Nerd News: Musician’s Brains, Supermoon, Talking Monkeys and More

Happy Friday! In political news, our federal government is finally up and running again. That means NASA is fully functional again. Yay!

We’re back and in the process of turning things back on! http://t.co/IpvHUzr4tm and #NASA TV will be up as soon as possible!

— NASA (@NASA) October 17, 2013

Here are a few other recent favorite stories of mine:

  1. It’s difficult to wrap my head around the true distance of objects in space. The moon looks so close when finding ISS in the night sky is incredibly difficult without the help of an iPhone app. However, distance between objects makes a huge difference in how each functions. For example, if the moon were as close to our planet as ISS, we’d have some huge problems.
  2. I will always be amazed at how musicians create music. Every time I listen to Adele, I wonder how she put her most difficult experiences not only into words but into notes and harmonies. Even more impressive is their ability to improvise on the spot. It turns out, that when musicians do this, they’re shutting down the part of their brains that cause self-censorship while kicking the area connected to dreaming to a higher level.
  3. It’s possible that my dog is either part human or alien. I swear she has a very distinctive personality, and her instincts seem, well, practically human. Past research has shown that dogs can connect with humans by recognizing social cues. What’s interesting is that dogs can do the same with robots. So when the robot revolution comes to town, our furry friends could abandon us too. Ouch.
  4. How did human language and syntax evolve? According to a recent study, marmosets, a type of primates, talk to each other in a precise, back-and-forth way, like humans. Marmosets are the only type of primates that do this. Scientists are working on connecting the dots, and I can’t wait to see what they find.
  5. Another asteroid may hit Earth in 2032. This one is a little concerning, because it’s gigantic and would hit us like 2,500 nukes at once. As more scientists look into  the possibility of impact, the odds get smaller, but it’s a possibility. You’ve been warned. Here’s NASA’s response.

Did I miss a great story? Let me know in a comment below.

I hope you have great plans ahead for your next two days! I’ll be watching my Mizzou Tigers bring home a seventh win and hopefully a top-10 ranking.

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