YouTube // Sixty Symbols
YouTube // Sixty Symbols

Here's Where the South Pole is...This Year

YouTube // Sixty Symbols
YouTube // Sixty Symbols

The Antarctic ice moves, meaning that the actual geographic "South Pole" point on top of the ice moves constantly. Every year, a team at the Amundsen–Scott South Pole Station places a new marker on what is (more or less) the current location of the pole. Of course, it's actually only accurate for about a day, as the drift rate is roughly 10 meters per year. The cool thing is, this tradition has been going on for decades, and every year a new design is created by the team who stayed over the winter prior.

In this video, astrophysicist Denis Barkats explains the tradition and shows us the unveiling of the 2016 South Pole marker, on the one day—January 1—when it's geographically correct. Behold:

(Note: Stick around for the end for discussion of the "Ceremonial South Pole," which is a little bland, but at least it doesn't move around.)

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toyohara, Flickr // CC BY-NC 2.0 (cropped)
Meet Japan's Original (Not-so-Fresh) Form of Sushi, 'Funazushi'
toyohara, Flickr // CC BY-NC 2.0 (cropped)
toyohara, Flickr // CC BY-NC 2.0 (cropped)

When it comes to sushi, fresh is usually best. Most of the sushi we eat in America is haya-nare, which involves raw seafood and vinegared rice. But in Japan, there's an older form of sushi—said to be the original form—called funazushi. It's made from fermented carp sourced from one particular place, Lake Biwa, and takes about three years to produce from start to finish. The salt it's cured with keeps the bad bacteria at bay, and the result is said to taste like a fish version of prosciutto. Great Big Story recently caught up with Mariko Kitamura, the 18th generation to run her family’s shop in Takashima City, where she's one of the very few people left producing funazushi. You can learn more about the process behind the delicacy, and about Kitamura, in the video below.

Watch Koko the Gorilla Meet Her New Pet Kittens

Koko the gorilla passed away at the age of 46 this week. Though she was best known for her use of sign language, her love of cats is what made her a media darling.

In 1983, the western lowland gorilla reportedly told trainer Penny Patterson that she wanted a cat. Patterson and her fellow researchers at The Gorilla Foundation supported this idea, hoping that caring for a cat might prepare Koko for motherhood.

They gave Koko a lifelike stuffed animal and after she ignored that gift, she was given a gray kitten for her birthday in July 1984. Koko rejoiced. She named the cat All Ball and carried him around like a baby. All Ball got out of Koko's cage and was hit by a car just a few months later. Trainer Penny Patterson shared the news with Koko, who, Patterson said, began crying. “Sleep cat,” she reportedly signed.

For Koko's 44th birthday in 2015, Patterson let her pick out two new pets from a litter of kittens. The result was as cute as you might expect.

For more Koko videos, follow kokoflix on Youtube.

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