science

five grossest thing we use everyday
Via LinkedIn
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Take a seat because that toilet isn’t nearly as disgusting as the hand towel.

TIME magazine talked to Charles Gerba, a professor of microbiology at the University of Arizona, to get the dirty truth about what’s the grosses thing in the bathroom. Turns out, you’re probably touching them in hopes of getting cleaner. But you’re wrong. Dead wrong. Nothing is safe. Germs everywhere.

via Looopism


According to Gerba, the top five grosses things are:

  1. Bathroom Towel because bacteria grows in moist conditions, especially in things that, like, never get washed.
  2. Toothbrush Holder — Again, because you never clean that thing.
  3. Kitchen Sponge — There’s a reason you don’t like touching that thing and it’s because it’s filled with bacteria. You want something you can wash, like a brush.
  4. Cellphones — You probably already knew this because Japan is putting those smart phone wipes in bathrooms.
  5. Supermarket Carts — I can’t even read this quote from Gerba — too scary— so you have to: “Almost 100% of them are home to E. coli because people are constantly touching the handles after holding raw food products.”

You can read more about the millions of tiny things that’ll make you sick and kill you over at TIME, but I don’t see why you’d want to. The germs are everywhere. We’re all doomed.

via Gif Bay

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After a month of the worst group text experience of your life, New Year’s Eve is here, and you and your friends have finally decided on what you’re doing – unless Jake gets back to you because Jake throws the best parties.

But New Year’s Eve never really lives up to the hype, does it? And why is that? We try so hard to make it a special night. We even might get invited to Jake’s party. He’s going to have a two-story beer bong this year. Two. Stories. It’ll be so sick.

ASAP Science actually has a pretty reasonable list of reasons why New Year’s kind of stinks.


  1. Expectations — We all think that New Year’s is going to be a climactic end to our year, but it usually just ends with you passed out on your floor clutching a copy of the West Side Story soundtrack and screaming, “Why, Maria? Why?”  

    via Reddit

  2. Trying too hard — To live up to the expectations of the night, we all try and make sure that the night is as perfect as possible, which is why you have got to be at Jake’s party this year. But the fact is, trying too hard to have a good time leads to a bad time.

  3. Optimism Bias — Apparently, our brain is hardwired to expect positive outcomes over negative ones. How do I get some of that optimism bias?

  4. Reflection — Thinking about the past year can be… sad. 

    via Warner Bros.

  5. Alcohol — Reflection plus alcohol can be sadder. 

    via Skins Glee Forever

  6. Cost — Between dinner and the Über, NYE can cost a ton of money. Once you factor in all the money you spend trying to bribe your way into Jake’s party, you’re pretty broke come Jan. 1.

  7. The Kiss — If you don’t have someone to kiss, you’re sad. If you do, everyone hates you.

  8. via GIPHY


Happy New Year! Make strong decisions!

scientists find spider in india that looks like harry potter sorting hat
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A weird little spider that looks like a floppy hat has been named after an infamous floppy hat: The Sorting Hat from Harry Potter. Meet your new favorite spider, Eriovixia gryffindori — which is somehow a spider and not a spell.

via MTV

Introduced in a paper published in the Indian Journal of Arachnology, this “new species of cryptic, dry-foliage mimicking araneid” looks a lot like the Sorting Hat from the side and was found in “unique ‘Kans’ forestlands of central Western Ghats, Karnataka, India,” writes Nerdist. At least they didn’t name it Hufflepuffi or else we’d dismiss this spider as totally useless. Like, why does that house even exist?

The paper explains in detail why it was named after the beloved hat:

This uniquely shaped spider derives its name from the fabulous, sentient magical artifact, the sorting hat, owned by the (fictitious) medieval wizard Godric Gryffindor, one of the four founders of Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry, and stemming from the powerful imagination of Ms. J. K. Rowling, wordsmith extraordinaire, as presented in her beloved series of books, featuring everyone’s favorite boy-wizard, Harry Potter. An ode from the authors, for magic lost, and found, in an effort to draw attention to the fascinating, but oft overlooked world of invertebrates, and their secret lives.

