Daily American Buzz: wow


The internet is going crazy after Emirates airline posted a picture of a plane covered in diamonds and crystals.

The Emirates ‘Bling’ 777 – which most took as a reference to the Boeing 777 aircraft – was pictured alongside baggage carts and shuttle bus vehicles, an otherwise everyday travel image aside from the plane’s spectacular embellishment.
A Boeing 777 plane is 63.7 metres or 73.9 metres long, depending on the model – meaning a whole lot of precious gems would be needed to cover it.

Not surprisingly, people were freaking out on Twitter in reaction to United Arab Emirates’ based airline’s post.

Some accused the airline of ‘showing off’, while others were simply concerned about whether the plane would be able to take off.

As it turns out, the post is actually an artwork created by award winning crystal artist Sara Shakeel and posted on her Instagram account.




A post shared by Sara Shakeel (@sarashakeel) on

Earlier today, she posted an image of a plane wing flying above a crystal-studded cloud.




We WON! ๐Ÿ†๐Ÿฅ‚๐Ÿพ . From my #crystallipsticks to ๐Ÿ’Žkitty paws, #glitterstretchmarks to my diamond encrusted bling bling 777 @emirates , with every post shared, liked, loved , viewed by all of you , today I can proudly say !! I am an Award winning Visual Artist - by #glamourtalentawards ๐Ÿ†๐Ÿ†@glamouritalia ! God little did know I could witness this day ! Well at least not within my 2 years of creating art! My beginnings are humble! And I wish To stay this way forever sharing art , love , magic, positivity as much as I can! #Milan #inspired me to a point I wish I could comprehend! Today I leave the sweet! SWEET people of #italy ! I hope someday I come back to see the whole country ! Everything was just perfect ! Thank you @alessandrapellegrino & chief editor of #glamouritalia for this honour & respect! You just didn’t give me this honour alone! It represented each and everyone who support me and my art! ๐Ÿ’Ž๐Ÿ’Ž๐Ÿ’Ž๐Ÿ’Ž so thank you ! Last but not Last “ Thank you GOD! ✨ you have been kind! . . CollageArt SaraShakeel . . . #art #collageart #artwork #flying #flyingbackhome #italy #airplane #plane #arte #patience #hope #vision #award #visualartist #workhard #hardwork #morning
A post shared by Sara Shakeel (@sarashakeel) on
Someone has made Trump-themed toilet brushes and is selling it on Esty for €21.40 (US$25).



The product will be shipped from New Zealand. The seller writes:

  • "Make Toilet Great Again, Commander In Crap."
  • "No president has had a Toilet Brush like my Toilet Brush!"
  • "I am automatically attracted to toilet bowls, I just start scrubbing, I just kiss, I don’t even wait and when your a toilet brush they let you do it."



And the product is selling quite well.
  • "NOTE: Due to the overwhelming response we have received we are currently looking at a 6-8 week arrival time for orders placed after 8am on 15 November."
  • "Please keep in mind I make these by hand and I want to thank everyone for their order and their patience."


And customers seem to be pretty satisfied with the product:





A photographer in Norway spotted a rare white deer while hiking with friends, and he has shared the photos which appear to show the reindeer "posing."

Mads Nordsveen, who is 24 and from Oslo, spotted the blindingly white calf in the show, although he was well camouflaged.

"It did blend extremely good with the snow," Nordsveen told INSIDER.

"It was a very special moment, felt so magical. We looked straight into each other's eyes. I was actually so stunned that it took some seconds before I got reminded by my photographer instinct to grab the camera and save the moment forever!"

Nordsveen said it was almost like the reindeer posed for the camera.


According to Nordsveen, the local Sami people — indigenous people of northern Europe — told him that these white animals are so rarely spotted that they bring happiness in Sami tradition.

"The calf seemed a bit scared at first, but we sat completely quiet and were very calm, and eventually it came quite close," he said.

"Before trips I do quit a lot of research to find the best locations and views. However you can not plan magical moments like the reindeer's photos!"

Nordsveen started photographing the Norwegian landscape because it's so "wonderful and dramatic," he said.

He also runs one of the biggest travel accounts on Instagram, Discoverer, which has over a million followers.

"I am specialized to capture magical moments at unique destinations around the world," he said.
A Taiwanese student has been charged with theft after her roommate asked the police to carry out a series of DNA tests to find out who had taken her $2 yoghurt drink.

