HBD Phone Daddy

Inverse Daily: Here's how you open 300-year-old undelivered mail

Plus: A new type of lab-grown meat could satisfy future demands. And: A terrifying video game.

Oh, hello. I'm Nick Lucchesi, editor-in-chief at Inverse. We have a wild story for you today, at the bottom of this daily dispatch, about postmasters from 300 years ago who did just about the worst thing a postmaster can do. It was kept a secret until 1926, and X-ray microtomography is helping us learn more about it.

But first, I'm wondering — Do you have a favorite video game? Maybe the visuals seep into your dreams at night; maybe you obsessively read articles about it online; maybe you hold dear sentimental memories of playing it at a mall arcade decades after playing it.

Video games are just great, aren't they? They are more than simply the immersive consequence of the mixture between art and technology. They are actually magnificent, amusing forms of escapism available in small doses, whether it be a subway ride or the 20 minutes before you lie down for bed.

I have had a few video games that scratch my brain like this. Let me know your favorite video game by sending an email to newsletter@inverse.com with "VIDEO GAME STORIES" as the subject line. Be sure to offer a reason why. I'll publish my favorite responses in an upcoming edition of Inverse Daily.

Now then, let's get into the best of Inverse for March 3, 2021.

Perseverance rover can be seen at the center of the image conducting its system checks.

NASA/JPL/U of Arizona

The aftermath — Two weeks ago, NASA's Perseverance rover landed on Mars, and the newest Mars robot seems to be getting accustomed to its new home.

On Monday, scientists at the University of Arizona released an image shot from the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter — the spacecraft that orbits around the Red Planet — that showed the Perseverance rover six days after it touched down. The rover is currently conducting system checks before officially beginning its mission, reports space writer Passant Rabie.

What they're saying: Through its twee Twitter account, the rover, presumably personified by a NASA social media employee, acknowledged the photo this way: "Thanks for looking out for me, @HiRISE. Long before I got here, you helped map this place out. Now we’ve got a whole new perspective. So much to explore."

I'll admit, I now have a cavity after reading that sickly sweet tweet.

Read the full story and see more photos.

More like this:

Not quite.

Philippe Degroote/Moment/Getty Images

Meat you can't eat — Using regenerative science, a team of scientists in Japan reports their new steak not only has a similar texture to a real beef steak but can stay bacteria-free for a much longer period of time — helping potentially cut down on food waste.

The only catch? The steak isn't edible, reports science writer Sarah Wells.

Because of the artificial materials (like hydrogels) holding the tissue sample together, you can't quite eat it.

There's good news, though: The inedible steak has superior microbial resistance, and that may mean future iterations of this faux meat could mean less food waste.

What they're saying: "The sterility of the cultured tissue will promote its use as safe steak meat with long shelf life and reduce food loss." —The authors of this new study.

Read the full story.

The more you know:

Aliens: Fireteam looks like a lot of fun — if predatory, killer battling aliens is your idea of fun. And it is my idea of fun, yes.

Cold Iron Studios

Not just a reboot — Though inspired by the 1986 James Cameron horror sequel Aliens, the four campaigns in the new video game Aliens: Fireteam take place 23 years after the events of the original trilogy, so you won't be rehashing the same old story, writes video games editor Jen Glennon in her new feature on the game that features interviews with its creators.

This game looks like a blast. Maybe just play it with the lights on, because it looks slightly jumpy. Jen tells me the game is "frenzied, intense, and exhilarating."

What they're saying: "Just imagine inhabiting the body of a colonial marine, with all the gear, all the weapons, getting ready to go on an awesome bug hunt. That’s the fantasy that we're bringing to life here." —Matt Highison, co-founder of Cold Iron Studios, which made the video game.

Read the full story here.

More like this:

Imagno/Hulton Archive/Getty Images

Virtually unwrapped — Sarah Wells has a wild story today about the most prolific postmasters of the 17th century, Simon and Marie de Brienne.

They delivered personal and political letters across Europe, but as Wells delightfully retells it: "They had a secret."

We have known what that secret was since 1926, but now we have just figured out how to learn the secrets within the secret, thanks to X-ray microtomography.

You must read this story, and I refuse to tell you anymore. Get into it.

Read the full story here.

That's about it for the hump day edition of Inverse Daily. You can follow me on Twitter at @nicklucchesi, where I share some of my favorite stories from Inverse, Input, and Mic every day. I also occasionally declare people National Treasures. I did so with this person just yesterday.

Happy birthday to Alexander Graham Bell, aka Phone Daddy. The Scottish-born inventor is credited with developing the first practical telephone. He was born on this day in 1847, and as Kashann Kilson wrote for this publication in 2015, "Bell famously predicted 'the day is coming when telegraph wires will be laid on to houses just like water or gas.'" As a person who loves the internet, I'm happy he was on the money.

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