Inverse Daily

James Bond spy tech from Die Another Day is now real

Plus: 3 big findings from the UN climate report.

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Hello and welcome to the Wednesday edition of Inverse Daily, the newsletter that shares essential, occasionally mind-blowing stories of science and technology. The terrible James Bond joke at the top of this daily dispatch is fully explained below.

I’m Nick Lucchesi, editor-in-chief at Inverse. (Thanks for reading.) As always, please scroll to the bottom of this daily update to see who is marking a birthday today and see our science-ish song of the day.

This is an adapted version of the Inverse Daily newsletter for Wednesday, August 11, 2021. Subscribe for free and earn rewards for reading every day in your inbox. ✉️

The Lunar Orbiter 1 satellite took the first two pictures of the Earth ever from the distance of the Moon.NASA

One “ingenious” invention Jon Kelvey reports on the history made 55 years ago this week. Launched August 10, 1966, Lunar Orbiter 1 was a mission that would set the mold for future planetary science missions thanks to an ingenious piece of tech:

While Lunar Orbiter 1 was in many ways eclipsed by the later crewed Apollo missions, the orbiter — and the four subsequent Lunar Orbiter missions — were essential to Apollo’s success. And along the way they took some of the first space images to take the public’s breath away, setting the standard by which scientists would conduct robotic planetary science in subsequent decades.

Read the full story.

More NASA history:

MAYBAYBUTTER/E+/Getty Images

UN climate report: 3 big findings There’s no use sugarcoating it. The IPCC climate change report findings are urgently dire, writes Tara Yarlagadda. They spell bad news for the frequency of extreme weather events — and their devastating effect on humans — now and in the months and years ahead:

The behemoth report surfaces dozens of data points about human-caused climate change, ranging from the loss of ice sheets in Antarctica to increasingly large cyclones on the East Coast of the United States. Scientists from more than 60 countries reviewed more than 14,000 peer-reviewed studies in collecting their findings.

With so much information, it’s easy to become overwhelmed, but a few key facts stand out you should know.

Read the full story.

Go deeper:

The invisible Aston Martin in Die Another Day. MGM (Youtube link)

Mind-bending James Bond tech Sarah Wells reports researchers from South Korea have designed a new robot skin capable of camouflaging like a chameleon:

Invisibility has been a long-sought-after human dream. Why suffer through a painful dinner party when you could quite literally blend into the upholstery?

This vanishing trick is something that the animal kingdom, including chameleons and cuttlefish, have already mastered. However, developing the technology to pull off the same feat for humans has been much more challenging. That could soon be changing, though, thanks to a new camouflaging technology developed by material scientists in South Korea.

This technology could transform everything from stealthy military tech to disappearing buildings. What you see isn’t always as it seems.

Read the full story.

Related stories:

zhihao/Moment/Getty Images

A South Korean toilet will pay for what?Sarah Wells reports engineers in South Korea have designed an eco-friendly toilet that transforms solid waste into biogas that can be used to power the home:

It’s an activity that has many names — “launching a torpedo,” “laying a brick,” or simply “sitting on the throne.”

No matter what you call it, sitting down to relieve yourself on the toilet is generally an activity with little fanfare or benefit, aside from helping your colon dispose of waste. Honestly, it’s downright boring.

But that could all be changing with the invention of a power-harvesting and virtual currency-generating toilet from the mind of South Korean environmental engineer Jaeweon Cho.

Cho and his students at the Ulsan National Institute of Science and Technology have been developing this toilet since 2016 as part of the institute’s “Science Walden” program. They have recently released new videos and images of the waste munching toilet at work.

Read the full story.

Thor actor Chris Hemsworth marks a birthday today.Paul Bruinooge/Patrick McMullan/Getty Images
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  • Before we go: Chris Hemsworth (38; pictured above), Viola Davis (56), Joe Rogan (54), Steve Wozniak (71), and Hulk Hogan (68) were born on this day.

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