Inverse Daily

Veterans Day, Mars, and a startling Covid-19 data set

NASA is now ready to undertake its Mars Sample Return campaign.

NASA/JPL-Caltech

On this Veterans Day here in the United States, we wish peace to anyone anywhere who lost a loved one in combat.

I'm Nick Lucchesi, and this is Inverse Daily.

Before we get started: A few vintage links of the day from the Inverse archives on this Veterans Day:

If you haven't already, check out Musk Reads+, a new premium Substack newsletter with exclusive content on all things Elon Musk.

Our question of the week is inspired by the latest Spider-Man game (check out our review!): What superhero do you think needs more, or better, video game representation? Everyone's on the table, from the most obscure DC Universe character (Matter-Eating Lad, anyone?) to Superman. Send us an email at newsletter@inverse.com with your response!

This is an adapted version of the Inverse Daily newsletter for November 11, 2020. Subscribe for free and earn rewards for reading every day in your inbox.

Today on The Abstract — Facing your fears with science

A number of common myths about creepy creatures like snakes and spiders are misleading. Despite all the infamy of funnel-webs, they’re actually more afraid of you — and their venomous superpowers are nothing more than the result of a happy evolutionary accident.

Even though their presence can instantaneously leave many grown adults frozen in fear, snakes remain hopelessly misunderstood outcasts among their animal kingdom peers. While it’s highly unlikely you’ll ever come into contact with deadly snakes or spiders in modern-day life, you can still use the cold, hard scientific truths about them to face your fears — and it may even be good for you.

In this episode of The Abstract, we reveal the truth about some of nature’s most feared creatures.

Listen & subscribe:

Apple

Spotify

Stitcher

The Crew Dragon capsule atop the Falcon 9 rocket.SpaceX

Crew Love — SpaceX Crew Dragon: Images show capsule ahead of launch

Crew Dragon, SpaceX's human-carrying capsule, is about to take on its biggest challenge yet, reports Inverse staff writer Mike Brown.

On Monday, the company shared four images via Twitter of its capsule preparing for a crewed launch scheduled for Saturday. The "Crew-1" mission, scheduled for 7:49 p.m. Eastern time, will be the first non-test crewed flight of SpaceX's capsule and the first time that four people have flown in the capsule together.

New images show the capsule ready for action.

More like this:

The Mars Sample Return mission will be a first-of-its-kind attempt.NASA

Dirty Deeds — NASA has the go-ahead for a Mars Sample Return mission

In 100 days, NASA's Perseverance rover will land on the Martian surface and begin its mission on the Red Planet, reports Passant Rabie. While roaming Mars, the robotic explorer will collect samples of rock and set them aside for a future return to Earth. The Mars Sample Return mission is a first-of-its-kind attempt to collect physical samples from another planet and examine them in a laboratory down here on Earth.

As challenging as it sounds, NASA just got the “go-ahead” from an independent review board that confirmed the space agency is in fact ready to take on this unprecedented task — but not on their original timeline.

Here's how they plan on doing it

Go deeper:

Stacks on stacks — This quirky sport has surprising drama.

Cup stacking dates back to the 1980s when Wayne Godinet, a director of a Boys and Girls Club in Oceanside, California, first started stacking Dixie cups at record speeds. Godinet’s hobby soon caught the eye of Bob Fox, a PE teacher in Colorado who saw one of Godinet’s tournaments and brought the sport back to his own state.

At the time, Larry Goers had a daughter in Fox’s class. He tells Inverse that he saw the sport take off in the school and has since poured his own expertise — Goers is an engineer — into refining the strange hobby into an elite sport. Emma Beteul's full story will make you rethink the whole thing.

Stack up on it here →

Read more from the library of Not Sports:

Here's the shinny — This runner's bane could be a thing of the past.

They might start as a dull ache on mile two of the morning jog or erupt as a spasm of pain when you lunge to return your opponent's serve — with every step you take, you feel the ground strike back with equal force. Shin splints are a well-known, universally unwelcome reality for amateur and professional athletes alike.

This aching pain commonly appears during exercise and is caused by stress on your tibia (aka shin) bone and surrounding muscle, writes Sarah Wells. New research proposes taking an innovative and practical approach to measuring this internal stress that could help runners better monitor and even prevent shin splints.

Read about this new research →

More like this:

It's a pandemic — Here are 4 superspreader sites to avoid this winter.

In recent history, no other global event has transformed our daily movements like Covid-19. To limit the coronavirus's insidious spread, people have been advised to stay home, social distance, and, at times, lockdown.

To show how these mobility shifts influence disease transmission, scientists have released a far-reaching, yet detailed set of data maps. They show how 98 million Americans in 10 of the nation's largest metro areas moved through half a million different establishments — from bodegas to wine bars to shopping malls. This story from Ali Pattillo is vital reading before the holidays.

Here are the four places to avoid →

Go deeper:

Thanks for reading this edition of Inverse Daily. Follow me on Twitter @nicklucchesi, where I retweet the best of Inverse every day.

I'll leave you with this reading of "In Flanders Fields," by Lieutenant Colonel John McCrae, as read by Leonard Cohen. McCrae was a Canadian who served in the South African War and World War I. The poem was first published in December 1915 and rapidly came to represent the sacrifices made by British soldiers in World War I. Today in the UK is Remembrance Day, which marks the ending of WWI on November 11, 1918.

Share: