in the UK, to watch the massive change in the collections industry that has taken place. Since 2008, it has turned itself inside out. It is now much more customer centric and focused in most industries.This is clearly seen in some of the recent figures from the Citizens Advice Bureau.Overall the number of problem debt enquiries to CAB is down, and the comment was made that this has been largely achieved without a massive increase in impairment/bad debt charge. The customer service element is a focus today, and is clearly becoming ever more important.This is undoubtedly a good thing, but what about if there is another downturn? Has the financial services industry forgotten how to collect or has the paradigm shifted so much that it no longer matters?My personal view is the industry has shifted, and been shifted, to having more grown up conversations with consumers. It has always been about solving issues and if there is a downturn this experience it will still be useful. The industry hasn’t forgotten how to collect.However there has been a more fundamental structural change.The days when a collections process could be relied upon, by force of action, to manually control and manage impairment/bad debt is most likely over….. extra turns on the dialer are a thing of the past… the control points are now much more subtle.A new challengeThis presents a challenge going forward. Ensuring a robust linkage between the front and back end of the customer lifecycle is going to be critical.Once one of the collections team speaks with a customer, I am confident they still have the tools and sensitivity to handle a situation well. However what is now crucial is the intelligence from these interactions is gathered and flows upstream, in real time. Pricing and decisioning criteria are going to have to be adjusted much more dynamically to remain in control.Collections teams are still a big part of the process, handling what is often a sensitive situation. The need for them and their data to now become ever more embedded in the decision making process. It is going to be critical to profitability, especially in a changing economy.Using an analogy…. “we are now flying a B747/A380, times have changed and the old days of flying by the seat of your pants could get you in a lot of trouble”…All in all, a thought provoking and interesting evening. Certainly with useful insight into some of the current changes, thinking and future in the UK.You can read the rest of my report here.
Source: Digital and Customer Centric: The Future of Collections? | Chris-Warburton.com