Should I worry about an asteroid hitting Earth?

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? 

Earth is spinning faster than it has for 50 years (and we might have to ‘subtract’ a second)

Earth is spinning unusually quickly – and last year saw the shortest day since people started counting.

In fact, 2020 saw the 28 shortest days since 1960, beating the previous shortest day in 2005, according to TimeandDate.com.

Toy Inventor’s Notebook: Make a Miraculous Marangoni Soap Boat

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.

Do We Live in a Simulation? Chances Are about 50–50

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.”

Why Cats Show You Their Butt, According to Science

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.

How Poverty Changes the Brain

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 made a mouse embryo that’s 4% human — the highest level of human cells in an animal yet

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.