Every so often there are reports that an asteroid is passing close to Earth, with the most recent story claiming one the size of the Eiffel Tower will be zooming past our planet. Dinosaurs also famously became extinct after an asteroid collided with our planet 66 million years ago. But what is the likelihood of it happening again?
Here’s an update of a Victorian plaything. Cut out the fish on the dotted line and float it on a pan of water. Place a single drop of olive oil in the circle. The oil quickly spreads out the slit and across the water. The fish “swims” in the opposite direction, like an exhaust-spewing rocket subject to Newton’s third law of motion. Sadly, the soggy paper fish is only good for just a single use.
It is not often that a comedian gives an astrophysicist goose bumps when discussing the laws of physics. But comic Chuck Nice managed to do just that in a recent episode of the podcast StarTalk.The show’s host Neil deGrasse Tyson had just explained the simulation argument—the idea that we could be virtual beings living in a computer simulation. If so, the simulation would most likely create perceptions of reality on demand rather than simulate all of reality all the time—much like a video game optimized to render only the parts of a scene visible to a player. “Maybe that’s why we can’t travel faster than the speed of light, because if we could, we’d be able to get to another galaxy,” said Nice, the show’s co-host, prompting Tyson to gleefully interrupt. “Before they can program it,” the astrophysicist said,delighting at the thought. “So the programmer put in that limit.”
Someday, solar panels may be light and cheap enough that they could be hung on a clothesline, thanks to a synthetic mineral called perovskite. Physicist Sam Stranks explains the science and the challenges that stand in its way.
To demonstrate the direct effect, he extracted a large quantity of gastric juice from the stomachs of birds and placed chewed food in the juice and kept it at body temperature for three days. By repeated additions of gastric fluid, the food eventually became completely dissolved.
As a popular Books of Adam comic has pointed out, the most difficult thing to reconcile with as a cat owner is the fact that your cat’s butthole has touched pretty much everything you own. Sometimes, your cat will decide to put his or her gnarly hole on your face, completely casually. While it might seem vaguely threatening or confusing, a cat researcher tells Inverse it’s not as weird as you think.
You saw the pictures in science class—a profile view of the human brain, sectioned by function. The piece at the very front, right behind where a forehead would be if the brain were actually in someone’s head, is the pre-frontal cortex. It handles problem-solving, goal-setting, and task execution. And it works with the limbic system, which is connected and sits closer to the center of the brain. The limbic system processes emotions and triggers emotional responses, in part because of its storage of long-term memory.
Scientists have created a mouse embryo that’s part human — 4% to be exact.The hybrid is what scientists call a human-animal chimera, a single organism that’s made up of two different sets of cells — in this case, a mouse embryo that has both mouse cells and human cells.