Discovered: Best photo of the Earth, ever, what technology is doing to young girls, the super-flu isn't so super after-all, party hosts party hardest, eating marine mammals is a thing.
- NASA has outdone itself with this photo of our planet. At least in NASA's opinion. The space agency has declared this photo of Blue Marble 2012 better than original Blue Marble, which appeared as the background of the iPhone. NASA took this from Suomi NPP, the most recently launched satellite, calling the beautiful, crisp 8000x8000 pixel photos the "most amazing high definition image." And it indeed is really pretty and wonderful. But, just to be honest, it took more than one photo to make this beaut. "This composite image uses a number of swaths of the Earth's surface taken on January 4, 2012," says the Flickr page. If that doesn't taint the image for you, feel free to put this puppy on that iPhone 4S background. [NASA]
- What technology is doing to our daughters. Nothing good, according to research out of Stanford, which found that 8-12 year old girls who spend a lot of time on the Internet and the like are unhappy and awkward. "Those who say they spend considerable amounts of time using multimedia describe themselves in ways that suggest they are less happy and less socially comfortable than peers who say they spend less time on screens," explains The New York Times write-up of the report, which surveyed 3,461 girls. Whatever! We lived on the Internet when we were that age and look what it got us: Employed! (On the Internet...) [The New York Times]
- That super-flu isn't so super. Why someone would seek to create a dangerous Contagion-level viral flu is beyond us. But Dr. Yoshihiro Kawaoka, the scientist who did just that, has admitted that his wimpy-flu strain couldn't even kill a ferret. So as not to kill all of Dr. Kawaoka's bad-ass cred, it's worth noting that those publishing the paper still think it should be censored to keep its details out of the wrong hands. Though, if a ferret can handle this flu, America can certainly handle it. [The New York Times]
- Party hosts get drunker than everyone else. Being an incredible hostess ourselves, we can attest to this finding. A college study found that off-campus party hosts, on average, get more wasted than the attendees. Really, it's the only way to handle the stress and responsibilities of soiree-throwing. Also, as the study's author Cynthia Buettner notes, there are benefits to getting drunk within the safety of one's own home. "They know they're not going to drive, they're home and they probably started before everyone arrived," she said. True and true. [Addictive Behavior]
- Eating whales and dolphins is a thing. Flipper, Shamu, and Willy are what's for dinner. We can't imagine eating our friends, but since 1990, people in at least 114 countries have consumed one or more of at least 87 marine mammal species. With so many endangered dolphins and whales, perhaps those feeding on these creatures could substitute with tofu instead? [Wildlife Conservation Society]