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#5: Internet Root, Genetics, Apple, Helicopters on Mars, and more!

Hi friend!

I hope you’re doing well and are ready for another jam-packed newsletter to tickle your curiosity!

First up: It’s been 3 months since I last published a Simply Explained episode, but I finally managed to upload a new one. I’ve been struggling to create videos lately. I have a lot of ideas and half-baked scripts, but I just couldn’t finish anything.

But not to fear: I already know what the next 2 videos will be about, and they’re going to be a bit different.

Secondly, the channel has just reached 300,000 subscribers. This is a huge milestone for me. When I started Simply Explained (about 5 years ago), the aim was to get to 100,000 subscribers. It seemed impossible. A goal too far to reach. But I kept my head down. I kept chipping away at it, and now I’m at three times that number!

I want to thank everyone who has supported me over the years. It really means a lot to me! Thank you.

Enjoy the newsletter,
Xavier

Latest content from me

NFT’s are a hot topic nowadays, with artists selling digital artwork for millions of dollars. In this video, I explain what NFT’s are and how they can be used for other things. All in under 4 minutes!

New blog posts

I also wrote two new blog posts. They’re a bit technical and geeky 🤓.

Cool Stuff I Found on the Internet

First genetically modified mosquitoes released in the United States

Mosquitoes transfer all kinds of nasty diseases, and this project aims to reduce the population of the "Aedes aegypti" mosquito family.

This gives us food for thought. Technologies like CRISPR exist today and will have a massive impact on our society. They are giving us the ability to change any gene we'd like in any organism.

Is it okay to genetically modify animals? When should it be allowed, and when should it be blocked? What about crops? And what about humans?

Wikipedia is swimming in money—why is it begging people to donate?

We've all seen the banners on Wikipedia asking us to donate to the foundation. But what I didn't know is that Wikipedia's parent company has more than enough money to go around!

Iceland Is so Small There's an App That Keeps Icelanders from Dating Their Relatives

Iceland has a population of 330,000 people, and most of them are distantly related. To prevent you from dating a relative, a company has developed a special app that checks if you're related to your date. It even comes with a super creepy slogan: "Bump the app before you bump into bed."

HTTP/1.0 Room 404 Object Not Found

We've all seen 404 pages on the Internet. But why 404? This takes us back to the early days of the Web. At CERN, office number 404 was responsible for providing people with requested files. Whenever a request could not be fulfilled (because a file could not be found), the office responded with "Room 404: file not found," which later turned into the familiar "Error 404: file not found".

(Thanks to my dad, who pointed my attention to this remarkable historical fact!)

A Palazzo Reborn: Inside Apple’s Stunning New Store in Via del Corso, Rome

Whether you're an Apple fanboy or not, you'll definitely appreciate how Apple has restored an old Italian building to its former glory. Also: marble floors must've been cheap back in the day!

News from Low-Earth Orbit 🌍 & Mars 👽

Space Debris Has Hit And Damaged The International Space Station

The inevitable has happened! Space Debris has hit and damaged the ISS 😖 Scientists have worried about space debris for a long time. Not only could it limit our ability to explore the solar system, but it could also damage things like GPS, TV, and communication satellites which are vital.

Kessler syndrome is the theoretical scenario in which the density of objects in low-Earth orbit is so high that one collision could endlessly cascade.

NASA's Curiosity Rover Captures Shining Clouds on Mars

Curiosity took beautiful pictures from clouds moving over the Martian surface. (Cloud forming is rare on Mars because of its thin atmosphere)

Mars Helicopter Lands Safely After Serious In-Flight Anomaly

Last time around, there was good news about the Mars helicopter Ingenuity. This time, however, the craft ran into a software glitch mid-flight and experienced a rough landing. Ingenuity uses a camera to gauge how high it's from the ground. When one image wasn't delivered on time, the software started glitching.

Ingenuity was ultimately able to land safely and has since flown for the seventh time! This time flying 106 meters in around 62.8 and landing in uncharted territory.

China's Mars rover Zhurong just snapped an epic self-portrait on the Red Planet

Last bit of Mars-news: Chinese rover Zhurong has captured a fantastic selfie by placing a wireless camera on the planet's surface and then driving back to its lander.

Apollo-Soyuz Mission: When the Space Race Ended

A few weeks ago, I binge-watched the series For All Mankind, which presents an alternate history in which the space race never ended.

Most of the story is pure fiction, but one episode is about a mission called Apollo-Soyuz, which actually happened! On July 17th, 1975, the US and Soviet Union docked two spacecraft in orbit.

Sent on

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