For all of the end times prognostication that occurred in 2012, it turns out that modern life actually was almost completely destroyed that year, thanks to an "extreme solar storm" that sent plasma clouds hurtling from the sun at a rate of 3,000 km/s. Described as a "Carrington event", named after English astronomer Richard Carrington who observed a similar storm in 1859, the storm would have hit Earth had it happened only a week sooner, frying all electronics across the globe and leaving an impact that we would still be feeling today. NASA estimates the destruction would have cost $2 trillion.
The ASAP Science duo (who recently publicly came out as gay) tackle another head-scratching science question: how much sleep do we really need? Is six hours enough? Ten too much? Is there a scientific sweet spot? Considering we sleep a total of 24 years during our entire lifetime and that it factors into our overall health, this is good info to know.
Watch the non-snoozy video, AFTER THE JUMP.
The ASAP Science guys suss out one of the age-old questions, and then examines some of the craziest genitals found in nature.
Watch, AFTER THE JUMP....
It's a sensible question: why is the brain, arguably the most important organ in an animal's body, covered in a thin bone shell on a stalk rather than behind the protection of the central body mass? In short, it's because animals evolved to have all of the major sensory organs - eyes, ears, nose, mouth - clustered in one location, and over time this clump of neural networking evolved into what we now know of as a brain.
You can watch the video give a much better explanation of this process - with construction paper cutouts, no less - AFTER THE JUMP...
In her new book Straight Expectations, Julie Bindel argues that sexual orientation is a choice. The journalist, campaigner, and feminist also says that people believe that they are born gay because of “internalised doctrine.”
In an interview in today’s Independent, Bindel also argues that there is no biological explanation for homosexuality and that there “has to be some kind of choice, as well as some deep-rooted, embedded responses that developed through different experiences in our childhood.”
Bindel, who with her partner co-founded Justice for Women which campaigns for female victims of domestic violence, says that her arguments regarding the causes of homosexuality have been “drowned out” by obsessed scientists and by those who use the gay gene argument to provoke sympathy.
Asked how and why people would choose to be gay in countries with oppressive anti-homosexuality laws, Bindel says:
“I don’t know. All I know is I’ve never been convinced by a scientific argument, or seen any evidence that is compelling that there is something innate about our sexuality. What I’m suggesting is, there are people who could go one way or the other and happily choose to be lesbian or gay.”
However, writing in The Independent, Patrick Strudwick says that Bindel claims that she herself did not make that choice:
“Because I needed to leave home – there was nothing there for me in Darlington – and pursue my feminist possibilities, that meant starting a new life and all that was open to me. I fell in with a crowd [in Leeds] who spoke about lesbianism as part of women’s liberation. I never chose to be attracted to women.”
Strudwick also claims that what Bindel means by sexual preference being a choice is actually making a decision “to have a gay relationship, identify as gay, come out and lead a gay life (whatever that is).”
(image via twitter)
Always in pursuit of the empirical truth, the ASAP Science guys debunk 7 popular myths about the human brain in their latest video. Turns out, bigger isn’t better (at least when it comes to the human brain), alcohol doesn’t kill brain cells, drugs don’t create holes in your brain, and humans don’t use only 10% of their brains (sorry, Scarlett Johansson).
Let your mind be blown, AFTER THE JUMP…