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The Apollo 11 Mistake That Could Have Killed The Astronauts

Apollo 11 was undoubtedly a success and its contributions have paved the way for more crewed space missions to be launched. However, there was one thing that the Apollo 11 team missed which could have led to an untimely demise. Only when they returned to Earth did they realize it.

To quote from Nancy Atkinson's book, pilot Frank A. Brown, flying about 450 miles (725 km) away from the re-entry point, reported the following:
I see the two of them, one above the other. One is the Command Module; the other is the Service Module. . . . I see the trail behind them — what a spectacle! You can see the bits flying off. Notice that the top one is almost unchanged while the bottom one is shattering into pieces. That is the disintegrating Service Module.
Fortunately for everyone, none of the debris resulting from the Service Module's re-entry impacted the Command Module, and the astronauts all arrived safely back on Earth.

Different from how it should have gone, the Service Module should have thrusted away from the Command Module upon re-entry so as to shift its trajectory and avoid collision with the latter. However, it didn't happen that way. Despite that minor mishap, thankfully it didn't lead to a major disaster since none of the debris from the Service Module hit the Command Module.

However, upon investigation, they found that the same thing happened in previous missions Apollo 8 and Apollo 10. So to prevent any big disaster from happening in the future, they changed the procedure for the separation of the two spacecrafts.

(Image credit: NASA/Wikimedia Commons)


World's Cutest Robot Could One Day Save Our Lives

And we're not talking about Wall-E. For now, it doesn't really have a name either but we can call it a "micro-bristle-bot" because it's very tiny, measuring only two millimeters long. What's most special about it is what it can do.

Unlike many robots, which run on electricity, this bot is powered by vibrations. Built in a four- or six-legged configuration, it’s 3D-printed with a super tiny actuator. When the frequency is perfectly in-tune with the robot’s onboard components, the device comes to life. That also means it won’t move from random sounds in the environment—the robot only responds to a single perfect pitch.

The team from Georgia Institute Technology built the micro-bristle-bot and says that these tiny robots could one day be programmed or even "coordinated to move together like a swarm of ants", similar to how Ant-Man communicates with and makes ants do his bidding. But there are other ways to make use of this technology.

The research team imagines them working as environmental sensors, or even making their way into the human body to repair tissues. Because they’re small, fast, and require no battery or other electricity, they are particularly well-suited for extreme environments like the human body.

(Image credit: Allison Carter/Georgia Tech)


Kyoto Animation Studio Caught Fire, 33 Lives Were Taken

Sad news for Japan.

Thirty three people have been confirmed dead after a suspected arson attack razed the Kyoto Animation Studio

Witnesses stated that a man was screaming “Die!” before he set the studio on fire.

The unnamed 41-year-old suspect was also injured during the incident and he was taken to a hospital. Knives were discovered by the police at the scene of the fire.

Apparently the man had set fire on the studio because the company had allegedly "stole a novel". Police is still investigating the motive of the crime.
Some 70 people were believed to have been in the studio when the building was set on fire at 10.35 in the morning. 11 bodies were found on the second floor, four more on the stairs.
Meanwhile, president of the anime company, Hideaki Hatta said the news of fire was heart breaking.
“This has just broken our hearts. What’s the use of resorting to violence?” he said when present at the damaged building.
Even Japan's Prime Minister Shinzo Abe has offered a message of condolence on Twitter.
“So many people were killed or injured. It’s so appalling I can’t find the right words. I pray for … their souls.”

Popularly called KyoAni, the animation studio is known for producing K-On!, The Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya, A Silent Voice, and Clanaad.

(Image Credit: ABS-CBN News)


A New Way of Treating Parkinson’s Disease?

Dopamine is a chemical messenger in the brain associated with happiness. It affects reward-based behaviors and motivation, as well as movement. Treatments for Parkinson’s disease have been mostly focused on this chemical. Researchers from Yale University, through their new study, challenge the long-held assumptions about the sole role of dopamine in this degenerative disorder.

In people with Parkinson’s disease, nerve cells that produce dopamine slowly die. The loss of dopamine leads to slower movements, resting tremors, and other symptoms that worsen over time. To reverse parkinsonism — the collection of symptoms seen in Parkinson’s disease — doctors provide a treatment that increases dopamine levels in the striatum, a portion of the brain that is responsible for motor learning. However, medical treatments do not consider the effects of parkinsonism on another neurotransmitter, acetylcholine.
Scientists had previously believed that when dopamine levels dropped, acetylcholine levels increased. However, this relationship had never been thoroughly investigated, despite acetylcholine’s likely role in creating a movement disorder called dyskinesia, which develops in most patients after several years of dopamine treatment for parkinsonism.

Neurology professor Nigel S. Bamford, together with his fellow researchers, explored the relationship between dopamine and acetylcholine through the use of mice. This is what they found out.

