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Researchers Claim Fastest Internet Speed

44.2 Terabits per second (Tbps). That’s the data speed reported by Australian researchers in their paper published in the journal Nature Communications. How fast is it, you ask? Well, fast enough to download a thousand high-definition movies in a split-second. What’s more amazing about this is that the data speed was recorded in a single optical chip.

And they did it not in a lab but using existing communications infrastructure.
“We’ve developed something that is scalable to meet future needs,” says co-lead author Bill Corcoran from Monash University. “And it’s not just Netflix we’re talking about here: it’s the broader scale of what we use our communication networks for.”

More details about this study over at Cosmos Magazine.

(Image Credit: Monash, RMIT, Swinburne universities/ Cosmos)


Child Labor In The Bronze Age

Austria — Deep in the Hallstatt salt mine, archaeologists discovered a tattered leather shoe that has been well-preserved for nearly 3,000 years, along with other small shoes, as well as woolen and leather caps. The tattered shoe was said to have fit on a child under 10 years old. This finding gave archaeologists a glimpse of the life in this place during the Bronze and Iron Ages.

“We must conclude … children were regularly and in large numbers employed for underground mining,” wrote Fritz Eckart Barth, the archaeological site’s director in 1992, when the slipper was analyzed.
In the years since the shoes and caps spurred investigations at Hallstatt, scientists have assembled a vivid picture of the child laborers’ lives based on artifacts and bones. Wear and tear on their skeletons, in particular, suggests the youngest miners performed specific tasks at the site.

This study stands out from other archaeological studies of ancient children, as this tries to reconstruct what their lives have been in the past, compared to other studies which usually just study their physical traits such as height and brain size.

Few studies have re-created everyday experiences — how kids played, learned and labored.

This one clearly was an example of those few studies.

As a subject of scientific inquiry, “the archaeology of childhood is quite recent,” says Queen’s University Belfast researcher Mélie Le Roy. Archaeologists at Hallstatt and elsewhere are just beginning to uncover children’s contributions to ancient societies.

Know more about the history of the Hallstatt salt mine over at Discover Magazine.

(Image Credit: A. Rausch/NHM Vienna/ Discover)


Australia Could Harness Energy From Waves

Australia is known for its beautiful beaches and huge waves, which makes it a great place to go for those who love to go surfing. These waves, however, are not only beneficial to surfers, as they could also be used as a source of renewable energy.

Among those harnessing this tidal potential is Sydney-based Mako Energy. The company makes underwater turbines ranging between two and four meters in diameter. One turbine operating in constantly flowing water can produce enough electricity to power up to 20 homes.

The turbine design could also be used in slow-flowing water, which enables it to generate electricity from rivers and irrigation canals.

"We're developing turbines at a scale where they can be deployed easily in remote communities, coastal businesses, island communities and resorts," Douglas Hunt, managing director of Mako Energy, told CNN Business.
Although tidal energy is still in its infancy, it could help to reduce Australia's dependence on fossil fuels.
"The majority of the energy in the national grid is from coal," explained Jenny Hayward, a research scientist at Australia's national science agency, CSIRO. "We also have wind and solar PV [photovoltaic]."

But compared to other forms of renewable energy (such as solar and wind), tidal energy has a major advantage, which is its predictability. Installing this comes at a cost, however.

More details about this over at CNN.

(Image Credit: Pixabay)


Brazilian Dentist Fixes Teeth of Less-Fortunate People For Free, And Their Smiles Are Priceless!

It is difficult to smile when one has missing teeth, because he knows that it doesn’t look good to the one who sees him smile. You might have had a similar experience with this when you were a kid, and your milk teeth started to fall out. Just imagine if you’re an adult and you lost your permanent teeth, which will not be replaced naturally. While the more fortunate can buy dentures to serve as prosthetics, those who are less fortunate cannot afford that, and they lose their ability to smile, and with that, their confidence, too. Thankfully, there are people who understand their predicament well.

A Brazilian dentist named Felipe Rossi has been traveling the world and helping poor people in need by doing what he does best―giving a reason to smile and restoring lost confidence. For many people, dental health is a pure luxury and they simply can't afford it. They have been given a chance to get the assistance they need for free thanks to Doctor Rossi and his NGO Por1sorriso, which he founded back in 2016.

