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Everyone on Earth Could Live in a Single Building—In Theory

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In Whittier, Alaska, an entire town is clustered inside just one high-rise building. The city’s 214 residents all live there, and it’s where the post office, police department, mayor’s office, and grocery store are located. Sure, it’s easy to see how a town of just 200 people could fit inside one building. But what would it look like if everyone in the world did?

In the latest episode of RealLifeLore, the video explainer series explores what it would look like if all 7.478 billion people in the world became neighbors. Clearly, all previous conceptions about building size would have to be tossed out the window. The world’s largest stadium, located in North Korea, seats 114,000. That is big enough to seat the populations of some small cities, but it’s only 20 percent of even the sparsely populated state of Wyoming. The Indianapolis Motor Speedway, the largest sporting venue on Earth, seats 235,000. The Great Mosque in Mecca is built to hold 4 million people inside and outside. That’s still too small.

According to RealLifeLore’s calculations of how many people can fit in one cubic meter, you would need a building 4416 feet high and 0.836 miles wide. (Note that the world’s tallest building, the Burj Khalifa, is 2722 feet tall.) But yes, in theory, if such a building could be built, it would fit everyone on Earth. They just wouldn't be able to move.

[h/t LikeCOOL]

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Knock-Off Versions of Nerf Ammo Can Cause Serious Eye Injuries
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Mike Mozart, Flickr // CC BY 2.0

Nerf toy guns and their foam projectiles, as marketed and manufactured by Hasbro, are virtually harmless when used as instructed. But, as reported by CNN, a recent paper in the UK medical journal BMJ Case Reports is providing a reality check when it comes to using the mock weapons and off-brand ammo improperly.

Three unrelated patients were treated at Moorfields Eye Hospital in London with ocular injuries that were sustained as a result of being "shot" with Nerf guns. Two adults had bleeding and inflammation in the eye; one 11-year-old had bleeding, inflammation, and damage to the outer retinal layer. All three suffered what the paper described as "significant ocular trauma." Attending doctors treated their swelling, and all symptoms resolved within a few weeks.

So what happened? In the case of one patient, a Nerf play session went awry as a result of using non-licensed ammo that isn't subject to Hasbro's quality control measures and may be made of harder materials as a result. On their Nerf landing page, Hasbro cautions users to "never modify any Nerf blasters or other Nerf products. Use only the darts, water, rounds, and discs designed for specific Nerf blasters."

Pediatric ophthalmologists interviewed by CNN recommend that protective eyewear be used whenever anyone is playing with Nerf weapons. It's also advisable never to aim for the face when shooting and to avoid attempting to modify the weapons to shoot faster or farther.

[h/t CNN]

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Australian Charity Releases Album of Cat-Themed Ballads to Promote Feline Welfare
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An Australian animal charity is helping save the nation’s kitties one torch song at a time, releasing a feline-focused musical album that educates pet owners about how to properly care for their cats.

Around 35,000 cats end up in pounds, shelters, and rescue programs every year in the Australian state of New South Wales, according to the Royal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (RSPCA). Microchipping and fixing cats, along with keeping closer tabs on them, could help reduce this number. To get this message out, the RSPCA’s New South Wales chapter created Cat Ballads: Music To Improve The Lives Of Cats.

The five-track recording is campy and fur-filled, with titles like "Desex Me Before I Do Something Crazy" and "Meow Meow." But songs like “I Need You” might tug the heartstrings of ailurophiles with lyrics like “I guess that’s goodbye then/but you’ve done this before/the window's wide open/and so’s the back door/you might think I’m independent/but you’d be wrong.” There's also a special version of the song that's specifically designed for cats’ ears, featuring purring, bird tweets, and other feline-friendly noises.

Together, the tunes remind us how vulnerable our kitties really are, and provide a timely reminder for cat owners to be responsible parents to their furry friends.

“The Cat Ballads campaign coincides with kitten season, which is when our shelters receive a significantly higher number of unwanted kittens as the seasons change,” Dr. Jade Norris, a veterinary scientist with the RSPCA, tells Mental Floss. “Desexing cats is a critical strategy to reduce unwanted kittens.”

Listen to a song from Cat Ballads below, and visit the project’s website for the full rundown.

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