Daily American Buzz: Science
A sweet-tempered stray dog plucked from the streets of Moscow on November 3, 1957 was thrust into the global spotlight when she became the first living being to be sent into space, forcing other countries in the “race to space” to shift their focus to putting a man on the moon.

When Sputnik 2’s canine passenger, Laika (nicknamed “Muttnik” by the media) hit orbit, the Soviet Union became the first to attempt sending a living being into space. Sadly, however, in their rush to be first, they were more focused on getting Laika out of Earth’s atmosphere than on her safety, comfort, and well-being.

They had made no plans for how she would return to Earth safely.

Laika’s space capsule was outfitted with a temperature control system and enough dog food to last 8 to 10 days that had been laced with poison that would painlessly end her life while orbiting, to prevent an excruciating death while reentering earth.

But, the temperature control systems failed and Laika overheated and died from radiation only a few hours after taking off.

“She died before reaching orbit, and before any real data was gleaned about sustaining life in that environment,” says Dr. Stanley Coren, professor of psychology at the University of British Columbia and author of “The Pawprints of History: Dogs and the Course of Human Events.”

Despite what many viewed as a failed mission, Laika’s short, albeit miserable, trip into space proved that, eventually and with appropriate safety measures in place, humans could enter space and survive – she had survived the g-forces to her body during launch, lived through entering orbit, survived microgravity and several orbits around the planet.

Years later, in 1960, Belka and Strelka became the first dogs to visit space and return alive. Strelka eventually gave birth to a litter of puppies, one of which was gifted to U.S. President John F. Kennedy’s daughter, Caroline.

"A flying saucer from outer space crash-landed in the Utah desert after being tracked by radar and chased by helicopters."

No, it's not the opening scene of an episode of The X-Files - it's the caption of a NASA photograph that shows a saucer-shaped contraption half-buried in dirt, next to mangled wreckage.

The space agency posted the image, captured on September 8, 2004, on its Astronomy Picture of the Day site.

While accurate, the caption is perhaps a little misleading - this was no Roswell, if you believe the conspiracy theorists.

The wreckage belongs to a human-made Genesis sample return capsule, launched in 2001 to study the sun. Its two parachutes failed to open, which an investigation revealed was the fault of an acceleration sensor switch being installed backwards.

Helicopters were in the air, with the intention of catching the parachute with a five-metre hook and bringing the capsule down to Earth with a soft landing. But with the capsule travelling at a blistering 311km/h, that wasn't an option.

The Genesis return capsule, just before impact.

"Despite the crash landing, many return samples remained in good enough condition to analyse," NASA said.

"So far, Genesis-related discoveries include new details about the composition of the sun and how the abundance of some types of elements differ across the solar system.

"These results have provided intriguing clues into details of how the sun and planets formed billions of years ago."

Is it a bird? Is it a plane? No - and nor is it Superman, although it's not a million miles away. Here, the crime-fighters in question are the police of Dubai, on their new propeller-powered flying motorcycles.

Police say the hoverbikes will help them 'fight crime in the skies' - no, not seagulls up to mischief, but incidents occurring in hard-to-reach areas.

Footage has emerged of police clad in protective gear taking off on the S3 2019 hoverbike for their flying lessons over a football pitch - with the Dubai skyline visible in the background, it looks like something out of a futuristic sci-fi movie.

The flying bikes were designed by a California tech firm called Hoversurf, and were presented to the Dubai officials at GITEX - the annual technology trade fair in Dubai.

The firm has offered to provide authorities with over 30 of the flying contraptions, stating the emirate's law enforcement has the exclusive right to order as many as needed - if you're gutted and fancy getting your hands on your own hoverbike (let's be honest, who doesn't want that?) the firm will also be allowing the public to buy one - if they are screened to establish safe use.

However, buying just one of the bikes will set you back a staggering $150,000 (£114,000) - so not the cheapest investment.

As exciting as they seem, the bikes are effectively giant drones you can ride - actually, that is pretty cool. They are 253lbs battery-powered machines with the ability to fly for up to 40 minutes, going 60mph and can get 16 feet in the air, all before needing recharged.

The Hoversurf website states: "By combining our custom-built flight controller, the most innovative composite material processes and having a dedicated team we were able to achieve something truly amazing.

