Most cat owners, and even people who just view cats on the internet, know that cats love boxes. You open up a suitcase or leave out a cardboard box, and sooner or later, your cat will appear in the box. Animal behavior scientists have found that cats even sit in the illusion of box. This was from a small sample of citizen scientists, to avoid the stress felines feel in a lab setting, but it is the beginning of a theory that cats may be susceptible to the same optical illusions human brains fall victim to.
A man who was paralyzed from the neck down imagined writing and writing appeared. It sounds like magic, but scientists were testing neural implants. The implants read the neurons that were firing from thinking about writing and interpreted it into text that appeared on a screen. This appears to have a higher success rate than type from speech technology, but this is the only test subject so far, so work remains to be done to see how successful it is for others.
People have long wondered why their mixed nuts don’t seem so mixed or why the top of the cereal box has the best looking large flakes while the bottom is all little, broken pieces. It’s hard to see what goes on inside the box, but scientists recently used a series of CT scans to observe the action. The pieced together movie show the larger nuts being pushed to the top as the smaller nuts drift to the bottom.
Carl Sagan talked about how we are all made of star dust. He was talking about how inside the stars, elements are made. Fusion creates helium from hydrogen and on up through the table of elements. A recently discovered chunk of space debris in the crust of the Earth on the ocean floor has suggested even heavier elements like Plutonium could be made in space, created during supernovas or neutron star mergers. Plutonium-244 was found along with Iron-60. Although this suggests they were created in the same event, other scenarios are possible. Perhaps the iron picked up a plutonium hitch-hiker on its journey through space. Scientists are already studying larger samples.