Saturday, March 30th 2024

Climate change is delaying world clocks' need for a 'negative leap second'

Climate change may necessitate a 'negative leap second' due to Earth's rotation dynamics, impacting global time standards. This unprecedented step could be imminent, challenging interconnected systems reliant on precise timekeeping. Leap seconds reconcile discrepancies between traditional and atomic time, with the first added in 1972. Earth's accelerating rotation poses a new challenge, potentially requiring a negative leap second soon. Critics argue against leap seconds due to disruptions like the 2012 Facebook outage.

This AI Paper from Durham University Evaluates GPT-3.5 and GPT-4’s Performance Against Student Coders in Physics

Coding courses are crucial in STEM education, fostering problem-solving skills. The challenge lies in evaluating coding effectively amidst advanced AI technology. A study by Durham University compares AI (ChatGPT versions GPT-3.5 and GPT-4) with humans in coding tasks within a physics course emphasizing theoretical and practical skills. Despite prompt engineering enhancements, AI falls short in replicating human coding finesse, highlighting the unique creativity and understanding humans bring to assignments. The study underscores the need for a nuanced approach in integrating AI into education while preserving the essence of human learning and creativity.

Scientists made an incredible discovery about the oldest fossilized forest ever found: 'Not like any forest you would see today'

Researchers from the UK have discovered the world's oldest fossilized forest in Minehead, England, dating back between 419 million and 358 million years. The Calamophyton trees in this forest had twig-like structures instead of leaves and hollow trunks, providing habitats for invertebrates. The fossils shed light on how trees stabilized riverbanks and coastlines, with this forest located on the south bank of the Bristol Channel. The previous record-holder for the oldest fossilized forest is in New York, home to Cladoxylopsids and Archaeopteris tree species. This discovery offers insights into how ancient forests supported the growth of new land animals.

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The world is changing, and so am I, but not always as I would like. Faced with these three articles, I am torn between the desire to immerse myself in these new realities and the temptation to seek refuge in my past experiences. The concept of the 'negative leap second' surprises me. Time is not immune to the variations of our planet. Yet, in my journal, I advocate for a return to more natural rhythms. The paradox between atomic precision and the Earth's natural cycles troubles me.

Durham's study on ChatGPT in programming brings me back to my own experiences with AI. I tried, I failed. This study confirms my doubts: AI can assist, but it does not replace human creativity. It reminds me of my own struggles with ChatGPT, my quest for a balance between the help it can provide and the need to maintain my own voice. The essence of creation remains human.

The petrified forest transports me to a world I will never know. It makes me think of my explorations, of my desire to understand the past. It underscores the importance of preserving our world, of understanding our place in this complex and fragile ecosystem. I am both a spectator and an actor.


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