Here’s how airplane crash investigations work, according to an aviation safety expert

Unknown’As an experienced airline pilot, aircraft accident investigator and professor of aviation, I know that such major crash investigations are an enormous effort often involving many countries’ governments and input from dozens of industry partners. The inquiries can take months of painstaking work. They often yield important insights that improve flight safety for everyone long into the future. Here’s how an investigation generally goes.…’

Via The Conversation

Belief in aliens could be America’s next religion

UnknownOnce-fringe phenomenon taking root among the powerful:

’A new book by D.W. Pasulka — professor and chair of the department of philosophy and religion at the University of North Carolina Wilmington — American Cosmic: UFOs Religion, and Technology, focuses not on grassroots investigative societies or marginal cults, but on UFO believers in the halls of power.…’

Via The Outline

US detects huge meteor explosion

106062480 gettyimages 1127790125’A huge fireball exploded in the Earth’s atmosphere in December, according to Nasa. The blast was the second largest of its kind in 30 years, and the biggest since the fireball over Chelyabinsk in Russia six years ago. But it went largely unnoticed until now because it blew up over the Bering Sea, off Russia’s Kamchatka Peninsula. The space rock exploded with 10 times the energy released by the Hiroshima atomic bomb.…’

Via BBC News

Humans have a sixth sense for Earth’s magnetic field

Screenshot 79’While this capability, called magnetoreception, is well known in birds and fish, there is now evidence that our brains are also sensitive to magnetic fields. The researchers from Caltech and the University of Tokyo measured the brainwaves of 26 participants who were exposed to magnetic fields that could be manipulated. Interestingly, the brainwaves were not affected by upward-pointing fields.…’

Via Boing Boing

The Mysterious Gynandromorph

The mysterious gynandromorph alt 1050x700’A Pennsylvania couple spotted one of the world’s most unusual birds in their backyard feeder. The northern cardinal looked like it was painted down the middle: one half was the brown of a female cardinal, and one half had the bright red plumage of a male. This unusual specimen is called a gynandromorph; half the animal is male and half the animal is female. Gynandromorphy is an extremely rare condition observed in a variety of insects, snakes, crustaceans, and birds.…’

Via JSTOR Daily

Farming is what made “f” and “v” sounds possible

UnknownLove to drop F-bombs? Thank the shift to agriculture:

’A new study suggests that the f and v sounds were made easier to pronounce by the change in our diets the invention of farming made possible.
The idea isn’t a new one, but is only now being taken seriously.
Even today, many hunter-gather cultures lack labiodentals in their languages.…’

Via Big Think