Inverse Daily

The mystery of mass salmon killing is solved

After decades of hunting, scientists finally know exactly what has been killing salmon.

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The name Chester Greenwood might not exactly be up there with Thomas Edison, but your ears are grateful. A precocious boy from Farmington, Maine, born on this day in 1858, there was nothing young Chester loved to do more than skate on his idyllic local pond in the winter. One problem: It gets extremely cold in the winter. Two problems: Young Chester was allergic to the wool caps that were fashionable at the time.

So, enlisting his grandmother to help with sewing, young Chester engineered a fashion revolution. Using pads of either beaver pelts or flannel, and attaching them to a wireframe, young Chester Greenwood invented the modern-day earmuff. While there were earmuffs before Chester Greenwood, patents show his true innovation was making sure his wireframe had a v-shaped hinge on both sides that swiveled with the ear, allowing for some degree of mobility and comfort.

Greenwood turned his earmuffs into something of a local empire, hiring hundreds to assemble for soldiers in World War I. In more recent years, his hometown of Farmington has turned his birthday into Chester Greenwood Day, complete with parade.

And, of course, it's Jay-Z's birthday.

Our question of the week looks into the past: What was your first gaming console?

We want your early gaming memories! Shoot us an email at and we'll post our favorite answers at the start of the week when we reveal our new question!

This is an adapted version of the Inverse Daily newsletter for December 4, 2020. Subscribe for free and earn rewards for reading every day in your inbox.

Today on The Abstract — The hidden players shaking up the space race

With monumental trips to space and futuristic visions of life on Mars, companies like NASA and SpaceX have recently captured much of the public’s attention — igniting new hopes for the public to one day literally venture “out of this world.”

All the while, the United Kingdom has been slowly building up a space empire on which the Sun never sets with new satellite programs, space stations, and commercial spaceflight companies.

In this episode of The Abstract, we discuss how technology firms aim to fuel a sustainable future beyond Earth.

Cartography watch — Upcoming NASA mission to map out water on the Moon

Earlier in October, NASA announced they now have the best evidence yet that there is water on the Moon, and that it is far more abundant than they initially thought.

As a follow-up to the breakthrough discovery, the space agency has just approved an upcoming mission to map the water on the Moon, helping scientists to better understand the lunar water cycle. The Lunar Trailblazer is set to launch in February 2025 in order to detect and map water on the Moon's surface as a way to understand how it formed.

Where's that water? →

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In the loop — Virgin Hyperloop co-founder explains why passenger ride only hit 107 mph

Virgin Hyperloop wants to send pods rushing through a low-pressure tube at around 700 mph — but its first passenger test fell far short of that speed.

While speed is impressive, the company's co-founder argues safety was more important for that first passenger test. In an Inverse interview, shared in Wednesday's Musk Reads+ newsletter, Josh Giegel explained that the test was more about proving the firm is serious and taking the right steps forward.

"Speed doesn’t matter if you’re not safe," Giegel said.

What does a Hyperloop feel like?

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Below the fold — 3D models reveal why some animals don't get coronavirus

Early on in the pandemic, it became clear Covid-19 had made the leap from animals to humans.

The exact chain of transmission isn't known, but the science so far suggests bats played a starring role. After a tiger contracted the virus, scientists started to ask: What other animals can get Covid-19?

A new study published Thursday in PLOS Computational Biology offers molecular clues to which of the animals we come in closest contact with that are most susceptible to coronavirus. And, perhaps more importantly, the study shows which animals are least susceptible to infection.

From guinea pigs to goats, here's how animals fair with Covid

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Coming soon ...

Dealing with daily systemic tremors, fatigue, brain fog, and heart palpitations, an estimated 10 percent of patients are suffering so-called “long Covid" weeks and months after infection. While these lingering physical symptoms are painful and, at times, debilitating, the psychological toll of isolation and chronic illness can be worse. To stay mentally healthy, long-haulers are connecting online, finding solace in virtual support groups. Coming soon on Inverse, a look at what happens when Zoom becomes a lifeline to survive chronic illness.

Pivot point —The pandemic is a pivotal moment for fixing another massive health threat

The year 2020 is one of cascading crises: a pandemic and subsequent economic fallout, all against a backdrop of political instability and a societal reckoning over racial injustice.

In the fifth annual "Climate Countdown" report by The Lancet, scientists report the "most concerning outlook for human health" in 20 years.

Lead author Renee Salas, an emergency medicine physician and researcher at Massachusetts General Hospital, tells Inverse: "We are bound together in a common fate."

"Climate change is impacting and harming us now, and it will only get worse if we don't act now."

"We're in the moment where we can act"

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Fishy business - This everyday item is killing fish in astonishing numbers

Be they orange, pink, or red, salmon share one color in common: green. According to a study published earlier this year, salmon were the third most valuable type of seafood, worth $598 billion in 2018.

Salmon doesn't just taste good; it is good for us, too. These fish are nutritional powerhouses, laden with omega-3 fatty acids and essential minerals. Eating a diet rich in salmon could help stave off cognitive decline, improve men's reproductive health, and perhaps even treat depression.

The demand is so high, some types of salmon struggle to keep up. But overfishing and human appetites are not the sole danger to these fish. Another human desire may be driving their numbers down dramatically, a new study suggests.

The danger comes when salmon return from the ocean to rivers to spawn. Trapped in rivers, as many as 40-90 percent of salmon may be killed — not through fishing, but by driving.

The culprit, it seems, is not the exhaust fumes coming from cars, the new research suggests. Rather, it is cars' tires.

A decades-old scientific mystery solved

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And that's it for Daily! For more, check out our recommendation for an underrated gritty dystopian movie on streaming.

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