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Cuban Crocodile: Athletic, Speedy, Heavily Armored

The critically endangered Cuban crocodile, known for its athleticism, speed, and heavy armor, is facing multiple threats in its restricted habitat in Cuba's Zapata Swamp. With only around 2,600 individuals left in the wild, the species is at risk due to hybridization with American crocodiles, hunting for skins and food, and climate change-related issues like rising temperatures affecting the sex of their eggs. Cuban crocodiles, which can reach speeds of up to 35 kilometers per hour on land, are the most heavily armored of all crocodilian species, with horned squamosals on the back of their heads. Conservation efforts are crucial to protect this unique and endangered species from extinction. sources

Published:
May 15 2024, 5 am

People finally understand the meaning of "Google."

Google, the ubiquitous search engine, was not always known by its current name. Originally called "Backrub," founders Larry Page and Sergey Brin quickly realized the need for a change and settled on "Google" nearly 30 years ago. The name "Google" is often mistakenly believed to stand for "Global Organization of Oriented Group Language of Earth," but in reality, it was derived from the term "googol," a mathematical concept representing a large number. The decision to rename the search engine was made after a historic mistake in domain registration, leading to the creation of one of the most recognizable brands in the world. Today, "Google" has become synonymous with searching for information online, with the company's mission focused on organizing vast amounts of data on the web. sources

Published:
Jun 11 2024, 9 pm

Rare "Corpse Flower" Blooms at Kew Gardens, Witnessed by Us

An extraordinary event has taken place at Kew Gardens in London, where the rare and smelly "corpse flower" known as Titan arum has bloomed. This unique plant, which takes 7-9 years to bloom and only lasts for a day or two, has attracted visitors eager to witness its impressive size and foul odor. The flower, native to Sumatra, Indonesia, produces a scent reminiscent of a dead animal to attract pollinators, such as flies. Despite its short lifespan, the Titan arum is a marvel of evolution, requiring significant energy to produce its distinctive smell and size. Botanical gardens like Kew work diligently to protect and cultivate this endangered species, with multiple plants in their collection. Visitors are encouraged to experience the rare bloom firsthand before it collapses within a few days. sources

Published:
Jun 15 2024, 1 am

Why are old paintings' penises smaller than modern ones?

A recent study has delved into the evolution of human penis size as depicted in paintings over the past seven centuries, revealing a significant increase in size, particularly in the 20th century. Researchers analyzed 232 paintings from 21 countries, measuring the penis-to-ear or nose ratio to compare sizes across different time periods. The study suggests that the rise in perceived penis size in contemporary art may be influenced by the internet and pornography, leading to body image issues among men. The team highlights the potential dangers of seeking penis enhancements due to societal pressures. While the study has limitations, it sheds light on the impact of media on male body image perceptions. Published in the medical journal BJU International, the findings prompt a reflection on the portrayal of masculinity and body ideals in modern society. sources

Published:
Jun 10 2024, 9 am

Long COVID defined with 200+ symptoms

A new definition for long COVID has been proposed by a group of experts working with the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine (NASEM), aiming to bring clarity to the condition that has been associated with over 200 possible symptoms. The lack of a consistent definition has hindered research and access to treatment for those experiencing long COVID, with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimating that 17.8 percent of adults in the US have been affected. The definition describes long COVID as an infection-associated chronic condition that persists for at least three months, affecting one or more organ systems. While the definition does not specify particular symptoms, it acknowledges the wide range of symptoms reported by individuals with long COVID, including fatigue, memory changes, and respiratory issues. The authors of the report encourage ongoing review and evolution of the definition to match the evolving understanding of the condition. It is hoped that this new definition will provide much-needed recognition and support for those living with long COVID. sources