The incident happened at a dorm at Soochow University in Taipei. The victim Zhou lived with 5 girls. Zhou found an empty bottle of her yoghurt drink had been thrown in the bin around Apr 2018.



She confronted her housemates and asked the yoghurt thief to turn herself in but in vain.

Zhou said that the food in the common fridge disappeared frequently. They thought someone broke in, so they installed a cam at the common room. However, the cam got stolen after 24 hours.

After the yoghurt incident, Zhou asked the thief to turn herself in or she will call the cops.



She took the bottle to the police and asked them to open a formal investigation into theft, there were no fingerprints on the wet bottle.

All of her roommates went to police station to report for the case on May 2018. The thief didn't confess, therefore Zhou insisted to use DNA forensics that costs USD$586.

The result is out on June and the yoghurt is prosecuted on Sep. The thief told the prosecutor that she mistakenly drank it and she'd like to sincerely apologize to Zhou, which she didn't do within the period of 5-month investigation.


When you're working a full time job, attempting to wade through the newscycle, and keeping up a long-term romantic relationship, an annual vacation can be the difference between complete burnout and survival.

In the scheme of everyday life, it's no small thing to forgo that privilege for the greater good, and yet, that is precisely what a teacher on Imgur did when he saw a student in need.

Basically, this teacher noticed over time that one of his students consistently wore the same outfit. At first, he assumed it could've been a matter of style or preference, but as the winter months approached it seemed potentially dangerous.

Since he was concerned about his student's safety in the cold -- wearing just a hoodie and sneakers, the teacher asked his student to stay after class for a chat. He soon found out his student lives with his grandpa and juggles a job at Chick Fil A with classes, barely making ends meet. Because of the tight financial situation at home, the student hasn't been able to afford any proper winter clothing.

Without skipping a beat, the teacher offered his student $800 to help with clothing and food needs. However, that cash came straight from the vacation fund for him and his wife, so he had to find a way to break the news to his wife.

Luckily, his wife was immediately on board with the decision once she heard his reasons for cutting into their vacation fund.





In fact, his wife was so empathetic to the situation she suggested they invite the student and his grandpa over for Christmas as well.

This wholesome exchanged briefly warmed the heart of the internet.




Trump inexplicably believed that releasing a climate change report on the day after Thanksgiving would prompt Americans to overlook it.

Fortunately, that hasn’t happened. The latest National Climate Assessment — mandated by Congress every four years, and authored by 300 scientists spanning 13 federal agencies — is packed with dire evidence of a mounting global emergency. The free and independent press is still parsing the stats about rising temperatures, rising seas, burgeoning wildfires, worsening droughts, increasingly severe downpours, and havoc-wreaking floods. Last year alone, America incurred $300 billion in weather disaster damage — 40 percent higher than any previous year — and the scientists warn that if we do nothing to combat climate change, America will annually incur more than $500 billion in damage (lost wages, worthless coastal property, livestock deaths from heat stress, you name it) within the lifetimes of our grandchildren.

When the previous National Climate Assessment was released, in 2014, the stupidity mob dismissed the scientists’ warning that the climate “is changing at a factor of 10 times more than naturally. It is here and it is happening.” One of the most prominent deniers was Texas Republican congressman Lamar Smith, who, in his capacity as House Science Committee chairman, assailed the report as “a political document intended to frighten Americans.” Fortunately, at that time, we had a president from the opposing party who believed in science.

Alas, that’s no longer true. The release of the new report has exposed anew the mentality of the dolt-in-chief. When asked on Monday about the report his regime tried to bury last Friday, he quickly decreed: “I don’t believe it.” He was echoed yesterday by his mouthpiece, Sarah Huckabee Sanders, who told the press that the fact-packed report “is not based on facts,” a remark which suggests that either she didn’t bother to open it or that she needs a course in remedial reading.

Trump has long been insulting our intelligence, multiple times a day, but never more so than when he insists we ignore the empirical evidence in front of us. Earlier this month, fellow Americans who died tragically in the California wildfires — the new report says that prolonged droughts are drying the western forests, “making them more susceptible to burning” — but Trump talks about raking the forest floors. An idea he attributed to Finland, which Finland has dismissed as fantasy.

But to get the full flavor of his nonsense, you need to see his response to a question posed to him yesterday by The Washington Post. This was the question: “Can you just explain why you’re skeptical of that report?”