"We presented the S3 2019 to the Dubai Police at this years GITEX 2018 where it will now be integrated into their fleet of futuristic vehicles.

"Both Hoversurf and Dubai Police understand that this is just the beginning to something much larger.

"A partnership where both see the future is within our grasp and that together we can materialise the human dream of personal flight."

Police in Dubai hope to have the hoverbikes rolled out to use in action by 2020 - so the police have just over a year to perfect their RoboCop-style moves.

Brigadier Khalid Nasser Alrazooqi, general director of Dubai Police's artificial intelligence department told CNN: "Currently we have two crews already training (to pilot the hoverbike) and we're increasing the number."

The entire time the Moon has been sitting up there, quietly orbiting Earth, it turns out it's actually been doing something incredible. Something that could help teach us about the early Universe.

Off its rocky surface, the Moon reflects radio waves emitted by our home galaxy, the Milky Way. And now astronomers have detected them.

The signal was picked up by researchers from the Curtin University node of the International Centre for Radio Astronomy Research (ICRAR) and the ARC Centre of Excellence for All Sky Astrophysics in 3 Dimensions (ASTRO 3D). But even though that's cool enough, it's not the end goal.

Their target is something much more elusive: they want to detect the extremely faint signal emanating from the hydrogen in the very earliest days of the Universe, in the time between the Big Bang and the Epoch of Reionisation (EoR), when the Universe's lights switched on.

"Before there were stars and galaxies, the Universe was pretty much just hydrogen, floating around in space," said astronomer Benjamin McKinley.

"Since there are no sources of the optical light visible to our eyes, this early stage of the Universe is known as the 'cosmic dark ages'."

The instrument the team are using is a low-frequency radio telescope called the Murchison Widefield Array (MWA), in the desert of Western Australia. Consisting of 2,048 dipole antennas, it's one of the best tools in the world for trying to understand the early Universe.

Its low frequency range of 80-300 MHz, astronomers hope, will be able to detect the radio signal emanating from the hydrogen atoms prior to the EoR.

"If we can detect this radio signal it will tell us whether our theories about the evolution of the Universe are correct," McKinley noted.

But that signal is incredibly faint, especially compared to all the other radio signals that have since filled the Universe.

One possible solution is to measure the average brightness of the radio sky - but this can't be done using standard techniques, since interferometers aren't sensitive to a global average that doesn't vary.

So this is where the Moon comes in. Radio waves can't actually pass through the Moon - which is the reason why it's difficult to communicate with astronauts on the Moon's far side, and also why scientists think it would be an amazing idea to put a radio telescope back there, where it wouldn't encounter interference from terrestrial radio emissions.

The flip side of that is that the Moon occults the radio sky behind it. So the research team leveraged this property to measure the average brightness of the patch of sky surrounding it.

This is not a new idea, but the team also employed a more sophisticated method of dealing with 'earthshine', the radio emissions from Earth that bounce off the Moon and interfere with the signal received by the telescope.

Then, after calculating earthshine, they also had to establish how much interference was being caused by the galaxy itself.

To create the incredible image of the Milky Way's galactic plane reflected off the Moon, the team put together data sets. The first was the MWA's lunar observations. The second was a Global Sky Model - a map of diffuse galactic radio emission - published in 2008.

Using ray-tracing and computer modeling, they were able to map the Global Sky Model onto the face of the Moon, and work out the average radio brightness of the galaxy's reflected radio waves.

So, yes - that's a generated image, not an exact representation of the MWA data, which you can see in the picture below. The dark patch in the middle is the Moon.

So did they detect the EoR? Well, not yet. This research was early groundwork to establish the efficacy of the technique. And it's looking pretty good so far.

"Our initial results using the lunar occultation technique are promising. We are beginning to understand the errors and spectral features present in our data and will continue to refine our techniques," the researchers wrote in their paper, but they noted there's much more work ahead.

"Future progress depends upon processing more data and further refining our techniques to effectively model foreground and reflected emission within our frequency range. The reflective behaviour of the Moon at low frequencies is not well studied and this will require particular attention. We must also develop techniques to break the degeneracy between the sky temperature and the Moon temperature in our fitting procedure."

