Do aliens exist? Blink-182's Tom DeLonge thinks so. Bill Clinton wouldn't be surprised if they do. And now, in a new photograph from NASA's Dawn spacecraft, we learn that aliens not only exist, but they left the lights on. This image is of the dwarf planet Ceres, in an asteroid belt between Mars and Jupiter, and the two points of light emanating from it have scientists puzzled. Well, they say they're puzzled. Of course, they're probably getting paid off by the big dogs at Area 51.
"This may be pointing to a volcano-like origin of the spots, but we will have to wait for better resolution before we can make such geologic interpretations," says Chris Russell, principal investigator for the Dawn mission. Right. Sure. A "volcano-like origin."Definitely not the first wave of space invaders from the great beyond. Got it. Discuss
Diversity is finally coming to the world of emoji. The Atlantic explains, “The next system update for Apple Mac and iOS devices will let users type emoji with a variety of skin tones … Each human-like emoji, from the smiley face to the thumbs-up, will be available in one of five skin tones.” As this fascinating online piece from the magazine outlines, the Unicode Consortium (who controls the tiny images) hasn’t historically offered many options for representations of different ethnicities. But, the upcoming operating system update will likely use the latest draft of the Unicode standard, that was created in response to a demand from users: “People all over the world want to have emoji that reflect more human diversity, especially for skin tone.” It looks like emoji users are finally getting their wish ... Discuss
For decades, parents have had an ace to play when it comes to their kids getting tattoos: "Do you really want that when you're 70 years old?" It's a good card, but it's on the verge of being toothless. A 27-year-old Ph.D. student at Dalhousie University in Halifax named Alec Falkenham is putting the finishing touches on a cream that can painlessly remove tattoos. What's more, he estimates the cream will cost something like $5 per treatment. Falkenham isn't yet sure how many treatments it will take to totally erase a tattoo, but he says it won't be many. From Mental Floss:
The tattooing process works by injecting ink into the skin, which stimulates an immune response in which cells called "macrophages" move into the area and "eat up" the ink. Although some of the macrophages carry ink away from the surface of the skin into the lymph nodes, others remain behind, darkened from "consuming" ink. These pigment-filled macrophages are what we see as a tattoo. Falkenham's cream works by inciting another round of macrophages to consume the colored ones and carry them, along with the ink, into the body's lymph nodes and away from the visible surface of the skin.
So there may be hope for these people yet. Parents, time to start finding a new way to talk your kids out of getting a tattoo ... Discuss
Following the UN's report of ISIS' ghastly crimes against humanity, rogue vigilante hacker group Anonymous has released a video declaring a new campaign against the extremist outfit. They claim they've already shut down ISIS' access to social media sites, and they're not stopping there. "ISIS, we will hunt you, take down your sites, accounts, emails and expose you," the video declares. "We are Muslims, Christians, Jews, we are hackers, crackers, Hacktivist, phishers, agents, spies, or just the guy from next door. We come from all races, countries, religions and ethnicity—united as one, divided by zero."
Anonymous has also leaked over one hundred Twitter and Facebook accounts they say belong to ISIS members, the links to which were posted in the YouTube video description. Anonymous' video ended with their usual calling card: "ISIS we are Anonymous, we are a legion, we do not forgive, we do not forget, expect us" ... Discuss
It has not been a great month for companies loved more for what they were than what they are. First, SkyMall went off to that great big SkyMall in the sky. Then, RadioShack followed suit, filing for bankruptcy. Frankly, it's impressive RadioShack has lasted as long as it has, and it's going to continue to struggle on with an assist from Sprint. However, RadioShack will have to close 1,784 stores by March 31. The first 162 will close by February 17. After that, 986 stores will shut down by February 28. And then the final 636 stores will close by the end of March. Good night, sweet prince.
So, will the RadioShack closing affect you? Probably not, unless you're in the market for a minidisk player or maybe a camcorder for your next family reunion. And if you are, here's a full list of where all the closings will take place ... Discuss