We’ve got illuminating news from a few core areas of Inverse’s editorial mission today. Keep scrolling to learn why size doesn’t matter as much as location — a truism for real estate as much as sex — and an update on the new wave of long-range electric cars that aren’t marketed by a dude named Elon (though he remains as busy as ever).
I’m your host, Nick Lucchesi, an editor here at Inverse. Swing your leg over your top tube and let’s get pedaling.
Mailbag — What’s in your apocalypse bag? You know, the backpack you carry when the world ends. We’ve put together a reader poll just for the Inverse Daily community. Take the anonymous survey here.
Reporter request — Staff writer Katie MacBride passes on this open call for stories on two fronts. She’s looking for:
- “A dude who feels like your peer group has significantly influenced your understanding of what masculinity is and how you identify with it”
- “Someone who has dealt with a family member/friend/other loved one getting radicalized by conspiracy theories on the internet.”
You can be anonymous. Email her at email@example.com.
Is bigger always better? Scientists explain the evolution of sperm size — Scientists reveal four key findings about sperm length. Tara Yarlagadda examines the complex history and evolution of sperm across the animal kingdom:
Maybe size does matter. This classic barroom debate has many interpretations when it comes to sex and desire, but scientists are now looking at it from an arguably more essential perspective: the size of sperm.
We’ve all seen some variation of this image in high school biology: A mass of tiny, microscopic swimmers — sperm — compete to be the first to fertilize a much larger egg and ensure the survival of the species. But that “tiny” swimmer may not actually be so tiny depending on the animal in consideration and the environment that its sperm swam in. Specifically the female reproductive tract.
According to research published Monday in the journal Nature Ecology & Evolution, one critically overlooked factor impacts the evolution of sperm length across the animal kingdom: where the sperm fertilizes the egg.
- Freeze-dried sperm: The future of space colonies is being tested on the ISS
- Can you inherit stress? Sperm study reveals link to mood
- Emerging science debunks the myth of falling sperm counts
NASA is trying to deal with its most annoying problem on the Moon — NASA is developing solutions to mitigate the effects of dust on the Moon so that it doesn't damage the equipment of future missions. Passant Rabie reports on this dirty problem:
Dust from the Moon’s surface got into camera lenses, caused radiators to overheat, and even damaged the astronauts’ spacesuits.
As NASA plans a human return to the Moon through the Artemis mission, the space agency is developing ways to mitigate the lunar dust so that it doesn’t interfere with equipment and ensures a more sustainable stay on the Moon.
More high-quality Moon content:
- 50-year-old lunar volcanic glass could reveal clues to how the Moon formed
- Video reveals Apollo 14 astronauts’ crucial mistake on the Moon
- Artemis 1: NASA SLS megarocket hits another milestone
The five electric cars with the longest range (that aren't made by Tesla) — Though Tesla remains king of the long-range EV, there are plenty of everyday electric cars that can get you everywhere you need to go. Here are the top five from our future of transport writer, Jordan Golson:
The current shortest-range Tesla is the 263-mile Model 3 Standard Range Plus starting at around $40,000. That’s great, but there are plenty of other similar EVs that are worth a look. Here are five of ‘em.
More on new electric cars:
- Junk in the frunk! The people demand front trunks
- Nissan got the creators of Pac-Man to design new in-car noises. Listen to it here.
- The 2021 Volkswagen ID.4 is the people's electric car: Look
A new study on red dwarf stars could resolve the paradox of alien life — Red dwarf stars are the most abundant in the universe and at the top of the list when searching for habitable planets. So then how come we don't live around one of these stars? Passant Rabie reports on this big question:
They’re the most common star in the universe. We know of hundreds of rocky exoplanets orbiting them. And as a result, red dwarf stars are prime targets for scientists’ ongoing search for life in the universe.
But David Kipping, an astronomy professor at Columbia University, is not convinced red dwarfs are quite so ripe for alien life.
“It’s just a question that has always perplexed me,” Kipping tells Inverse. “If they’re so numerous, so long-lived, potentially trillions of years, and so they really seem to have everything going for them ... it's kind of odd then that we don’t live around a red dwarf.”
More on the big mysteries of space:
- Red supergiant Betelgeuse: The biggest mystery in space in the last few years has been solved
- Astronomers discover a key life ingredient in a dark cloud in deep space
- The ingredients for alien life were found in a planet system still forming
- About the newsletter: Do you think it can be improved? Have a story idea? Want to share a story about the time you met an astronaut? Send those thoughts and more to firstname.lastname@example.org.
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- Before we go, happy birthday (🎂) to Frances McDormand (64), Joss Whedon (57), Clarence Thomas (73), Selma Blair (49), Randy Jackson (65). Also a happy birthday of sorts to the Nintendo 64, which debuted on this day 25 years ago. (Source: AP.)