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How Space Travel Affects the Human Mind

The job of an astronaut is a hard one, both physically and mentally. The Verge recently shared a video that focuses on the psychological challenges space-goers face as their brains adjust to living aboard the International Space Station for months at a time. Recently returned NASA astronaut Scott Kelly was interviewed for the video, and he shares his own experiences as the person who's spent more days in space than any other American in history.

The Verge uses what science knows about space travel to theorize about the psychological challenges of a trip to Mars, a feat that has yet to be attempted outside of science fiction and one that would take several calendar years. In the video, Kelly speaks about his 340 days in space and how it changed him, and space psychiatrist Nick Kanas talks about things in space that can add stress to the brain, including microgravity, loss of visual contact with the Earth and all things familiar, and the realization that if certain things occur in space (like a toothache), there is nothing the astronauts can do about it. 

As for his advice to future astronauts leaving for the moon, Kelly said, "I would suggest to them: pace yourselves." 

[h/t The Verge]

Banner image: The Verge / YouTube

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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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