Odds and Ends 

The Unsung 3rd Member of the Apollo 11 Crew Reflects on the 50th Anniversary

On July 21st, 1969, Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin became the first humans to ever set foot on the moon. The third member of the historic Apollo 11 mission was Command Module Pilot, Michael Collins, whose mission was to bring everyone home. In this animated Google Doodle, Collins reflects on the 50th anniversary of the mission that changed our world forever. Read more: https://twistedsifter.com/videos/michael-collins-reflects-on-50th-anniversary-moon-landing/

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‘No doubt left’ about scientific consensus on global warming, say experts

Extensive historical data shows recent extreme warming is unprecedented in past 2,000 years The scientific consensus that humans are causing global warming is likely to have passed 99%, according to the lead author of the most authoritative study on the subject, and could rise further after separate research that clears up some of the remaining doubts. Three studies published in Nature and Nature Geoscience use extensive historical data to show there has never been a period in the last 2,000 years when temperature changes have been as fast and extensive…

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Brain scans of US embassy staff to Cuba may show abnormalities

Diplomats had reported falling ill after what was thought to be acoustic attack Brain scans of US embassy staff who became ill in mysterious circumstances while serving in Cuba have found potential abnormalities that may be related to their symptoms. The scans taken from 40 US government workers who suffered strange concussion-like symptoms during their deployment to Havana revealed that particular brain features looked different to those in healthy volunteers. Images of the diplomats brains found that on average they had lower volumes of white matter, the tissue made from…

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Scientists turn to ‘laser accurate’ model to test Stonehenge acoustics

Salford team explores sound qualities of ancient Wiltshire monument using 1:12 replica based on data from scans A diminutive model of Stonehenge could help crack the acoustic secrets of the ancient site, according to scientists who have built a version of the megaliths at a 12th of their size. The team say the 1:12 model, with a stone circle spanning 2.6 metres, has an edge over other replicas of Stonhenge, such as the full-scale one near ,sound interacts with the stones depends critically on the shapes, said Trevor Cox, professor…

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This Crazy Tech Can Turn Anybody in a Photo Into a Moving Animation

Photo Wake-Up is a research project by Chung-Yi Weng, Brian Curless, and Ira Kemelmacher-Shlizerman of the University of Washington. Per their paper’s abstract: We present a method and application for animating a human subject from a single photo. E.g., the character can walk out, run, sit, or jump in 3D. The key contributions of this paper are: 1) an application of viewing and animating humans in single photos in 3D, 2) a novel 2D warping method to deform a posable template body model to fit the person’s complex silhouette to…

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Glacial melting in Antarctica may become irreversible

Thwaites glacier is likely to thaw and trigger 50cm sea level rise, US study suggests A Nasa-funded study found instability in the Thwaites glacier meant there would probably come a point when it was impossible to stop it flowing into the sea and triggering a 50cm sea level rise. Other Antarctic glaciers were likely to be similarly unstable. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences journal found it was likely to succumb to instability linked to the retreat of its grounding line on the seabed that would lead to it…

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The rise of Big Sperm: does the tech world have the answer to our semen crisis?

Sperm counts in western men are falling, and nobody is sure why. But relax because help is here, with everything from home-testing kits to sperm-freezing Lads, lads, lads, hate to interrupt, but hows your ejaculate? Would you struggle to fill half a teaspoon? And your concentration, please: are we talking 20m-plus little swimmers a millilitre? And hows that motility? Are your spermatozoa wagging their flagella as if they cant wait to get to that ovum or listlessly floating around like dead tadpoles in a poorly executed classroom experiment? Its not…

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Moonwalk and 9/11 photographs part of ‘global visual memory’

Results of 12-nation survey show that some iconic images are better known than others From the spacesuit-clad form of Buzz Aldrin on the moon to the middle-distance gaze of Che Guevara, some photographs really are seared into the publics mind all over the world, research suggests. While some images have long been hailed as iconic, experts say there has been little research to show that certain photographs are widely recognised and what people read into them. An international study by a researcher in the Netherlands set out to examine just…

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Why You Always Wear a Hard Hat on a Construction Site

If you value your brain/head/life, wear a hard hat on any active work site. It protects your noggin from: fixed objects and equipment, falls, and it also stands out. Hard hats also protect you from falling objects, which as this video eloquently demonstrates, can be disastrous if you’re not protected. Just look at the difference a mere 10 ft makes on the force of impact from just a 1 pound object. Read more: https://twistedsifter.com/videos/always-wear-a-hard-hat-on-a-construction-site/

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Why Are 96,000,000 Black Balls On This Reservoir?

Veritasium took a boat through 96 million black plastic balls on the Los Angeles reservoir to find out why they’re there. The first time he heard about shade balls the claim was they reduce evaporation. But it turns out this isn’t the reason they were introduced. The balls are made of high density polyethylene (HDPE) which is less dense than water so they float on the surface of the reservoir even if they break apart. They are 10cm (4 inches) in diameter and contain about 210ml of water. So the…

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10 Robots Working Together To Pull a Giant Truck

Watch 10 Spot Robots from Boston Dynamics work together to haul a truck across a parking lot (~1 degree uphill, truck in neutral). These Spot robots are coming off the production line now and will be available for a range of applications soon. For more information visit www.BostonDynamics.com/Spot Read more: https://twistedsifter.com/videos/robots-pulling-truck-together/

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The Odd Physics of Rey’s Backflip in Star Wars: Episode IX

The vertical acceleration. On Earth, this is -9.8 m/s2. The distance scale. How many pixels of video in one meter of distance? The time scale. What is the length of time for each frame? If you know two of these three things, you can find the third. Here you can see there is a problem. I'm pretty sure I can get a distance scale by using the height of Rey (or the size of the TIE fighter). But what about the other two? It seems I should stay away from…

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