As is the case every four years, only a lucky few will be able to see the summer Olympics live and in-person. The rest of us peasants will settle for watching and streaming the games from our homes. But if you want something that feels a little grander, maybe even cosmic, NASA has just released a series of satellite photos depicting past Olympic host cities from space. The earliest comes from 1997 and shows Atlanta, and the series goes all the way up to London 2012.
Researchers can figure out who was the Flava Flav of ancient Mesoamerica by checking out skeletons' teeth. Dentists who lived up to 2500 years ago (who actually sound like they might be more talented than many tooth jockeys I've ever gone to) used to do an early version of grills -- drilling into teeth and implanting gems like jade. Be sure to check out the picture of a skull decorated in this way.
Also in today's links: baby flamingos never see the light of day, an EPA manhunt gets underway and more.
While the streets of Mexico City once again host the packed crowds, dense traffic, and general activity familiar to capitolinos before the outbreak of swine flu, other cities have now moved to stop the spread of the disease.
Here in New York City, a school assistant principal who contracted the flu died from complications related to the disease. However, even though Mitchell Wiener had an existing condition that contributed significantly to his death, 11 New York City schools remain closed.
What makes us happy? There's no simple answer (sorry), though this 70-year-long longitudinal study on well-being offers some fascinating insight. Humility helps, so do our reactions to life's woes, and "the only thing that really matters in life are your relationships to other people."
Also in today's links: customer-unfriendly shopping innovations, it pays to be tall, and more.
The findings of a recent mice study suggest that smoking reduces allergic reactions by inhibiting mast cell activity. This, of course, begs the question, Was tobacco giant Altria in on this?
Also in today's links: thoughts of money, and "you Neanderthal" is no longer a putdown.
On Tuesday, a Hubble astronaut posted on the micro-blogging site from the great beyond. Stay tuned -- @Astro_Mike likes to update. Coming soon, we hope, @PopSci goes to space.
Also in today's links: robots ask for help and make art, spacing out is good for you, and more.
Behold Huia cavitympanum: the only frog species that can communicate through ultrasonic calls too high-pitched for humans to hear. Two scientists made the discovery by camping out with recording devices in the frog's native island of Borneo. Bonus points go to the guy who was "bitten by leeches and woke up several mornings soaked in blood."
Also in today's links: a reason to switch up your music, what to do with too many chicken feathers, and more.
An FBI agent who posed as a cybercriminal named for a Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles character talks about how he helped bring down a worldwide network of identity thieves, got a rep as a most-wanted spammer without having to spam, and dealt with all the egos in the world of Internet thugs.
Also in today's links: swimming in chemicals, rescuing frogs and more.
There has been one beneficiary of flu madness: the elbow. Handily bendy, usefully pointy, the joint is seeing its moment in the sun. Rubbing elbows together in greeting has been suggested as a way to avoid spreading infection, but if that doesn't work for you, here are some other options.
Also in today's links: ringtones for cars, a beetle that better be funny, and more.