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Meteorite Older Than the Sun Found in a U.K. Driveway

A photo of the rare meteorite that landed in a UK driveway.Natural History Museum

There are two ways to get your hands on a meteorite. You can send up a billion-dollar robot to retrieve asteroid samples, or you can wait for a friendly space rock land at your doorstep for free. The latter option happened on February 28th, when a rare meteorite from the early solar system landed in a driveway in Winchcombe, England.

Scientists call this kind of meteorite “carbonaceous chondrite.” It contains a lot of carbon, so it looks a lot like coal, but carbonaceous chondrite actually dates back to the beginnings of our solar system and could help us understand Earth and other planets came to be. If this is like other samples of carbonaceous chondrite, it should also contain bits of diamond, graphite, and soft clay—a sign that the rock encountered water at some point.

New footage of the #fireball tonight. Sent by Katie Parr pic.twitter.com/J4jmsM9tFj

— UK Meteor Network (@UKMeteorNetwork) February 28, 2021

Residents of Winchcombe, England, noticed a fireball reigning down before exploding in the sky the night of Sunday, February 28th. The next day, someone found the rock in their driveway, bagged it up, and contacted the U.K. Meteor Observation Network.

As noted by the Natural History Museum, the Winchcombe Meteorite is significantly larger than rocks collected by billion-dollar space probes. The Hayabusa2 probe returned to Earth last year with just 4.5 grams of asteroid rock, while the OSIRIS-REx probe is expected to return in 2023 with 60 grams of rock. But the Winchcombe Meteorite is 300 grams. Good things come to those who wait, I guess.

Source: Natural History Museum via Nerdist

Source: https://www.reviewgeek.com/73825/meteorite-older-than-the-sun-found-in-a-uk-driveway/
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The Article Was Written/Published By: Andrew Heinzman

UK Supreme Court says Uber drivers are not independent contractors

UK Supreme Court says Uber drivers are not independent contractors

Enlarge (credit: Peter Summers/Getty Images)

The Supreme Court of the United Kingdom has ruled that Uber drivers are legally workers, not self-employed contractors as Uber has argued in courts around the world. The ruling means that drivers in Britain and Northern Ireland are eligible for additional benefits and protections, including a minimum wage.

Uber claims that it merely acts as a technology provider and broker between independent drivers and their customers—much as eBay facilitates sales between buyers and sellers. In Uber’s view, this means that it doesn’t owe its drivers benefits like unemployment insurance, doesn’t need to reimburse drivers for their costs, and isn’t bound by minimum wage and overtime rules. Uber emphasizes that its drivers are free to decide when, where, and how much they work.

But critics point out that Uber exerts a lot more control over its drivers—and over the driver-passenger relationship—than a conventional platform like eBay or Airbnb. Uber sets fares, collects payments from customers, deducts its own fee, and remits the remainder to the driver. It requires drivers to accept a large majority of the rides they are offered. It handles customer complaints and kicks drivers off the platform if their average rating falls too low.

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Source: https://arstechnica.com/tech-policy/2021/02/uk-supreme-court-says-uber-drivers-are-not-independent-contractors/
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The Article Was Written/Published By: Timothy B. Lee

Welsh woman marks 110th birthday with viral TikTok fame

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Amy Hawkins becomes star of social networking site after great-grandson posts video of her singing

She is the oldest person in Wales and now she may be the oldest person on TikTok. Amy Hawkins has become a star of the social networking site after her great-grandson posted a video of her singing on her 110th birthday.

The former dancer made her debut on the site earlier this week singing the music hall song It’s a Long Way to Tipperary and her family have posted several videos since, including one in which she performs a dance with her 14-year-old great-grandson Sacha Freeman.

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Source: https://www.theguardian.com/uk-news/2021/jan/29/welsh-woman-marks-110th-birthday-tiktok-appearance-amy-hawkins
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The Article Was Written/Published By: Kevin Rawlinson