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Odd, Outstanding & Outrageous: Our Best Stories You Might Have Missed This Week


Science writer Maia Weinstock designed a Lego set of some of the female pioneers at NASA.  2016 Maia Weinstock/CC BY-NC-ND 2.0
Science writer Maia Weinstock designed a Lego set of some of the female pioneers at NASA. 2016 Maia Weinstock/CC BY-NC-ND 2.0

Apparently, Punxsutawney Phil's weather meter was way off this year. Despite the groundhog's six-week winter forecast, temperatures in the U.S. have been unseasonably warm, and signs of an early spring abound in the Southern states. Find out how warm snaps affect flowering trees in one of our recent articles. But don't stop there! Keep reading to get the scoop on some of our latest podcasts and articles that might have slipped through the cracks.

The Odd

The fast approach of warm weather in the Northern Hemisphere means no more lazing around the house under cozy blankets, with a mug of hot chocolate and a belly full of comfort food ... or does it? Actually, you might not have to feel guilty about being a couch potato during any season — new research could find no link between inactivity and weight gain. But not everybody's on board with the paradoxical finding.

Let's venture into territory that may be a little ... too odd. We could say it might make your skin crawl — considering it's a podcast about real books bound in human flesh. Check out a new episode of Stuff to Blow Your Mind to peel back the layers of this weird topic (pun intended).

The next story takes us back decades, to the Vietnam War. The whereabouts of hundreds of American soldiers remains shrouded in mystery, and Matt, Ben and Noel ponder them in a recent episode of Stuff They Don't Want You to Know.

The Outstanding

In the face of humans' evolutionary arrogance (considering our unique intelligence and amazing adaptability, yada yada), tiny, smart creatures never cease to amaze us. That's why this article on bees playing "soccer" — i.e., moving a ball into a circle — is so fascinating. And you can watch them do it!

OK, we've definitely got to give ourselves a pat on the back, too. Lego is releasing a set featuring groundbreaking female scientists of NASA, including astronaut Sally Ride and mathematician Katherine Johnson. Learn more about the pioneers soon to be immortalized in colorful plastic here.

Glacier caves are astonishing, full of important scientific data and ... likely exist due to glacial melt. Fortunately, researchers are entering the icy depths to retrieve evidence that astrobiologists, climatologists and glaciologists can use to save the world! (We're being facetious, but kind of, really.)

The Outrageous

So, Nokia decided to bring back its indestructible, long-lasting cockroach of a phone, the 3310. With a lot of nostalgia and a twinge of desperation, the company updated the phone with a full color screen but kept the old favorite cell phone game: Snake.

Speaking of updates, you might've heard that our bodies replace themselves every seven years. Well, that's not completely true — some parts of the body get new cells every several days. BrainStuff host Christian discusses the changeover rates of different human organs in a new episode of the podcast.

If we told you cosmic rays from outer space are to blame for some of our computer malfunctions, would you believe us? If you read an article detailing why this happens, replete with helpful explanations of the technology and science from a computer engineering expert, would you believe us then? Well, why not read the article to find out the answers to all these questions and the many more we're sure you have now?



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