A Fake Meteor Shower Could Be Coming to a Sky Near You

A company called Astro Live Experiences (ALE) wants to put satellites in orbit which are capable of launching artificial meteor showers with the push of a button.

And, after launching a test rocket earlier this week, it looks as if ALE may be on track to making that happen in the skies over Japan as soon as 2020.

Loaded with miniature pellets that will burn up in the atmosphere to generate light, each satellite would be able to put on an aerial display which could last for several minutes.

Even though it will be artificial, the light generated should be spectacular and even be bright enough to be visible in areas with heavy light pollution, according to the company.

Called the Sky Canvas Project, the showers should be visible to millions of people across an area extending for 125 miles.

According to ALE, the purpose of Sky Canvas is to “bring people all over the world together to witness an unprecedented, collective experience. Using space as our stage, we will constantly strive to bring to life new levels of entertainment while utilizing its technology in the development of science.”

Check out one of ALE’s promotional videos below.

ALE_Astro Live Experiences from ALE_Astro Live Experiences on Vimeo.

“Plogging” – the New Fitness Trend Perfect for Lovers of the Environment

Plogging is the latest fitness trend out of Sweden (of course) that involves cleaning up litter while jogging.

It was created by avid skier and trail runner, Erik Ahlström, according to BuzzFeed News, as a combination of “jogging” and “plocka upp,” which is Swedish for “pick up.”

Ahlström dates plogging to 2016, but the movement didn’t pick up steam until two years later. After the media focused its attention on the environmentalist’s healthy good deeds, the trend exploded on platforms like Instagram and Facebook where its no longer unusual to find organized plogging events.

The plogging movement has “reached all continents,” Ahlström told BuzzFeed News from New Zealand, where he was on a “plogging tour” to spread awareness and popularize the trend.

The majority of plogging’s “early adopters” were ultra runners, like Ahlström, who runs distances longer than marathons. He considers ploggers an “extension of the litter bin” in nature, where “no one is hired to pick up.” But, he said, plogging is an activity for all age groups and abilities.

“We try to encourage kids — they don’t expect it to be so fun,” Ahlström said. You don’t have to be a star athlete “to be good at plogging.”

What Happens to Your Digital Passwords After You Die?

Two things are certain in life: death and taxes.

If you’re dead, staxes are no longer a worry, but what happens to your Facebook password once you’ve passed?

“It’s impressive to me how many times people don’t recognize the extent of digital assets that they own,” Mark Parthemer, Managing Director and Senior Fiduciary Counsel at Bessemer Trust tells Popular Science. “With many clients, they’re concerned about financial things, but they need to protect the sentimental assets too, like photographs.”

Users should start making a digital inventory of their online presence in preparation. This includes photos and videos stored online, emails, social media accounts and even the contact list on your phone.

As a precaution, users should designate a person or people to have access and control of their digital footprint.

They can assign someone to to be a “Legacy Contact” over the Facebook page that can control their profiles after death, confirm friend requests and make post on the page which then becomes a memorial.

Google offers an Inactive Account Manager that, after a period of inactivity, can notify a list of contacts the user designates to access the account data.

Not all companies and apps offer the ability to pass along data or account information once the person has died so a lawyer may be necessary.

Forty one states have adopted laws that allow users to declare who can access what information, but a person will need to include a provision in their trust or will and power of attorney.

Asteroids Are Crashing Into Earth More Than Twice As Often Now

Asteroids are hitting Earth 2.6 times more frequently than they were in the previous 700 million years, according to the Associated Press.

There’s no need to worry the study says, which was published in Science— asteroids only collide with Earth every million or few million years.

NASA has no pending threats on it’s list of potential big disasters.

Sara Mazrouei, the study’s lead author and a University of Toronto planetary scientist says it’s a game of probability: “The events are still rare and far between that I’m not too worried about it.”

Mazrouei, along with colleagues in the U.S. and U.K., created a list of impact craters on the moon and on Earth that were bigger than 12 miles wide and formulated dates of impact.

The team found 29 craters no older than 290 million years and nine craters that are between 291 and 650 million years old.

“Extrapolating for what can’t be seen brings the total to about 260 space crashes on Earth in the last 290 million years. Adding in other factors, the science team determined that the current space crash rate is 2.6 times more than the previous 700 million years,” AP explains.

So what made the past 290 million years an asteroid party on Earth?

“Perhaps an asteroid family was broken up in the asteroid belt,” Mazrouei speculated. Then, they made their way to Earth and her moon where Earth took the brunt of the damage from the asteroid field because it’s a bigger target with higher gravity.

Loneliest Frog Finds A Mate After 10 Years Living Solo

Romeo, the world’s loneliest frog, finally has a potential mate after 10 years of searching.

The Sehuencas water frog has been housed in the Bolivian museum where he’s waited for a decade for a potential mate to be found. Last year, researchers even created a match.com profile for the lonely amphibian.

After Bolivia’s Alcide d’Orbigny Natural History Museum and Global Wildlife Conservation partnered to raise money to Romeo a lover, zoologist Teresa Camacho led a expedition to discover the elusive frog.

Traipsing around Bolivia’s Cloud Forest, Camacho and her team of scientists traversed creeks and murky streams, plunging their hands into water to feel around for the rare female frog.

“We were tired, wet and disappointed,” Camacho told CNN. “Then I said, ‘Let’s do one more creek.’”

Discovering a orange-bellied water frog under a waterfall gave hope to Camacho and her team who returned to the same site the next day finding a total of 4 more frogs- two male and two female.

One of those females was the perfect age for mating- they named her Juliet.

Before the two frogs can meet (and mate), scientists need to make sure Juliet is free of the chytrid fungus who has been known to kill entire frog communities.

No longer the loneliest frog, if everything goes according to plan, the pair will meet on Valentine’s Day.

The Secret Nazi Plot to Destroy Britain’s Economy That Almost Worked

Not all of the fighting during WWII occurred on the ground; the Nazis used espionage in an attempt to destroy the British economy.

“Operation Bernhard,” was launched by Germany in an effort to create “elaborate printing plates that mimicked British currency, in order to flood the enemy economy with counterfeit bills,” Atlas Obscura reported.

Dr. Vince Houghton, a historian and curator at the International Spy Museum, says the museum exists to educate the public the importance of intelligence work throughout our history.

“The idea was to flood Britain with fake currency, so that no one could trust the British economic system. It evolved later on to a way to launder money and create fake money to pay German spies.” Dr. Houghton explained. “This plate represents an extraordinary moment in the second World War.”

Multiple security features were included in the British currency like paper type, watermarks, and serial numbers. The Germans still managed to crack the code and printed over 8 million counterfeit bills.

As the end of the war for loomed, Germany attempted to destroy and hide any and all evidence of the intelligence operation. The only remaining plate, found at the bottom of a lake in Austria, is currently in the hands of the International Spy Museum in Washington, D.C.

Jesse Jackson Calls Trump Serving Fast Food to Clemson at White House “Disgraceful”

President Trump serving fast food at the White House left a sour taste in Jesse Jackson’s mouth.

The Reverend did not keep his mouth closed when he was asked about Trump deciding to serve the national champion Clemson Tigers burgers, fries, and pizza to commemorate their victory.

According to Jackson, eating fast food was “beneath the status of their accomplishment.”

“The national champions deserved better,” Jackson said. “It was disgraceful,” he said. “Many people felt offended by it. I felt offended by it.”

He added that he was “so, so proud of Clemson.”

Jackson is a native of Greenville, South Carolina, which is about a 45-minute drive from Clemson.

He was diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease in November 2017 and also provided an update about his health while speaking with The Greenville News.

“Parkinson’s is a challenging disease. My medicine, my therapy and my faith — those are my three weapons,” he said. “God will see me through.”

This $350,000 Watch Looks Like An Apple Watch, Only Does One Thing

If you have $350,000 to drop on an accessory, look no further than this H. Moser & Cie. Swiss Alps watch that looks just like an Apple Watch.

Wired explains how it works: “The Concept Black uses a one-minute flying tourbillon, designed to counteract the effects of gravity on the watch’s movement, at 6 o’clock. In order to discern the time, the wearer must listen for the piece’s minute repeater function, an old complication employed before electricity and luminescence that through a series of chimes emanating from the watch itself told the owner the exact time to the minute. In short: you have to listen, very carefully, to hear the time.”

This new watch is a throwback to hundreds of years ago when folks wanted to know the time when it was nighttime or they didn’t have enough light to see the hands on their wristwatch. At a time before artificial illuminations (aka “glow-in-the-dark”), watches would respond with a chimes indicating the time of day.

The high price tag can be explained by admiring the back of the watch which showcases the intricate workings making it possible for the Apple Watch look-alike to chime when the button is pressed.

“This minute repeater has a rectangular-shaped movement. It’s special. To chime two small hammers strike a gong that runs around the outline of the rectangle casing. Despite the odd shape, the watch is capable of producing a chime,” TechCrunch reports.

The Swiss watchmaker has been using the Apple Watch design for their watch designs since 2016.

NBA Refs Will Interact with Fans Through Social Media — During Games

NBA referees will answer questions about calls in real time via Twitter during a selection of games for the rest of the season.

The NBA’s latest endeavor will start with two games next week — the Golden State Warriors at Los Angeles Lakers game on Monday and San Antonio Spurs at Philadelphia 76ers matchup on Wednesday, ESPN reported. Fans can scream at tweet @OfficialNBARefs or use the hashtag #RefWatchParty to get responses from officials on the court.

Members of the National Basketball Referees Association first tried out the concept last season during a Finals game, noted ESPN. During the game, refs  were able to explain to fans their reasoning behind specific calls in the same way you’d appreciate having to explain your every move at the office to a complete stranger.

The NBA league office has agreed to work in collaboration with the referee union on this project — a great idea considering the number of missed or incorrect calls that will likely be made while refs are tweeting during games.

Red Sox Manager Is Reconsidering Saying “Yes” to White House Visit

Boston Red Sox manager is thinking twice about visiting the White House next month – and it has nothing to do with fast food.

The World Series champs are scheduled to pay a visit to see President Trump at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue on February 15 and Cora said in the past that he would attend.

However, before the annual dinner of the Boston chapter of the Baseball Writers’ Association of America, Cora indicated he may be rethinking that decision.

“We’ll see what happens,” Cora said. “There’s a lot of stuff going on right now as far as the government and the shutdown and all that. Right now I can say yes. It might change tomorrow.”

A Puerto Rico native, Cora has been critical of Trump’s policies toward his home island as well as the relief efforts which were provided in the wake of Hurricane Maria.

The 43-year-old manager’s decision could affect what some of his players choose to do and Red Sox executives are also still discussing if it is appropriate to visit the White House if the government is still shut down.

“If I go, I’ll represent Puerto Rico the right way,” Cora said. “I don’t know what kind of platform I’ll have if I go. It’s not that I’ve changed my mind, but we’ll see what happens in the upcoming days.”