When Texas was chaos: This ancient discovery puts the state in a new light
Plus: How do you prefer your frozen treats?
It’s Monday! Welcome to August. Before we get into the most essential science and innovation stories for your brain, I want to wish my wife Angie a happy wedding anniversary. ❤️
OK, let’s get into it. I’m Nick Lucchesi, an editor at Inverse, and this is .... Inverse Daily.
Our lead story today is something new for us. It’s a series of travel stories we’re trying out called Worldview. It’s meant for people like you and me, who think about the science and history of a place when they choose their vacation destination. 🌎
We report often about the ancient world. Caves with prehistoric art, mummies, and ancient lakes are often close to the nearest airport. If you’ve made sure to visit the Catacombs while in Paris or sought out the Dinosaur National Monument while in the American West, we hope you’ll dig (pun fully intended) this new series. ⛰️
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This is an adapted version of the Inverse Daily newsletter for Monday, August 2, 2021. Subscribe for free and earn rewards for reading every day in your inbox. ✉️
The best reason to visit Texas — Doris Elin Urrutia writes about a new discovery that opens a window on America's evolutionary history. To see it for yourself, you need to go to downtown Dallas:
Hundreds of millions of years ago, North America was getting wrecked. Heavy storms and fearsome dinosaurs trampled the land. The best place to find evidence of this ancient chaos? Modern-day Texas.
Texas’ 268,000 square miles present the starkest example in America of how seismic activity can change the landscape. At the time of the dinosaurs, the state was mostly underwater, sitting far below a massive waterway that split North America down the middle.
“At this point, Dallas was prime oceanfront real estate,” paleontologist Christopher Noto tells Inverse. Texas was also home to ancient reptiles, including one entirely new to scientists.
More science of the ancient world:
- Ancient ice filled with viruses may reveal the future of Earth’s microbiome
- Discovery of Ancient Roman “ghost road” may forecast the future of Venice
- Scientists discover the ancient birthplace of marijuana
A dangerous Olympic myth — Athletes of all ages are focusing more on injury prevention, mental training, and their overall health. Anna Funk reports that norms are changing, like not pushing through injuries:
Two 13-year-olds have taken home gold and silver medals in women’s street skateboarding.
Also competing in Tokyo, we have Australian equestrians Mary Hanna, 66, and Andrew Hoy, 62.
Is there a magic formula that will reveal to us why different sports have different prime ages — and how some people seem to get around them?
More Olympics headlines:
- Olympics weightlifting: 2021 calendar, controversy, stream, and everything to know
- Blood flow restriction: The science behind the Olympic fitness trend
- Tokyo 2020 Olympics: 5 robots and innovations that keep the games going
Does intermittent fasting actually work? — Eating, or not, during certain windows of time seems to have health benefits. But how do fasters know it's the timing and not something else? Sophie Putka asked the scientists:
In the great melée of wellness trends, diets, fitness plans, and sleekly packaged miracle products vie for your attention.
Amid the Instagram influencers, TikTok videos, and plain old hype, it can be hard to cut through the haze to find a food regimen that actually does what it claims to do.
Intermittent fasting positions itself specifically as a not-a-diet diet plan — limiting not what you put into your body but when. The not-diet diet claim is backed by hordes of intermittent fasting devotees who say it works, but what exactly it works to do is unclear.
More health news:
- 5 reasons drinking coffee improves brain power
- Simone Biles’ Olympic withdrawal exposes sport’s biggest problem
- 5 tactics to keep your lungs healthy in wildfire smoke
Chemistry vs. soft-serve — A chemist explains to Sarah Wells how to make the creamiest ice cream and how secret ingredients like air and time are essential for the perfect treat:
How you prefer your frozen treats says a lot about a person. Are you dipping your extra-large, soft-serve cone in chocolate and sprinkles, stacking scoops of rocky road in a waffle cone, or delicately indulging in a cup of stracciatella gelato?
But no matter how you enjoy this summertime staple, there’s no doubt it’s born from a magical experience that transforms humble concoctions of cream and sugar into works of art. In other words, chemistry.
More on the science of eating:
- One gut-healthy diet can calm inflammation
- Science debunks the biggest myth about plant-based meat
- Science debunks a deadly summer food myth
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- Before we go: Valery Bykovsky, Joanna Cassidy, Doris Coley, Wes Craven, Victorian Jackson, Simone Manuel, Peter O'Toole, Mary-Louise Parker, Kevin Smith (pictured above), and Sam Worthington were all born on this day.