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Did giant crabs eat Amelia Earhart?

The mystery surrounding the disappearance of aviation pioneer Amelia Earhart has sparked a new theory - was she eaten by giant crabs? In 1940, British colonists found 13 bones on Nikumaroro, an atoll in the Pacific Ocean, believed to be Earhart's. The idea is that Earhart and her navigator landed on the atoll, but only she survived. Coconut crabs, massive land-dwelling creatures known to hunt large birds, are suspected of scattering the rest of the bones. The International Group of Historical Aircraft Recovery conducted experiments with pig carcasses to test this theory, finding that the crabs can strip a body in less than two weeks. Despite the popularity of this hypothesis online, no conclusive evidence has been found, leaving the fate of Amelia Earhart still shrouded in mystery. sources

May 18 2024, 10 pm

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Jun 14 2024, 10 pm

Roman execution method: Damnatio Ad Bestias was brutal and wild

In Roman times, the phrase "Damnatio ad bestias" struck fear into the hearts of criminals, as it meant being torn apart by wild animals for public entertainment. The barbaric execution method, detailed by Roman poet Martial in his book _Liber Spectaculorum_, involved criminals re-enacting famous myths with gruesome outcomes. Scholars suggest that these spectacles upheld social norms and reminded citizens of the protection provided by the Roman Empire. The practice also aimed to suppress the rise of Christianity, with many converts being condemned. Over 400 years, an estimated 400,000 people faced this brutal fate, with lions and other big cats being the most common executioners, while other dangerous creatures like elephants and crocodiles were also used in these deadly performances. sources

Jun 14 2024, 10 pm

Sun's encounter with object cooled Earth dramatically

The heliosphere, a protective bubble around the Solar System created by the solar wind, shields us from the interstellar medium. A recent study suggests that as the Sun moves through the galaxy, it may pass through regions that could impact Earth's climate. The Solar System is currently in a sparse region known as the Local Bubble, but has likely traversed denser interstellar clouds in the past. These encounters could have contracted the heliosphere, potentially affecting Earth's climate by altering the atmosphere's chemistry and depleting ozone. Geological evidence of isotopes found on Earth could support the theory of past encounters with dense interstellar clouds. While the effects of these encounters are still being studied, researchers believe that further investigation with modern atmospheric modeling could shed light on how these events may have influenced human evolution. sources

Jun 14 2024, 11 pm

Neanderthal DNA linked to autism in small percentage

Less than 1 percent of people have rare gene variants inherited from Neanderthals, which have been linked to autism in a new study by scientists at Clemson University and Loyola University New Orleans. These variants are significantly more common in autistic individuals across three ethnic groups in the US, suggesting a role in autism susceptibility. However, the exact association between these genes and autism remains unclear. Neanderthal DNA, which makes up 1 to 4 percent of the human genome, has been linked to various traits and health conditions, including lower pain thresholds, vulnerability to COVID-19, depression, and drug metabolism. The study, published in Molecular Psychiatry, sheds light on the ongoing legacy of Neanderthal DNA in modern humans. sources

Jun 14 2024, 9 pm

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