Dear reader, we write this to you from the rapidly chilling environs of Brooklyn, where the leaves are turning to gold and our eyes are turning to all the books we are stockpiling to get us through the winter months. (Yes, we briefly thought of saying “turning our eyes to page-turners,” but that felt like a bit much.) Some of these titles touch on the influence of sci-fi on NASA, others illustrate life in Canada’s oil sands. All of them go down smooth with a pumpkin spice latte—if you’re into that sort of thing. Also, don’t worry: If you’re in the southern hemisphere and your spring is just getting started, these books are just as fun in the warmer months. Enjoy!
Editor’s Note: Read more, see link below for original item…
To be online is to be constantly exposed. While it may seem normal, it’s a level of exposure we’ve never dealt with before as human beings. We’re posting on Twitter, and people we’ve never met are responding with their thoughts and criticisms. People are looking at your latest Instagram selfie. They’re literally swiping on your face. Messages are piling up. It can sometimes feel like the whole world has its eyes on you.
Being observed by so many people appears to have significant psychological effects. There are, of course, good things about this ability to connect with others. It was crucial during the height of the pandemic when we couldn’t be close to our loved ones, for example. However, experts say there are also numerous downsides, and these may be more complex and persistent than we realize.
Studies have found that high levels of social media use are connected with an increased risk of symptoms of anxiety and depression. There appears to be substantial evidence connecting people’s mental health and their online habits. Furthermore, many psychologists believe people may be dealing with psychological effects that are pervasive but not always obvious.
The best theory physicists have for the birth of the universe makes no sense.
It goes like this: In the beginning—the very, if not quite veriest, beginning—there’s something called quantum foam. It’s barely there, and can’t even be said to occupy space, because there’s no such thing as space yet.
Or time. So even though it’s seething, bubbling, fluctuating, as foam tends to do, it’s not doing so in any kind of this-before-that temporal order.
It just is, all at once, indeterminate and undisturbed. Until it isn’t.
Something goes pop in precisely the right way, and out of that infinitesimally small pocket of instability, the entire universe bangs bigly into being. Instantly. Like, at a whoosh far exceeding the speed of light.
While humans have been struggling to control the Covid-19 pandemic, baking in record heat, and trying to figure out how not to run out of water, our spacecraft on Mars have been enjoying a rather more tranquil existence.
(Not needing to breathe helps.) Parked on the Martian surface, the InSight lander is listening for marsquakes, while the Perseverance rover is rolling around in search of life.
This week, scientists are dropping an Olympus Mons of findings from the two brave robots. In three papers published today in the journal Science—each authored by dozens of scientists from around the world—researchers detail the clever ways they used InSight’s seismometer to peer deep into the Red Planet, giving them an unprecedented understanding of its crust, mantle, and core.
It’s the first time scientists have mapped the interior of a planet other than Earth. And yesterday, another group of scientists held a press conference to announce early research results from Perseverance, and the next steps the rover will take to explore the surface of Jezero Crater, once a lake that could have been home to ancient microbial life.