Time is a funny thing, and measuring time can get pretty wild too. The proof is a study out of the UK that finds clocks that use more energy, and give off more heat, are also more accurate. Plus: a book of photos by Rumi Ando showcases Tokyo, but with its signs, cables, doors and windows removed.
We don’t know for sure why dreaming is a thing at all - but a neuroscience researcher at Tufts University has an idea that might help explain them. It’s called the overfitted brain hypothesis - and it’s based on something that happens with artificial intelligence. Plus: a new book showcases scenic photos of certain small buildings in the Alps that everybody has to use once in a while.
Researchers at Washington State University have found a way to convert plastic waste into jet fuel that takes only an hour. And it's also less energy-intensive, which could make recycling plastic more cost-effective and more common. Plus: today in 2017, a high school in Virginia made sure to include a beloved service dog in its yearbook photos!
The next Mars rover is set to land next month, and it's equipped with microphones to make the first audio recordings on another planet. So how does sound work on Mars, which has about 1 percent of the atmosphere Earth does? Plus: Saturn's ringed moon Rhea is getting a chemical coating that likely started on another moon.
Scientists have determined that the Greenland shark lives longer than any known invertebrate, up to 400 years. How? We don't know, but it sure does seem chill about it. Plus: UK-based artist Sue Austin developed an underwater wheelchair, making the wide, wide sea a lot more accessible.
Cows Prefer Face-To-Face Talking Over Remote, And Don’t We All At This Point (Cool Weird Awesome 407)
We’re not the only species that knows the difference between a face-to-face chat and a remote one. Research out of Vienna shows cows prefer live human voices to recorded ones. Plus: on National Chocolate Day, we pay a visit to the world's largest chocolate moose, in Scarborough, Maine.
A sensor developed at MIT uses a set of microneedles to push through packaging and determine whether the food inside is safe to eat, which could prevent food waste and help head off outbreaks of salmonella. Plus: did you know China is apparently home to several thousand glass footbridges, where you can walk across and see what's underneath?
Research at the University of Oslo shows that humans have an almost unstoppable urge to start moving when the music starts - though, of course, some kinds of music and other factors can lead to more moving than others. Meanwhile, in Austin, Texas, you can (virtually) move through some of the city's most unusual houses through a virtual Weird Homes tour.
To Protect Themselves From Lions, Cattle In Botswana Have Eyes On Their Backsides (Cool Weird Awesome 359)
"Ambush predators" like lions go after livestock while those animals aren't looking. So scientists at the University of New South Wales tested a theory in Botswana: what if we painted eyes on the back ends of cattle so the lions thought they were watching? Plus: National Roller Coaster Day is coming up, make your plans to visit Japan's famous pedal-powered SkyCycle.
Judging by my kids' toy collections I thought fluorescents were already about as bright as possible. But chemists at Indiana University and the University of Copenhagen have found a way to make the brightest fluorescent materials ever made. Plus: for World Elephant Day, meet Lucy, the elephant-shaped hotel on the Jersey Shore.