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2

Science Geniuses That You Might Not Be Familiar With

When you hear the word “science genius”, the first names that could come into your mind are the most popular names, like Newton, Galileo, Darwin, and Einstein. Buried beneath these popular science geniuses, however, are the names of other geniuses that have been forgotten by most of us. Tom Siegfried lists ten names of unsung geniuses over at Nautilus. Why don’t you check them out? For now, here’s Brahmagupta, one of the unsung geniuses on the list.

A prominent astronomer, Brahmagupta wrote an extensive treatise covering such topics as the motions of the planets, eclipses, and the phases of the moon. But his genius emerged most prominently in mathematics. He introduced the idea of zero as a number like any other and discussed how to calculate with it. He was also the first to explain negative numbers, a concept thought by the Greeks to be “absurd.” Brahmagupta pointed out that multiplying two negative numbers (he called them “debts”) produced a positive number (in his terminology, a “fortune”).

(Image Credit: geralt/ Pixabay)


2

It’s A Dust-Bathing Turkey

Carla Rhodes knew something was up when she saw the patch of dust forming in her backyard. Curious to see what was going on, the wildlife photographer decided to set up a trail camera, and, lo and behold, her camera captured a wild female turkey which stopped by her backyard every afternoon to treat itself with a nice dust bath.

Soon after, Rhodes set up a camouflaged hunting blind in her driveway. Armed with her camera and hoping to snap a photograph of the wild turkey in action, Rhodes sat for hours in silence. “One day, I was in there for four hours, and I wouldn't leave because I would think, when I leave, she's going to show up,” says Rhodes.
“My husband would come outside while I was in the blind,” says Rhodes, “and I would call him from my cell phone and be like, “Get back inside—she might show up, you might scare her!”
Finally, the turkey arrived at the patch of dust, and began her ritual of wriggling and frantically flapping in the dirt, tossing clouds of dust into the air around her. Rhodes was thrilled—she’d finally captured the turkey dust bathing, but she moved too quickly and spooked the bird. The next time the turkey showed up, Rhodes was more cautious and snapped more shots.

For a few weeks, with an enthusiastic spirit, Rhodes would be observing and documenting the female turkey.

Read about her experience, and see some of the photos she took, over at Smithsonian Magazine.

(Image Credit: Carla Rhodes/ Smithsonian Magazine)


2

Getting Acquainted With The Rushton Triangular Lodge

Found in the village of Rushton in Northhamptonshire, England, is the Rushton Triangular Lodge. This building was constructed between 1593 and 1597, and was designed by Sir Thomas Tresham, as a way of expressing his faith.

The number three, symbolizing the Holy Trinity, is apparent everywhere, from the triangular shape to the use of the trefoil window designs, to the number of floors, the various dimensions and symbolic letters, dates, and numbers which are all multiples of three.
Thomas Tresham, grand prior of the order of St. John in England, was the eldest son of John Tresham of Rushton. The family owned large estates in Rushton and Lyveden which he inherited from his grandfather at the age of fifteen, establishing him as a member of the Catholic elite. He served as sheriff of Northamptonshire in 1573 and was knighted at the Queen's Royal Progress at Kenilworth in 1575. Tresham’s connection with Jesuits and his recusancy made [him] a threat to Protestants and he was frequently imprisoned and fined for his religious affiliation. It was during his prolonged captivity that Sir Thomas formulated the idea of making a covert declaration of his faith.
On his release in 1593, Tresham began designing the triangular lodge as something of a shrine dedicated to his long suffering. 

Learn more about the building over at Amusing Planet.

(Image Credit: Daderot/ Wikimedia Commons)


2

The Only Dinosaurs In Ireland

If you ever want to go dinosaur hunting, the last place you would want to go to is Ireland. Due to its weird geology, the rock layers are only made up of material that dates either before or after dinosaurs came into existence. This means that finding dinosaur fossils or remains in this place is extremely rare. But it doesn’t mean that you wouldn’t be able to find one.

Just recently, a research team led by Dr. Mike Simms have confirmed two bone fragments, which were discovered by a schoolteacher named Roger Byrne, to belong to two different dinosaurs. These are the only dinosaur remains to be found in Ireland.

… the two bone fragments were found to belong to two different individuals.
"This is a hugely significant discovery," says Simms. "The great rarity of such fossils here is because most of Ireland's rocks are the wrong age for dinosaurs, either too old or too young, making it nearly impossible to confirm dinosaurs existed on these shores. The two dinosaur fossils that Roger Byrne found were perhaps swept out to sea, alive or dead, sinking to the Jurassic seabed where they were buried and fossilized."

