Earworms: the name for those terrible (and covetable) songs that get stuck in your head.
Man vs. Praying Mantis
Coral City is a fascinating documentary directed by John McSwain about the Miami-based scientific art collective Coral Morphologic, who create living artworks out of the tiny polyps.
No, it’s not a Brothers who Lyrically Act and Combine Kickin Music Out On Nations all-star group, it’s a rare new moon that will be in the sky tonight (2/18) and not returning again until until Oct. 30th 2016.
2014 was the warmest year on record
Why hop when you can fly? Meet Wallace’s flying frog (Rhacophorus nigropalmatus), a large, pretty species found in tropical jungles of Malaysia, Borneo and western Indonesia.
Just a bit smaller than the length of an iPhone, the species sports a bright, shiny green colouring with a yellow underbelly and black webbing between its yellow fingers and toes. It might be called a flying frog, but technically what it does is glide. Flying needs to be powered by something like regular wing movements or a motor, whereas gliding is more like… falling with style. Just as if it were parachuting, a gliding animal will make a slow descent to where it needs to be at an angle of no more than 45 degrees relative to the ground below.
Wallace’s flying frog is so good at this, it can glide as far forward as the distance it’s falling. This means that if one is launching itself from a height of 15 metres (49 feet), it’s capable of gliding at least 15 metres away from that spot, aided by some weird, aerodynamic skin flaps on its sides, and its enormous and extensively webbed feet and hands. These things are literally bigger than its head.
The thin black membrane that forms the webbing on a Wallace’s flying frog’s hands and feet stays folded up when the frog is at rest, and stretches out like a parachute when it launches itself into the air. When the frog is ready to land, its enlarged toe pads help it to grip instantly onto the surface of a tree, or will cushion its landing once it reaches the jungle floor.
Wallace’s flying frog was first discovered in 1855 and named by British naturalist, Alfred Russel Wallace. At the time, it was like nothing anyone had ever seen before. In fact, the existence of a frog that had grown beyond leaping and into something far more effective helped Charles Darwin form the beginnings of his theory of evolution by natural selection. Poor old Wallace had been in the process of formulating his own very similar theory, but threw the towel in once Darwin published On the Origin of Species in 1859.
The ideal distance of a planet’s orbit around its star to allow for conditions where liquid water can exist on the planet’s surface. Astronomers recently found eight such planets in the “Goldilocks” zone.
Using the 6 p.m. episode of Seinfeld on TBS as homework, “Psy-feld” is part of a class at Rutgers medical school that helps psych students “identify and discuss psychiatric disorders”.
Flying the wrong way due to “unusual climactic conditions,” four different flamingoes flapped their way into Siberia last week.
What are those floaty things in your eye?
All that looking down is equivalent to hanging a 60-pound weight around your neck.
Instead of just walking into a flock of emperor penguins to identify those birds tagged with RFID chips, researchers in the Antarctic drive this adorable lil’ remote controlled dude into the huddles, so that the penguins won’t get stressed.
The unexpected math behind Van Gogh’s “Starry Night”
Having A.D.H.D. characteristics in the Paleolithic era made you a success. Now, in the instant gratification-heavy 21st century, those carrying traits of this novelty-seeking behavior need to—in a sense—become digital nomads to be effective and keep their surrounding world interesting.
Illustration by Matt Leines
The first act of sex on earth happened about 385 million years ago between two primitive bony fish in an ancient Scottish lake. The fish did it sideways—like two square dancers—rubbing their genitalia together like cheese graters