The abyss is back, and this time it spat up a penis (worm). At the end of May, we brought you a roundup of the strangest creatures dragged from the depths of the Australian abyssal zone, and you probably thought nature couldn't get any weirder. But then over the weekend, Twitter got itself all in a tizzy over this:
It killed 739 people in Chicago 1995. In Europe in 2003, it claimed another 70,000 lives. Just seven years later, it would take down 55,000 more in Russia. Extreme heat can and does kill. And while those heatwaves garnered global attention, according to a study released today in the journal Nature, they're more common than we think. The study's authors note that worldwide, some 30 percent of people are exposed to life-threatening extreme heat for at least 20 days of each year. If we do nothing to reduce climate changing emissions that are helping to push the mercury higher, they write, 74 percent of people will experience routine extreme heat events by 2100. And as is already the case today, at least some of those people will die.
Every missile is a carefully packaged bad day traveling at high speeds. Hypersonic missiles are a modern development in the long-running military arms race to figure out just how certain that bad end is for the humans on the receiving end. Russia's Zircon missile could enter arsenals as early as 2018. Despite headlines to the contrary, not enough about the missile is known yet to definitely claim that it poses an uncounterable threats ships in the sea.
From a Chinese satellite drifting through suborbital space, a laser beamed pairs of entangled photons to two separate locations on the ground. Although 746 miles separated each member of the pair, the light particles remained mysteriously connected. The experiment, the results of which were published today in the journal Science, smashed the previous distance record for a phenomenon called entanglement. It may sound esoteric, but it could pave the way for breakthroughs, most specifically a super-secure global communications network with uncrackable quantum encryption that protects every message from prying eyes.
Amazon has unveiled the second generation of its Dash Wand, an Alexa-enabled home barcode scanner that adds grocery items to an AmazonFresh cart. Yesterday, the Dash was a promotional tool, a way for Prime members in five urban markets (New York, Philadelphia, Seattle, and Northern and Southern California) to get back-doored into the $15/month AmazonFresh grocery delivery service.
El Niño has given us a preview of West Antarctica's future, and things do not look good. For two weeks in January of 2016, unusually warm weather caused a 300,000 square mile patch of the Ross Ice Shelf to partially melt. The roughly Texas-sized area, blanketed in a slushy mixture of ice and water, represents one of the first times scientists have been able to catch such widespread Antarctic melting in action. The findings were published this week in Nature Communications.
In 2007, Nike introduced a driver called the Sumo. It was immediately identifiable because of its square head shape as well as the signature sound it made when impacting the ball. The noise in question was a loud “clank” that many players found annoying. “The Sumo had a very strong frequency content around 2,000-3,000 hertz,” says Daniel A. Russell, a professor of acoustics at Pennsylvania State University's College of Engineering. “That's right where the human ear is most responsive to sound.”
Imagine: vast expanses of frozen sea, stretching from the northern coast of Alaska into the Arctic horizon. Welcome to the Southern Beaufort Sea—or at least, the Southern Beaufort Sea as it used to be. This icy Arctic ecosystem is dominated by the majestic polar bear, but warmer temperatures are changing both the landscape and its inhabitants.
On a recent Sunday morning, 93-year-old Bernie Fowler laced up his white sneakers and waded into Maryland's Patuxent River, a tributary of the Chesapeake Bay, just as he has done every June for the past 30 years. He was conducting his annual test of water clarity by seeing how deep he could go and still see the tops of his shoes.
I think we can all admit to getting a little emotional after a few too many glasses of wine. But according to a study done at the University of Adelaide, our emotional response to wine actually begins much earlier. They found that wine descriptions could make study subjects feel more emotional about booze, perhaps making them more likely to buy it as a result.
Lentil soup may be the mental fruit and ginger root might be good for the youth, to paraphrase an old hip-hop song, but hearing about how nutritious a food is will only make Americans pass on the peas. According to a research letter published earlier this week in the Journal of American Medical Association Internal Medicine, to actually get Americans to eat their fruits and veggies we need to give up on the health labels—and instead market them as indulgences. The researchers found giving veggies labels like "twisted citrus-glazed carrots," "sweet sizzilin' green beans and crispy shallots,” and “dynamite chili and tangy lime-seasoned beets” made us more likely to put them on our plate.