What Everyone Gets Wrong About Newton's Apple
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Image Credit: APS Physics(Click to enlarge)A passage from a manuscript written by one of Newton's contemporaries, recording the version of the apple tree story as Newton tells it: \"...therefore the apple draws the earth, as well as the earth draws the apple.\" Image Credit: The Royal Society, Memoirs of Sir Isaac Newton's Life by Sir William StukeleyIf you can decipher that kind of handwriting, you can read the full text free online at the link above! It's not the apple bit that I have a problem with; that's an important part of the story, and even historically accurate! In a flash of insight, he realizes that there must be some force pulling the apple toward the earth. The man himself is recorded as saying that his \"eureka\" moment really did come after seeing an apple fall from a tree.

Holiday Instability
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The reason Christmas trees topple so easily is because their base is so small. Anything making small contact with the ground relative to its size is going to be fairly unstable. It only has to be pushed past its edge of contact with the ground before it starts to tip over. Likewise, an object will tip over more slowly when it's center of mass is further away from the pivot point. That means the menorah, with the higher center of mass, will be easiest to control and easiest to juggle.

How the Suburbs Could Help Save Biodiversity
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This past summer saw at least tens of thousands of migrating birds drop dead from the sky over the Southwest. Too many of the exotic plants sold in nurseries are essentially inedible to most native animals. Yes, you’re saving water over planting thirsty ornamentals or a lawn, but drought-tolerant exotic plants can become invasive disasters when they escape our yards. Even in drier areas, like the American West, the selection of attractive native plants to choose from is vast. For those disenchanted with dry landscaping, using underappreciated and lush water-loving native plants to make your garden a real-life oasis could lifesaving to wildlife.

Did We Receive a Message from a Planet Orbiting the Nearest Star?
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This infrared star hosts an Earth-size planet, Proxima b, in its habitable zone, where liquid water could allow the chemistry of life on the planet’s surface. But even without examining the event details, one might wonder whether it is plausible for a radio signal to originate from our nearest star system. Following this argument, the quantitative paper with Amir shows that the chance of a radio signal appearing now from our nearest star is miniscule. There is one caveat to this conclusion, namely if intelligent life on Earth and its nearest star are correlated. Interestingly, Proxima Centauri became our nearest star around the same time when Homo sapiens appeared on Earth.

How Science Explains Trump’s Grip on White Males
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Slovic and his team found that White males differed from White women and non-White men and women in how they perceived risks. For every category of threat, White men saw risk as much smaller and much more acceptable than did other demographic groups. And in the case of White men, it is often a lens that seeks to preserve institutionalized cultural identity and societal status. And it’s not hard to imagine why the term “White male effect” would struggle to gain traction in a media landscape dominated by White men. Virtuous violence is still violence and there is nothing abstract about identity protective cognition’s role in White male supremacy.

Humans May Have Befriended Wolves with Meat
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How did dogs become humans’ best friend? Well, one idea is that docile wolves flocked to waste dumps near human camps. Writing in the journal Scientific Reports, she and her colleagues present a different hypothesis: that humans purposely shared their leftovers with wolves instead. And they found there likely would have been more than enough meat to go around. That’s because humans can’t survive on protein alone—but wolves can for months.

Time Has No Meaning at the North Pole
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At the North Pole, 24 time zones collide at a single point, rendering them meaningless. At Earth’s other pole, time zones are quirky but rooted in utility. At the North Pole, it’s all ocean, visited only rarely by an occasional research vessel or a lonely supply ship that strayed from the Northwest Passage. What we think of as a single day, flanked by sunrise and sunset, happens just once per year around the North Pole. So I can’t help but wonder: Does a single day up North last for months?

How the Coronavirus Pandemic Shaped Our Language in 2020
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The pandemic has transformed lives and livelihoods. He says a lot of the words that came up fresh to many people in 2020 had existed in scholarly literature for decades. “So, for example, ‘contact tracing’ is attested from 1910—been in use for well over a century. But it took on new life during the pandemic. At a recent virtual meeting, they voted on the 2020 Word of the Year.

How Do I Get Rid of a Dead Animal Smell in My Car?
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If you can find the dead animal yourself, carefully remove it using gloves. Donning gloves again, scrub down all surfaces that had any contact with the dead creature with a commercial disinfectant or diluted bleach solution and let the car air out as much as possible. While Simmons says that dead animal calls are \"pretty rare,\" he's seen cases where rodents have climbed into the air conditioner's evaporator unit and gotten trapped, spreading the stench throughout the whole vehicle. You could try to sell it, but who's going to buy a car that wreaks of dead opossum? Not only could the dead animal result in physical damage to the engine, but its decomposing fumes might count as a biohazard.

How Leonard Bernstein Opposed Richard Nixon With 1973 'Anti-inaugural' Concert
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\" \" Composer Leonard Bernstein used a performance the night before Richard Nixon's inauguration as an \"anti-inaugural.\" On January 20, 1973, the second presidential inauguration of Richard Nixon — elected in a landslide victory — took place amidst shaking signs and shouting protestors. But at the exact same time a free and unofficial inauguration concert at the National Cathedral took place thanks to legendary conductor Leonard Bernstein. For even more on the animosity between Leonard Bernstein and Richard Nixon, we'd recommend a deep dive into \"The Bernstein Files,\" a three-part multimedia series in The New Yorker from classical music expert Alex Ross. Now That's Interesting When the Philadelphia Orchestra was asked to perform President Richard Nixon's 1973 inauguration concert, 16 members requested the night off.

