On Christmas Day, I watched a documentary about the terra cotta warriors — thousands of clay soldiers built as funerary objects for the tomb of Qin Shi Huang, China's first emperor. One crazy fact I learned: Unlike the type of lacquer we call shellac today (which comes from crushed beetles), ancient Chinese artists used a lacquer derived from the sap of the lacquer tree, a relative of poison ivy. Anybody tasked with the job of applying that lacquer can end up with a serious allergic reaction. Another fun fact: We've still never seen the inside of Qin Shi Huang's tomb. Partly, this is a bureaucratic issue. But the larger problem is the mercury-laden soil on top, possibly contaminated by Qin Shi Huang's tomb, itself, which was supposed to contain a scale model of his empire, complete with rivers and oceans flowing with (you guessed it) mercury.
Would it surprise you to learn that taking time off social media, even for just a week, results in "significant improvements in well-being, depression and anxiety?" [via] We randomly allocated 154 participants (mean age of 29.6 years) to either stop using SM (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and TikTok) for 1 week or continue to use SM… READ THE REST
On the impact of digital media on childhood intelligence, games and watching videos were consistent with cognitive benefits. Socializing digitally, however, had no consistent effect. Here we estimated the effect of each three types of screen time (Watching TV and online videos, Socializing via social media, text, and video chat, and Gaming) on intelligence after… READ THE REST
Last month, we learned that researchers excavating North Dakota's Tanis fossil site found an incredibly well-preserved leg of a dinosaur. The creature—and others at the site—were likely killed by the impact of the 12 kilometer-wide Chicxulub asteroid that crashed into the Gulf of Mexico 66 million years ago and eradicated 80% of Earth's animals. Turns… READ THE REST
We thank our sponsor for making this content possible; it is not written by the editorial staff nor does it necessarily reflect its views. There's something extraordinary about personalized items. A monogram, a note, really anything personal, can give a ton of meaning to a seemingly mundane object. And one surefire way to make something unique… READ THE REST
We thank our sponsor for making this content possible; it is not written by the editorial staff nor does it necessarily reflect its views. Are you searching for a premium toothbrush? Then you might want to upgrade to an electric toothbrush. For one, they're a whole lot better at fighting nasty grime like food particles and… READ THE REST
We thank our sponsor for making this content possible; it is not written by the editorial staff nor does it necessarily reflect its views. From your roommate that doesn't know how to use a plate to your dog that manages to track every inch of dirt from the backyard every time it comes back in… READ THE REST