More details about this story over at New Atlas.

(Image Credit: University of Portsmouth/ New Atlas)


2

Punny Shop Names

One of the main rules in naming a shop or a company is that the name should be easy to remember, and one way to do just that is by settling with puns. That is a tried-and-tested method. The result are shop names that would give you a chuckle.

Check out some of these punny shop names over at Bored Panda.

(Image Credit: Bored Panda)


3

There Are 82 New Christmas Movies This Year

Made-for-TV Christmas movies have filled the schedule at the Hallmark Channel and Lifetime for a couple months now, but it's time for the premieres of the 2020 crop. Get ready for 82 new ways to wallow in Christmas and eat up the hours spent at home. Yes, they are formulaic, but 2020 is the year to indulge in safe guilty pleasures. 

You know that thing people say about Taco Bell? That the whole menu is just five ingredients (tortillas, cheese, meat, beans, sauce) remixed and rearranged in infinite combinations? Made-for-TV Christmas is the Taco Bell of entertainment genres. Take the same haggard tropes — the struggling inns, the small towns, the career women who must be cured of their unladylike ambitions by falling in love with boring men — and just switch the names and actors around, and it’s a tradition that works year after year.

The list of synopses (and trailers) at Vulture is divided into themes, since several movies share the same setup, plots, or attempts to stand out. There are three movies centered on blogging (as if that's interesting), nine with a land developer as the villain (because how else will you save the school/wilderness/historic landmark?), six with "scavenger hunt" as a plot device, and four (count 'em, FOUR) movies with LGBTQ themes. And a partridge in a pear tree somewhere, I'm sure. Happy wallowing!

(Image credit: zannaland)


3

See Moschino's “No Strings Attached”

We've seen Dior's A/W 2020-2021 Haute Couture Collection through an exclusive film directed by Matteo Garrone. Now, Moschino has gone creative by sending puppets down the runway for Milan Fashion Week.

Moschino creative director Jeremy Scott has enlisted the help of Jim Henson's Creature Shop to create his Spring-Summer 2021 show on a miniature set populated entirely by marionettes.

Watching the video revealed the effort that went into in creating the garments, in shooting the video, and in creating the puppets -not just of the models but also of the guests. The details are so intricate that there are parts where the guests are whispering to one another, taking down notes, and even moving their heads. The "guests" were based on actual people who would've gone to a face-to-face show.

Some viewers on Youtube left comments saying that "selling the puppets with the designs would be pretty awesome too" and some are asking for a behind-the-scene video. One also said that it's like, "getting a glimpse of a child's imagination" because that's what her 6-year-old-self had in mind when she used to play with her dolls, pretending that they're in a fashion show.

Being in the garment industry, I'd say that sewing smaller garments are even harder than the regular-sized ones! How about you? What are your thoughts on Moschino's show?

Video from Moschino's Youtube Channel


3

When I was Young I Played Video Games



"Video Games" is a nostalgic and bittersweet song from the album Mixtape for the Milky Way by jeremy messersmith. The papercraft video was animated by fellow video game fan Eric Power.

Working on this video was a true joy. I've been playing video games since the mid 80's when I first got a hold of an Atari. Since then, they have been a part of many cherished memories with friends as well as solo adventures. When we were talking about the making of this video, I asked jeremy if we should make up our own games or straight up feature the ones we grew up with. We decided to just go for it and each made lists of some of our favorites. This proved to be a very difficult curation, as my intention was not just to show a random selection of games, but to also choose moments within those games that had a particular significance to us while also going hand in hand with the song. I hope you all enjoy!

-via Metafilter


4

The Turkey Thawing Calculator You Might Need

If it's your first time to make turkey this Thanksgiving, you might be wondering how many hours must you wait for your turkey to thaw. Good for you, you don't have to wonder anymore! Just visit this brilliant website by Omni Calculator where you can also find more calculators for various things including Chemistry Calculators, Everyday Life Calculators, Finance Calculators, Food Calculators, and many more.

The Omni Calculator website is home to calculators that can determine many things, including how long you can be in the sun safely, to the odds of your town having a white Christmas. It now has a dedicated tool for finding how long it will take you to prep your turkey in time for a socially distanced holiday. The Turkey Thawing Calculator was created by Jagiellonian University cognitive science graduate Maria Kluziak with the help of Wojciech Sas, a Ph.D. candidate in molecular magnetism and nanostructures at the Institute of Nuclear Physics in Poland.
The fundamental problem is that you need to add heat to the frozen bird to unfreeze it without also encouraging the growth of bacteria. To do this, you have to put the turkey somewhere where it will heat up slowly and evenly. There is a trick, though; this can take a long time because of the amount of energy involved. Exactly how long you need to spend on it can be hard to determine if you've never done it before.
This is where practical, day-to-day science comes in. The processes of heating something are well-studied areas of thermodynamics which we use every day.