This was his answer:
“One of the problems that a lot of people like myself — we have very high levels of intelligence, but we’re not necessarily such believers. You look at our air and our water, and it’s right now at a record clean. But when you look at China and you look at parts of Asia and when you look at South America, and when you look at many other places in this world, including Russia, including — just many other places — the air is incredibly dirty. And when you’re talking about an atmosphere, oceans are very small. And it blows over and it sails over. I mean, we take thousands of tons of garbage off our beaches all the time that comes over from Asia. It just flows right down the Pacific, it flows, and we say where does this come from. And it takes many people to start off with. Number two, if you go back and if you look at articles, they talked about global freezing, they talked about at some point the planets could have freeze to death, then it’s going to die of heat exhaustion. There is movement in the atmosphere. There’s no question. As to whether or not it’s man-made and whether or not the effects that you’re talking about are there, I don’t see it — not nearly like it is. Do we want clean water? Absolutely. Do we want clean air to breathe? Absolutely. The fire in California, where I was, if you looked at the floor, the floor of the fire, they have trees that were fallen, they did no forest management, no forest maintenance, and you can light — you can take a match like this and light a tree trunk when that thing is laying there for more than 14 or 15 months. And it’s a massive problem in California.”
There’s no point in parsing all his dimwitted digressions. I’ll just highlight two things: His insistence that he’s too smart to believe in science — people like him, with their “high levels of intelligence” — and his boast that climate change doesn’t exist because America has cleaner air and water than other nations. Perhaps someone in his employ, at the risk of being fired, should remind him that America’s air and water is at “record clean” — cleaner, at least, than they were 50 years ago — thanks to the work of the Environmental Protection Agency. Which he is persistently trying to destroy.


Canadian scientists have identified microscopic creatures that are so unlike anything seen before, they had to create an entirely new branch on the evolutionary tree of life to slot them in.

A new paper published this week in Nature offers the first genetic analysis of hemimastigotes—a rare and poorly understood group of single-celled microorganisms. Biologists have known about these wee beasties for well over a century, but only now can hemimastigotes be officially slotted into the evolutionary tree of life, a process more formally known as phylogeny. And by doing so, scientists have stumbled upon a completely new branch on the tree of life—one dating back billions of years.

Yana Eglit, a doctoral student at Dalhousie University and a co-author of the new study, found two different species of hemimastigotes—one already known and one completely new to science—in soil samples collected along the Bluff Wilderness Trail in Nova Scotia, Canada. The previously known species is called Spironema and the new one was dubbed Hemimastix kukwesjijk (pronounced “ku–ga–wes–jij–k”), which means “rapacious hairy ogre” in the language of the Mi’kmaq First Nations people of Nova Scotia.

Rapacious and hairy, indeed. These single-celled, free-roaming predators feature two rows of hair-like flagella, which they use for locomotion and grasping onto prey. Hemimastix feeds by connecting its mouth—if it can be called that—to the surface of its equally microscopic prey, sucking up the victim’s cytoplasm, according to observations made by Eglit and her colleagues.


A sampling of the hemimastigotes analyzed in the new study.

Hemimastigotes cannot be classified as animal, plant, fungus, or bacteria. But they’re eukaryotes, having complex cells and a clearly defined nucleus. Eukaryotes that can’t be slotted into these conventional groupings are called protists—a kind of grab-bag grouping of sometimes unclassifiable eukaryotes. Such as hemimastigotes. Aside from describing them as eukaryotic protists, scientists haven’t been able to place them anywhere within the phylogenetic tree of life. Part of the problem was that scientists weren’t able to perform meaningful genetic tests on hemimastigotes—but this has now changed, thanks to the new research.

“This discovery literally redraws our branch of the ‘Tree of Life’ at one of its deepest points,” explained Alastair Simpson, the lead author of the study and biology professor at Dalhousie, in a statement. “It opens a new door to understanding the evolution of complex cells—and their ancient origins—back well before animals and plants emerged on Earth.”

Using a new technique called single-cell transcriptonomics, and with the help of PhD candidate Gordon Lax, the Dalhousie team was able to tease large amounts of genetic material from the two species of hemimastigotes. The entire genomes could not be extracted, but enough information was gleaned for the researchers to perform a phylogenetic analysis.

