It’s time for “Nerd News,” covering the most important news for your brain.
Here’s a quick rundown of this week in science . . .
1. We might need a “leap minute” soon. Atomic clocks and ones based on Earth’s orbit vary slightly. So we’ve been adding “leap seconds” every few years since 1972. But some experts want to start doing leap minutes instead, every 50 years or so. 2024 is a “leap year,” but that’s a totally different thing.
2. Your phone might be able to accurately tell you how drunk you are soon. Researchers are working on an app that can tell how much you’ve had to drink by listening to you read tongue twisters out loud.
4. In brain news: Elon Musk’s company Neuralink is ready to start testing its computer chip brain implants on humans. And thousands of people have already lined up to be the first guinea pigs for it.
5. In space news: An astronaut lost a toolbag during a spacewalk last week. And NASA says you can actually SEE it just using a pair of binoculars. It’s reflective enough to see sunlight bouncing off of it. They expect it to burn up in the atmosphere within the next few months.
6. In other space news: NASA announced that Saturn will lose its rings in 2025. (???) Don’t worry, they’ll be back. Because of Saturn’s orbit, we’ll be seeing them from the side. So they’ll be on edge and just look like they’ve disappeared.
7. And in animal news: We learned this week that helicopters can put crocodiles in the mood. (???) They like to start mating when it rains. So the sound of thunder . . . or helicopters . . . can make them all hot and bothered. It came up because some military choppers recently flew over a crocodile farm in Australia.