Human Embryo Cloned, Immortality To Follow

As you may already have heard, scientists have, for the first time, “cloned human embryos capable of producing embryonic stem cells," and you know what that means! No, you do not get the rest of the afternoon off. What I’m saying is that we can quit worrying about death now, as we’re almost done conquering it.

Phew, that’s a load off your mind, am I right? Knowing that if I can just hang on for a few more years while accumulating unspeakable wealth, I’ll be able to afford stem cell therapy to artificially, indefinitely extend my life—that’s a game-changer, let me tell you. I don’t know what I would have done otherwise: dying is so lame, but it feels like everyone succumbs to it in time. Kind of like each new James Bond movie.

Well, no more of that. Diabetes, Alzheimer’s, all of it will soon be a thing of the past, thanks to this wonderful, controversial research—so eat as much cake as you want, and feel free to melt your brain with amphetamines. Even spinal cord injuries might be treated with this technology, so go ahead and try to do that skateboard trick. It’s the first day of the rest of your life, which will go on forever.  

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Science: ‘Of Course Bigger Penises Are Better, Duh’

Apologies to the nubbier men among us, but we’ve just received some cold, hard proof that women who like penises at all find the bigger ones more attractive. Scientists researching “the motion of the ocean” could not be reached for comment.

An experiment carried out at the University of Ottowa sought to eliminate self-deception in their subjects’ responses:

So they embarked on a new type of study, using computer-generated images of generic male figures with varying heights, body shapes and flaccid penis lengths.

A sample of 105 Australian women were asked to view 53 of these life-sized robot-like pictures, which rotated so they were visible at different angles.

The women—all heterosexual—were not told they were participating in a study about penis size. They were simply asked to rate the figures according to sexual attractiveness. Their answers were collected anonymously.

Researchers found that women rated tall men with long penises as the most attractive.

So I guess what we really know is that straight women subconsciously approve of lengthy, unaroused dick. But would erections skew the results? What do gay men think? Something tells me we’re gonna need a bar graph. With penises for bars. 

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Someone Made Animated GIFs of Outer Space!

Hey gang, I really love your Parks and Rec subtitle GIF photoset on your Tumblrs, and, man, that scene from Community was sooooo funny and all, but until you start GOING INTO FUCKING OUTER SPACE, I think we could all use a break from your guerilla marketing campaign for poorly rated NBC sitcoms. Oh, what’s that? A GIF of Honey Boo Boo drinking juice? Yeah, well, here’s an animated GIF of The Pelican Nebula, so, you know, shut up about your looping silent video of a clip from a reality TV show, OK?

See more of these amazing images by Finnish astrophotographer J-P Metsavainio here. [via B. Michael Payne]

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Barbaric Scientist Invents Oreo-Ruining Machine

David Neevel, a physicist from Portland, Oregon, is not entirely to blame for this atrocity. Truly the marketing geniuses at Nabisco should ultimately take the fall for their “Cookie Vs. Creme” brand rejuvenation plot. Because if you’re willing to use a corporate hashtag to indicate which of two cookie ingredients you desperately prefer to the other, guess what: YOU DON’T ACTUALLY LIKE OREOS.

If you want a chocolate cookie, eat a goddamn chocolate cookie. If you want some “creme,” and I really can’t believe it’s spelled that way but here we are, go buy a big-ass bucket of sweet white creme. Should be in the same aisle as the Marshmallow Fluff. No, the only way to eat an Oreo is to cram the entire confection into your face. Otherwise it’s not really an Oreo, is it. You idiot.

Anyway part of this promotion involved commissioning Neevel, who is staunchly anti-creme, to create an Oreo “separator.” The most telling part of this is a line in the Yahoo! News crawl: “Neevel Says He Had to Spend Time Away from Girlfriend and Dog To Make Machine.” All to get the kind of unremarkable chocolate wafer nobody would touch when a plate of them came out after Christmas dinner. Bon appétit! 

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Things The Russian So-Called Meteor Might Really Have Been

They’re saying a meteor broke up in the atmosphere over the Urals region of Russia, injuring hundreds. Below, you can hear Bill Nye the Science Guy explaining this laughable theory for CNN viewers. But we all know that story is just stage one of a cover-up, yeah? And this time, Mulder and Scully might really kiss!