Check out the photos of people that Doctor Rossi helped over at Bored Panda.

(Image Credit: drfeliperossi/ Bored Panda)


Man Helps King Cobra Get Hydrated

Now that India has been experiencing unusually high temperatures, those who live there have to find ways to beat the heat. It is not only the people who are affected by the heat, but also the animals. Thankfully, there are humans who are willing to help.

Check out the video of a man helping a king cobra hydrate itself by giving it water, over at 9GAG.

(Image Credit: 9GAG)


Building the Perfect Squirrel Proof Bird Feeder

Mark Rober (previously at Neatorama) took up birdwatching as a hobby. However, squirrels discovered his new bird feeders. So, handy fellow that he is, Robert constructed an obstacle course to make things more difficult. But it's not just an obstacle course; it's more involved than anything you'd see on American Ninja Warrior. He even designed a photo opportunity in the middle of it! Yeah, the video is long, but you can skip to 7:40 and see squirrels trying to negotiate the course. Watch from the beginning to see how he built it. -via Gizmodo


10 Chance Meetings That Changed the World

Some duos are so iconic that you might assume they knew each other from elementary school, or else sought each other out for something to do with whatever made them famous. You would then be surprised to find out how some people met. For example, Larry Page and Sergey Brin didn't particularly like each other when they met.

College tours aren’t normally life-changing—but in the case of Google’s founders, a walk around Stanford ended up changing the course of their careers (and had a pretty big impact on the rest of us). In 1995, Sergey Brin, then a second-year grad student in computer science, volunteered to be a tour guide for prospective students who had just been admitted to the school. By pure chance, Larry Page, an engineering major from the University of Michigan, ended up in his group.

Although the pair didn’t exactly start off as friends (they clashed during the tour and found each other “obnoxious”) it was a meaningful first impression. Several months later, when Page’s dissertation on the World Wide Web turned into a much bigger project involving a prototype search engine, he needed help building the system—which was originally named BackRub but, thankfully, was renamed to Google. The person he chose for the job? Someone who he had come to respect: his former tour guide.

Would we have Google today if Page and Brin had never met? Would we have the Beatles catalog if Paul McCartney and John Lennon hadn't decided to play music together? How would the world be different today if  the future king of England had never met Wallis Simpson? Read how other famous partners, couples, and co-workers met at Mental Floss.

(Image credit: Joi Ito)


Summer Camp in Antarctica

Union Glacier Camp is a unique, but real, camping experience in Antarctica. it is only open from November through January, which is summer in the Southern Hemisphere, and houses guests in tents. Talk about getting away from it all! -via The Kid Should See This


Star Cities Scattered Across Our Globe

The Italians developed star forts, a geometric design to help protect the interior village from cannonballs, in the 15th century. The idea caught on and was imitated far and wide. While cities are now mostly protected by nations, and defense from cannonball fire isn't a priority, these existing forts live on because they were built to last. But it's only been in the last century that we can see them from above and appreciate their geometric beauty. Read about the why's and how's of star forts, their history, and where you can see them today ay Messy Nessy Chic. Yeah, there are plenty of pictures.


Inside the Flour Company Supplying America’s Sudden Baking Obsession

When my daughter requested I buy King Arthur unbleached flour, I didn't know why, but the store was completely out. The shelf was labeled, and there was a large empty space for the product. While I had heard of the brand, I didn't know anything about it because I am not a bread baker. But the US suddenly became a nation of home bread bakers in March. That's why King Arthur co-CEO Karen Colberg was shocked in early March when she saw that the company's sales had shot up 600%.  

When Meaders Ozarow and her husband started an artisan bakery called the Empire Baking Company in Dallas 27 years ago, neither of them knew all that much about baking. But they got a piece of advice from a successful baker friend back East: Stick with King Arthur; it was the only major U.S. flour brand that approached Europe’s higher standards. “We tried switching once to save money,” says Ozarow. “But our head baker started complaining right away that he wasn’t getting a consistent rise, and the color was off. That wasn’t good, because people buy bread with their eyes.” They turned to King Arthur and haven’t looked back.

