Panspermia is the hypothesis that life originated elsewhere in the universe and spread to Earth, and perhaps other places, on objects like asteroids. Astrobiologists, who investigate the possibility of life in space, point out that some microorganisms can, in fact, survive in space but that the long distances between planets would make surviving an interplanetary trip quite difficult, even for extremophiles. What tiny invertebrate was sent into orbit and survived exposure to the vacuum of space?
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A traditional Sardinian delicacy, casu marzu is pecorino cheese that has been intentionally infested with live cheese fly larvae. The cheese itself is soft, having been partially decomposed by the larvae. It is readily available on the black market in Sardinia, where it is considered an aphrodisiac and served with red wine. Some choose to cover casu marzu with one hand while eating it, as the larvae can leap up to 6 in (15 cm). Resistant to human stomach acids, the larvae can do what when eaten? Discuss
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Morgan le Fay was an enchantress in Arthurian legend whose name first appeared in literature around 1150. A skilled healer and shape-shifter, she ruled Avalon, the island where King Arthur went to be healed after being mortally wounded in battle. Her magic was learned from books and the magician Merlin. In some accounts, she is Arthur’s sister and enemy and seduces him to produce a son—Mordred—who later kills Arthur. The character of Morgan may have been inspired by what earlier Welsh goddess?
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Beginning with the 1911 Wuchang Uprising and ending with the abdication of China’s last emperor in 1912, the Xinhai Revolution ended China’s Qing dynasty and established one of the first Asian republics. The revolution was motivated by frustrations with foreign intervention and a weak and corrupt government, and its leader, Sun Yat-sen, is considered a Chinese hero. The “Anniversary of the Xinhai Revolution” is celebrated in mainland China, while “Double Tenth Day” is celebrated where? Discuss
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Salam was a Pakistani theoretical physicist who helped develop the electroweak theory explaining the relationship between electromagnetic and weak forces. For this work, he shared a Nobel Prize in Physics in 1979. He was the first Pakistani and the first Muslim scientist to be so honored. To support physicists from developing countries, he founded the International Centre for Theoretical Physics in 1964. He died in England and was brought back to Pakistan for burial. Who defaced his grave?
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