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The Top 100 Video Games, According to Time

Earlier today, Time unleashed its list of the All-TIME Top 100 Video Games. “Whether you’re into video games or not, they’re an integrally important part of our culture,” the magazine says in the introduction to the list. Organized by release date, the list is full of beloved retro games, like Pong and Space Invaders, and more recent hits—World of Warcraft, Wii Sports, and The Sims. Each entry includes a brief history of the game and why playing it was so much fun.

It’s hard to argue with putting Oregon Trail—a game that, for members of my generation, triggers both fond nostalgia and heated arguments about who was better at hunting bison—on the list. (Though based on this poll, some Time readers disagree.) “[Oregon Trail] was actually developed in 1971 by three student teachers at Carleton College in Minnesota as a teaching tool,” Doug Aamoth writes. “The game was refined and updated and eventually found its way to the Apple II in the early ’80s, where it gained in popularity before continuing on to multiple platforms between the ’90s and today.” If you're jonesing for an Oregon Trail fix, there are many options available to you: A slick update of the game for your phone, a zombie mash-up game called “Organ Trail,” and, with the right plug-ins, the original Apple II version is available on your new MacBook.

I also agree with the inclusion of SimCity 2000 (was there anything sadder than laboring over your city, only to have it destroyed by an alien monster?); Sonic the Hedgehog; and Super Mario Bros./Megaman/and every other NES game on the list. But where is StarTropics? SimAnt? Or my favorite game ever, Life and Death 2: The Brain, which confirmed that I should never, ever be a brain surgeon?

Do you agree with the Time list? What did they leave out? And what are your all-time top five favorite video games?

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Animals
Watch an Antarctic Minke Whale Feed in a First-of-Its-Kind Video
WWF
WWF

New research from the World Wildlife Fund is giving us a rare glimpse into the world of the mysterious minke whale. The WWF worked with Australian Antarctic researchers to tag minke whales with cameras for the first time, watching where and how the animals feed.

The camera attaches to the whale's body with suction cups. In the case of the video below, the camera accidentally slid down the side of the minke whale's body, providing an unexpected look at the way its throat moves as it feeds.

Minke whales are one of the smallest baleen whales, but they're still pretty substantial animals, growing 30 to 35 feet long and weighing up to 20,000 pounds. Unlike other baleen whales, though, they're small enough to maneuver in tight spaces like within sea ice, a helpful adaptation for living in Antarctic waters. They feed by lunging through the sea, gulping huge amounts of water along with krill and small fish, and then filtering the mix through their baleen.

The WWF video shows just how quickly the minke can process this treat-laden water. The whale could lunge, process, and lunge again every 10 seconds. "He was like a Pac-Man continuously feeding," Ari Friedlaender, the lead scientist on the project, described in a press statement.

The video research, conducted under the International Whaling Commission's Southern Ocean Research Partnership, is part of WWF's efforts to protect critical feeding areas for whales in the region.

If that's not enough whale for you, you can also watch the full 13-minute research video below:

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technology
AI Could Help Scientists Detect Earthquakes More Effectively
iStock
iStock

Thanks in part to the rise of hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, earthquakes are becoming more frequent in the U.S. Even though it doesn't fall on a fault line, Oklahoma, where gas and oil drilling activity doubled between 2010 and 2013, is now a major earthquake hot spot. As our landscape shifts (literally), our earthquake-detecting technology must evolve to keep up with it. Now, a team of researchers is changing the game with a new system that uses AI to identify seismic activity, Futurism reports.

The team, led by deep learning researcher Thibaut Perol, published the study detailing their new neural network in the journal Science Advances. Dubbed ConvNetQuake, it uses an algorithm to analyze the measurements of ground movements, a.k.a. seismograms, and determines which are small earthquakes and which are just noise. Seismic noise describes the vibrations that are almost constantly running through the ground, either due to wind, traffic, or other activity at surface level. It's sometimes hard to tell the difference between noise and legitimate quakes, which is why most detection methods focus on medium and large earthquakes instead of smaller ones.

But better understanding natural and manmade earthquakes means studying them at every level. With ConvNetQuake, that could soon become a reality. After testing the system in Oklahoma, the team reports it detected 17 times more earthquakes than what was recorded by the Oklahoma Geological Survey earthquake catalog.

That level of performance is more than just good news for seismologists studying quakes caused by humans. The technology could be built into current earthquake detection methods set up to alert the public to dangerous disasters. California alone is home to 400 seismic stations waiting for "The Big One." On a smaller scale, there's an app that uses a smartphone's accelerometers to detect tremors and alert the user directly. If earthquake detection methods could sense big earthquakes right as they were beginning using AI, that could afford people more potentially life-saving moments to prepare.

[h/t Futurism]

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