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A time line divided in 3 sections labeled as era. Species such as early invertebrates, bony fish and anomalocaris representing the paleozic era. Pteranodon, Brachiosaurus and Tyrannosaurus rex representing Mesozoic era. Goose, lion, human and whale representing Cenozoic era.

Can the IUCN Red List predict the next mass extinction event?

A blue and white glacier crumbles in a glacier bay. Several birds fly in the distance.
Spot alt text: A long grey pipe in a snowy field releases white gas into the air. Several white birds with black tipped wings fly overhead.

Image depicts asteroid Bennu against starry black sky

The Modern Explorer’s Guide to the Unknown

In a world where the Internet and websites like Google Maps make it possible for nearly anyone to see Earth’s surface in detail, is there anything left for us to find? Are the days of explorers setting off in search of the unknown behind us?

Exploration in the 21st century is alive and kicking! Humans are constantly exploring and discovering new things that range from new species to new sub-atomic particles. Throughout our time as explorers into the unknown, we have relied on our innovation and technological prowess to aid us in the journey. From ships to planes to rovers, technology, and science have played a fundamental part in discovering the unknown. In this article, we hope to shed some light on modern explorers’ technologies to explore the land, the sea, and beyond.

Why (You and I Think) Billionaires Suck

Hating billionaires has been a favourite pastime of us lowly mortals for a long time—and for good reason. “Elon Musk and Mark Zuckerberg agree to hold cage fight.”¹ There go the uber-wealthy doing ridiculous things once again. But where does this strong dislike come from? Are the one percenters truly different than the rest of us? Or is there something in the perception of the other 99% that fuels the dislike? It might be a bit of both.

A head with a long snake neck is looking in fascination at dream-like architecture with pink clouds. Magikarp are jumping into the river and a PETA van is driving in the distance

Why do we dream?: The psychology behind our nighttime adventures

You are sitting at your childhood dining table, eating pink-and-yellow striped Goldfish crackers. Your little brother is sitting next to you, and he presents you with seven new Goldfish cracker flavours. “They’re all named after Pokemon,” he says. Right—Pokemon are real now. They’ve been in the news all day and you’re trying to adopt one. You wanted Bulbasoar but you keep getting MagiKarp. There are three MagiKarp across from you. They’re different colours. Why? One’s sick. It’s allergic to Goldfish crackers. It’s going to die. Oh God—you’re going to be arrested by PETA. This is bad. Their van is here already. You clutch your brothers in your arms and tell him you love him. He screams as the masked PETA officers break down the door.

digital illustration of a cluster of black fish swimming upwards across the page. Behind them are a spread of radioactive waste barrels, droplets of mercury, and a submarine.

Ultra-Black is the New Black

Life is bright here on the surface of the Earth – the sun shines, the moon glows, and the stars glimmer. With plants being at the bottom of most food chains, it’s reasonable to believe that animals would only live in areas touched by the light of the sun. Yet, over 200 metres under the sea lives a completely different world, beyond the reach of the sunlight that travels millions of miles to shine upon our planet.1 Whether it’s day or night, it’s all the same darkness – that is, until you’re graced by the light of a jellyfish floating by. Down here, all light is produced by bioluminescence (the process that allows animals to generate their own light), making for a seemingly alien landscape in the deep sea.1 However, some fish have taken a different route to adapt to life in the deep by fully embracing the darkness. Only a few other species in the animal kingdom exhibit these features, but no one does it as well as ultra-black deep-sea fish.

A hand with red nail polish points to the map on the wooden table. The map shows a small island titled "Snake Island" on the top left. Underneath the title "Atlantic Ocean" is written in cursive. Two boats are illustrated around the island and a compass is on the top right of the map. A yellow snake lies around the map.

The Host of the Island: Golden Lancehead of Ilha da Queimada Grande

As we scroll social media, we come across interesting “facts”. Some are true, some are not, and some of them exploit the fact that we don’t know much about a topic or a place. Today, we’ll be introduced to an island that is quite mysterious: Ilha da Queimada Grande, in other words Snake Island.

A depiction of Aristotle and his original theory of eel production shown in the background. In the background, an eel appears out of the mud and is brought to life by rainwater.

Understanding the Evasive and Enigmatic Eel

A depiction of Aristotle and his original theory of eel production shown in the background. In the background, an eel appears out of the mud and is brought to life by rainwater.

Two sentient neuron tissues attached to wires are sitting on dishes opposite of each other, depicted on diagonal corners of the illustration. They each have ghostly arms holding a board and hitting a ball toward each other, like the game Pong. The far right neuron tissue has an exclamation mark above it, while the close left neuron tissue has three marks above it, depicting liveliness.

Organoid Intelligence: Can Neurons in a Dish Become Computers?

How good are you at the arcade game Pong? I don’t think I’ve ever played it, but playing the game has become a rite of passage for machines or systems trying to display their “intelligence.” Google-owned DeepMind mastered it in 20151, and training artificial intelligence (AI) models to play it is even a bonus assignment in a computer science course at the University of Toronto2. We’ve all become used to AI performing human-like tasks. But can you imagine a group of cells in a dish also being capable of playing the game?