Inverse Daily

Testicular tanning: Scientists explain why you should not try this at home

Plus: Could Europa harbor life?

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Being responsible for another living thing can really help you track the time passing. My daughter turned two on Monday, for example — a pandemic baby, now a pandemic toddler. But some things have not changed, and one of them is the lack of science behind exposing your testicles to infrared light to try and boost testosterone.

Welcome to your mid-week. Today do one thing: Vote for Inverse Daily in this year’s Webby Awards. But, of course, our real prize is getting to spend this time with all of you. Now, let’s learn about why you should perhaps not watch Tucker Carlson on Fox News for urological health information.

This is an adapted version of the Inverse Daily newsletter for Tuesday, April 19, 2022. Subscribe for free and learn something new every day.


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Should you tan your balls?

There is no data supporting the idea that scrotum or testicle tanning increases testosterone, a urologist says. Yet a wellness biohack called “testicle tanning” is hot stuff right now — at least according to an unusual guest on Tucker Carlson’s latest special.

Carlson is very concerned about The State Of Men. So much so that he produced a TV special called The End of Men, which aired over the weekend on Fox News. Testosterone levels are dropping, according to the anchor and heir to the Swanson frozen-food fortune. This is why society as we know it is on the verge of collapse, he says.

The answer? Carlson’s recent guest, Andrew McGovern, suggests testicle tanning as a means to increase your testosterone. McGovern has no apparent medical training or expertise. One major issue with this idea: You can’t tan an internal organ.

But there’s more!

Are there aliens?


Europa’s crust may be riddled with pockets of water

Oceans may hide beneath the icy surface of Jupiter's moon Europa, leading to hopes they may host alien life as they do in Arthur C. Clarke's Space Odyssey series. Now, in a new study appearing Tuesday in Nature Communications, researchers suggest these seas may lurk closer to Europa's surface than previously thought, making it easier for missions to discover any potential signs of life there.

Data collected by the Voyager and Galileo spacecraft suggested an ocean of liquid water may hide under an ice shell approximately 20 to 30 kilometers thick.

Scientists investigated the most common surface feature on Europa — nearly symmetrical pairs of ridges, each flanking a shallow trough, which previous research found across the icy moon. These features can reach hundreds of kilometers long. They discovered a similar double ridge about 800 meters long and 2.1 meters high on the ice sheet in northwest Greenland with the same geometry as those seen on the Jovian moon.

“Scientists have been studying double ridges on Europa for more than 20 years, but this was the first time that we were able to watch something similar happen on Earth and actually observe the subsurface processes that led to the formation of the ridges,” study lead author Riley Culberg, a geophysicist at Stanford University, tells Inverse.

Continue reading.

NASA astronaut Jessica Watkins.

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SpaceX and NASA Crew-4: Launch date, crew, mission goals

SpaceX will launch its next mission to the International Space Station (ISS) on April 23. A crew of four astronauts will join Expedition 67 aboard the space station. Of the four, Italian ESA astronaut Samantha Cristoforetti will join the three American NASA astronauts on their journey. Among those astronauts is Jessica Watkins, who will become the first African-American woman to make a long-duration stay on the ISS.

These astronauts will ride aboard the Crew Dragon capsule Freedom, boosted by the much-tested Falcon 9 rocket. Once at the ISS, Expedition 67 will a few months aboard the space station before returning in the fall of 2022.

The Crew-4 astronauts named their Crew Dragon spacecraft Freedom. According to NASA, this is “to celebrate a fundamental human right, and the industry and innovation that emanate from the unencumbered human spirit.” This will be Freedom’s first flight.

Go deeper.

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How to recover from burnout and stop it from happening again, according to psychologists

Burnout is not a personal failing but a response to chronic job stressors. Experts tell Inverse how people can recover from burnout and prevent future burnout.

One of the most common misconceptions about burnout is that “people can overcome burnout while leaving their work situation unchanged,” organizational psychologist Michael Leiter tells Inverse.

You can’t self-care your way out of an unhealthy situation created by a workplace.

Because it can be very difficult for an individual to change a workplace, burnout often leads to a person leaving their job. But this step is accompanied by two other unfortunate truths. One is that a new job alone won’t end burnout. The other, Leiter tells me, is that there is no evidence there is an optimum recovery time — the burnout has no clear end.

Here’s what to know.

Hey, John!

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  • On this day in history: On this day in 1972, the Apollo 16 lunar module landed on the Moon carrying astronauts John Young and Charles Duke.
  • Song of the day: It’s my party,” by Lesley Gore.

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