Smarts isn’t the most important thing

Being a student is all about being smart right? If you’re smart you’ll do better in school. If you’re smart you’ll be more successful in life. Right? Right?

Well, not really. The most important thing isn’t IQ, or being smart, or learning things fast. The most important thing is grit. Grit is being determined, and able to keep going despite mistakes. It would be great if teaching how to do this were part of teaching curriculum. Please watch the TED Ed video.

Preying Mantises can see depth

The preying mantis is an excellent hunter. Does it have depth perception to help it snag insects? It turns out that it does. Scientists put tiny 3D glasses on them and showed them 2D and 3D videos of insects, and they only went for the 3D ones.

The mantis (and we) use eyes that are separated to get binocular vision to get two slightly different perspectives on things. Various cues from the two images and how the eyes line up give us information on how far away things are.

Hypothetical 9th planet

Scientists claim that they have evidence for (but not observed) a new ninth planet of our solar system. This planet would be about the size of Neptune, and would orbit the sun about every 15,000 years. It’s closest approach to the sun (perihelion)¬†would be about 200 AU out from the sun (200 times the distance from the Earth to the sun), while its furthest distance (aphelion) could be from 600 to 1200 AU.

(DATA) JPL; BATYGIN AND BROWN/CALTECH; (DIAGRAM) A. CUADRA/SCIENCE

Periodic Table now filled

If you’ve looked at the last row of the periodic table of elements, you’ve probably wondered about those strange names like Ununoctium. These are placeholders for elements that haven’t been given official names. Well, soon these will be going away. The placeholders, that is. Researchers have synthesized them in labs, and the IUPAC¬†has recognized them. Soon they will have official names, and the Unun names will go away.

Now it’s on to the 8th row on the table!