The Mastodon Graveyard That Stole Thomas Jefferson's Heart
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\" \" Big Bone Lick National Park Mark ManciniFor the Sage of Monticello, science was a patriotic pursuit. In lieu of live specimens, Lewis sent the president a couple of new mastodon fossils from Big Bone Lick. In 1960, the Big Bone Lick fossil site was incorporated into a new state park. At the entrance, visitors are greeted by a sign that reads \"Big Bone Lick Historic Site: Birthplace of American Vertebrate Paleontology.\" Now That's Interesting The American mastodon was named Michigan's official state fossil in 2002 because its remains are common in the Lower Peninsula.

How to Fill Out a Money Order
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You also must fill out a money order correctly, otherwise it will have to be canceled and refunded, and then repurchased. AdvertisementAdvertisementBefore you go to buy a money order, make sure you know what types of payment are accepted. The amount will be printed when the money order is prepared by the issuer, but you'll fill in everything else. Fill in the recipient's address and your address, if required, depending on the type of money order. Sign the money order in a \"Signature\" or \"Purchaser\" field, if one is required.

The Evolutionary Origins of Friendship
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As awful as 2020 was, its ability to reveal the genuine strengths and weaknesses of our relationships was an unexpected boon. They enable us to discern fair-weather friends from friends tried and true. As an evolutionary psychologist, I have conducted research on social relationships and emotions for over 20 years. If I demonstrate that I value you, then, all else equal, it pays for you to value me in return. The pandemic has therefore been an unexpected (albeit unwanted) opportunity to test the tensile strength of our relationships.

A Step to Ease the Pandemic Mental Health Crisis
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For months a mental health crisis has accompanied the misery brought on by COVID-19. Meanwhile mental health services have been stretched worldwide. One reason is that mental health personnel and the facilities they work in have been reassigned to COVID-related tasks during the crisis. These techniques allow people to become mental health first responders. Mental health first aid is slightly different from psychological first aid because it is targeted at people experiencing issues even before a crisis erupts.

Another Way to Protect against COVID beyond Masking and Social Distancing
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Estimated virus half-life was more than 24 hours at 10 degrees C (50 degrees F) and 40 percent relative humidity, but only 90 minutes at 27 degrees C (80 degrees F) and 65 percent relative humidity. Indeed, a study conducted in New South Wales, Australia, demonstrates an inverse relationship between relative humidity and transmission of SARS-CoV-2. We are requesting that the WHO produce clear guidelines on the minimum lower limit of air humidity in buildings. We recommend maintaining relative humidity between 40 to 60 percent to maximize the benefits of humidity but not the drawbacks of too much humidity that promote mold growth. Indoor air control is the next frontier to improve human health and reduce transmission of various types of viruses, including SARS-COV-2.

Q Shows How Pernicious Conspiracy Theories Are
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The point is that something undeniably huge was supposed to happen, something you cannot pretend did happen when it didn’t. Often the cult leader will say something along the lines of, “Oops, I forgot to carry the 2, the world will end next Tuesday. And like the Cylons – Trump had a plan, even if we did not know exactly what it was. The dramatic moment that Q adherents have been waiting for they call “the Storm”. Like the adherents from the Hitchiker’s Guide, Q believers kept waiting and waiting, but the Storm never came.

Deaths From COVID-19 Are Different From Other Respiratory Distress, But ICU Practices Are The Same
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If someone elderly with blood clots and cancer treatment dies from respiratory distress, the federal government is generous about calling it a COVID-19 death. Even gunshot victims are considered COVID-19 related if they had tested positive for the virus in the last 30 days. So the increased COVID-19 deaths here are not mislabeled, at least if we extrapolate from people with similar lung failure who died at the same hospital in years before COVID-19. Japan had few cases and few deaths from COVID-19 because they refused to worry about it. \"What was persistent before and after COVID-19, and something we need to be better about after last year's coronavirus is a memory?

Less 'Feminine' Looking? Your Sexual Harassment Claims May Be Seen As Less Credible
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Stereotypically feminine hobbies include shopping, yoga or watching romantic movies, rather than stereotypically masculine hobbies such as fishing, contact sports or watching violent action movies.To test how that concept of a typical woman impacted participants' view of sexual harassment, five of the experiments had participants read scenarios in which women either did or did not experience sexual harassment. Participants then assessed the extent to which these women fit with the idealized image of women, either by drawing what they thought the woman might look like or selecting from a series of photos. Across all the experiments, participants perceived the targets of sexual harassment as more stereotypical than those who did not experience harassment.In the next four experiments, participants were shown ambiguous sexual harassment scenarios, such as a boss inquiring about a woman's dating life. These scenarios were paired with descriptions or photos of women who were either stereotypical or not. The participants then rated the likelihood that the incident constituted sexual harassment.

Earth Has Lost 28 Trillion Tons of Ice since the Mid-1990s
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Altogether, the planet lost a whopping 28 trillion tons of ice between 1994 and 2017. It accounts for both the Greenland and Antarctic ice sheets, Arctic and Antarctic sea ice and mountain glaciers all over the world. Since the 1990s, Antarctica has lost more than 2.6 trillion tons and Greenland has lost nearly 4 trillion. These ice shelves help to stabilize the ice sheet’s marine-terminating glaciers and hold back the flow of ice behind them. In addition to the ice sheet’s losses, Antarctica’s ice shelves have lost more than 8.6 trillion tons of mass since the 1990s.

Premature Freak-Outs about Techno-Enhancement
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I’m venting now because I’ve discovered a phrase that elegantly captures my peeve: wishful worries. How can we protect privacy in an age of tech-enabled telepathy?”We expect boosters of techno-enhancement to minimize technical obstacles. Brain chips could, in principle, give us enormous power over our brains, hence minds, hence behavior. He and others also warned that tyrants might use brain chips to monitor and control our thoughts. In 2003 the U.S. Council on Bioethics, a group convened by President George Bush, brooded over brain chips’ possible effects on STEM education.

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