When things were already warmer.

A tropical forest densely packed with 12-foot-tall trees with flared trunks and curved branches of needle leaves — Dr. Seuss would have felt right at home — covered an area near the equator some 380 million years ago. Scientists spotted the fossilized stumps a long way from this location — in Arctic Norway.

Not only did the researchers date the forest as one of Earth’s oldest, but they also suggest it may have contributed to a dramatic drop in atmospheric carbon dioxide levels traced to that time in our planet’s distant past.

During the Devonian period (416 million to 358 million years ago), Earth’s first large trees were emerging. Also around this time, atmospheric carbon dioxide dropped significantly. Scientists look to the earliest forests for evidence that tree growth played a part in scrubbing CO2 from the atmosphere — trees use the greenhouse gas to photosynthesize and form sugary food — contributing to the global cooling event that occurred at the end of the Devonian.

A simple way to secure your mail.

Given the sheer amount of email generated every day, it is inevitable that NSA and other intelligence agencies have to rely on artificial intelligence software to sift through all these data. The question is, can these software be fooled by presenting text as symbols.

Sang certainly thinks so. The new font that he has created is called ‘ZXX’ which, Sang says, is a ‘disruptive typeface.’ The typeface is somewhat of a mix between random words and symbols, making it really hard for conventional decryption softwares to decipher it.

This whole thing has always been more than a little suspicious.

New Hillary Clinton e-mails released by the State Department on Monday show that the secretary of state was often confused about and unfamiliar with State Department activity in the wake of a serious concussion, relying on her staff to explain department policy and even help her remember her own actions. Clinton suffered a severe fall in early December 2012, which gave her a concussion and put her in the hospital for several weeks, postponing her planned congressional testimony on her response to the Benghazi attacks. She returned to work on January 7, 2013, when State Department spokeswoman Victoria Nuland said she was “fully recovered.” But an e-mail released by Judicial Watch earlier this week showed top aide Huma Abedin admitting on January 26 that Clinton was “often confused.”

Another ‘Bush’ and the BLM land grab.

The Texas General Land Office is bidding to become involved in a property dispute over a 116-mile stretch along the Red River that pits the federal Bureau of Land Management against various deed holders who have claimed ownership of the area in question for generations.

Land Office Commissioner George P. Bush, the son of former Florida governor and current Republican presidential candidate Jeb Bush, said his agency has standing to join a federal lawsuit challenging BLM claims since it manages the mineral holdings on a 342-acre tract in Wilbarger County that is part of the contested area. The office is expected to file a motion today in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Texas seeking permission to intervene in the challenge filed on behalf of eight individuals who fear they could be adversely affected by the agency’s actions.

No way out.

The American student loan crisis is often seen as a problem of profligacy and predation. Wasteful colleges raise tuition every year, we are told, even as middle-class wages stagnate and unscrupulous for-profit colleges bilk the unwary. The result is mounting unmanageable debt.
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There is much truth in this diagnosis. But it does not explain the plight of Liz Kelley, a Missouri high school teacher and mother of four who made a series of unremarkable decisions about college and borrowing. She now owes the federal government $410,000, and counting.

You’ve probably already giggled a lot about this but the story goes deeper.

Yoga classes have been banned at a Canadian university because of “cultural genocide… due to colonialism and western supremacy” after complaints from political correct students.

Jennifer Schaf had been providing free weekly yoga sessions for both disabled and able-bodied students at the University of Ottawa in Canada since 2008.

However, this September she received an e-mail from staff at the Centre for Students with Disabilities, informing her that her voluntary work was no longer welcome, the Ottawa Sun reports.

She was told that “Yoga has been under a lot of controversy lately” because the activity has been “taken” from other cultures.

Finally some good news.

When the first version of the Wi-Fi protocol was released in 1997, it boasted wireless speeds of up to 2 megabits per second. Now, there’s Li-Fi, a potential successor to Wi-Fi that’s capable of transmitting data at 1 gigabit per second, about 100 times faster than today’s average home wireless connection and 500 times faster than that first incarnation of Wi-Fi.

Li-Fi uses LED bulbs switching on and off billions of times per second to transmit strings of data. Think of the way a Morse code operator would tap out a message, then speed up the process by several orders of magnitude.

Though the communication takes place in the visible spectrum, meaning humans can see the light that’s being emitted, the flickering happens far too fast for our eyes to notice it. In other words, to humans, a Li-Fi light bulb appears like any other, but actually transmits lightning-fast Internet at the same time.

There’s no way to tell …

In my weekend column on the controversy involving refugees from Muslim-majority countries in the Middle East, I explained that even if our government had access to the background information necessary to vet them (it doesn’t), we would still be inviting a national security catastrophe for two reasons: (1) we vet for the wrong thing (i.e., only for whether the immigrants have known connections to terrorist groups, not whether they are adherent to Islamic-supremacist ideology), and (2) the main issue is not whether refugees are already terrorists but whether they are likely to become terrorists after they get here.

This should be common sense, and it is in most of America outside of Washington. But perhaps even the Beltway can take notice of today’s Wall Street Journal report on how the current tide of Muslim refugees is drawn to Islamic-supremacist mosques and vulnerable to recruitment by jihadist groups: