Scientific researchers have discovered a new planet that is orbiting a star – called Proxima Centauri – which are both very close to “our” Sun (in relative astrology measurements). Proxima Centauri is a star that coexists with another star located in the heavily studied Alpha Centauri star system. And this new planet – Proxima b – is orbiting Proxima Centauri.

What makes the discovery so cool is it appears that Proxima b has the type of climate that could support life. It has a climate that is extremely similar to the climate here on Earth, mainly because Proxima b is located within the ‘habitable zone’ that surrounds it’s star (Proxima Centauri). This is very similar to how Earth is in the ‘habitable zone’ that surrounds our star – the Sun.

Given the fact that Proxima b is within the habitable zone of its star, meaning liquid water could exist on the surface, it may also be the closest possible home for life outside of our solar system, the researchers said. Because of its location, the researchers hope that it provides an opportunity to “attempt further characterization via ongoing searches by direct imaging and high-resolution spectroscopy in the next decades, and possibly robotic exploration in the coming centuries.”

This next paragraph reads like something out of the movie “Real Genius“, where it’s minimizing in an uber-scientific way the “short” distance between Earth and Proxima b

Proxima b is a mere 4.2 light-years away from our solar system, or 266,000 times the distance between the Earth and the sun, which are 92.96 million miles apart. Previous rocky exoplanet discoveries, like those orbiting ultracool red dwarf star TRAPPIST-1, were described as close at 40 light-years away.

Being that it is only a mere 4.2 light years away, it’s only fitting that Elon Musk get moving on a Space X roadtrip to this planet.

Source: CNN

The Science of Male Jeggings

For the benefit of science, the editors over at Racked asked Joshua David Stein to wear men’s jeggings for a day. Granted I didn’t know such things existed for men, and for my money, sweatpants are just fine by me. Clearly there appear to be some drawbacks from these hitting mainstream:

I would say the biggest challenge I faced wearing majeggings is how to maintain the integrity of my thigh silhouette as well as my butt silhouette and still manage to carry that holy trinity of quotidian pocket contents: iPhone, wallet and keys. And that’s when it occurred to me. The perfect accompaniment and necessary corollary to the majegging is the murse. I look forward to the day when I can walk into Uniqlo and proudly demand, “Take me to your murses!”

Via Racked NY

The Science Behind Beer Goggles

Scientific proof that the more you drink, the more attractive everyone looks.

First, a study in 2002 took two sets of people, one more tipsy than the other. When they put the same photographs of people of the opposite sex in front of both groups, the tipsy people rated the pictures 25% more attractive than the sober ones. This effect can be rooted to the following:

The effect can reportedly be traced to the nucleus accumbens. When you’re looking at another human being, the nucleus accumbens is the area of the brain that decides how attractive that human being’s face is….As it turns out, alcohol, all by itself, stimulates the nucleus accumbens. So when you’ve have a few drinks, and you look at a face you may have judged as unattractive when you were sober, your brain, under the influence of alcohol, tells you that this face is in fact somewhat attractive. And the increase in perceived attractive seems to be directly proportional to the amount of alcohol consumed.

But this is my favorite. The article above goes on to say that n 2005, a study was conducted where scientists actually came up with a mathematical formula to calculate the state of “goggliness” that people are in, factoring in how brightly lit the area is, the eye sight quality, the amount of smoke in the air, and the distance between the two people, with the end result being your “beer goggle score”.

I’m thinking the next generation of Mobile Simplicity’s application needs to include a widget that incorporates this formula. There has to be a drinking game here.

The End of the World Is Back on Track

The folks over at CERN (the European Organization for Nuclear Research) have their Large Hadron Collider, the world’s largest Atom smasher, back online (7 hours early actually) after an electrical error put it offline for the past year. So as soon as January, they will be able to smash atoms and create a black hole around the French-Swiss border that will suck in all of humanity.