cities
Bristol Beats Loudmouth London to Win "Best" UK City Title

The Sunday Times has pulled together a seemingly arbitrary list of reasons why living in a particular urban spot might make you happy, deciding that the evidence points to Bristol as being the finest city in the UK. Read More >>

locations
The Woods Around Chernobyl are Not Decaying

Like a landscape of the undead, the woods outside Chernobyl are having trouble decomposing. The catastrophic meltdown and ensuing radiation blast of April 1986 has had long-term effects on the soil and ground cover of the forested region, essentially leaving the dead trees and leaf litter unable to decompose. The result is a forest full of "petrified-looking pine trees" that no longer seem capable of rotting. Read More >>

science
Listen to the Purring, Electromagnetic Weirdness of Mushrooms

I was blown away when I first heard about a project that tried to tap into the electromagnetic communication potential of mushrooms. Using wires, radio waves, and circuits—not psychedelics—the project's off-kilter quest to find (and listen to) "electromagnetic fungi" was nonetheless more art than science. But who says mushrooms have the right to remain silent? Read More >>

computers
Insect Nervous System Copied to Boost Computing Power

Brains are the most powerful computers known. Now microchips built to mimic insects' nervous systems have been shown to successfully tackle technical computing problems like object recognition and data mining, researchers say. Read More >>

research
Homosexual, Childless, Tea-Making Couples are Happiest, Study Reveals

A lengthy study by the Open University into what makes long-term relationships work has been published today, revealing that gay couples tend to be happier with their relationships than heterosexual ones. Read More >>

money
Money DOES Buy Happiness, But Too Much Triggers Status Anxiety and the Sadness Just Returns

The University of Warwick has been tracking the happiness index of people in countries with rising wealth levels, suggesting that more money actually leads to fewer problems -- but once earnings rise above a certain level the greed urge kicks in and you start getting stressed that nothing's good enough. Read More >>

science
Super Bugs Inadvertently Created by Spacecraft Sterilisation Protocols

The European Space Agency has been collecting examples of "spacecraft associated biology" in a small collection housed at the Leibniz-Institut DSMZ in Brunswick, Germany. 298 strains of "extremotolerant" bacteria, isolated from spacecraft assembly rooms because they managed to survive the incredible methods used to clean spacecraft, are now being studied for their biological insight. How on earth can they still be alive? Read More >>

science
We've Got 1.75bn Years Left on Earth, Unless We Bollocks it up First

Scientists examining the collapse of other possibly life-supporting planets similar to Earth suggest we've got around 1.75bn years left to lounge about on this particular rock, before changes in the Sun make it impossible to live. Assuming we don't nuke/melt/burn/poison ourselves out of existence first, that is. Read More >>

space
Atmospheric Probe Discovers "Alien Life" Raining Down From Space

A team of British scientists is claiming to have found alien life, but not from the dust craters of Mars or by picking up radio waves from the TVs of distant worlds. They believe organic matter that came back onboard an observation balloon may be alien microbes. Read More >>

environment
David Attenborough Foresees an Apocalypse, Claiming "Things Are Going to Get Worse" for Humans

Renowned nature enthusiast Sir David Attenborough thinks we're enjoying the best days of humanity, suggesting that population explosion and other factors may mean our descendants will envy the good times us lot had trashing the planet. Read More >>

space
How We Go Looking For Life on Other Planets

There are, as best we can estimate, hundreds of billions of galaxies in the universe. (There may be more.) Average galaxies carry the weight of hundreds of billions of stars. If a habitable planet whirls around just one star in every million, the number of worlds which could harbour life would number in the quadrillions. (Roughly 10^16, i.e. unfathomably many.) Read More >>

photography
This Wonderful Photographer Gave a Boy Suffering with Muscular Dystrophy a Chance to Live Out His Dreams

Here's something that'll warm your heart in a week that needs more heartwarming stories: Photographer Matej Peljhan photographed a boy named Luka who suffers from muscular dystrophy doing things he dreams about doing but his body won't allow him to. Like playing basketball or skateboarding or diving. It's beautiful. Read More >>

science
What If The Sun Just Totally Disappeared?

This is actually a pretty great thought experiment. At first it might seem kind of pointless to talk about what would happen if the sun vanished, but it doesn't actually result in the immediate destruction of everything. Which is weird. Vsauce walks through a pretty nuanced description of how earth's natural systems would slowly fail, but over weeks and even years, not seconds. The cold would get us in the end, but extremophiles that live in deep sea volcanoes and thermal vents could survive for billions of years. If you're not heliocentric and human-centric things don't look so bleak. [Vsauce] Read More >>

space
NASA: Ancient Life Could Have Survived on Mars

After analysing rock samples collected by the Curiosity Rover, NASA has made an exciting discovery: Conditions on a newly discovered grey (instead of red) part of Mars show it had conditions that were "once were favourable for life." It's an incredible breakthrough. Read More >>

gadgets
The Odds of Dying in a Freak Accident Are Higher Than You Think

When I hear that someone died in some freak accident that involves fireworks or pavements or parked cars or wild animals, I wonder to myself, what the hell are the odds of that freaking happening? The good thing? They're pretty high! The bad thing? It really, really sucks for that poor soul who's 1 in 50,729,141 to die from fireworks or 1 in 25,364,571 to die from a bee sting. Read More >>

factoid
How Many Heartbeats Does Each Species Get in a Lifetime?

Have you ever wondered how many heartbeats an average person has in their lifetime? What about for cats or dogs or other animals? Turns out because of metabolic rates and size of different species, each animal gets around a billion beats. Read More >>

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