Off the top of my head, I would guess that this “meteor” was really a ship built by space terrorists that Bruce Willis exploded even while jumping clear—with the only parachute on his back, of course. I call it Die Hard 6: Dyin’ Ain’t Easy. Or, if we were to extend certain fanciful analogies, it could easily have been god flicking a booger.

For that matter, who’s to say it wasn’t a warning shot across the prow by an advanced alien species? Like, keep it down you drunk assholes, some of us are working on the secrets of the universe here. Most probable of all, however, is the simplest explanation: what burned up over Russia was a giant hamster ball launched into orbit days ago by North Korea with a hundred squabbling monkeys inside. RIP, you brave and angry explorers.

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Killer Asteroid Slightly Larger Than We Thought

In news that will affect your ultimate demise not at all, an asteroid likely to hit our fragile planet and wipe out life as we know it in a couple decades, named for a mythical Egyptian demon, is 20% bigger than supposed upon its discovery in 2004. Buy stock in umbrella makers.

Okay, okay: Apophis, as the 1000-foot-wide hunk of hurtling space garbage is called, was only ever given a 2.7% chance of an Earth impact in 2029, and that number was revised downward. Now the asteroid is expected to miss us by a mere 22,000 miles, probably knocking out some Verizon satellites in the process.

But that math shouldn’t make you breathe so easy. Apophis’ weird orbit means it will be back in 2036. Maybe the 2029 pass is just to case the planet a bit—then, seven years later, when we’re feeling safe: BAM. The perfect crime. Odds are we’ll be too busy spinning the 40th Anniversary edition of Hanson’s MMMBop to notice. 

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Reclusive Giant Squid Finds Itself In The Spotlight

The deep-sea-dwelling giant squid, a creature that has gone to great lengths to avoid those meddling, curious marine biologists determined to make it a star, may have a taste for fame after all: Check out the first-ever pictures of this cephalopod alive and chilling in its natural habitat.

A team of Japanese scientists captured the images of the ten-foot-long creature (horrifically big but hardly as big as the species can get) using “near-infrared” light. Knowing the giant squid’s shy temperament, researchers realized they would have more success with the stealthiest possible approach.

Still, the legendarily secretive giant squid had to have some reason for going public. Tired of being mistaken for a Jules Verne-type monster? Wanted to be seen for the mild-mannered mollusk it is? Perhaps Tsunemi Kubodera, who led the zoological team, put his finger on it when he said the animal “looked to me like it was rather lonely.” You may now weep.

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The Eagles Are Coming For Your Babies

It’s just a few more days left until the Mayan apocalypse, but if the world doesn’t explode, I’m afraid that the eagles are coming for us. Or, at the very least, for French Canadian babies. Check out this video that some avid bird watcher caught of a majestic eagle swooping down and trying to kidnap some poor unsuspecting child. And then hold your childred tight, folks, because it’s a scary world out there. 

Update: Apparently people think this thing is a fake, which only solidifies my decision to post this under "Art."

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Want To Know Why You’re Gay?

A team of scientists may have the answer! Dr. Urban Friberg of the Uppsala University in Sweden and Dr. William Rice of University of UC Santa Barbara, who are likely totally gay with each other when not doing gay science, suggest the mysterious evolutionary biology of homosexuality may have something to do with “epi-marks.” Sounds pretty gay, right?

Building on “previous studies” that demonstrated “that homosexuality runs in families” but couldn’t pinpoint a so-called gay gene, Friberg and Rice have proposed in The Quarterly Review of Biology that something called epigenetics may be the crucial factor:

Epi-marks constitute an extra layer of information attached to our genes’ backbones that regulates their expression. While genes hold the instructions, epi-marks direct how those instructions are carried out—when, where and how much a gene is expressed during development. Epi-marks are usually produced anew each generation, but recent evidence demonstrates that they sometimes carryover between generations and thus can contribute to similarity among relatives, resembling the effect of shared genes.

Got all that? In a nutshell, it means that your opposite-sex parent probably contributed a sex-specific epi-mark to your DNA that never got erased, making you decidedly, irrevocably gay. So thank your mom or dad, depending: without them you’d be a miserable straight like the rest of us.

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