In possibly the most exciting fossil rebirth since Jurassic Park, scientists have managed to bring an extinct tree back to life. From seeds found in a 2,000 year old clay jar no less.

During excavations at the site of Herod the Great's palace in Israel in the early 1960's, archeologists unearthed a small stockpile of seeds stowed in a clay jar dating back 2,000 years. For the next four decades, the ancient seeds were kept in a drawer at Tel Aviv's Bar-Ilan University. But then, in 2005, botanical researcher Elaine Solowey decided to plant one and see what, if anything, would sprout.

Well, it seems the Bible isn't even useful for providing obscure quotes on which to create unbreakable passwords. Ars Technica has the story of how hackers have progressed from “simple” dictionary-based attacks, to data-mining the likes of Project Gutenberg, Wikipedia, and even the Bible in order to compile word lists to crack passwords:

“Rather than try a brute force that makes sense to a computer but not to people, let's use human beings because people typically make these long passwords based on things that humans use,” Dustin remembered thinking. “I basically utilized the person who wrote the article on Wikipedia to put words together for us.”

To add to the confusion over the state of China's financial system, the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences has now estimated that the Chinese “shadow banking” sector could be the equivalent of 40% of GDP:

The undisciplined grey lending source that exists alongside the traditional banking system has become vital to sustaining growth in the world’s second-largest economy, although some might argue it is more effective in keeping alive factories in industries with overcapacity and a property bubble.

James Clear has an interesting article on willpower and “decision fatigue”; the negative effect that making lots of decisions can have:

your willpower is like a muscle. And similar to the muscles in your body, willpower can get fatigued when you use it over and over again. Every time you make a decision, it’s like doing another rep in the gym. And similar to how your muscles get tired at the end of a workout, the strength of your willpower fades as you make more decisions.

And, Al Jazeera's Earthrise is finally back with a new series. To celebrate it's return here is a clip of one of the most remarkable projects/ideas they have highlighted to date; harvesting water in the Andes using “fog nets”:



That is all.