...Bamford and his co-authors learned, motor function in parkinsonism becomes dependent on both dopamine and acetylcholine.
These findings suggest that treating parkinsonism may require targeted therapies that restore the balance between these two chemicals, instead of focusing solely on dopamine, said the researchers.

See the full study here.

(Image Credit: sabinevanerp/ Pixabay)


The Snail Family in Medieval Art

Thread: everyone knows that medieval art is filled with snails fighting knights, but there's actually a whole medieval snail ecology and society, from snail-birds to snail-monks. And, ofc, snail-cats.

WARNING: this thread gets very very silly.

Erik Wade presents us with a bestiary of sorts, a collection of medieval snail art that shows how medieval monks combined snails with people, cats, dogs, deer, unicorns, birds, chickens, rabbits, monkeys, pigs, and other creatures.

Maybe there's some symbolism here, but I believe that snails are just an easy doodle that you can turn into something else. If you make half the animal a snail, then you don't have to draw legs or whatever- just a spiral. See the entire post at Threadreader or the nested thread with responses at Twitter. -via Metafilter


11-Year Old Salesman Caught The Attention of Policemen with “Ice Cold Beer” Sign

Do you find it difficult to market your business? 11-year old Seth may just give you an idea on how to attract customers (even the cops). 

Seth decided to set up a stand advertising "ICE COLD BEER."

This quickly caught the attention of his neighborhood in Utah. So much so, that the Brigham City Police Department received three reports about the business operation.
But when officers they arrived on the scene on Tuesday, all they found was a savvy salesman.
The young man was in fact selling ice cold (root) beer. [...]
After all, the evidence was right in front of them: If you look closely enough you can see a tiny "root" written above "BEER" on his sign.

Image: Brigham City Police Department/ Facebook


West Palm Beach Plays “Baby Shark” To Drive Homeless People Away

How do you get the homeless to move away from a park or a public place without resorting to force? Officials in West Palm Beach may have just found the solution:

The extremely popular – and extremely repetitive – children's song can be heard playing on loop all night long around the pavilion, The Palm Beach Post reports. In addition to "Baby Shark," the city is also playing another children's hit, "Raining Tacos."
It won't be raining tacos for the people who sleep around the pavilion — unless they can withstand this potent musical deterrent. The tactic is reminiscent of the blaring music once used by American interrogators to torment prisoners in the war on terror in Iraq, Afghanistan and Guantanamo Bay.

Image: Pink Fong


Researchers Have Discovered New Cells That Can Heal The Heart

University of Calgary - a study led by research team of Paul Kubes, PhD became the first to discover an unidentified population of cells in the pericardial fluid found inside the sac around the heart.

The Kubes lab, in collaboration with the Fedak lab, found that a specific cell, a Gata6+ pericardial cavity macrophage, helps heal an injured heart in mice. The cell was discovered in the pericardial fluid (sac around the heart) of a mouse with heart injury. Working with Fedak, a cardiac surgeon and incoming Director of the Libin Cardiovascular Institute of Alberta, the same cells were also found within the human pericardium of people with injured hearts, confirming that the repair cells offer the promise of a new therapy for patients with heart disease.

Image: Wikimedia Commons


What Is the Apollo 11 Landing Site Like Now?

Human beings first walked on the moon 50 years ago, and the very last manned moon mission was only three years later. What's changed in that time? A lot of things here on earth, but what about on the moon?

Buzz Aldrin, seeing the moon from the surface for the first time, described it as “magnificent desolation.”

It was not so desolate when they departed. The Apollo 11 astronauts discarded gadgets, tools, and the clothesline contraption that moved boxes of lunar samples, one by one, from the surface into the module. They left behind commemorative objects—that resplendent American flag, mission patches and medals honoring fallen astronauts and cosmonauts, a coin-size silicon disk bearing goodwill messages from the world leaders of planet Earth. And they dumped things that weren’t really advertised to the public, for understandable reasons, such as defecation-collection devices. (Some scientists, curious to examine how gut microbes fare in low gravity, even proposed going back for these.)

But are those things still there? There have been photographs taken of the Apollo 11 landing site in the years since, from NASA’s Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter. What those photos don't show us, scientists can extrapolate from other sources. Read about the historical Apollo 11 landing site at the Atlantic.

(Image credit: Ruby Aitken)



Looks like Deadpool isn't content on breaking the fourth wall - he's dragging (heh) us through the San Diego Comic-Con 2019 in a unique fashion-style as well.