Virtually all eukaryotes belong to either the animal, plant, or fungi kingdoms, but some eukaryotes cannot be classified as such, and are deemed protists. Not satisfied with these broad designations, scientists created six “super-groups” for the eukaryote domain: Sar/Telonemia, Haptophyta/Centrohelida, Archaeplastida/Picozoa (this group contains plants), Cryptista (this group contains algae), Discoba, and Amorphea (this group contains animals and fungi).

To group these kingdom-level eukaryotes even further, scientists created one “supra-group,” called Diaphoretickes, that lumped four similar super-groups together (see diagram below). The purpose of this organizational scheme is to sort and cluster species according to their relation to common ancestors, rather than by their physical characteristics or other attributes.



The six previously established eukaryote super-groups and Diaphoretickes supra-group, plus the new hemimastigotes supra-group proposed in the new study. Animals and fungi are in the Amorphea super-group, while plants fall under Archaeplastida + Picozoa.

Previously, scientists had designated Hemimastigophora at the level of phylum (below kingdom), but the new study suggests they belong to a distinct supra-group, or a “novel supra-kingdom-level lineage of eukaryotes,” in the words of the researchers.

“It was clear from our analyses that hemimastigotes didn’t belong to any known kingdom-level group, or even to a known ‘super-group’ of several kingdoms together, like the one that includes both animals and fungi,” said Simpson. “This one little collection of organisms is a whole new group at that level, all on its own. It’s a branch of the Tree of Life that has been separate for a very long time, perhaps more than a billion years, and we had no information on it whatsoever.”



In addition to being the first to perform a genetic analysis of hemimastigotes, the Dalhousie team is also the first to culture these organisms. Armed with a steady supply of hemimastigotes to experiment upon, the researchers are now hoping to glean more genetic information from these remarkable creatures.

Andreas Hejnol, group leader of the Sars International Centre for Marine Molecular Biology at the University of Bergen, said the paper is valuable in that it provides a phylogenetic analysis that finally places these organisms in the tree of life.

“The methods are standard and the major accomplishment is the finding of the organisms in amounts that are sufficient to isolate the molecules and get their sequence information,” Hejnol, who was not affiliated with the new study, told Gizmodo. “Another great advance is that the researchers are in fact able to culture them.”

Praise aside, Hejnol said it’s important to remember that categories such as “supra-kingdom” and “super-group” are simply “anthropogenic categories” that scientists use to classify and organize organisms—meaning, they’re a human construct subject to change as our understanding of biology changes.

“Criteria are not well defined and are mainly based on ‘distinctiveness’ from other organisms,” he said. “This distinctiveness is mostly based on randomly selected criteria. Prior to this, evolutionary biologists normally used similarity as a criterion to assign organisms together.”

In the case of the new study, the phylogenetic analysis placed hemimastigotes on a major new branch—one that now sits alongside a pre-existing sister branch of eukaryotes known as Diaphoretickes.

“While this position is interesting and helpful for reconstructing the evolution... of these organisms, the exclusion of the hemimastigotes is arbitrary,” Hejnol told Gizmodo. “They [hemimastigotes] could also be included [in the Diaphoretickes group]—this lies in the eye of the beholder. This shows again, how arbitrary assignments such as ‘supra-kingdom’ are.”

To which he added: “The ‘novel supra-kingdom’ sounds fancy and exciting—but is of no scientific value. Pity that it obscures the main accomplishment of the authors that they are able to place this group in the tree of life—which is truly a scientific advance.”

Moving forward, it’ll be interesting to see if other scientists agree with this classification. As noted, there are other species of hemimastigotes; perhaps further phylogenetic research will affirm the creation of this new supra-group, or it could inflame this debate even further. If anything, this discovery shows the need for improved ways of describing and classifying organisms along the highest branches on the tree of life.


Something unusual, but perhaps not all that unusual in the grand scale of things is happening with the Sun. Our Sun was expected to head into its solar minimum around 2020, but it looks like it’s going to happen early.

The lack of sunspots present on our Sun at the moment, characteristic of the solar minimum could bring about record cold temperatures, but some have even gone so far as to suggest it could bring about a mini ice age, as reported in September. The chances of this seem slim when you think about it at first, but let’s take a look at some more information.

We are currently living through the twenty fourth recorded solar cycle, as represented by this diagram.



Now, what they say could cause a “mini ice age,” is a prolonged solar minimum, an extended period of time in which the sun is bare and free of sunspots, at a minimum of activity in its cycle.

