Ways for the World to End

Will it be enveloped in trash, or demolished by asteroids?

Meteor Crater

U.S. Geological Survey

Plus, in today's links: Filming the immune system, storing memories and more.

  • The good news: a proposal to implant microchips in some HIV-positive people is likely NOT to pass in Indonesia. The bad news: somebody dreamed up the idea and it got this far.
  • I think we've all by now seen too many instances of bodily functions dramatized on film -- think the rushing blood in Requiem for a Dream. My first reaction to reading that scientists have filmed a parasitic infection spreading through a body was, haven't we seen that already? But it sounds pretty neat -- if only there was a link to the video.
  • Speaking of movies, if Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind creeped you out, findings that suggest memories are stored by changes to DNA may give you the willies, too.
  • This story about the world's monstrously large garbage dumps may make you take up using a handkerchief, just to decrease your own output by at least a few boxes of Kleenex. Fun fact: two huge landfills in Michigan are called Carleton Farms and Pine Tree Acres. Ha!
  • And in case you need any more thoughts of planetary disasters to keep you up at night, space experts say we need a scientific and political consensus on a plan for preventing asteroids from hitting the earth. Perhaps we could set up a system that will direct any incoming disasters right toward one of those garbage dumps, taking care of two problems at once.