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China is Relocating 9000 People to Build the World’s Largest Radio Telescope

This past summer, China began construction on the world's largest and most sensitive radio telescope. When completed, the 500-meter (1640-foot) Aperture Spherical Radio Telescope (or FAST) will stretch more than 600 feet wider than the previous record-holder, the Arecibo Observatory, in Puerto Rico. According to Al Jazeera, officials in the country’s Guizhou province have announced that 9110 residents will be relocated to make way for the massive structure.

In order to ensure the telescope functions as accurately as possible, anyone living within about a 3-mile radius of the device is being moved to create a "sound electromagnetic wave environment for the machine," Al Jazeera cites the Xinhua News Agency (China's government-sponsored press agency) as reporting. The affected citizens will reportedly be given about $1800 each as compensation and will be moved from the area by September.

A telescope this powerful could be used by astronomers to survey the cosmos for undiscovered galaxies, exoplanets, and faint pulsars. According to Wu Xiangping, the director-general of the Chinese Astronomical Society, as quoted by Xinhua, FAST will also be used to search for intelligent alien life beyond our own galaxy. You can check out the video above for drone footage of the partially constructed telescope taken this past fall.

Header image courtesy of CCTV via YouTube.

[h/t Al Jazeera]

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26 Facts About LEGO Bricks

Since it first added plastic, interlocking bricks to its lineup, the Danish toy company LEGO (from the words Leg Godt for “play well”) has inspired builders of all ages to bring their most imaginative designs to life. Sets have ranged in size from scenes that can be assembled in a few minutes to 5000-piece behemoths depicting famous landmarks. And tinkerers aren’t limited to the sets they find in stores. One of the largest LEGO creations was a life-sized home in the UK that required 3.2 million tiny bricks to construct.

In this episode of the List Show, John Green lays out 26 playful facts about one of the world’s most beloved toy brands. To hear about the LEGO black market, the vault containing every LEGO set ever released, and more, check out the video above then subscribe to our YouTube channel to stay up-to-date with the latest flossy content.

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Of Buckeyes and Butternuts: 29 States With Weird Nicknames for Their Residents
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Tracing a word’s origin and evolution can yield fascinating historical insights—and the weird nicknames used in some states to describe their residents are no exception. In the Mental Floss video above, host John Green explains the probable etymologies of 29 monikers that describe inhabitants of certain states across the country.

Some of these nicknames, like “Hoosiers” and “Arkies” (which denote residents of Indiana and Arkansas, respectively) may have slightly offensive connotations, while others—including "Buckeyes," "Jayhawks," "Butternuts," and "Tar Heels"—evoke the military histories of Ohio, Kansas, Tennessee, and North Carolina. And a few, like “Muskrats” and “Sourdoughs,” are even inspired by early foods eaten in Delaware and Alaska. ("Goober-grabber" sounds goofier, but it at least refers to peanuts, which are a common crop in Georgia, as well as North Carolina and Arkansas.)

Learn more fascinating facts about states' nicknames for their residents by watching the video above.

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