Before man can cross the immense distances of space, the designs of spacecraft's sails will be the answer – striking a fine balance between mass, strength and reflectivity.

Working with NASA, California Institute of Technology (Caltech) scientists have created the new material out of silicon and its oxide, silica.

The caltech team has figured out that super-thin structures made of this compound can transform infrared light waves into a momentum that would accelerate a probe to 134,000,000 mph.

Speeds like this can carry a small probe to our closest planets and stars, a huddle of stars called Proxima centauri, within decades rather than millennia.

And it will allow humans to search nearby solar systems for alien life.

The Caltech engineers are exploiting the inactivity of photons to reach the astronomical speeds required to cover big distances in comparatively short amounts of time.

Unlike thick air molecules, light doesn't have a resting mass, so it doesn't “blow” in the same way wind does.

But flying photons still pack a punch by exerting pressure via their momentum, according to Maxwell's equations on electromagnetic radiation.

NASA: The material, made out of silicon and its oxide, silica, will be used in solar sails

The idea is to use a laser to coherently shoot a stream of photons at infrared wavelengths at a “light net”, or sail, attached to a spaceship.

Even for small objects that would mean casting a big sail, which in turn means adding more mass. So this sail needs to be as light as possible, which could make it vulnerable to easy damage.

By turning to nanomaterials, engineers have the advantage of twisting the way light is absorbed and released, allowing them to fine-tune the delicate balance of catching enough light to build up speed without overheating.

A caltech spokesperson said: “Light sails propelled by radiation pressure from high-power lasers have the potential to achieve relativistic spaceflight.”

Teenagers don’t like Facebook that much.

Over 700 teens aged 13-17 across different races, household incomes and parental educational attainment were interviewed about their social media habits. YouTube, Facebook, Twitter, Reddit, Instagram, Snapchat and Tumblr all featured in the study and YouTube came out on top, 

crushing the competition with 85% of teens confirming they used the video streaming service.
Study Finds Teens Don't Think Facebook Is Cool Anymore The Pew Research Center revealed their findings on Thursday,

 only 51 percent of teenagers are using Facebook. They're way more likely to head to YouTube (85 percent), Instagram (72 percent) and Snapchat (69 percent). The disparity is even more dramatic when asked which one site they use most often -- YouTube (32 percent,) Snapchat (35 percent) and Facebook (10 percent).

That’s a stark drop-off from only three years ago, when Facebook was the most popular app among teenagers, according to Pew.

But Instagram, the popular Facebook-owned messaging app, still has 72 percent of teens onboard — making it more popular than rival Snapchat, the app Instagram has been modeling new features after as of late. As kids become more disenchanted with Facebook, the company’s $1 billion acquisition of Instagram back in 2012 continues to stand out as one of tech’s best bets of the last 20 years.

After The Incident, Pictures Of The UFO Were Sent To Chile's UFO Investigating Agency, The Centre For The Study Of Anomalous Aerial Phenomena (CEFAA).
After the incident, pictures of the UFO were sent to Chile's UFO investigating agency, the Centre for the Study of Anomalous Aerial Phenomena (CEFAA).

The experts at CEFAA pored over the photos and videos, trying to figure out what this object was.

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1964 - Officer Lonnie Zamora.
1964 - Officer Lonnie Zamora.
Zamora was in the middle of a high speed chase when he saw an odd flying object in the distance that he said was emitting blue flames. Inspecting the object further, Zamora claims to have witnessed 2 humanoid creatures get into the spacecraft and immediately take off, emitting the same blue flames that he witnessed before.

1997 - Phoenix, AZ - Thousands Of Witnesses.
1997 - Phoenix, AZ - Thousands of Witnesses.
Thousands of people called the local police departments, jamming up their phone lines, to report strange lights illuminating from a flying object in the sky. They were said to be in a V shape and to be able to move very quickly in the sky.

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Aside from extra-terrestrial beings visiting our planet:
Aside from extra-terrestrial beings visiting our planet:
Scientists are trying to learn about many different E.T. races tinkering with our DNA over millennia and also about the truth behind the life of E.T. beings been on earth.

There are many creatures other than humans on the earth.
There are many creatures other than humans on the earth.
No doubt, if we separate the list of human beings and other living organisms than the list of insects and animals would be long enough. 

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Lions of Njombe, Tanzania

In 1932, a pride of lions in the town of Njombe, Tanzania went on a killing spree after a witchdoctor reportedly cast a spell on them to kill his own people after he was removed from his post.
The pride was said to have killed more than 1,500 tribesmen.
The killing stopped when George Rushby, a famous hunter, started killing lions in the area (he killed 15), driving the pride away.

Two Toed Tom

This four and a half meters alligator terrorized the residents living along the swamps bordering Florida and Alabama in the 20s. It got its name after having lost all toes in his left paw, except two, from a trap.
He became a nuisance after killing cows, mules and, of course, people. He was hunted vigorously but bullets seemed to have no effect on him, even a bucket of dynamite. Two Toed Tom was never captured or killed. On the contrary, so many people in the 80s reported to have seen a two toed alligator.

The New Jersey Shark:

This incident happened when scientists knew little of sharks. They even thought they were harmless. Not this one.
It roamed the waters along New Jersey in 1916, shallow or deep, attacking people. It attacked five people, killing four. In July of that same year, a young female Great White Shark was captured in the Rattan Bay, near the Matawan Creek, where the last three attacks occurred.

Inside its stomach were human remains. However, scientists argued that the last three attacks, occurring in a shallow creek could have been done by a bull shark – the only species of shark that can live in fresh water. White or Bull let science argue over that. What was certain is that the attacks stopped after that capture.

The Bear of Mysore:

Among the species of bears, the Sloth Bear has never been known to kill people, though mauling is common (at least once a week in India).
This sloth bear in the Indian state of Mysore was different. It attacked 3 dozen people, killing 12, finally shot and killed by big game hunter, Kenneth Anderson.

The Beast of Gevauden:

From 1764 to 1787, the French province of Gevauden was terrorized by a “beast” no one ever saw until it was killed in 1767.
It was described in many ways, e.g., a wolf, though larger than a wolf; it is reddish brown in color with an unbearable smell, and teeth bigger than that of a wolf. What was certain was that it ignored cattle and other domesticated animals. Instead it attacked people – 210 of them, killing 113, eating 98. Its reign of terror ended when Jean Castel, a local hunter, killed it. When opened, human remains were found in its stomach.

The Panar Leopard:

The leopard is the smallest of the true “big cats” but it has a big bite and a voracious man-eater. Fossil studies of our earlier hominid relatives showed leopard bite marks on their bones. This one lived up to its reputation be terrorizing the natives of Panar, in Madha Pradesh, India, in the early 20th century.
It reportedly killed 400 people making it the second most prolific man-eating animals in history. He was killed by famous hunter and conservationist, Jim Corbett, in 1910.

The Champawat Tigress:

In the late 19th century, a Nepalese region close to the Himalayas was terrorized by the most notorious and prolific man-eater of all time – a female Bengal tiger.
Man, woman, or child, by the dozens, were ambushed and killed by this dreaded beast. She seemed to be always hungry that her victims reached 200. Hunters were sent to track her down, to no avail. In desperation, the Nepalese government sent in the army to hunt her. Still she evaded them.

But she fled to neighboring India, and there, in Champawat continued her rampage. Every kill she made, made her bolder, eventually attacking villages even in broad daylight.
Ultimately the Indian government had enough of this tiger and sent in Jim Corbett (the guy who killed the Panar leopard). Jim tracked her by following her trail of the blood, guts and severed limbs of her latest victim. She was killed in 1911, but not until having killed 436 people.


Somewhere in the marshes of Burundi, Africa, lies hidden Gustav, a giant Nile crocodile who, to date, has killed more than 300 people.
While all the man-eaters featured above are already dead or retired, Gustav is pretty much alive, waiting, to make another grisly kill. “Gustav” is a name given to this 6 meter long, 1 ton, killing machine by Patrice Faye, a French naturalist who has spent years trying to capture Gustav.
What is terrifying about this monster is that it kills for fun, not just for food. It attacks several people in one raid, and then disappears for months, even years, only to reappear and kill again. He is Public Enemy # 1 in Burundi at present.
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