Actually, the last time a prolonged solar minimum was recorded, a mini ice-age in fact did occur and it was known as the Maunder minimum. The Maunder minimum lasted quite some period of time, it lasted from around the years 1645 to 1715, about 70 years, in which solar observers at the time noted that sunspots became exceedingly rare.



What’s also interesting is the comparison that can be drawn between the researchers of today and the researchers of then. Today, independent researchers who use tools that objectively show everyone data about the Earth and the Sun for example can choose to go just about as far as they want into the research.

For example, the editor of spaceweather.com pointed out that sunspots have been absent for most of this year, and it’s to the point where they think the Earth’s upper atmosphere is responding, which will in turn produce those differences in temperature.

Those researchers today are just like the solar observers who miraculously were documenting their findings all the way back in the 1600’s, which leads us to our ability to understand solar cycles today.

“It could happen in a matter of months,” said a figure from NASA’s Langley Research Center, Martin Mlynczak, speaking on the potential cold spell that could reach us soon. “If current trends continue, it could soon set a Space Age record for cold,” continued Mlynczak. “We’re not there quite yet,” he said, but a matter of months really isn’t much time at all.



Data obtained from NASA’s TIMED (Thermosphere Ionosphere Mesosphere Energetics and Dynamics) satellite shows that the uppermost layer of air that surrounds planet Earth, known as the thermosphere, is both shrinking and cooling, literally making the radius of our atmosphere decrease. A true global cooling phase could result from this.

“The thermosphere always cools off during Solar Minimum. It’s one of the most important ways the solar cycle affects our planet,” continued Mlynczak.

In addition, studies released by Britain’s Northumbria University and UC-San Diego confirm the NASA observations, suggesting that a Grand Solar Minimum could occur in the coming decades due to profoundly low sunspot activity.


It's not every day that you see something that really makes you stop and say, "Holy cow." But that's actually the case with Knickers  'the cow', who is believed to be Australia's largest cow.
The 7-year-old Holstein-Friesian is 6 feet 4 inches tall and weighs 3,086 pounds. For reference, the average Holstein-Friesian dairy cow typically stands at 4 feet 10 inches and weighs 1,500 pounds, making Kickers a rather large outlier.

According to 7 News Central Queensland, knickers is almost as tall as Michael Jordan, the former NBA player. Here's how they look next to each other, true to scale.



And twitter is going crazy over this..



Geoff Pearson, Knickers' owner, said the cow's size saved him from being slaughtered.

"He was too big to go into the export plant's chain," Pearson told Australia's ABC News. "We have a high turnover of cattle, and he was lucky enough to stay behind."

Instead, he'll live out his life on the farm, where he's become a natural leader among the other cows.

"You'll put him in a paddock and all the other cattle seem to get attracted to him," Pearson said. "Whenever he wants to get up and start walking, there's a trail of hundreds of cattle following him. We all know when Knickers in on the move."
A mysterious UFO has been captured on camera across a huge region of China on Thursday evening, prompting wide-ranging conspiracy theories.



The unusual sight in the night sky was seen by residents of the Chinese capital Beijing, as well as people in the Chongqing reguion, the Shanxi province and Inner Mongolia who shared pictures and videos of an identified object appearing to light up the night sky like a massive torch.



A UFO expert claimed that the footage looked like the trail of a rocket motor.



The series of perplexing videos were posted yesterday on Chinese micro-blogging site Weibo as stunned net users discussed what it could be.



They described the two-minute phenomenon as bright white rays shaped either like a 'massive tail' or an 'artificial light' beaming from the clouds and slowly moving across the sky.



'Aliens are coming!' said one user on Weibo.



In a new study, a pair of researchers at Harvard raise the prospect that Oumuamua, the large cigar-shaped object that was spotted cruising past the sun at an incredibly high speed and odd trajectory late last year, was a probe sent by an alien civilization to scope out Earth. Their hypothesis, which will be published in The Astrophysical Journal Letters on November 12, isn't that it was definitely sent from extraterrestrials, but rather suggests that it very well could have been based on the way it accelerated and traveled through space.


Oumuamua travelling towards the outskirts of our solar system

The study essentially suggests that based on its unique acceleration, Oumuamua could be "a new class of thin interstellar material" that uses light to move. Specifically, it says it could be a "solar light sail' designed to whip through space via solar wind and that it may even "be a fully operational probe sent intentionally to Earth vicinity by an alien civilization."

