Here’s what most astronauts will never tell you.
Lithuanian, which is spoken only by around 3.2 million people worldwide (most of whom live in Lithuania), is one of the oldest and most linguistically-pure languages in the world.
In fact, it retains many features of “Proto-Indo-European,” which is the common ancestor of the Indo-European language family (which includes every major European language plus Hindi, Farsi, Bengali, and some others).
In other words, when you listen to Lithuanian, you come closest to hearing the one language that was spoken in 3700 BC before it diverged into the many languages we know today (although some scholars debate the exact time when the language split).
Bees could build flat honeycombs from just three shapes: squares, triangles or hexagons. But for some reason, bees choose hexagons. Always “perfect” hexagons. Why?
The World’s First Vertical Forest is Nearing Completion in Milan, Italy
Architect Stefano Boeri designed Bosco Verticale, a vertical forest which will plant 900 trees on the balconies of 2 towers. This vegetation produces the same ecological footprint as 10,000 square meters of forest. And anyway, this way is much more fashion-forward.
Aside from looking ridiculously gorgeous, the vertical forest has abundant positive eco-effects as well. The plants will produce humidity and oxygen while protecting from radiation and pollution through absorbing carbon dioxide. The towers will use Aeolian and photovoltaic energy systems to increase the buildings’ self-sufficiency.
They will also attract birds and insects, creating a miniature ecosystem. The skyscraper forest was called “the most exciting new tower in the world” by the Financial Times and serves as an inspiration to other industrial spaces wishing to buffer their pollution output.
Now of course, scientific discoveries are (ideally) human endeavors done for the benefit of humanity as a whole, regardless of nationality. I just found this to be interesting.
Fazlur Rahman Khan was a Bangladeshi structural engineer and architect who has been called the “Einstein of structural engineering” and the Greatest Structural Engineer of the 20th Century. As the “father of tubular designs”, he devised groundbreaking structural systems that still form the basis of skyscraper construction to this day. Indeed, most of the world’s tall buildings would not exist were it not for his innovations, and to this day his work is still used as a starting point for the design of any tall building.
The world’s most influential and admired thinkers, according to an online poll of 10,000 respondents from 100 countries.
Molecule changes shape to help organisms kick drugs out of cells.
AFRICANGLOBE - Two African students have created a malaria-repellant soap using local herbs, and have won, consequently, a $25,000 Global Social Venture Competition award. The GSVC is the only international competition of Social Business Plans, dedicated to students, young graduates, and entrepreneurs.
Canadian astronaut Chris Hadfield shows what happens when you wring a wet towel in zero-gravity.
The first Canadian to lead an ISS expedition, he is probably one of the most charismatic astronauts of our time. He’s very active on social media, with a huge following on Twitter and Tumblr.
The Supreme Court is poised to take up the question of whether human genes can be patented. But some say advances in the field may blunt the impact of its ruling.
Sex apparently is like income: People are generally happy when they keep pace with the Joneses and they’re even happier if they get a bit more.
That’s one finding of Tim Wadsworth, an associate professor of sociology at the University of Colorado Boulder, who recently published the results of a study of how sexual frequency corresponds with happiness.
As has been well documented with income, the happiness linked with having more sex can rise or fall depending on how individuals believe they measure up to their peers, Wadsworth found.
His paper, “Sex and the Pursuit of Happiness: How Other People’s Sex Lives are Related to Our Sense of Well-Being,” was published in the February edition of Social Indicators Research.
Using national survey data and statistical analyses, Wadsworth found that people reported steadily higher levels of happiness as they reported steadily higher sexual frequency. But he also found that even after controlling for their own sexual frequency, people who believed they were having less sex than their peers were unhappier than those who believed they were having as much or more than their peers.
“There’s an overall increase in sense of well-being that comes with engaging in sex more frequently, but there’s also this relative aspect to it,” he said. “Having more sex makes us happy, but thinking that we are having more sex than other people makes us even happier.
There are plenty of architects these days who are doing their best to design buildings that are energy efficient and utilize green technology. And then there’s Allison Dring and Daniel Schwaag of the Berlin-based firm Elegant Embellishments.
For Torre de Especialidades, a hospital with a new tower currently under construction in Mexico City, the duo has developed a tile called proSolve370e, which will cover the façade of the building. The tile’s shape and chemical coating will help neutralize the chemicals present in the city’s smog.
In Lima, Peru, many people suffer from the lack of potable water due to polluted wells and a lack of rain. Thankfully the wonderful people over at Mayo DraftFCB and UTEC realized they could use the atmospheric humidity to help solve for this problem. The team found out that the atmospheric humidity of the area is 98%, so they were able to use this to create a billboard that can capture the humidity and convert it into purified drinking water by a process of ‘reverse-osmosis’.