1. Your “Personal Bubble” is Actually a Cloud of Bacteria
A new study published in the journal Peer J has revealed that a “personal bubble” isn’t just a reference to a preferred spacial barrier—but a living, breathing organism that’s unique to each human. “If I scratch my head, thousands of skin cells, cell fragments, bacteria, and fungi get airborne,” explains former University of Oregon researcher James Meadow, and they follow you no matter where you go. Meadow’s research is especially intriguing for police investigators, who believe they can place suspects at the scene of the crime just by studying particles their microbiome clouds have picked up. Read more on the research at Wired.
2. Foursquare Predicts Apple Will Sell 13 to 15 Million iPhones This Weekend
With the recent release of the new iPhone 6s and 6s Plus, Foursquare decided to dig into its massive bank of location-based data to try and predict Apple’s first weekend of sales. By analyzing typical foot traffic around Apple stores for the past three years, the discovery app was able to pick out trends linking in-store visitors to overall sales. They’re predicting that today’s launch day foot traffic will be roughly 360% of a typical Friday and will ultimately lead to 13 to 15 million iPhones sold this weekend—beating all previous records. Head to Medium to view the process behind the prediction.
3. The Kokomo Ailand is Part Yacht, Part Private Island
Combining a mega yacht with a private island, Austrian company Migaloo Private Submarines has taken luxury boating to the extreme with the new Kokomo Ailand: a multi-tiered floating structure that caters to the world’s billionaires. The extravagant aqua home features multiple levels of entertainment, including a “jungle deck” that comes complete with waterfalls, vertical gardens and palm trees. A spa, gym, infinity pool, helipad and penthouse perched 260-feet in the air are also options but, of course, these can be customized to the owner’s desires. View the full set of renderings of the Kokomo Ailand on Business Insider.
4. The “Happy Birthday Song” is Now Public Domain
The “Happy Birthday Song” is finally joining public domain after a Los Angeles federal judge ruled that nobody actually had exclusive rights to the tune. Warner/Chappell Music had previously demanded royalties whenever the song was used for commercial purposes (netting them around $2 million each year) but, according to the judge, those copyrights only applied to certain arrangements in the original version of the song called “Good Morning and Birthday Song” and not the lyrics themselves. No longer will restaurants have to sing their own awkward, made-up melodies.
5. Selfies Are More Deadly Than Sharks
The number of selfie-related deaths has grown to 12 this year, after a man fell down a set of stairs trying to photograph himself in front of the Taj Mahal. Shockingly, shark attacks have only caused eight deaths in 2015, making selfies 1.5 times more deadly than a creature that’s inspired horror movies and strikes fear into many. People have proven that they will go to great lengths to snap the perfect selfie—and parks, museums and popular events have countered by banning selfie sticks. Before throwing yourself in front of a charging bull or climbing atop a moving train, please think: is it really worth the likes?
6. Scientists Discover the Sound Giraffes Make
Just two years ago, the world went into a frenzy trying to figure out “What does the fox say?” Meanwhile, another silent creature, the giraffe, remained mostly ignored. Researchers have finally gotten around to recording the animal and, apparently, they hum. Observing the giraffes over an eight-year period and capturing 940 hours of sounds, the researchers have finally concluded that—aside from the occasional grunt—giraffes produce an incredibly low (yet audible) 92Hz hum to communicate with each other. However, they only hum at night.
7. PSFK’s “Sex, Drugs and Alcohol Debrief” Explores our Vices
Between easing marijuana laws, the proliferation of online dating apps and on-demand alcohol delivery services, it’s safe to say that the business of sex, drugs and booze is booming. PSFK took a closer look in their latest report, the “Sex, Drugs and Alcohol Debrief” to highlight some of the new trends, products and business models that are shaping the industry. The 24-page report includes over 30 best-in-class examples, statistics and key takeaways and an in-depth article on the industry’s impact. It’s available to download for $150 on PSFK’s website.
8. The Bloodhound SSC Can Travel at 1000 mph
After eight years of research and development, British engineers are ready to unveil the Bloodhound SSC: a supersonic car that was built with the sole purpose of breaking the current land-speed record of 763 mph. The Bloodhound carries the power of 180 F1 vehicles and was designed to reach a staggering 1000 mph in just 55 seconds. It’s basically a fighter jet with wheels instead of wings. The Bloodhound’s creators will showcase the supersonic car in east London for the next two days in hopes of inspiring younger generations to take up science and engineering.