Odds and Ends 

Science FTW: A Team Of Weeping, Blood-Soaked Researchers Has Announced That The Music Of Phil Collins Makes Pandas Kill Each Other

Here’s some exciting news from the animal kingdom that’s really changing our understanding of the natural world. After an eventful morning at Zoo Atlanta’s giant-panda enclosure, a team of weeping, blood-soaked researchers has announced that the music of Phil Collins makes pandas kill each other! The groundbreaking discovery was made earlier today when a team of five zoologists turned on a Phil Collins Pandora station to listen to while they checked the animals’ vitals and accidentally triggered almost 15 minutes of unhinged bloodletting amongst the four giant pandas currently living…

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A 1960s Reporter Asks People in Sydney If Theres Life on Other Planets

In an ABC News (Australia) segment from August 31, 1962, Ray Taylor asks an eclectic mix of Sydneysiders, “Is there life on other planets?†Read more: https://twistedsifter.com/videos/1960s-reporter-asks-people-if-theres-life-on-other-planets/

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Odds and Ends 

Timelapse Shows 10 Billion Tons of Ice Calving Off a Glacier in Greenland

On June 22, 2018 a team of scientists from NYU captured an iceberg the size of Manhattan calving off the Helheim Glacier in Greenland over a duration of 30 minutes. The four mile wide, one mile across, and half mile thick chunk of ice weighed roughly 10 billion tons. According to an article in National Geographic: This event in itself isn’t necessarily a harbinger of climate doom. “Calving happens,†says Kristin Poinar, a glaciologist from the University of Buffalo. “Ice isn’t a good building material—you could never build a skyscraper…

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Headlines 

It made me question my ancestry: does DNA home testing really understand race?

Dubious results, emotional fallout, privacy concerns: inside the 7.7bn industry that promises to tell you who you really are Last year, I did what 12 million people from all over the world have done and surrendered my spit to a home DNA-testing company. I hoped a longed for a country to attribute my blackness to, or for help answering the ubiquitous Where are you from? question. Id spent years making up exotic-sounding combinations to justify my appearance (some days Jamaican-Spanish-Swedish; other days half Brazilian, or half Iranian). But, at 24,…

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Headlines 

This Solar Probe Is Built to Survive a Brush With the Sun

Early Saturday morning, the skies above Cape Canaveral will light up with the launch of the Parker Solar Probe. Its mission? To sweep through the sun’s infernal outer atmosphere, studying the gaseous fireball at the center of the solar system at closer range than any man-made object ever before. Despite being the nearest star to Earth, the sun’s extreme environment has stymied scientists for decades. Some of its quirks are still a mystery, like why the its atmosphere is hundreds of times hotter than its boiling plasma surface. Or how…

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Odds and Ends 

Rocket Creates Sky Ripples When It Passes Through Ice Crystals in a Cirrus Cloud

In this rare and amazing amateur footage, a NASA rocket is seen going supersonic just as it is passing through ice crystals in a cirrus cloud, creating ripples in the sky that looks like shockwaves. Read more: https://twistedsifter.com/videos/rocket-creates-ripples-in-the-sky/

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Headlines 

Telemedicine Could Help Fill the Gaps in America’s Abortion Care

Imagine a woman in Lubbock, Texas, who just found out that she's pregnant. She wants an abortion, but Lubbock is one of 27 abortion deserts in the US: The nearest clinic is 308 miles away in Fort Worth, forcing her to take time off from work, pay for travel, and likely arrange childcare to get there. She’s less than 10 weeks along, so she’s a candidate for medication abortion—which could, theoretically, be completed in the privacy of her home. But Texas requires that the FDA protocol for medication abortion be…

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Headlines 

23andMe’s Pharma Deals Have Been the Plan All Along

Since the launch of its DNA testing service in 2007, genomics giant 23andMe has convinced more than 5 million people to fill a plastic tube with half a teaspoon of saliva. In return for all that spit (and some cash too), customers get insights into their biological inheritance, from the superficial—do you have dry earwax or wet?—to mutations associated with disease. What 23andMe gets is an ever-expanding supply of valuable behavioral, health, and genetic information from the 80 percent of its customers who consent to having their data used for…

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Know thyself by writing your first novel

Dig deep inside, battle self-doubt and become the person you know you can be. Richard Skinner on the healing powers of writing a novel Writing a novel is a scary prospect. Theyre so long and winding, they can seem never-ending. The main obstacle might seem to be starting the terror of the blank page but the real stumbling block lies elsewhere. There is no reason in the world why you cant write a novel and the only thing stopping you from doing so is yourself. It seems such an insurmountable…

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Headlines 

Bones found at Stonehenge belonged to people from Wales

Tests show 5,000-year-old remains found at the world heritage site came from more than 100 miles away in west Wales The bones of people buried at Stonehenge, who died and were cremated about 5,000 years ago, have given up their secrets: like the bluestones, which form part of the famous prehistoric monument, they came from west Wales, near the Preseli Hills where the stones were quarried. The remains of at least 10 of 25 individuals, whose brittle charred bones were buried at the monument, showed that they did not spend…

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Headlines 

Sorry, Nerds: Terraforming Might Not Work on Mars

Listen, I get it. You want to go to Mars. I want to go to Mars. (Sort of.) And the plan—it’s good. A rocket with people. A base on the moon. Then more rockets and more people. Start making fuel on the surface, maybe depot it along the way. An outpost becomes a base becomes a domed city. And then: terraforming. Bring dead Mars back to life, build it a new atmosphere with whatever’s left in its soil—frozen carbon dioxide, most likely—to up the air pressure, rely on greenhouse warming…

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This Bomb-Simulating US Supercomputer Broke a World Record

That mixing matters for Los Alamos because nuclear bombs produce plasma. Scientists don’t explode bombs with abandon anymore to understand them—as they did in the early days, turning islands into holes. Instead, they simulate bombs’ statuses, and look back at old videos to try to simulate what they see. To date, they haven’t been able to get at all the nuance in the footage. But with slick new simulations, Settlemyer says maybe they can. But first, they had to test their file-creation speed limits using the physicist’s Fermi acceleration problem.…

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Odds and Ends 

Deep Sea Nuke – Video

Our favorite optimistic nihilist, Kurzgesagt considers the unpleasant question of what would happen if a nuclear bomb was detonated at the bottom of the Marianas Trench. Nuking the spot closest to the center of the earth might not have the consequences you think it would. Earthquakes, boiling seas, Godzilla, fallout or nothing? Learn the unexpected things that could happen on our big round rock if James Cameron’s sub is hijacked for nefarious purposes.

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Headlines 

Huge Egyptian sarcophagus found to contain three mummies

Archaeologists open granite tomb but are dismayed at state of decay after sewage leak Egyptian archeologists have opened a 30-tonne black granite sarcophagus to find three decomposed mummies after sewage water apparently leaked inside. The sarcophagus has been opened, but we have not been hit by a curse, identified as sewage water, believed to have entered the sarcophagus through a crack on its right side, causing the decomposition of the mummies. The Tomb after the lid was removed. Photograph: Mohamed Abd El Ghany/Reuters The tomb was found buried five metres…

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How a Flock of Drones Developed Collective Intelligence

The drones rise all at once, 30 strong, the domes of light on their undercarriages glowing 30 different hues—like luminescent candy sprinkles against the gray, dusky sky. Then they pause, suspended in the air. And after a couple seconds of hovering, they begin to move as one. As the newly-formed flock migrates, its members’ luminous underbellies all change to the same color: green. They've decided to head east. The drones at the front approach a barrier, and their tummies turn teal as they veer south. Soon, the trailing members' lights…

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