I know you’re itching to read this lot, but first you should check that you’ve made all your arrangements for attending the CUK Christmas Do in Manchester this Friday

  • The Octopus from Outer Space - ”Seattle’s most beguiling sea creatures were once feared and hunted—and even wrestled—for sport. But new research and a few surprising encounters are changing how we view them.” Interesting article by James Ross Gardner about the highly intelligent invertebrates.

  • The Deep Sea - While we're on the subject, take a deep dive in your browser by scrolling all the way to the bottom of the Challenger Deep, with interesting facts and a lot of weird creatures along the way

  • NASA's Mars Helicopter Testing Enters Final Phase - From earlier this year (when I forgot to post it), NASA is sending a helicopter to Mars: ”In 2021, the small, autonomous helicopter will be the first vehicle in history to attempt to establish the viability of heavier-than-air vehicles flying on another planet.” And if that isn't sufficiently ambitious for you, they're also sending a drone to Saturn's moon Titan: ”Dragonfly will launch in 2026 and arrive in 2034. The rotorcraft will fly to dozens of promising locations on Titan looking for prebiotic chemical processes common on both Titan and Earth.” More on the latter in this PDF: Dragonfly: A Rotorcraft Lander Concept for Scientific Exploration at Titan

  • Neanderthal teeth reveal intimate details of daily life - We can learn a surprising amount about somebody who lived around 250,000 years ago from their teeth: ”Teeth grow in a consistent pattern, somewhat like rings on a tree… But unlike annual tree rings, teeth form in much finer layers and allow scientists to study each day of growth in a child's early years.”

  • Polaris Artefacts - A gallery of photos of human constructions in Antarctica by Lorraine Turci: ”The human presence look like incongruous in these remote area. Fine and coloured geometries lost in white stretches that we imagine extending to infinite.”

  • Carsten Borchgrevink and the first Christmas on the Antarctic Continent - Speaking of Antarctica, somebody had to be the first person to go there, and Carsten Borchgrevink reckoned it was him: ”They had taken with them a party of sledge dogs which they used for transport, and thus became the first explorers to travel on the Great Ice Barrier, now known as the Ross Ice Shelf. They had set a record for the ‘furthest south’, and made important observations about the position of the Magnetic South Pole. Why, then, was Borchgrevink sidelined in the annals of polar exploration, while the likes of Scott, Shackleton and Amundsen were celebrated as icons of the ‘heroic age’?” And more on Borchgrevink's expedition: Carsten E. Borchgrevink - Southern Cross
    British Antarctic Expedition 1898 - 1900

  • The Case of the Felonious Bread - ”A few months ago, Seamus Blackley… started making bread using 4,500-year-old yeast scraped from ancient Egyptian pottery, and prepared as closely as possible to how it was made back in the old days (here’s a write-up about it in Eater, that’s worth reading for its own sake). At one point he offered to make a loaf for me — for the purposes of science, specifically, making a grilled cheese sandwich from the bread — and I of course accepted.” But a drugs dog became suspicious, and the Ancient Egyptian bread was intercepted by the police (I thought I'd linked to something about this bread earlier in the year but it seems I just read the Twitter thread, so follow that link in the quote to find out all about it.)

  • The Wonder of Fire Without Gravity - Marina Koren on the tricky business of playing with fire in space: ”To study combustion on the ISS, and before that, the Space Shuttles, astronauts have set fire to a variety of materials and observed how this distinctly earthly phenomenon unfolds in microgravity. And they love doing it.”

  • London’s Cold War Bunkers - Everybody loves a bunker, and Robert Lordan's roundup of various Cold War installations around London includes a few I didn't already know about: ”Due to their purpose, many of these subterranean Cold War bunkers were top secret at the time and their existence continues to elude ordinary civilians today. However, if you know where to look, these Cold War era shelters remain all around London…”

  • Record Label Logos - A thorough collection by Reagan Ray (who appeared here back in May with Airline Logos): ”This was a beast of a post to put together. In my other logo posts, I was dealing with hundreds of brands. With record labels, it's in the thousands. If you include indie and foreign labels, I feel like I could have spent the next few years trying to track down and organize all the label logos out there… I’ve managed to curate what I think is the cream of the crop. I’ve mostly stuck to the major labels, with some off-beat stuff mixed in. As with most logo collections I’ve put together, the oldies (and nostalgia) rule the day.”

Happy invoicing!