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Human Body Temperatures Dropped Over The Past 150 Years

One of the earliest scientific facts that I learned when I was a child was the normal body temperature, which is 98.6°F (or 37°C). A new study in eLife, however, seems to show that this number is outdated.

The figure was probably accurate in 1851, when German doctor Carl Reinhold August Wunderlich found it to be the average armpit temperature of 25,000 patients. Times have changed, though, according to the recent paper: the average American now seems to run more than a degree F lower.
Stanford University researchers looked at data from Civil War soldiers and veterans and two more recent cohorts to confirm that body temperatures among American men averaged around 98.6 degrees F back then but have steadily fallen over time and that temperatures among women have fallen as well. Their data find an average for men and women of 97.5 degrees F.

Senior author Julie Parsonnet states that the research suggests that in the process of altering our surroundings, we have also altered ourselves. She states that ““We’ve changed in height, weight—and we’re colder.”

More details about this over at Scientific American.

(Image Credit: Pixabay)


The Achilles’ Heel of Tardigrades

Tardigrades, also known as “water bears,” are arguably the toughest creatures in the universe that we currently know. In response to environmental stressors, these microscopic creatures are capable of entering a state of suspended animation, which brings their metabolic activities almost to a stop. With this death-like state, they can survive for years even in extreme environments, including the vacuum of space. Scientists, however, have found something that even these tiny water bears can’t survive: long-term exposure to high temperatures.

“We had found their Achilles’ heel,” researcher Ricardo Neves, from the University of Copenhagen, told Newsweek. “Tardigrades are definitely not the almost indestructible organism as advertised in so many popular science websites.”

This is a worrisome matter for the tardigrades as the world is slowly becoming hotter.

More details over at Futurism.

(Image Credit: Schokraie E, Warnken U, Hotz-Wagenblatt A, Grohme MA, Hengherr S, et al. (2012)/ Wikimedia Commons)


Can We Catch “Noncommunicable” Diseases From Other People?

Back then, many of our ancestors died from malaria, tuberculosis, bacteria-laced wounds that never healed, and many other communicable diseases — diseases caused by infectious agents that can be transmitted between people, or from animals to human beings. Now, thanks to vaccines and antibiotics, only a few people die from communicable diseases. Most of us either avoid them or get treated for them.

In the present, most of us die from noncommunicable diseases like cardiovascular diseases, cancer, diabetes, and other chronic illnesses. According to the World Health Organization, these noncommunicable diseases account for over 70% of deaths globally.

By definition, noncommunicable diseases are thought to arise from a combination of genetic, environmental and lifestyle factors rather than being transmitted by bacteria, fungi or viruses. In recent years, however, scientists have realized that the collection of microbes crawling in and on the human body — known as the microbiome — has a large influence on our health. Could it be that noncommunicable diseases can actually pass between people via the mighty microbiome? 
Some scientists think the answer is yes.

Check out Live Science for more details about this study.

(Image Credit: qimono/ Pixabay)


Remembering A Game Console: The Best Games of the PSP

Back when I was in grade school, the PSP was a trend, and almost every kid in town wanted one. During that time, I only had a Gameboy DS, and to be honest, I liked the PSP graphics more, as well as the variety of games that you can play. Over the course of time, however, the popularity of the PSP decreased, and the distribution of the aforementioned game console officially ended in 2014, after a decade since it was released.

Popular Mechanics gives us its list of the 25 best games of the PlayStation Portable. Check it out over at the site.

(Image Credit: Pixabay)


What Excessive Internet Use Does To Students

Students who use digital technology excessively are less motivated to engage with their studies, according to research conducted at Swansea University and the University of Milan. The said students also are more anxious about tests. The effect is made worse by increased feelings of loneliness which were produced through the use of digital technology. Yikes!

Two hundred and eighty-five university students, enrolled on a range of health-related degree courses, participated in the study. They were assessed for their use of digital technology, their study skills and motivation, anxiety, and loneliness. The study found a negative relationship between internet addiction and motivation to study. Students reporting more internet addiction also found it harder to organise their learning productively, and were more anxious about their upcoming tests. The study also found that internet addiction was associated with loneliness, and that this loneliness made study harder.

According to Phil Reed, a professor at Swansea University, the findings suggest that “students with high levels of internet addiction may be particularly at risk from lower motivations to study, and, hence, lower actual academic performance”.

More details about this over at Neuroscience News.

(Image Credit: Pixabay)


Is “Beauty Sleep” A Real Thing?

The Google dictionary defines beauty sleep as “sleep considered to be sufficient to keep one looking young and beautiful.” Of course, we know that we age, so we can’t stay young over time. However, this doesn’t mean that beauty sleep is not really helpful. Biologists from the University of Manchester explain for the first time the reason why having a good sleep at night prepares us for the next day.

Details about the study over at ScienceDaily.

(Image Credit: Pixabay)


Video Games That Got Delayed

2020 is going to be a thrilling year for video games, and that does not come as a surprise as two brand new consoles, the PlayStation 5 and the Xbox Series X are scheduled for the end of the year. Before these new consoles arrive, game publishers are eager to release their last wave of big games which squeeze every last drop out of these current boxes.

...The lineup was getting stacked to the point of daunting, which is why we’re honestly more relieved than disappointed about the various game delays that got announced this week.

It is reassuring to know that some of the games were delayed for the reason of, according to their respective developers, giving the players a more satisfying experience of the games.