Everyone’s favorite scene in Harry Potter is where Harry is chosen to join house Gryffindor, and we also wonder why Hogwarts doesn't revamp the Slytherin program, since it keeps producing bad guys. Seriously, there’s something up with how those kids are taught. Well, now you can ask the Sorting Hat yourself, if you are ever look in the forestlands of central Western Ghats and speak spider. 

scientists report that monkeys and apes have the physical ability to talk but not the right mental ability
Via Get Yarn
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Part of what keeps this world from falling to a Planet of the Apes-type situation is humankind’s ability to speak. Language gives us an unbelievable advantage in the animal kingdom, allowing us to keep our would-be conquerors at bay.

But as it turns out, monkeys do have the physical requirements necessary for speech, they just don’t have the right brains for it. Phew. That’s a relief. Let’s just hope evolution stops right here.

According to The New York Times, “A team of researchers reported that monkeys have a vocal tract capable of human speech. They argue that other primates can’t talk because they lack the right wiring in their brains.

“‘A monkey’s vocal tract would be perfectly adequate to produce hundreds, thousands of words,’ said W. Tecumseh Fitch, a cognitive scientist at the University of Vienna and a co-author of the new study.”

via On No They Didn't

The article continues by explaining the human speech occurs due to a “complicated choreography of flowing air and contracting muscles. To make a particular sound, we have to give the vocal tract a particular shape. The vocal tracts of other primates contain the same elements as ours — from vocal cords to tongues to lips — but their geometry is different.”

So basically the only thing saving us from having our planet conquered by some apes is them figuring out how to fit a square peg in a round hole? We’re doomed.

via 20th Century Fox UK

Woman with MCAS is Allergic to Everything Including Her Husband
Via GoFundMe
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When this woman says she’s allergic to everything, she means it.

Suffering from a rare genetic disorder called Mast Cell Activation Syndrome, Joanna Watkins lives under the threat of almost everything, including her husband and all but 15 types of food. And things keep getting worse.

While she’s been in for treatments, the MCAS isn’t responding to medication nor chemotherapy. So she’s unable to really see her husband, Scott, because of chemicals people release. What’s more, her house suffered from water damage, and the couple had to move in with a friend to avoid a rapidly-developing mold problem. If she comes in contact with things like pollen or even body odor, she suffers from anaphylactic reactions, including migraines and loss of breath.

via People

Joanna lives within the confines of an air-locked bedroom all day everyday. According to People, “At this point, her body only tolerates a total of 15 foods (including spices). She eats just once per day and it’s always one of two meals she knows her body can tolerate: organic grass-fed beef (chuck roast cut) with water, celery and organic carrots and organic parsnips that are peeled, cored and mashed or ground lamb with peeled organic cucumbers.”

“I have been eating these same two meals for over a year of my life and they still taste good to me,” Joanna said. “I love to eat — it’s a joy for me. It’s just a gift that I can keep eating these foods.”

Still, she and her husband remain hopeful. On their GoFundMe page, they have raised over $100,000 to pay for housing renovations that would include a state of the art air filtration system.

“We have been so showered with love and support – I know I have been deeply blessed,” Joanna told People. “This is really hard and it is painful, but we haven’t been left to face it alone and that is a beautiful thing.”

via Scott Watkins

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America is the land of inaccurate, outdated, and totally worthless measuring systems. While the U.S.A is one of three countries to scoff at the metric systes (along with our dudes Liberia and Myanmar), we also use a little thing called Fahrenheit when measuring temperature.

The U.S.A and its associated territories is one of five countries to use Fahrenheit (along with our dudes the Bahamas, Belizem, the Caymen Islands, and Palau), but why do we use this outdated system and where did it come from?

via YouTube

This handy video from the YouTube channel Veritasium answers at least one of those questions. Turns out it has origins a lot like Batman. When a young scientist’s parents die suddenly, he goes on the run and becomes obsessed with cool science gadgets. From there, he starts fighting crime, and by crime, I mean inconvenient and inaccurate temperature scales. Anyway, it makes sense in the video.