Published:
Jun 15 2024, 2 am

7 Common Sense Facts That Are Actually Incorrect

The phrase "it's common sense" is often used to justify beliefs or actions without evidence, but challenging these misconceptions is important. For example, meteorites do not create fireballs when they hit the ground, lightning can strike the same place multiple times, and microwaves do not cook food from the inside out. Other common myths include covering your head in winter to stay warm and the idea that evolution always leads to improvement. Additionally, the belief that exercise alone can cure depression is debunked, highlighting the importance of supportive relationships and professional help in mental health treatment. It is crucial to question common beliefs and seek evidence-based information to avoid falling for misleading "common sense" ideas. sources

Published:
Jun 14 2024, 8 am

Dogs show emotion when reunited with favorite human

A recent study published in the journal Current Biology reveals that dogs exhibit emotional responses, including tears, when reunited with their favorite humans. Researchers found that dogs' tear volume increased significantly during reunions with owners, suggesting a deepening of mutual relationships and interspecies bonding. The study also showed that oxytocin, known as the "love hormone," may play a role in triggering this emotional behavior in dogs. Participants in the study expressed a greater desire to care for dogs with tears, indicating that this behavior may serve to elicit protective instincts in humans. While the exact function of tears in dogs remains unclear, the study highlights the strong emotional connection between dogs and their owners. sources

Published:
Jun 15 2024, 12 am

Number of Satellites Currently in Orbit

The number of satellites in orbit has significantly increased in recent years, with 11,780 currently orbiting the Earth, according to the United Nations Office for Outer Space Affairs. Most of these satellites are functioning and in low-Earth orbit, with 6,050 belonging to SpaceX's Starlink megaconstellation. Concerns have been raised about the impact of this satellite deployment, including light pollution and the risk of collisions leading to a potential Kessler Syndrome scenario. As space becomes more crowded, the need for better management of satellite orbits and space debris becomes increasingly urgent to ensure the safety and sustainability of space activities. sources

Published:
Jun 11 2024, 10 pm

34,000-year-old termite mounds are stunning

The world's oldest termite mounds, dating back 34,000 years, have been discovered in South Africa, providing a unique insight into ancient ecosystems and climate conditions. These mounds, known as "heuweltjies", are inhabited by southern harvester termites and are rich in nutrients, attracting spring flowers to bloom on their surface. The radiocarbon dating of these mounds revealed their age, surpassing previous records by thousands of years. Lead author Dr. Michele Francis from Stellenbosch University highlighted the significance of these mounds in understanding climate change and natural carbon sequestration processes. The study, published in Science of The Total Environment, suggests that these ancient mounds could hold the key to combating climate change and preserving our natural world for future generations. sources

Published:
Jun 14 2024, 5 pm

Bill Gates advances next-gen nuclear reactors

Bill Gates has initiated the development of a new next-generation nuclear reactor in the United States, moving away from traditional pressurized water reactors to ones that use sodium for cooling. The project, a collaboration between TerraPower and the Department of Energy, aims to construct a new sodium test reactor in Wyoming by 2030. This development comes at a time when the nuclear industry in the US has been in decline, facing challenges related to economics, regulations, and public perception. Gates' Natrium reactors are designed to be safer and more efficient, with the ability to integrate with variable energy sources like solar and wind. While some remain skeptical about the success of these new reactors, Gates is optimistic about the potential impact on climate change and the future of nuclear power in the US. sources

Published:
Jun 14 2024, 10 pm

Super Mario Bros. Mathematically Impossible to Solve

A recent study by a research team from MIT's Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory has found that most 2D Mario games, with the exception of Super Mario Wonder, are undecidable. This means that it is impossible to determine if the games can be beaten using a finite algorithm. The team used a technique involving counter machines to model the games and reduce the problem to the halting problem, a classic example of an undecidable problem. This research sheds light on the complexity of video games and their relation to theoretical computer science. The study, currently residing on the arXiv preprint server, provides a fascinating insight into the world of high-level math ideas inspired by unexpected sources, such as video games like Super Mario Bros. sources

Published:
Jun 14 2024, 10 pm

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