Inverse Daily

A look back at SpaceX explosions

You can't get to Mars without a few fiery kabooms, it seems.


If you've ever spoken Simlish, built a room without any doors, or suddenly removed the ladder from a swimming pool, today's anniversary is for you. Today, in the year 2000, The Sims debuted. Will Wright, who had already changed many perceptions of computer games with 1989's SimCity, had been fascinated with the idea of building a “virtual dollhouse” ever since his own house had burned down in a 1991 fire.

While he was first called “out of his mind” for designing a game that girls might like, Wright was ultimately proven correct in a major way. The Sims became one of the bestselling franchises of all time, with over 200 million sold.

Our question of the week: It's pretty cold on the East Coast these days, cold enough to make one wish for an entirely climate-controlled habitat in space. Would you live in a city on Mars? For the sake of the question, this city can look like whatever you want: aboveground, underground, domed, or terraformed. But would you make the big jump? Respond on our Google form and we'll publish our favorite answers next week!

This is an adapted version of the Inverse Daily newsletter for February 4, 2021. Subscribe for free and earn rewards for reading every day in your inbox.

Look again — After 18 years, scientists unwrap an ancient Egyptian mummy's true identity

Ancient Egyptian culture has long held a fascination in Western civilization. From the Victorian Egyptomania craze in the 19th century to King Tut selling out American museums in his 1970s tour, there's always been a desire to learn more about this once-dominant empire.

That desire partially explains why, almost two decades after archaeologists first began investigating a 3,100-year-old ancient Egyptian mummy, Australian archaeologists returned to the body armed with new technology to take a closer look.

What they found contradicts all previous assumptions made about the mummy's sex. But as the researchers detail in a new study published Wednesday in the journal PLOS ONE, the analysis also provides unprecedented insight into this ancient Egyptian's life using an unusual measure: the mud which was packed around their mummified remains by ancient embalmers in preparation for the afterlife.

What they're saying: “The mud shell encasing the body of a mummified woman within the textile wrappings is a new addition to our understanding of ancient Egyptian mummification,” —Karin Sowada, research fellow at Macquarie University.

How our understanding of Ancient Egypt is changing

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Big stuff — F-150 Raptor: A futuristic archetype for the American pickup

Once an afterthought due to the consistency of its bestsellers, the American truck market has become a hotbed of competition these days. There's the Cybertruck, of course, and electric competition like the Rivian. These newer companies are all locked on one goal: dethroning the mighty Ford F-150, which has been America's bestselling vehicle since 1981.

On Wednesday, February 3, Ford revealed the new F-150 Raptor. If you know the F-150, you know it’s the quintessential American pickup. And in addition to the ultra-lux and ultra-hard-working F-150s sold by the trainload every year, the Raptor also has the sports performance go-go-go flavor.

Within, Inverse shows you everything you need to know about the F-150 Raptor, complete with interviews.

What they're saying: “It's one continuous graphic that's more like a rectangle, and we wanted to capture that.” —Tom Liu, Raptor exterior designer, on the F-150 Raptor's body owing an influence to Baja racing, to Inverse.

Specs, special features, and everything else you need on the F-150 Raptor

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Coming soon ...

If you’re looking to give your TV show a big, metaphysical question, a good one to ask is: “What is reality?” That’s the question that underlies the new Amazon Prime movie Bliss, starring a packed cast featuring Owen Wilson and Salma Hayek along with Bill Nye (yes, that Bill Nye). The two make their way through the world unsure of exactly what is going on. A puzzle on top of reality, or two realities colliding with each other, the show could very well be your next streaming binge.

Coming soon, on Inverse, an interview with Bliss director Mike Cahill alongside our review.

Monkeying around — Primate study finds a scandalous similarity to humans

We're really not so different from our fellow primates. Chimps, after all, share 98.8 percent similar DNA. With that familiarity, they have grown to be more like us. From their ability to forge social bonds to understanding video games, primates and humans are perhaps more alike than we realize. New research shows we can add one more slightly scandalous similarity to the list.

Primates eavesdrop! And they make snap judgments! Yes, really. It's not just you, Karen.

In research published in the journal Science Advances, scientists reveal marmosets are able to eavesdrop on and evaluate the conversations of other monkeys, expressing an affinity for cooperative individuals over non-cooperative monkeys.

What they're saying: “The crucial difference to previous studies on social evaluation in different animals is that in our experiment, we did not use human actors,” —Rahel Brügger, a researcher in the anthropology department at the University of Zurich, to Inverse.

How other primates read the room

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Hard landing — A brief history of SpaceX crashes

"Space is hard," is a quote you may have seen in the Daily before. An old saying in the space industry, it states the obvious: Sending rockets back and forth from the Earth to space is an ongoing challenge. And sometimes, things explode during those challenges.

While, crucially, no one has died during a SpaceX mission, the company has still had its share of setbacks that run parallel to its stunning successes. Here is a partial history of those setbacks, looking at SpaceX's most dramatic crashes.

What they're saying: “Mars, here we come!” —Elon Musk, SpaceX CEO, after a recent explosion.

Every journey to Mars has a few explosions on the way

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And if you're looking for more, make sure to check out the one Marvel movie you need to watch before WandaVision. No, it's not the one you think, and yes, you do need to check this show out.

Thank you for reading! Follow me on Twitter if you want, where I tweet too much.

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