It’s entertaining, interesting, and as always will make you smarter than anyone in the room.

Via TechRax
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We’ve heard a lot about how thin and powerful the new iPhone 7 is. We’ve also heard a lot about how waterproof it is. But one question remains: Is this thing Acid Proof?

Good question, which is why TechRax poured the world’s most corrosive acid on the world’s most popular cellphone to find out.

via jjjjjjjjjjohn

Taking several crystals of Fluoroantimonic Acid and dropping them on a working iPhone 7, TechRax tests if the phone can withstand the acid for a day. The acid begins to eat away at the casing but does little to destroy the phone's battery. so The host then adds some hydrogen peroxide and sulfuric acid. Things get fun from there.

The results and the strength of Apple’s phone are very surprising, especially considering that most people break their phones by dropping them in the toilet. The phone actually turns on in the end, but what the acid does to this thing physically is really cool.

south african scientist optimistic about hiv vaccine
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If it often feels like that the bad guys won and the Empire’s strike back was the final one, keep in mind that good things still happen on our little blue marble.

Case in point: This HIV vaccine, which will be released on Wednesday, could be the “final nail n the coffin” for the virus. Set to enroll over 5,000 sexually active men and women between the ages of 18 and 35, the study will be the “largest and most advanced HIV clinical trial to take place in South Africa, where more than 1,000 people a day are infected with HIV,” according to TIME.

Doctors are very optimistic about the effectiveness of this vaccine, which was found to be 31.2 perfect effective at preventing the virus.

“If deployed alongside our current armory of proven HIV prevention tools, a safe and effective vaccine could be the final nail in the coffin for HIV,” said Anthony Fauci, director of the U.S. government’s National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID).

“If an HIV vaccine were found to work in South Africa, it could dramatically alter the course of the pandemic,” said Glenda Gray, South African Medical Research Council CEO.

TIME reports the success of South Africa’s treatment program:

South Africa has more than 6.8 million people living with HIV, but the country has had remarkable success in rolling out an HIV drug treatment program, which the government says is the largest in the world.

Life expectancy, which sank as the epidemic grew, has rebounded from 57.1 years in 2009 to 62.9 years in 2014.

Even in a world overrun by bad news, people are still doing good work.

video chinese astronaut plays table tennis in zero gravity
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Let’s just put this out there: Gravity is the worst.

You know why gravity’s the worst? Because it prevents us from really reaching our ping pong potential. Sure, we can bask in the glory that is Forrest Gump playing table tennis against a wall, but are we really doing something meaningful?

Chinese astronaut Chen Dong thinks we can do better. So when he was on a local TV show in China, he showed off just how far humanity could reach without dumb gravity holding us down. What do you think of that, Sir Isaac Newton?

Check out these gifs from Mashable and say that gravity's worth it:

via Mashable

via Mashable

Or check out the whole video from CCTV on China Daily.

Chen plays it by himself, but he still has some catching up to do with NASA’s Scott Kelly, who plays “water ping pong.” Still, they are both strikes against gravity, which stinks.

Via Wired
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You hear it every year:

“Turkey makes me sleepy because I’m a wittle baby.”

You’re probably so sick of hearing that, and not just because you invited a giant talking baby to your Thanksgiving again, but also because it’s not necessarily true.

via GIPHY

Wired has taken umbrage with the idea that the tryptophan-heavy turkey is what causes the Thanksgiving tiredness. In fact, as they point out in this bite-sized video, it’s the whole meal that makes you tired.

From soup to nuts, or whatever Thanksgiving metaphor that works better for this article, the whole meal delivers a hardy mixture of tryptophan and carbs. Ugh, not them again. Basically you get tired because all the food you eat contains these chemicals and all the carbs in potatoes and stuffing you cram down your gullet on Turkey Day force your body to slow down and digest.

Check it out the video and be the smartest person at the table.

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The island of Ta’u in American Samoa is about to see their energy bill slashed in half.

Apparently, in addition to acquiring SolarCity this week, Tesla decided to power a whole island on their micorgrid of solar energy panels and batteries. Now, the system provides almost 100 percent of the power the power needed for Ta’u’s 600 residents. Hey, Tesla: 

via GIPHY

According to The Verge, Tesla’s system boasts some pretty impressive stats, like solar panels that can run without the sun for a full three days on a single charge and can recharge in seven hours. Compared to the 109,500 gallons of diesel required to power the island before, this is a pretty big argument in favor of solar energy. Again, quit showing off, Elon Musk.

Wait, no, continue showing off.

Check out the video above and hope that Elon Musk decides to show off in your town soon.

science - 8990612480
Via LAD Bible
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The word “cryogenics” is normally reserved for science fiction, but it’s not just fiction anymore, and one British girl has proved it. 

The Associated Press reports that a 14-year-old girl, who recently died of cancer, won her fight to be frozen in hopes of being revived when science can achieve such a feat. The High Court Judge Peter Jackson granted her final wishes “in what he called the first case of its kind in England — and possibly the world.”

"I want to live and live longer and I think that in the future they may find a cure for my cancer and wake me up,” she wrote.

The family’s name has not been released for legal reasons, but the girl’s parents disagreed with the $46,000 procedure, with her mother “for” and father “against.”

AP writes, “The girl asked the court to designate that only her mother could dispose of her remains so that she could be cryogenically preserved, an unproven technique that some people believe may allow frozen bodies to be brought back to life in the future.”

The procedure has been met with skepticism from the medical community, writes AP.

"It is no surprise that this application is the only one of its kind to have come before the courts in this country — and probably anywhere else," the judge said. “An example of the new questions that science poses to the law.”

stephen hawking warns oxford crowd that humanity will be gone in 1000 years
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Ugh. You know, some of us are just trying to enjoy the party that is life, and along comes Stephen Hawking to lets us know just how close we are from total extinction. 1,000 years? Come on, dude. We’re trying to party over here.

This is humanity, ok?

via YouTube

The Washington Post reports that during a hour-long speech at the Oxford University Union in England, Stephen Hawking ruined what was probably a really cool party by telling the audience that even if we make it through “the rise of artifial intelligence, the ravages of climate change, and the threat of nuclear terrorism in the next century,” we’ll still be facing mass extinction. Dude, you're harshing my mellow.

“I don’t think we will survive another 1,000 years without escaping beyond our fragile planet,” said Professor Stephen Hawking, author of A Brief History of Time and eternal party pooper. “We must also continue to go into space for the future of humanity.”

Look, we’re just trying to sit back, have a cold soda pop, and wear these rockin’ shades. Meanwhile, we didn’t expect Professor Hawking to come home so early and tell us all that “Earth’s dominant species will continue to eat through the planet’s resources at an alarming rate, leaving Earth battered and bruised and quickening its inevitable end,” according to The Daily Express. *record scratch* Yeesh. Who brought that guy?

Fine. You know what? We’re tired anyway. We’re going to sleep. We’ll clean up the party in the morning.

via GIPHY

Pokémon Go Makes Users Antisocial
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Despite being promoted as a largely social experience that would get users up and out of their seats, Pokémon Go might be promoting antisocial tendencies. New studies are finding that the game is giving players “pavement rage,” meaning feelings of anger spike when they run into other players on the street. 

“Analysis showed players experience unconscious spikes in anger and frustration when they encounter other members of the public while hunting down the fictional characters in the game,” according to The Daily Mail. “The research also revealed just how immersive the game could be — with one participant in the study almost walking into the path of an oncoming truck.”

via Reddit

Basically, the study found that people think that they are being social and active when playing, but as neuroscience analyst Adam Simpson say, “On an unconscious level, they were so engrossed in the game they missed out on stuff that was going on in the real world around them.”

"When they encountered a large group of people in their way, for example, they showed a lot of frustration as members of public were disrupting their playing experience.”

Word to the wise: You can become the best Pokémon Master in the land, but remember, it’s lonely at the top.