King Arthur’s pitch — its high quality — is basically the same one the company began with when it was founded in 1790 in Boston as an importer of European flour. When it switched to milling its own American wheat in the 1820s, it took more care than its major competitors throughout the manufacturing process, from selecting prime wheat, to milling only the heart of the wheat’s “berries,” to leaving the natural creamy color unbleached. It even eschewed the addition of dough-stiffening bromate. The company also tightly controls and specifies to a decimal place (in prominent numbers right on the front of the package) the precise protein content of each its flours, a key factor in a baked good’s rise. Though all the extra pains carry a significant price premium of about 25% over its closest competitors, the payoff by most accounts is a more consistent, predictable, and appealing result in baking, particularly with bread.

The executives at King Arthur knew they had to deliver more flour, but couldn't skimp on quality, since that's what they had going for them. Read about how the small company with deep roots is reacting to its sudden popularity at Marker. -via Nag on the Lake


The Most Watched Television Series 1951-2019

Data Broz gives us a mesmerizing visualization of the most watched TV shows over the past seven decades. Before that, few people actually owned TV sets. But during the time analyzed here, the number of people rose greatly, the number of TV sets per household also exploded. Notice that about 1987 the total number of people watching the same shows started to drop, as cable began offering a wider variety of channels. The data is "mostly" based on the USA, and NFL shows are excluded. -via Geekologie


How Americans Commute

American commuting statistics can be a little disheartening, with the vast majority of U.S. workers relying on their cars to get to their jobs. Some cities, however, have been doing a lot better than others in terms of alternative transportation for rides to and from work.

Source: Bike Rental Central Park


"Take on Me" on a Washing Machine

It's funny enough when an unbalanced washing machine gives you a good beat, but this is something else! Kurt Hugo Schneider has a hi-tech washer that has all the electronic tones needed to play the intro to the song "Take On Me" by a-ha. Schneider is a musician, and has also shown us how he can play a microwave, an oven, and a code lock, which you can see at Laughing Squid.


World War II Photos of African-American Soldiers

Being a soldier in the middle of an ongoing war is already hard enough. Being an African American soldier in the United States, in the middle of the raging World War 2, is much harder. Despite the difficulty of being segregated and discriminated against, these African American soldiers still gave it their best and fought and died with the Americans, rendering a “separate but equal” service to the country.

Photojournalist Charles “Teenie” Harris documents the lives of many African American soldiers during World War 2. Check them out over at Smithsonian.

(Image Credit: Bundesarchiv, Bild 183-H25224 / Unknown author / CC-BY-SA 3.0/ Wikimedia Commons)


We Can Learn Some Things About Mental Health From Astronauts

For almost a year, Christina Koch had been living in the International Space Station. For 328 days, the forty-one-year old astronaut had been busy with hundreds of science experiments and six spacewalks (which makes her very lucky, as only some astronauts are allowed to go outside the spacecraft). After a long time in space, Koch then thought about her next goal, and that is to walk on the beach once she touched back down on Earth. Finally, in February, Koch touched down on Earth safe and sound. There was one thing that would keep her from achieving her goal — the Earth’s gravity.

Astronauts often struggle with even the most routine physical activities, including walking, after experiencing the weightlessness of space. Some have returned from much shorter sojourns than Koch’s feeling so physically weak they collapsed during press conferences. Some have also struggled to ease back into everyday life after the thrill of a space mission. To improve the transition, every astronaut follows a tailored rehabilitation program when they return; in Koch’s case, that probably involved sixty days of training—split between NASA’s Johnson Space Center, in Houston, and her home—to readjust to Earth’s gravity.

Koch’s coach knew that her desire to go to the beach would boost her mental health, and this would get her through the first days of exercises.

A week after landing, Koch tweeted a picture of herself standing on a beach, arms outstretched in triumph.

In other words, her coach knew a thing or two about mental health and how to keep her mind healthy.

In many ways, space can be just as hard on the mind as it is on the body. For astronauts, the isolation, the confinement, and, at times, the uncertainty of space travel can be crushing even though they often spend years preparing for their missions. And, as researchers continue to establish mental health supports for spacebound crews and study travellers who have returned, they’re finding that there’s still much to learn about the long-term psychological effects of these journeys.

More details about this over at The Walrus.

(Image Credit: NASA/ Wikimedia Commons)

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