Before you start to ponder that there are aliens and they are spying on us, it's important to consider that this research paper is by no means a confirmation that they are. In fact, even the authors of the study insist more research and intel is needed to come to any definitive conclusions.

"It is impossible to guess the purpose behind Oumuamua without more data," study co-author Avi Loeb and chairman or Harvard's astronomy department told NBC News. News of the paper's publication has also been met with resistance from others in the scientific community, who claim that even running with the notion that it might be an alien spacecraft is vaguely dishonest.

"In science, we must ask ourselves, 'Where is the evidence?,' not 'Where is the lack of evidence so that I can fit in any hypothesis that I like?'" said Coryn Bailer-Jones, an astronomer at the Max Planck Institute for Astronomy, per the report. "If it were a spacecraft, this tumbling would make it impossible to keep any instruments pointed at the Earth. Of course, one could now say it was an accident, or the aliens did this to deceive us. One can always come up with increasingly implausible suggestions that have no evidence in order to maintain an idea."


The U.S. Federal Communications Commission has authorized part of SpaceX’s application to build and launch more than 7,500 satellites, according to a press release. These would make up part of a proposed constellation of almost 12,000 satellites designed to improve internet connectivity.

Satellite communications currently rely on satellites in geostationary orbit, 36,000 kilometers (22,369 miles) above the ground, that maintain a fixed position relative to Earth. But SpaceX’s 12,000 satellites would improve connectivity using non-geostationary (NGSO) satellites, which orbit closer and move relative to the Earth’s surface.

The application contains the details of SpaceX’s Starlink program, announced in 2015. The 7,518 satellites approved by the FCC will orbit between 335 and 346 kilometers (208 and 215 miles) up, and another 4,425 satellites would orbit between 1,110 and 1,325 kilometers (683.5 and 823.3 miles) above the Earth’s surface. The International Space Station orbits at 409 kilometers (254 miles), for comparison. SpaceX hopes the system will increase internet coverage in rural and remote areas.

The idea is that these smaller, mass-produced satellites will be cheaper, and in orbiting closer to the Earth’s surface, could provide better broadband internet coverage than fewer and more expensive satellites in geostationary orbit.

These 12,000 satellites would join two prototype satellites launched by SpaceX earlier this year. The FCC additionally granted authorization to companies Kepler, Telesat, and Leosat to launch 140, 117, and 78 satellites, respectively, as part of their own NGSO constellation programs. The federal agency previously authorized SpaceX’s 4,425 other satellites, as well.

SpaceX CEO Elon Musk really wants to launch these satellites, and soon: Just last month, he fired a number of managers over what he deemed as too-slow progress on the project, Reuters reported. Musk hopes to launch some of the satellites in 2019.

At the same time, the FCC announced that it will review its orbital debris mitigation rules, hoping to “incorporate improvements in debris mitigation practices into the Commission’s rules.” It’s unclear what those rules are, or if the recently approved satellites will have to follow these rules. There are already more than 500,000 pieces of space junk orbiting the Earth, traveling at speeds of up to 17,500 miles per hour, around 10 times the average speed of a bullet.

Anyway, it looks like space internet is really happening, so long as SpaceX can get all of the satellites up and running, and the company’s got competition. Let’s do this, I guess.
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."


Twitter is planning to remove the ability to "like" tweets in a radical move that aims to improve the quality of debate on the social network.

Founder Jack Dorsey last week admitted at a Twitter event that he was not a fan of the heart-shaped button and that it would be getting rid of it “soon”.

The feature was introduced in 2015 to replace “favourites”, a star-shaped button that allowed people to bookmark tweets to read later.

Similar buttons to “like” or show appreciation of people’s status updates, pictures and videos have become a central function of every popular social media service since Facebook introduced them.

But psychologists have suggested that they may be causing social media addiction among users who crave endorsement from their peers. It has led to a trend where young people will tweet or share something on Instagram and Facebook but will delete it if they have not received enough “likes” shortly after.

In March 2018 Twitter introduced “bookmarks” for saving tweets, signalling a pivot to a new system. A Twitter spokesman said: “At this point, there is no specific timeline for changes or particular planned changes to discuss.

“We're experimenting and considering numerous possible changes, all with an eye toward ensuring we're incentivising the right behaviors to drive healthy conversation.”

Jack Dorsey, a billionaire who also runs payment company Square, is under pressure to clean up his platform, which came under attack by Russian trolls who used it to spread fake news ahead of the US election and the European referendum in 2016.