This is where practical, day-to-day science comes in. The processes of heating something are well-studied areas of thermodynamics which we use every day.

Read more at Big Think to know how they compute everything!

Image Credit: RODNAE Productions from Pexels


4

The Story Of Mr. Snuffleupagus, Child Abuse, and Sesame Street's Impact on Children

Do you know Mr. Snuffleupagus? If you grew up watching Sesame Street, you'd know the answer right away -- He's Big Bird's "mysterious friend" who shows up at the wrong time!

Here's now he was introduced to the show:

Lacking a watering pot, Big Bird was delighted to see the massive, lumbering creature use his trunk to tend to his garden. The two became fast friends.

Despite the unbelief of the whole cast, Big Bird kept on talking about him. Eventually, people got curious Big Bird's friend is imaginary or not.

Martin P. Robinson (via Still Gaming: Lee & Zee Show Podcast, 2009): He was never imaginary. I say that a lot. And I say it with great strength of conviction. He was my character, he was never imaginary; he just had bad timing. He was shy, he had bad timing, and the joke was, he’s big, you can’t miss him, but adults being the way they are—preoccupied, going to work, you know—they miss those little details. And Snuffleupagus just happened to be one of those little details that they kept missing year after year after year. So he was a good, real friend to Bird; it’s just that no one else ever took the time to actually meet him.

This was like a joke that went on for a time, up until the issue of child abuse at home and in daycare center rose up and the actors desired to play off a new dynamic:

If Big Bird—ostensibly the show’s stand-in for the 6-year-old viewing audience—was being brushed aside when trying to convince people Snuffleupagus was real, there was the chance children might not be convinced adults would believe them if they came forward with more troubling claims.
Stiles: We started getting some letters from people who worked with children who had experienced some kind of abuse, and what we were told was that they often don’t think they’ll be believed because the stories are so fantastic in their minds.

That pushed the crew to look to experts in childhood development, asking, "What’s the best way to address what we want to address?"

That’s the model Sesame was founded on, with writers, producers, educators, and researchers all working together.

Read more how the story went on at Mental Floss.

Image Credit: Sesame Workshop

Image Credit: Sesame Workshop


3

New Chemistry and the Birth of Public Hygiene

In the late 1700s, a lack of effective sewers and waste control collided with the rise of industrial factories and their resulting emissions to cause a pollution crisis. The air in cities looked disgusting and smelled awful. At the time, it was thought that "miasma" spread diseases, so if you cleaned up the smell, the risk of illness would abate. There were also great strides in science during this period, but chemistry appeared to outstrip biology at a critical point.   

The decisive turning point in Europe emerged from the chemical studies of Louis-Bernard Guyton de Morveau. When Dijon’s local authorities implored him in 1773 to disinfect one of the vaults in the city’s cathedrals, Guyton tested out hydrochloric acid vapors. He reused this method a few months later in a prison.

These experiments were regarded as major victories against the hazards of infection and had an immense impact. For Alain Corbin, this disinfection constituted a decisive step in the cultural transformation of olfactory smells: Up to this point, the battle against miasma and pestilence was fought with vinegar-based and other aromatic compositions used against putrefaction; or fire to cleanse.

By the following year, the physician Félix Vicq-d’Azyr prescribed these kinds of fumigations to treat epizootic diseases in the south of France, while Étienne Mignot de Montigny and Philibert Trudaine de Montigny — both members of the French Academy — recommended similar practices to arrest the spread of contagious livestock diseases. In his two “Dissertations” on the waters of the Seine (1775 and 1787), Antoine Parmentier, scientific counsel to the lieutenant-general of police for Paris, asserted that acid and alkaline vapors contributed to clean air by neutralizing the miasmas dispersed in the atmosphere.

The rush was on to flood industrial plants with hydrochloric acid, chlorine, and caustic soda. And then to the hinterlands, where these chemicals could make swamps and garbage dumps smell better. What could possibly go wrong? Read about the era of better living through chemistry at the MIT Press Reader.  -via Damn Interesting

(Image credit: D.O.Hill)


3

The Saga of Gerald, the Turkey From Hell

Who knows what goes on in the mind of a turkey that makes them turn violent? In the previous post When Turkeys Attack, we linked to a list of six notorious turkey incidents, but the story of Gerald the turkey terror of Oakland was not included. Gerald menaced visitors to a city park for the better part of a year!   

