While I wonder how exactly the Purge series of movies is going to end (read our review here), let me get you caught up on the latest science and innovation stories from Inverse. I’m Nick Lucchesi, editor-in-chief. Today’s lead story is all about the rise and fall of Delta-8 THC, which created a “Wild West” of DIY, unregulated, probably unsafe cannabis chemistry. Keep scrolling to read more. 👇
Programming note— There will be no Inverse Daily on Friday, July 2 and Monday, July 5. Instead, we will deliver Sunday Scaries on Monday, July 5, because it’s going to feel like a Sunday for anyone who has Monday off work.
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Mailbag! — Which of these items would you put in your apocalypse bag? A Leatherman-style multitool, a self-winding watch, or a Pulaski axe? Answer this question and more in our annual apocalypse survey. Take the anonymous survey here. We’ve had more than 1,000 respondents so far! We will publish the results later this summer in a special guide.
Delta-8 THC: The rise and fall of a cannabis “Wild West” — Delta-8 exploded in popularity in 2020, but much of what's on the market could be unregulated or unsafe, reports Emma Betuel in a new investigative feature story:
Delta-8 THC promises a “less anxiety-inducing” high than the THC found in weed, its users say. It also exists in an attractive legal gray area. Nationally, products containing Delta-9 THC (like marijuana) are Schedule I drugs, which means the Drug Enforcement Agency tightly regulates them. Delta-8 is legal on the federal level and can be sold in CBD shops, though some states are beginning to ban it.
But just as the legality is unclear, it is also not clear how safe all the Delta-8 on the market actually is. Keith Holecek, the managing director of data services at cannabis and hemp analysis firm New Leaf Data Services, tells Inverse that a lot of the Delta-8 on the market could be unregulated or even unsafe.
“There are definitely operations that cut corners and are producing junk. More than anyone would like to see,” Holecek says. “But with the FDA still in limbo on their rulings, it's the Wild West for Delta-8.”
- After legalizing marijuana, NY seeks to ban Delta-8, a cannabis extract that gets you high like marijuana
- Delta-8 THC is legal in many states, but some want to ban it (NBC News)
- More from Emma: Dank Vapes is the “biggest conspiracy” in pot that can put you in a coma (2019)
Questioning masculinity can make you happier and smarter — Hegemonic or traditional masculinity is harmful to men's mental health. Unlearning it can make men happier and more satisfied. Katie MacBride reports on this idea in her latest entry in the Detox series from Inverse:
Dan Cassino’s son’s favorite color used to be purple.
“He wanted purple cupcakes for his birthday,” Cassino tells Inverse. “Purple everything.”
But then one day, the 5-year-old came home from kindergarten and announced purple was no longer his favorite color. Jake, 6 years old and the biggest kid in the class, had told Cassino’s son “purple was a girl color.”
Cassino, a professor at Fairleigh Dickinson University, knew what he was hearing: the first shades of hegemonic masculinity.
- Do antidepressants hurt sex drive? Scientists split fact from fiction
- Emerging science debunks the myth of falling sperm counts
- Men and eating disorders: Everything you need to know
Fukushima's boar-pig hybrids reveal how nature can heal after humans — Scientists report on the interbreeding of wild board and domestic pigs in Fukushima, showing how animals reclaim spaces following disasters. Tara Yarlagadda has the story:
On March 11, 2011, a magnitude 9.0 earthquake — the largest ever recorded in Japan — generated a tsunami that devastated the island nation. The tsunami also triggered an accident at a nuclear reactor in the Fukushima region of Japan, leading to the evacuation of 164,000 residents within a 20-kilometer radius of the reactor.
Among the evacuees were pig farmers who left their swine behind — fleeing from the threat of nuclear radiation.
According to research published Wednesday in the journal Proceedings of the Royal Society B, the absence of humans and the sudden release of pigs into the wild led to new boar-pig hybrids that are now reclaiming Fukushima — though researchers don’t know if these hybrids will last in the long run.
- Plants may survive the climate crisis through the help of one critical animal
- Watch: This animal society runs like a utopia
- Cannibalism and orgies: Meet the 5 animals with the weirdest sex lives
These 7 animals are the biggest jerks in the wild — They ignore their partners, mooch off other species, and kill their young. But to survive in the wild, sometimes it's necessary. Jenn Walter has this list of hardcore creatures:
Survival is of utmost importance, and wild animals have to look out for themselves and their young first. But some species have more brash methods of survival than others. Here are the seven biggest jerks in the animal kingdom:
Pentagon UFO Report is out. Here’s what happens next. — The unidentified aerial phenomenon (UAP) report was short on answers but long on intrigue. However, we can make a good guess as to what will come next. John Wenz reports on what happens now.
Last week, on June 25, we finally got that report. Or nine pages of it, at least.
The unidentified aerial phenomena (UAP) report was short on answers but long on intrigue — at least as much as a government report written by a bureaucrat can get. To sum it up: 144 incidents, only one identified, and it was a balloon.
For a lot of people, nine pages and a classified report we can’t see aren’t enough.
But by collectively considering the few public statements, a few things we’ve been told, and a bit of speculation, we can make a pretty good guess as to what the U.S. government is planning next when it comes to this UFO report.
- World UFO day: 7 best documented UFO sightings
- How do we look for real aliens? 4 projects better than the Pentagon report
- UFO Pentagon report: 3 major questions remain unanswered
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- Before we go: Princess Diana (pictured above), Missy Elliott, Liv Tyler, Debbie Harry, Dan Akroyd, and Andre Braugher were all born on this day.