Microbeads, those wee bits of plastic that exfoliate your scalp but also do exactly what you think they’d do when you unload buckets of synthetic, non-degradable pellets into an aquatic ecosystem, an intricate network of fish and salamanders and bugs that just want to eat and fuck and breathe without mistaking tiny toxic beauty products for food (because, though nature is beautiful and cutthroat it isn’t, per se, intelligent), are now verboten in the United States. On Monday President Obama signed a bipartisan bill that bans any bead less than 5 millimeters in diameter from toothpastes, gels, and any other cosmetic or cleansing product. Good riddance to bad rubbish.

This has been a long time coming. A September study in Environmental Science & Technology estimated that America was adding 8 trillion microbeads a damn day to lakes, rivers, and the oceans. Statewide bans, like California’s new October legislation, had predated the federal kibosh; Canada outlawed microbeads in July.

If you really need to give that undercarriage the old nano-rub, dermatologists suggest greener options like ground seashells or sugar, which can scrape off whatever weird growth you have but won’t accumulate in the guts of a largemouth bass.

Before you get too engorged with victory over this shitty pharmaceutical aisle product, however, let us remind you that triclosan — an antimicrobial found in common liquid hand soaps — is linked to the rise of antibiotic-resistant bacteria in waterways but remains legal in most U.S. states. If Minnesota can ban triclosan, so can the rest of us.

Photos via Flickr.com/Melly Kay

SpaceX is gearing up to send humans into space for the first time. On Monday, CEO Elon Musk confirmed a report that claimed NASA estimates the firm will be ready for people-carrying space adventures as early as April of next year. While a good sign for the company’s Mars mission, a successful human test flight would also enable a new method of sending people to the International Space Station.

Conspiracy theorists of Brisbane caught a glimpse of the unexplainable on Tuesday morning when a mysterious hole opened up in the cotton-ball clouds blanketing the city. Australian Twitter responded predictably, calling the hole a “portal” for UFOs. There’s no denying that the oblong gap seemed wide enough for aliens to step through, but as atmospheric scientist David A. Kristovich, Ph.D., explains to Inverse, it merely marks the footprint of falling ice.

When you imagine an Egyptian mummy, you probably picture the embalmed body of a pharaoh, carefully wound in long strips of linen and laid in an ornate sarcophagus. But the mummies of an earlier age weren’t laid to rest in such decadence, suggesting to the scientists who found their bodies in shallow pits that they were preserved by chance, sand, and air. This “natural preservation” theory, however, might be laid to rest by a study published Thursday in the Journal of Archeological Science. Prehistoric Egyptian mummies, the authors say, were also treated with care.

In modern society, you can be lazy and not face much consequence. Don’t want to cook? Order Seamless. Don’t want to move? Call a Lyft. But according to a controversial new study, the same could not be said for Homo erectus, an ancient relative of our species. In the study, scientists claim that H. erectus went extinct because it existed in a constant state of meh.

In recent years, we’ve learned that sea level rise will put coastal cities at risk of greater flooding due to storm surges and at risk of flooding without storms. But new research suggests that sea level rise could also increase the danger of tsunami hazards in those cities, even if they were typically immune from the catastrophic waves in the past. One of these cities is Macau, the Las Vegas of Asia, which stands to lose its world-renowned luxury hotels and casinos if climate change continues at its current pace.