Absurd Creature of the Week: The Badass Snail That Has a Shell Made of Iron

by Matt Simon, WIRED

IN WHAT IS arguably the most famous scene from Monty Python and the Holy Grail, King Arthur faces the Black Knight, relieving him of his limbs even though he’s wearing some nice chain mail. But there’s a Black Knight in the depths of the Indian Ocean whose armor doesn’t yield to blows quite so easily. Continue reading Absurd Creature of the Week: The Badass Snail That Has a Shell Made of Iron

This Seems to Be Just an Ordinary Roadside Barrier, But You’ll Be Amazed When You See It in Action!

Bright Side

The world is full of good people constantly looking for ways to apply their creativity in order to help others. Here’s just one more example that we at Bright Side have discovered.

Metallic barriers at the side of roads are meant to keep people safe, preventing cars from going off the highway. However, if a car hits one of these barriers at great speed, the consequences can be serious. Continue reading This Seems to Be Just an Ordinary Roadside Barrier, But You’ll Be Amazed When You See It in Action!

Deep-Sea Ghost Shark Filmed Alive In Ocean For First Time

by Jason Bittel, National Geographic

The odd-looking fish, which sports a retractable sex organ on its head, was also spotted in the Northern Hemisphere for the first time

Dive deep deep down into the ocean, long past the point where the sun’s rays can penetrate, and you will enter the realm of the ghost sharks.

Also called chimaeras, ghost sharks are dead-eyed, wing-finned fish rarely seen by people.

Continue reading Deep-Sea Ghost Shark Filmed Alive In Ocean For First Time

Birds Have Skills Previously Described as “Uniquely Human”

by Jef Akst, The Scientist

Scientists are enlisting the help of pigeons, parrots, crows, jays, and other species to disprove the notion that human cognitive abilities are beyond those of other animals

After completing an undergraduate psychology course taught by Michael Colombo at the University of Otago in New Zealand, Damian Scarf was hooked on animal cognition. Colombo told Scarf how he and other behavioral researchers were demonstrating that nonhuman animals seemed to possess cognitive abilities that researchers had previously considered to be exclusively human. “Testing these human-unique abilities just seemed awesome, so I switched from zoology to psychology the following year,” Scarf recalls. Continue reading Birds Have Skills Previously Described as “Uniquely Human”

Will Gene-Editing Technologies Spark the Next Cold War? They Already Have

by Nick Gillespie, reason.com

The folks behind CRISPR gene editing were runners-up for Time’s Person of the Year. Their creation may win the future for secular China

Sure, Donald Trump won Time’s coveted Person of the Year award (coveted in the sense of, Who wouldn’t want to be in a line of succession that includes Hitler, Stalin, and “You”?). But the runners-up, transhumanist visionary Zoltan Istvan reminds us, were the pioneers of the cheap and easy gene-editing techniques called CRISPR. Continue reading Will Gene-Editing Technologies Spark the Next Cold War? They Already Have

The Psychology of White-Collar Criminals

by Eugene Soltes, The Atlantic

A researcher reflects on conversations with nearly 50 convicted executives about why they did what they did

Two leading executive headhunters once wrote a book called Lessons From the Top: The Search for America’s Best Business Leaders that celebrated 50 titans of industry. Readers were encouraged “to learn from and pattern themselves” after the leadership qualities displayed by these executives. Yet within a few years of the book’s 1999 publication, three of those 50 were convicted of white-collar crimes and headed to prison, and three more faced tens of millions of dollars in fines for illicit activity. It was an extraordinary rate of failure for executives once deemed the “very best—and most successful—business leaders in America.” Continue reading The Psychology of White-Collar Criminals

Facebook Messenger strikes at Skype with desktop group voice calling

by Josh Constine, TechCrunch

We might finally get to stop asking, “Wait, what’s your Skype name?” thanks to a test of new Facebook group audio calling on desktop. Facebook launched group voice calls on its mobile Messenger app in April, and now it’s working out the kinks to bring the feature to your home and office. It could become a useful alternative to traditional conference calls by piggy-backing on Facebook’s ubiquitous identity platform. Continue reading Facebook Messenger strikes at Skype with desktop group voice calling

Google Maps now notes if a location is wheelchair accessible

by Greg Kumparak, TechCrunch

“Can I get in the building?”

It might not be a question you find yourself asking regularly — but for the 3 million+ wheelchair users in the U.S., it’s a question that has to be considered. And starting now, it’s one that Google Maps is trying to help answer. Continue reading Google Maps now notes if a location is wheelchair accessible