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How hard is it to scramble Rubik’s Cube?

What a scramble. Shutterstock.com

Rubik’s Cube has been one of the world’s favourite puzzles for 40 years. Several different methods have been devised for solving it, as explained in countless books.


Originally published in The Conversation.

Warp factor: we've observed a spinning star that drags the very fabric of space and time

A white dward (centre) and its companion pulsar make for an excellent natural gravitational laboratory. Mark Myers/OzGrav

One of the predictions of Einstein’s general theory of relativity


Originally published in The Conversation.

Two satellites just avoided a head-on smash. How close did they come to disaster?

The now defunct Infrared Astronomical Telescope was one of the satellites involved in the near-collision. NASA/JPL

It appears we have missed another close call between two satellites – but how close did we really com


Originally published in The Conversation.

Bees learn better when they can explore. Humans might work the same way

Bees learn better when they can explore. Author supplied, Author provided

Understanding how humans learn is one key to improving teaching practices and advancing education.


Originally published in The Conversation.

Seniors struggle with technology, and often their kids won't help

Many older people are wary of asking for help with technology. Shutterstock

Seniors may not enjoy the stereotype of struggling with technology, but undeniably many older people do have difficulty mastering their devices.


Originally published in The Conversation.

Stone tools reveal epic trek of nomadic Neanderthals

Neanderthal hunting grounds in southern Siberia — the Charysh River valley, with Chagyrskaya Cave in the centre of the photo.


Originally published in The Conversation.

Australia's National Digital ID is here, but the government's not talking about it

A national digital ID system would hold huge amounts of personal information. Shutterstock

The Australian government’s Digital Transformation Agency (DTA) has spent more than A$200 m


Originally published in The Conversation.

How smart were our ancestors? Turns out the answer isn't in brain size, but blood flow

Skulls hold clues to intelligence. (Clockwise from left: Australopithecus, orangutan, gorilla, chimpanzee) Roger Seymour, Author provided

How did human intelligence evolve?


Originally published in The Conversation.

What we learn from a fish that can change sex in just 10 days

The male bluehead wrasse defends his group of yellow females, one of whom has to step-up and take charge if he leaves. Kevin Bryant, Author provided

The bluehead wrasse is a fish that lives in small social groups in coral reefs in the Carib


Originally published in The Conversation.

OK computer: to prevent students cheating with AI text-generators, we should bring them into the classroom

AI systems may soon be able to generate texts that can pass for human work. Such technology has many positives, but could also result in widespread generation of false texts (including fake news).


Originally published in The Conversation.