As Black Lives Matter protests overflowed in 2020, researchers were asking a crucial question: Is there a difference in how Black and white police officers behave? A new study uses data to find the answer. But first, today a small bet by NASA played big dividends.
The Near Earth Asteroid Rendezvous, also know as NEAR Shoemaker probe, launched in 1996 with the goal of studying minor planet 433 Eros, the first discovered near Earth asteroid and the second largest. After years of successful research, on February 12, 2001, the team planned to let the Shoemaker probe come to its rest and gently landed it on the surface.
But Shoemaker did something that surprised everyone: It kept working without any landing gear. Andrew Cheng, a project scientist, said it “was like watching Michael Jordan on the basketball court, when the game is on the line and he is in the groove. One miracle after another unfolds, and we are left stunned and speechless. When we learned that the spacecraft had not only landed on the surface but was still operational, we hardly knew what to think.”
Shoemaker marked the first time America had successfully landed on a celestial body first.
Inverse Daily will be taking Monday, February 15 off. We'll be back on Tuesday, which gives you an extra day to answer our question of the week: What's your favorite fictional couple? Love, as comic author Tom King recently mentioned in his Inverse interview, is a powerful driver in stories. Leia and Han, Korra and Asami, Wanda and Vision. Love is a battlefield, and we want to hear which fictional couple has you picking up arms.
Age is just a number — This baby galaxy debunks a long-held theory about the universe
It's hard to imagine that galaxies are really, truly alive. They're too big to really comprehend, containing masses of gas, dust, black holes, stars, and all the myriad worlds in orbit around those fiery orbs. It takes a lot time for a galaxy to truly blossom into a fully developed celestial being, like our own 13.5-billion-year-old Milky Way. But they do grow.
A recent discovery of a young galaxy defies what scientists thought they knew about galaxy formation, suggesting we need to rethink exactly how these cosmic beings form and age. Essentially, like a teenager trying to use their older brother's ID to talk their way into the club, it appears to be far more mature than its true age.
What they're saying: “This galaxy looks like a grown adult, but it should be just a little child.” —Federico Lelli, a researcher at Cardiff University's School of Physics and Astronomy and lead author of the new study.
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Taking Cara Business — Gina Carano: 14 ways The Mandalorian Season 3 can replace Cara Dune
Well, it finally happened. After months of The Mandalorian actor Gina Carano mocking trans people, questioning the validity of the election, and discouraging the use of face masks in a global pandemic, a post comparing being a conservative to being a victim of a genocide was enough for Disney to cut ties with the actor behind Cara Dune.
Inverse's Dais Johnston take a look at how the blockbuster franchise can move forward from here without losing a single laser blast along the way.
What they're saying: “This is the way.” —You, hopefully, after reading our suggestions for The Mandalorian.
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Bitcoin! Has ever a word inspired as much confusion as it has fortune? The cryptocurrency is back on the tips of the financial world's tongue thanks to some splashy endorsements from Tesla and Mastercard.
This renaissance places crypto back in competition with cash and gold assets, which are regulated and minted by governments and generally considered stable. Cryptocurrency, meanwhile, is mined using computer code. Without the same government oversight, the value of this currency skyrockets the more people invest in it.
Today, one Bitcoin is worth over $47,000. Perhaps no businessman is as enthusiastic about investing in Bitcoin as Michael Saylor, CEO and co-founder of the business intelligence company MicroStrategy. Now, the multimillionaire is bringing other entrepreneurs like Elon Musk into the Bitcoin fold.
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Coming soon ...
Fighting climate change sounds great, right? But where many people blanch is the tremendous amount it will cost. Overhauling our infrastructure for comprehensive change is no small thing. But, coming soon on Inverse, a new study shows how getting America to net-zero carbon emissions by 2050 could be cheaper than ever.
Chow time — 5 foods that boost brain function
Everybody loves food. But which food is loving you back? Food can affect just about everything in our lives, from our attitudes to our physical strength to our cognitive abilities.
In a 2018 study, older adults who consumed a median of 1.3 servings of leafy greens per day slowed their rate of cognitive decline by the equivalent of 11 years. And that's just one of the examples.
What they're saying: “A confluence of lifestyle factors likely are responsible for better brain health, and this reserve might prevent or delay cognitive problems that can develop later in life.” —James T. Becker, Ph.D., professor of psychiatry, Pitt School of Medicine, talking about one of the foods mentioned within.
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The Black Lives Matter protests, as well as calls to defund the police, were driven in 2020 by the murder of George Floyd and many others, from Breonna Taylor to Laquan McDonald. McDonald was killed in 2014 by a Chicago police officer, and the city has been reeling ever since.
A team of researchers combed over a massive trove of Chicago Police Department data from a three-year period and came to a definitive conclusion: Black and white police officers, when facing similar situations, do their jobs differently. The same also applies to Hispanic officers, as well as splitting the line between men and women.
What they're saying: “They’re quite substantial.” —Roman Rivera, a Ph.D. student in economics at Columbia University, on the size of differences between Black and white officers.
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- Black Birders Week responds to racism with a celebration of Black naturalists
- Better urban biodiversity can't happen without fighting racism — study
And if you're looking for more, check out our recommendations for 11 great sci-fi movies on Netflix.
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