It has become an easy hiding place for cyberbullies, with some celebrities deleting their accounts after incessant harassment from Twitter “trolls”.

In recent weeks, Mr Dorsey has been vocal about ongoing experiments behind the scenes at Twitter to help make it what he describes as a “healthier place” by reducing “echo chambers” and cracking down on misinformation.

He has hinted that he will be bringing in an option to edit tweets, change the verification process so that a blue tick is no longer a preserve of celebrities and “influencers” and that it could change how users’ follower counts are displayed.


Bloomberg has revealed in its recently published report that a nation-state has launched a significant supply chain attack. It is believed to be one of the largest corporate spying and hardware hacking campaigns ever launched by a nation-state. The espionage campaign is launched through a very small surveillance chip, which is only the size of a grain of rice. This chip is hidden in the servers currently in use by about 30 US firms including the bigwigs Apple, Amazon, and Elemental.

According to Bloomberg, these chips weren’t part of the server motherboard originally. These have been designed by Super Micro, a US-based firm. Reportedly, the malicious chips were inserted when the server motherboards were undergoing manufacturing process, which was carried out in China by their subcontractors.

Amazon notified the US authorities about the discovery, which sent shockwaves across the intelligence fraternity since these servers are also in use at the Department of Defense data centers, the Navy warships’ onboard networks, and the drone operations from the CIA.

The probe has been active for over three years and investigators believe that the chips have been inserted to let the attackers get an entry to any network that is connected to the servers. This attack is a lot more serious and severe than other software-based attacks identified so far considering that hardware attacks are quite difficult to identify immediately, and by the time these are, a lot of information has been leaked. Spy agencies are the most important beneficiaries of such campaigns and are keen on investing into such a campaign.

The report suggests that Chinese-government sponsored groups infiltrated the supply chain for installing tiny surveillance chips. The devices then were deployed by mainstream US firms as well as the US military, US intelligence agencies, and many other important organizations. Apple, however, discovered the chips installed in Super Micro servers in 2015 after identifying firmware issues and suspicious network activities.



Although the chips were tiny these are capable of performing two key tasks; firstly, the chips can force the device to communicate with an anonymous computer anywhere on the internet, which may be loaded with complex code. Secondly, the chips can prepare the device to accept the new code.

Naturally, the Chinese government is believed to be involved in this campaign, and the primary objective seems to be to spy on US firms and the military.

However, after the report was published, Amazon, Apple, and Super Micro all denied the claim from Bloomberg. Apple stated that it hasn’t ever identified malicious chips on the server motherboards from Super Micro or any other hardware manipulations resulting from the planting of tiny chips. The company also denied contacting the FBI or any other investigation agency regarding finding tiny surveillance chips.

Amazon also claims that the story from Bloomberg is untrue and denied anything related to identifying a supply chain compromise or hardware hack. It also denied contacting the FBI for investigation of the incident.

Super Micro and Chinese Foreign Affairs Ministry also denied the findings of the report.


It covers 34 miles and connects Hong Kong and Macau to the mainland

China is set to open the longest sea-crossing bridge ever built, nine years after construction began.

The Hong Kong-Zhuhai-Macau Bridge connects Hong Kong and Macau to the Chinese mainland and covers 34 miles.

It is a key element of China's plan for a Greater Bay Area covering 56,500 square kilometers (21,800 square miles) across southern China, and encompassing 11 cities, including Hong Kong and Macau, that are home to a combined 68 million people.



The project was delayed by two years and cost a total of $20bn.

The bridge needed 60 times more steel than used to build the Eiffel Tower and includes a four-mile undersea tunnel connected by two artificial islands.

It will be opened to traffic in the morning of 24 October and the Chinese president, Xi Jinping, will be at the ceremony.

Journey times between the cities will be cut from three hours down to 30 minutes.

“With the bridge, the travelling time between Hong Kong and the western Pearl River Delta region will be shortened significantly, thereby bringing the western Pearl River Delta region within three hours’ drive from Hong Kong,” the city’s transport secretary, Frank Chan, said, according to CNN.

Estimates suggest the bridge will be in use for 120 years but there are likely to be restrictions on usage.

Private car owners in Hong Kong will require a permit to use the bridge, but people will have access to shuttle buses.



The building of the bridge has not been without controversy; the bridge was delayed by a number of years and the budget overran.

There were also corruption prosecutions, seven workers died and 129 were injured during the construction process. 


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."