In the Before Times, Gerald was a beloved figure in the neighborhood. On weekday mornings, he would start his day by strutting across the Morcom Rose Garden to go and wait on the sidewalk with commuters in the sunlight. But late last year, per the news outlet Oaklandside, locals like Molly Flanagan, who were familiar and friendly with Gerald, noticed that the bird they knew was no longer acting like himself. “Flanagan said she first noticed the change when she was in the rose garden with a friend and Gerald wouldn’t leave them alone,” Oaklandside reported. “The bird ‘fixated’ on her friend, sending what Flanagan described as ‘a lot of energy’ their way.”

Another local, Alexis Morgan, recounted to Oaklandside a tale of Gerald relentlessly pursuing an older woman around the rose garden “until she was forced to climb a tree to escape.” Morgan acted to save the older woman, but Gerald had something for her, too, “landing a ‘kangaroo kick’ on her, leaving the imprint of a turkey foot on her thigh.”

Gerald continued his crimes, first because experts thought it was a phase, and then because local ordinances prevented officials from doing anything to him. He also gained a fan club, which meant Oakland residents who wanted to do something about him were at war with those who wanted to protect the bird. Find out what ultimately happened to Gerald at Mel magazine.


3

Capcom Will Release A Mini Arcade System

Retro gamers, rejoice! Arcade games are now more accessible (well, some retro games, to be specific) for you! Capcom has revealed that it will release a mini-arcade machine packed with its classic titles. The mini-arcade, called Retro Station, is a tabletop unit with an 8-inch screen. The following are the titles available to play in the console: 

Mega Man The Power Battle
Mega Man 2 The Power Fighters
Mega Man X
Mega Man Soccer
Mega Man & Bass (Japanese Console Version)
Street Fighter II
Street Fighter II’ Champion Edition
Super Street Fighter II
Super Street Fighter II Turbo
Super Puzzle Fighter II Turbo

Will you be getting one? 

Image via Nintendo Life 


4

This Rover Will Explore The Unexplored Areas On The Moon

A new country is now joining the US, Russia, and China when it comes to space exploration. The United Arab Emirates has announced an unmanned moon mission for 2024. The new lunar mission will use the UAE’s most ambitious spacecraft yet:  

The new lunar mission involves a small rover, to be built entirely at Dubai's Mohammed Bin Rashid Space Center (MBRSC). Inaugurated in 2006, the center has already designed and built Earth-orbit satellites under an all-Emirati team, but the rover is its most ambitious technological undertaking to date.
"We have experience with orbiters, but this will be the first mission in which we are landing on another celestial body," says Adnan Al Rais, who leads the Mars 2117 program at the MBRSC.
"We are working on the development of the science and technologies that will enable us one day to send humans to Mars," explains Al Rais. "In order to do that, we looked into the gaps that we currently have in our knowledge; space robotics and robotic technologies are among those gaps, which we are addressing by developing a lunar rover."

Image via CNN 


3

The Xbox Boss Weighs In On PS5’s Dualsense Controller

Phil Spencer took Playstation 5’s new DualSense controller out for a spin, and surprisingly, was impressed! Spencer was enthusiastic for the potential innovation the DualSense controller could bring to the video game industry. With the controller’s haptic feedback and adaptive triggers, Spencer called it as Sony’s own take on the Nintendo Wii controller embraces motion control for video games: 

"I applaud what they did with the controller, not actually for — well, I shouldn’t say not for the specifics of the controller, but more than just the specifics of the controller," Spencer said to The Verge. "I think for all of us in the industry, we should learn from each other and the innovation that we all push on, whether it’s distribution of business model like Game Pass, or controller tech, or the Wii back in the day, which clearly had an impact on us when we went off and did Kinect and Sony did the Move."
It will be interesting to see whether or not the DualSense's controller innovations will catch on with the industry as a whole, or if developers decide to forgo additions like haptic feedback and adaptive triggers. There are interesting things Sony can do with the technology, but it remains to be seen whether or not third party publishers will devote the time and resources to doing just that. In that regard, Spencer is curious to see if this becomes an industry standard.
"I think all of that innovation is something that we should all be looking at and learning and growing and saying, 'Okay, what’s really going to break out and become a common part of a platform that developers and players are going to look for?' Or, 'What is more vertical around a specific scenario on a specific piece of hardware?' We’re trying to be eyes open on that," Spencer said to The Verge. "For any technology, whether it’s a controller, or any VR, or anything else..."

Image via Playstation


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