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The Missing Links: Grand Theft Space Shuttle

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Selling Your Body To Science - While You’re Still Living

Writer and 30 Rock cast member John Lutz (he's the one on the left) has done just that, and is writing a book about his experience.

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In the Land Before Color Photography...
Everyone was super weird and creepy.

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Have A Laugh At Laughter’s Expense
The incredibly funny writer Colin Nissan offers up a piece on the world’s greatest medicine.

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Can You Hear Me Now?
If you’re moving faster than the speed of sound, can you hear yourself scream?

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A Metropolis Made From Bill Cosby’s Favorite Jiggly Dessert Treat
What’s this city called? Jell-Oakland? Jel-Lower Manhattan? Or is this the capital of GelaTennessee? OK, I’m done.

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Have You Heard About These Gigantic Hogwarts-Style Tree Houses?
JK Rowling’s neighbors have, and they don’t like it.

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Do You Want to Steal An Actual NASA Space Shuttle?
Well, you’re going to need a plan.

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STD Cupcake Anyone?
This bake shop specializes in churning out the most heinous looking treats you can imagine.

This place really reminds me of a sketch from the phenomenal but short-lived Upright Citizens Brigade series:

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science
Geological Map Shows the Massive Reservoir Bubbling Beneath Old Faithful
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Yellowstone National Park is home to rivers, waterfalls, and hot springs, but Old Faithful is easily its most iconic landmark. Every 45 to 125 minutes, visitors gather around the geyser to watch it shoot streams of water reaching up to 100 feet in the air. The punctual show is one of nature’s greatest spectacles, but new research from scientists at the University of Utah suggests that what’s going on at the geyser’s surface is just the tip of the iceberg.

The study, published in the journal Geophysical Research Letters, features a map of the geological plumbing system beneath Old Faithful. Geologists have long known that the eruptions are caused by water heated by volcanic rocks beneath the ground reaching the boiling point and bubbling upwards through cracks in the earth. But the place where this water simmers between appearances has remained mysterious to scientists until now.

Using 133 seismometers scattered around Old Faithful and the surrounding area, the researchers were able to record the tiny tremors caused by pressure build-up in the hydrothermal reservoir. Two weeks of gathering data helped them determine just how large the well is. The team found that the web of cracks and fissures beneath Old Faithful is roughly 650 feet in diameter and capable of holding more than 79 million gallons of water. When the geyser erupts, it releases just 8000 gallons. You can get an idea of how the reservoir fits into the surrounding geology from the diagram below.

Geological map of geyser.
Sin-Mei Wu, University of Utah

After making the surprising discovery, the study authors plan to return to the area when park roads close for the winter to conduct further research. Next time, they hope to get even more detailed images of the volatile geology beneath this popular part of Yellowstone.

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Animals
Why Do Female Spotted Hyenas Give Birth Through Their Pseudo-Penises?
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YouTube

At the zoo, you can sometimes tell the difference between male and female animals by noting their physical size, their behavior, and yes, their nether regions. Hyenas, however, flip the script: Not only are lady spotted hyenas bigger and meaner than their male counterparts, ruling the pack with an iron paw, they also sport what appear to be penises—shaft, scrotum, and all.

"Appear" is the key word here: These 7-inch-long phalluses don't produce sperm, so they're technically really long clitorises in disguise. But why do female hyenas have them? And do they actually have to (gulp) give birth through them? Wouldn't that hurt … a lot?

The short answers to these questions are, respectively, "We don't know," "Yes," and "OW." Longer answers can be found in this MinuteEarth video, which provides the full lowdown on hyena sex. Don't say we didn't warn you.

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