LEGO Releases the Female Science Set

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LEGO Releases the Female Science Set
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The set will let kids take on the roles of paleontologist, astronomer and chemist, using three female figures. It might also satisfy some of the demands set forth earlier this year by Charlotte Benjamin, a 7-year-old who wrote a scathing letter to the company accusing its female characters of being boring.

"I love Legos," Charlotte wrote. But, she continued, there aren't enough girls — and the ones the company has made just "sit at home, go to the beach, and shop," while the boy characters "saved people, had jobs, even swam with sharks!"

The girl's letter attracted widespread attention — and within a week, Lego responded, saying "we have been very focused on including more female characters and themes that invite even more girls to build."

Checking Out the Center of Our Galaxy

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Checking Out the Center of Our Galaxy
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The Sagittarius Window Eclipsing Extrasolar Planet Search, or SWEEPS, was a 2006 astronomical survey project using the Hubble Space Telescope's Advanced Camera for Surveys - Wide Field Channel to monitor 180,000 stars for seven days to detect extrasolar planets via the transit method.

The stars that were monitored in this astronomical survey were all located in the Sagittarius-I Window, a rare transparent view to the Milky Way's central bulge stars in the Sagittarius constellation as our view to most of the galaxy's central stars is blocked by lanes of dust. These stars in the galaxy's central bulge region are approximately 27,000 light years from Earth.

Robots Score Against Humans in Soccer! The Singularity Edges Ever Closer

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Founded in 1997 with the ambitious goal to develop a robotic humanoid soccer-playing robot by 2050, the RoboCup is an annual robotics competition that sees robots play soccer against each other in an exercise of AI and applied robotics.

Each year of the competition also features a robot-on-human soccer game. And every once in a while, the robots will score a goal on the humans, just as they did this year in the above GIF.

They've happened in the past, but robot-on-human soccer goals at RoboCup are becoming a bigger deal. It's simply a function of goal quality being so dramatically improved over years before — robot AI is increasingly capable of masterminding some soccer strategy on our flesh-and-blood would-be Beckhams, and then putting that strategy to work effectively.