All too often, our flesh cocoons can feel like vessels of anxiety and existential dread. But take heart, because new research confirms what science popularisers like Carl Sagan have said all along: Humans truly are made of "star stuff" — and we have maps to prove it.
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It's not the fault of Hollywood or Netflix or even the internet. Or, well, it's not all their fault. We're to blame for encouraging all these nostalgic re-releases and poorly re-hashed versions of things from our childhood, too. 8-Bit Philosophy delves into our need for nostalgia and cites philosopher Svetlana Boyn, who has said that nostalgia has historically coincided with revolution.
Video: Humanity gets served up a nice slice of humble pie in this NPR video that lays out the history of our planet on a football field. Even in a giant stadium, every inch represents an incredible 1.3 million years - that's around 511,000 years for every centimetre. Which means that humans, who walk around like they own the place, only show up about a third of a centimetre from the end zone.
Video: Watching seven levels of humans stack themselves on top of each other is obviously a little bit absurd but it's also pretty damn impressive. They're 12m in the air and the only thing preventing the humans on top from smashing the humans on the bottom is, like, some hand holding. I don't particularly like those odds on paper, but after watching the time lapse it's incredible how sturdy the human tower looks.
Video: It's an age old question that we love to entertain because we're all obsessed with our own mortality and the future of the world: what would happen to the world if humans disappeared? With enough time, the Earth would be able to reset itself and erase any trace of our existence. Mind Warehouse goes deep into answering it by detailing the progression of what would happen when.
To cap off their freshman year at the Naval Academy, hundreds of plebes try to scale the greased down Herndon Monument to replace the hat on top of the 6.40m tall obelisk. It's a fun tradition that teaches teamwork and caps off a hard year — but it looks oh so ridiculous to see so many shirtless human bodies recklessly piled on top of each other, like some sort of zombie horde trying to jump a barrier.
Simone Missick discusses what sets Luke Cage apart from the other Marvel Netflix shows. Robert Downey Jr. returns to Sherlock Holmes. The BBC teases the arrival of Doctor Who's new companion. Plus, new Humans season two casting, new Game of Thrones pictures and petrifying Alice Through the Looking Glass posters. Spoilers!
Summer 2015 marked the failed American odyssey of hitchBOT, the hitchhiking humanoid built for motorists to tote from Salem, Massachusetts, to San Francisco. It got as far as Philly before being torn limb from limb. But in Canada, where people are infinitely friendlier toward roadside robots, the original hitchBOT — which did manage to thumb it cross-country — will be enshrined in a national museum.
A year in space is nothing — to study the isolation that astronauts might experience, scientists first lived in caves for months at a time, isolated from all environmental cues. No offence to Commander Scott Kelly, I'm sure zero-gravity life is hard. But the caves seem much worse.
Video: ASAP Science attempts to explain what life and humans would be like 1000 years in the future. Nanobots would help us limit human weaknesses, buildings would be able to disassemble and reassemble like Transformers, the number of languages would decrease, our skin would get darker, we'd be able to artificially select desirable traits, and so much more. The future is going to be crazy.
It's hard not to feel slightly superior when you belong to the only human species on the planet. Behind us there is a long track of extinct relatives that did not make it to our days. The Neanderthals in Europe went extinct some 40,000 years ago, just as we got there — leading us to believe we forced them out by being so much more advanced.
A group of humans put one of its humans in a crazy, covered bike. That human broke a world speed record for a human-powered vehicle. Aaaand now I feel even more like a motionless fat-accumulating sloth.
Over in the US, McDonald's new Create Your Taste menu lets you make your own completely customisable and *gasp* delicious looking, gourmet McDonald's burgers. The set up is simple: you hop on a kiosk and select whatever toppings you like on a burger and Maccas will whip it up for you with better ingredients. But that's not fun! Fun is using that kiosk to make the biggest and most ridiculous burger monstrosity that's possible. This is it.