BARCELONA, SPAIN - JUNE 29: Tesla CEO Elon Musk gives a keynote speech via video conference at the M...

Inverse Daily

Happy birthday, Mr. Technoking

Plus: What initially started to kill off the dinosaurs.

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While I wonder just how hardcore post-Soviet the Black Widow movie is going to look, let’s get caught up on the latest science and innovation stories we’ve been working on at Inverse. I’m Nick Lucchesi, editor-in-chief here, and it’s already the last day of June. (Sigh.)

Among the original reporting in this daily dispatch: Dinosaurs were well on the way out before the asteroid hit, what we still don’t know about UFOs could fill a spaceship, and A.I. can accurately anticipate your taste in art (we’re so predictable). Finally, we run down the discoveries made during the 50th human year of Elon Musk, a self-proclaimed Technoking. (We’re never going to let that one go.)

What’s in your headphones — If you were moved to listen to outer space-themed music over the weekend, you weren’t alone. That’s according to information provided to Inverse from Spotify. The streaming giant says its playlist “Let’s See Them Aliens” saw listenership increase by 90 percent this month. Here are more stats: listens of NASA-related playlists jumped by 470 percent and listens of alien-related playlists jumped by more than 80 percent in late May — when chatter about the then-unreleased Pentagon UFO report was everywhere.

Seizing the opportunity, Spotify opted to create its own alien playlist, which we’re happy to exclusively share with you first: the cl0se ënc0ūnteRs playlist. Its mix of Top 40 and genre classics creates a playlist where the whole is certainly greater than the sum of its parts. (My teenage self would’ve listened to “I Turned Into a Martian” by the Misfits. A bit on the nose, but a great song.)

Programming note — There will be no Inverse Daily on Friday, July 2 and Monday, July 5. Instead, we will deliver Sunday Scaries on Monday, July 5, because it’s going to feel like a Sunday for anyone who has the day off on Monday.

Mailbag — Which of these items would you put in your apocalypse bag? A Leatherman-style multitool, a self-winding watch, or a Pulaski axe? Answer this question and more in our annual apocalypse survey. Take the anonymous survey here. We’ve had more than 900 respondents so far! We will publish the results later this summer in a special guide.

This is an adapted version of the Inverse Daily newsletter for June 30, 2021. Subscribe for free and earn rewards for reading every day in your inbox.

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UFO Pentagon report: 3 questions remain The anticipated UFO Pentagon report was released last week and left a lot to be desired. For instance, it didn't address the extraterrestrial theory. Passant Rabie explores what’s next:

Shortly after the release of the Pentagon report on the unidentified aerial phenomenon (UAP) on Friday, one user took to UFO Reddit to proclaim, “How the hell does the government make aliens boring?”

The nine-page declassified report discussed 144 incidents of UAP sightings, only one of which was resolved. But many were left wanting more after its much-anticipated release, with the obvious complaint that the report did not include extraterrestrial activity.

“We are pretty much right where we started,” one academic tells Inverse.

Read the full story.

Go deeper:

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Scientists propose a new theory for what killed the dinosaurs Scientists discover that dinosaurs began declining 76 million years ago, well before the asteroid impact. Ancient climate change may have played a role, reports Tara Yarlagadda:

Reports published earlier this year questioned the idea that dinosaurs declined due to a two-punch asteroid impact, finding that one of the smaller asteroids actually emerged later than the bigger asteroid. This bigger asteroid is known by the name of its impact crater, Chicxulub.

A new study takes it a step further, debunking the commonly held belief that asteroids primarily caused the dinosaur extinction.

The asteroid may have been a death knell, but dinosaurs were on their way out long before Chicxulub made an appearance on the Yucatán Peninsula in Mexico, the study suggests.

Read the full story.

Go deeper:

Mark Rothko's (1903-1970) The Seagram Murals: “Red on Maroon” (1959) oil paint, pigment, and glue on canvas.NurPhoto/NurPhoto/Getty Images

A computer predicts if you prefer Rothko or Monet Scientists from Caltech designed an algorithm that can accurately predict your preference in art without previous artistic training by modeling the human mind. It’s wild. Here’s a snippet of the story from Sarah Wells:

From towering, color-blocked Rothkos to the soft brushstroke of Monet’s landscapes, one’s taste in art seems like a deeply personal choice. What moves you is a purely human reaction.

Or is it?

Read the full story.

Related A.I. ideas:

Tesla CEO Elon Musk gives a keynote speech via video conference at the Mobile World Congress (MWC) fair on June 29, 2021.Jose Colon/Getty Images News/Getty Images

Happy birthday, Mr. Technoking Shocking developments and futuristic cheese farms were just icing on the cake for Elon Musk, who marked his 50th year as a human on Monday, June 28, 2021. Ashley Bardhan has put together a list of the biggest innovations made during Musk’s 50th year.

For Musk’s 50th birthday, Musk Reads+ is returning to 10 of this year’s most shocking, inspiring visions of the future.

See the full countdown here.

Go deeper:

Actress Lizzy Caplan marks a birthday today.Monica Schipper/Getty Images Entertainment/Getty Images
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  • Before we go: Mike Tyson, Michael Phelps, Lena Horne, David Alan Grier, Lizzy Caplan, Vincent D'Onofrio, and José Emilio Pacheco were all born on this day.
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