Science, Schmience 3/13/21: Werk, Slug Queen

Slugs’ Bodies, Slugs’ Wisdom:

This just in: There are some (possibly very many) species of sea slugs that are capable of detaching their own heads, surviving for weeks on end without reproductive organs, a digestive tract, or even a heart — and, honey, they look GREAT doing it!!! Scientists at the Nara Women’s University in Japan have observed a third of their lab-bred Elysia marginata slugs autotomizing, or voluntarily self-amputating, their own heads over the course of their lifetimes, and beginning to grow back their whole bodies the very next day (and finishing in as little as three weeks!).

This absolute queen slays us, even from the neck up.

Hunk Like a Horse

Our lawyers tell us we need to preface this article with a disclaimer: we are not 100% sure Dr. Martine Hausberger was having sexual relations with horses; but we’ll be god-dammed if we’re saying there’s no chance she didn’t! Enjoy the read.

The headband might get Dr. Hausberger stamping her hooves, but we prefer a different look.

You’re a Nerd

To paraphrase an old adage, commonly told by bullies and their friends on schoolyards, “Your mother is so heavy, she has her own gravitational pull.” It breaks our hearts to tell you this, but scientifically speaking, the bullies are correct, so if A=B and B=C, then you must be a freaking nerd and you better hand over that lunch money.

Look a little closer. We’re definitely not going to push your face into your computer screen.

Brits Hit by Space Bits

Homeowners all over the UK are pissed this week as the first meteorite material found in the country in 30 years ruins their driveways and gardens. After thousands of reports of a blazing light rushing across the sky (no, dear reader, not the sun, don’t be a smartass), Britons in the village of Winchcombe started finding little piles of priceless black dirt on their immaculate lawns. In total, about 400 grams of carbonaceous chondrite, a stony compound with origins in our infant solar system more than 4.5 billion years ago, was scraped off a bunch of British herb gardens, which could have huge implications in our understanding of the chemical composition of our solar system before the formation of the planets. Although, if they wanted to find out what the universe was like 4.5 billion years ago, we’re not sure why they wouldn’t just ask Queen Elizabeth. Eyo! (Sorry, we’re still in a bullying mood from that last article.)

Tally-ho! It’s the Queen’s geology, innit, bruv?

Silver Linings Spacebook

Over the course of 2020, astronomers catalogued some 2,958 near-earth asteroids previously unknown to the field, a record year of discovery despite the pandemic. Of those, at least 107 of those were considered “close calls” that passed at a distance less than that of the moon. Proving, as always, hey, we could have had it worse!

Pictured: untold billions of threats the universe didn’t send our way this year.

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Oh, right, the asterisk: *“…for people who didn’t know COVID -19 also ruined weather predictions,” Seriously. Up to 75% of the data used by meteorologists pre-2020 came from commercial aircraft, which collect wind and temperature values in flight — and which were grounded en masse this year. Temperature forecasts from this time last year were up to 2ºC more accurate. So. No stone left unturned. Thanks for everything, COVID :)

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My favorite song is America by Simon and Garfunkel.

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Alec Sarché

Alec Sarché

My favorite song is America by Simon and Garfunkel.