Check out every video game that got delayed this week over at

(Image Credit: CD PROJEKT RED/ Twitter)


What Bird Are You Most Like?

The title makes this sound like any silly internet quiz, but this is from the Cornell Lab of Ornithology, and they know birds. You'll be given 15 questions about your personality, which you can answer along a spectrum. Then your answers will be correlated to one of 22 North American bird species. Here's my result:

Result: You Are a Red-tailed Hawk!

You’re smart and curious, strong and determined. Your voice is so magnificent that you could make a living in Hollywood. You understand strategy, and sometimes work with a partner, but overall most of the time you are happy to be alone.

I guess that's fairly accurate. The results page will also tell you more about the bird itself. Try your hand at the quiz at the Cornell site. Scroll down from your results to see all the other birds you could have been if you had answered differently. -via Metafilter

(Image credit: Rhododendrites)


These Advertisements On Vehicles Failed Miserably

Marketing people should be paying attention or else their ads on vehicles will fail miserably like these. Check out these epic fails over at Sad and Useless.

(Image Credit: Sad And Useless)


The Role Of Non-Verbal Cues In Communication

All of us have impressions of people we meet for the first time. First impressions, which happen immediately, are largely based on non-verbal cues that we see — their appearance, body language, and gestures. Using these cues, we then form an emotional response that informs the way we view the person. All of these happen in only a tenth of a second.

In some contexts, first impressions are of the utmost importance, as when chatting with a prospective date—who might, eventually, become your life partner (or not, as the case may be). As for the dreaded job interview, sage advice invariably counsels that we come across well from the outset, that hiring decisions are often decided within the first few minutes.

Non-verbal cues not only contributes in the formation of first impressions. In fact, up to 70% of our daily interactions may derive from them.

Know more about this over at Psychology Today.

(Image Credit: jarmoluk/ Pixabay)


UK Government Should Urge Social Media Firms To Share Their Data, Psychiatrists Say

The Royal College of Psychiatrists, which represents psychiatrists working in the UK, urge the UK government to force social media platforms like Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram to hand over their data on the type of materials users view, as well as the amount of time they spend on the platform, over to academics. The data will be part of research which aims to reduce rates of suicides and self-harm among young people.

Although most children and young people will be able to benefit from technology without negative effects, some may be vulnerable to compulsive use and potential harms, the report says. The college said any data shared would be anonymized (although this is trickier to guarantee than it sounds).

While this might be a good idea, the tech companies are unlikely to share this data. After all, they will only get a tiny incentive in doing this, and this could expose them to risk.

...individual users could potentially be reidentified from the data, for example, or people might choose to take legal action as a result of the findings.
Almost two years ago, a pair of Apple investors wrote an open letter to the company calling for it to do more to protect children from the supposedly damaging effects of digital technology. Not much changed as a result.

(Image Credit: geralt/ Pixabay)


Internet Explorer Bug To Be Fixed, Says Microsoft

A security flaw in Internet Explorer is currently being used by hackers, according to Microsoft. The tech company told TechCrunch that it was “working on a fix”. However, it was unlikely to release a patch until the next round of monthly security fixes, which is scheduled for February 11.

The aforementioned security flaw is believed to be similar to the one disclosed by Mozilla earlier this week.

More details over at the site.

(Image Credit: geralt/ Pixabay)


This Dragonball Z Kakarot Mod Uses The Goose From The Untitled Goose Game

Modder Mastaklo from has created a hilarious mod for Dragon Ball Z: Kakarot, a game on the PS4, Xbox, and PC. The mod injects the goose from the well-known Nintendo Switch game, The Untitled Goose Game into the action. Watch the three-minute gameplay from IGN as the goose hits a good combo attack against Piccolo. The goose is truly powerful! 


How to Make Sense of an Undrowned Town

In the mid-20th century, rural France had a glut of vintners and a lack of agricultural diversity. Authorities hatched a plan to build a reservoir in the Salagou Valley in southern France, in order to refresh the soil and encourage new crops. The original plan called for the reservoir to inundate the small village of Celles, home to 63 residents whose families had lived there for generations.

Between 1959 and 1968, the inhabitants of Celles were pushed to sell their homes to make way for the reservoir. Those who didn’t were expropriated, their houses left empty.

In 1968, the dam on the Salagou River was finally finished. The water crept up slowly, covering the red clay landscape. But just short of the village, it stopped. In the original plans the water was supposed to rise to the 150-meter altitude mark. But in the end it stopped permanently at 139 meters, 4 meters lower than the village.

By then there were no inhabitants left, and the buildings began to fall into ruin. But some former residents, particularly one family, never gave up on Celles. Fifty years later, read about the effort to rebirth a town killed by good intentions at Atlas Obscura.

(Image credit: Sam Harrison)


Snowmageddon 2020

Snow fell across Canada this past weekend, but Newfoundland got more than their share.

The capital of Newfoundland, St. John’s, was hit with 30 inches of snow in 24 hours, shattering a previous record, the Weather Channel reported. Officials also recorded snowdrifts as high as 15 feet on some highways, more than a few of which required help from Canadian armed forces to clear.

Plowing the streets is all well and good, but you can't go anywhere when you open the front door to a wall of snow, or your car has completely disappeared underneath it. Now that the plows and snowblowers have been at work, we have plenty of evidence of the unusually massive snowfall.  

See more Tweets about the snow at Earther. Continue reading to see more impressive images and videos of what the storm left behind.

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