Apparently, some segments of the media are just catching up to The Great Duck Penis Meme of 2007 and the video-enhanced version from 2009. If you've somehow managed to erase this from your memory (and lucky you), it turns out that duck penises are pretty freaky looking and can teach us a lot about how evolution works. Like a lot of basic research — the stuff that isn't directly about creating new products — duck penis studies have been funded by federal science grants. And this has put science writer Carl Zimmer in the awkward position of sticking up for duck erections. In a great piece at The Loom, he explains why silly-sounding research matters and why duck penises are not a waste of your tax dollars.
The National Science Foundation announced that it will decommission and demolish the iconic Arecibo radio telescope in Puerto Rico. This comes after two cables suspending the telescope's 900-ton receiver platform above its massive dish broke while others are weakening. Completed in 1963, the Arecibo Observatory has been a key instrument in the development of radio… READ THE REST
A paper out of Oxford University, "Video game play is positively correlated with well-being", reports that playing video games makes you happy. The study tracked 518 players of Plants vs. Zombies: Battle for Neighborville and 2,756 players of Animal Crossing: New Horizons. Key findings include: • Actual amount of time spent playing was a small… READ THE REST
"Our couch was the front line and our patience was our weapon." Absolutely amazing coronavirus 'stay at home' spot from the German government, above. You might not think of humor as an effective way to drive home the message that staying at home helps slow the spread of COVID-19. But that's what's most amazing about… READ THE REST
Apple isn't often associated with super Black Friday deals. The company has long adopted a no-discount pricing strategy, maintaining their products at the same price all the time. But, while the Cupertino clan has historically been sales-averse, it doesn't mean you can't ever find discounts on even their most popular products. One loophole to that… READ THE REST
For the Black Friday lovers out there, we understand this year is going to be hard for you. All the old rules about scouting doorbuster deals, camping out, and planning your post-Thanksgiving shopping tactics are no more this year. But don't worry – just because there's no physical doorbusting going on this year doesn't mean… READ THE REST
The Dead Zone isn't just a great Stephen King novel. It's also that unfortunate area in your house where WiFi signals go to die. Dead zones may be caused by actual physical barriers in your home, like a wall or a refrigerator. It could be that the distance between your router and that particular spot… READ THE REST