In today's lead story Perseverance is starting to stream video back to Earth, and it's cooler than anything you can find on Netflix. But first, today marks a historic anniversary in the attempts of the United States government to figure out what to do with technological explosions in free speech.
The year was 1927, and radio was all the rage, still relatively novel after first being introduced in the 1890s. The government had tried to regulate the airwaves before, but it was toothless. But the Radio Act of 1927, signed today by Calvin Coolidge, created the independent Federal Radio Commission, which could issue—or revoke—licenses to a station for their ability to broadcast.
Specifically, the Radio Act targeted “obscene, indecent, or profane language” used in broadcasts. This model eventually turned into the Federal Communications Commission, which is still the industry standard today.
Our question of the week is about a video game series that Inverse holds close to the heart. We're about to celebrate the 35th anniversary of Zelda. Which Zelda game is your favorite? We've got a poll for you to vote on in our Google Form.
Neutrinos, like quarks and quasars, sound like they're practically science-fiction. But they're very real, and very, very hard to find.
Scientists have, for the first time, gathered observational evidence for elusive, high-energy particles that come from some of the most violent events in the universe.
In a study published Monday in the journal Nature Astronomy, astronomers have gathered the first evidence tracing the tiny, subatomic particles to a black hole tearing a star apart. Tracing neutrinos back to their roots is incredibly rare, which makes this scientific breakthrough worth following.
What they're saying: “The origin of cosmic high-energy neutrinos is unknown, primarily because they are notoriously hard to pin down.” —Sjoert van Velzen, a postdoctoral fellow in New York University's Department of Physics.
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The microbiome can tell a person a lot about both their mental and physical state of being. Considering their impact on a human's state of being, it makes sense that scientists want to understand ancient microbiomes.
In a new study published in the journal Communications Biology, a team of scientists has studied ancient fecal samples from Neanderthals to extract information about what the microbiome of these ancient peoples' would have looked like. According to researchers, these may be the oldest human fecal samples ever identified.
Scientists say that this brings them a step closer to understanding what a "core human microbiome" might have looked like and how a changing environment may affect these gut biota.
What they're saying: “This research is really speaking about what [fecal data] can tell us about humanity in general.” —Stephanie Schnorr, a co-author on the study and post-doctoral researcher at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas to Inverse.
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As mentioned in our question of the week, we're celebrating the 35th anniversary of The Legend of Zelda on Inverse. Nintendo changed the course of video game history 35 years ago, but did anyone realize at the time how important the 1986 release of The Legend of Zelda would be?
The answer is: yes. Inverse has talked to 18 video game innovators, people who have helped build (and are still building!) the games that are defining the modern moment, about Zelda. The series has proven incredibly influential over the years.
What they're saying: “I faked being sick just to stay home from school to play it..” —Kris Piotrowski, Creative Director at CAPY, to Inverse.
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Coming soon ...
Subscribing to Inverse Daily is cool, but you know what's even cooler? Also subscribing to Musk Reads, our newsletter looking at how Elon Musk and his companies are shaping the modern world.
Coming up this week, Musk Reads author Mike Brown sits down with a little-known figure who could play a huge role in the future of Tesla and other companies pursuing self-driving cars. From Mike:
Self-driving cars could be a regulatory nightmare. One California state senator wants to act before it’s too late. Ben Allen has a plan to help legislators deal with the coming cars. His new bill would establish a Council on the Future of Transportation, tasked with answering tough questions, like how autonomous vehicles might co-exist with non-autonomous cars and how the state can prepare for changes in traffic.
Slime! Doesn't the word itself just make you want to break out the microscope and begin a serious scientific investigation. Probably not, considering how its more closely associated with children's television from the '90s and soothing Instagram accounts.
But there's more to slime than meets the eye. A new study about slime reconfigures our understanding of not only animal intelligence, but also the very idea of memory.
The study, published Monday in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, investigates how, exactly, giant slime molds (Physarum polycephalum) encode memories in response to food sources.
This study offers clues to how biological signals may generate and alter memories in even the simplest of creatures, according to the researchers.
What they're saying: “There is previous work that biological signals within slime molds can store information about previous experiences. Yet, that the network architecture can store memories is [a] novel concept in the context of slime mold and fungi.” —Karen Alim is a co-author on the study and a professor at Technische Universität München, in Germany, to Inverse.
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The entire world held its breath for seven minutes. During that timeframe, known as the seven minutes of terror, NASA had no way of communicating with the Perseverence rover that is currently on the Martian surface.
But just because we were in the dark then doesn't mean we are now. Cameras installed for the Mars 2020 mission were able to capture the tremendous feat of landing a rover on Mars in a thrilling video. The footage shows the deployment of Perseverance's parachute and as it lowered from the descent stage and safely touched down on the surface of Mars.
What they're saying: “The mission could still be 100% successful if our camera system didn't work. And if we could even get just one image or one piece of information back during EDL that we shouldn't get upset and we should be excited.” —Dave Gruel, Perseverance EDL camera lead at NASA's Jet Propulsion Lab.
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- Mars 2020: 20 facts about the Perseverance mission that are slightly mind-blowing
- NASA's Perseverance journey to Mars: A story in 20 photos
And if you're looking for more, make sure to check out our recommendation for the scariest sci-fi movie on HBO Max before it leaves this week.
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