Dragpool AKA David Schoelen (@the_reel_guy) takes us through his creative process in creating the drag queen/Deadpool mash up in this SYFY WIRE interview:

Can you tell me the origin story of your take on Deadpool, aka Dragpool? How did you decide to design that look, and what went into it?
Dragpool has become one of my favorite characters to cosplay. I stay in that character all day (nine hours in heels!) and everyone from little kids to Marvel bros to goth nerds to grandmas seem to enjoy him.
I'd never dressed in drag before, but the elements of the character seemed to easily emerge, including crystal bullet earrings, rhinestoned glitter lips, and the 2-foot, red beehive wig! I've discovered a whole community of "Pools" — not only cosplayers who bring the comic and screen Deadpool to life, but others who also create their own fusion of the character. They're great folks who are always excited to see a new Pool!
I continue to develop the character — keep the balance of drag elements and Deadpool — trying to never tip the scale in a direction that destroys the mix. I see Dragpool like the Deadpool from the drag universe, just like the diverse Spider-Verse. All the Pools are connected, but each remains unique.

Image via @monkeyarcher_9


Batman and Catwoman in a Titanic & Ghost Mash Up by Jacob Chabot

Comic book artist Jacob Chabot tweeted his latest fantastic creations: Batman & Catwoman / Titanic and Ghost mash up artwork, just in time for San Diego Comic-Con 2019.

He sure drew 'em like one of his French girls ...

Clayface makes a surprise appearance in this Batman/Catwoman & Ghost (1990) mash-up.


Gundam Needs to Fill Up on Gas, Too

In the future, Mobile Suit Gundam is powered by a Minovsky-Ionesco nuclear reactor but this at San Diego Comic-Con 2019, it seems that it's still powered by fossil fuel.

Spotted by @Cbrown803


The 2019 Audubon Photography Awards

The National Audubon Society has announced the winners of the annual Audobon Photography Awards competition. The picture above, of a red-winged blackbird blowing vapor rings in Huntley Meadows Park, Alexandria, Virginia, won the Grand Prize. It was taken by Kathrin Swoboda, who tells the story behind it.

I visit this park near my home to photograph blackbirds on cold mornings, often aiming to capture the "smoke rings" that form from their breath as they sing out. On this occasion, I arrived early on a frigid day and heard the cry of the blackbirds all around the boardwalk. This particular bird was very vociferous, singing long and hard. I looked to set it against the dark background of the forest, shooting to the east as the sun rose over the trees, backlighting the vapor.  

See all the stunning award-winning images at the competition website. See the top 100 images here. -via Kottke

(Image credit: Kathrin Swoboda)


Wanna Go For a Swim?

Japanese illustrator Kiyomaro (@sobomiyako98) presents a manga tale about her uncle. The elderly man slipped on some ice and his legs were paralyzed. But he wanted to visit his favorite place, Hawaii, again, and worked hard to regain enough mobility for the trip. When he got to Waikiki, he was approached by two surfer dudes. He was frightened at first, but the two guys asked the older man if he wanted to go for a swim. The encounter ended up changing the uncle's life. 


The original is in Japanese, but you can get the entire story in English at Sora News. Bring a hankie.  -via Metafilter


Japanese Man Created An App That Shows How Much Sugar Is In A Drink

Most, if not all, of us love sweet food and beverages. However, it is worth noting that too much sugar can cause weight gain, increase risks of various diseases such as cancer and diabetes, speed up the aging process, and can contribute to tooth decay.

If there was one thing that people can agree upon, it would be trying to decrease sugar consumption. Sodas, juices, sports drinks, and pre-bottled coffees are some of the drinks out there in the market that are known to have high levels of sugar. However, it would be difficult to visualize how much sugar is in a drink, even for a careful consumer. Fortunately, there’s an app that just shows that.

Twitter user Daiki Shimizu (@432daiki) developed an app that scans the bar code of a soft drink and gives you a visual representation of how much sugar is in it. In the video above, which he posted on Twitter, he scans the bar code of a popular Japanese soda called Mitsuya Cider. Then after a brief moment, an image of a bottle pops up, and the gauge that shows how much of the drink is sugar climbs higher and higher.
The final product also says how many cubes of sugar is in one bottle of Mitsuya Cider: 13.8, which is quite a hefty amount. When he taps “kakutei/確定 (confirm), 13 cubes of sugar drop from the top of the screen, and, with every movement of his phone, tumble around like they’re inside of a jar. The app then displays “13.8 cubes” in larger numbers, and further specifies that 13.8 cubes of sugar is 229.2 percent of the recommend[ed] daily value. Sort of makes you want to put back the soda bottle, doesn’t it?
Many netizens clamored for the name of the app and where they can get it, but Shimizu says that it was actually an app that he made a year ago and shelved for various reasons, so it’s not currently available for download. But due to popular demand, he decided to upload it to the iPhone App store, where it is currently waiting for approval, and he will likely Tweet when it’s ready to be downloaded.
The app seems to only have Japanese language accessibility, and may not work on beverages that weren’t purchased in Japan. However, since the app itself can read Japanese, it can still tell you how much sugar is in a Japanese drink even if you can’t read the language, and can help you watch your sugar intake while traveling or living in Japan.

What are your thoughts on this one?

(Video Credit: Daiki Shimizu/ Twitter)

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