when i was Growing up in the west of Scotland, my concept of the United States was defined by several “Only in America” characteristics: pumpkin pie, long hot dogs, Disney World, friends, skyscrapers, baseball and pickup trucks. Some of these aspects, such as: friends, are no longer such a relevant touchstone now that I actually live in America. But others absolutely are – and especially pickup trucks.
It is hard to explain. The Americans I know who drive pickup trucks are all outdoorsy people who use their trucks to haul deer carcasses and store their tools, but I don’t think that’s exactly why pickups are so quintessentially American . But apart from that, which pickup is more of an American icon than the Ford F-150?
This is a modified version of the Reverse daily newsletter of Thursday 12 May 2022. Subscribe for free and learn something new every day.
In a new review, writer Jordan Golson explains why the F-150 represents America’s past, present and future of transportation. Read that story and more in the . from today Reverse daily†
The first stars, black holes and quasars appeared in the Age of Reionization, marking the universe’s transition from its early undifferentiated hydrogen soup to something much more familiar. But with the mass of the universe uniformly distributed in a hot gas of neutral particles, what kept the first black holes from simply consuming all matter?
Just 300,000 years after the Big Bang, the primordial soup of fundamental particles cooled enough for protons and electrons to form hydrogen, leading to an era known as the Dark Ages, when the universe was evenly filled with neutral hydrogen. Then, about 13 billion years ago, galaxies began to form, and supermassive black holes began to gobble up extreme amounts of matter, creating powerful radiation and fast winds made of ionized particles.
Based on observations made with ESO’s XSHOOTER instrument at the Very Large Telescope in Chile’s Atacama Desert, a team of international astronomers led by Italy suggests that feedback from the formation process of black holes slowed their growth, leading to led to the balance of matter we know today. The results of the study were published today in Nature†
Just as the human genome can give us crucial information over millennia about where, when and how our species evolved, genome changes in a virus can tell us about the progression of disease outbreaks and pandemics.
The 1918 pandemic is estimated to have killed between 50 and 100 million people worldwide. Unlike our current pandemic, many of the questions about the 1918 pandemic remained a mystery due to technological limitations. Virologists in particular could not be sure whether the seasonal H1N1 flu is a direct descendant of the 1918 pandemic or a intra-subtype reassortment† In other words, one of the biggest questions medical historians have about the 1918 pandemic is whether the modern seasonal flu is a great-grandchild of the flu virus that caused the 1918 pandemic, or a distant cousin.
New research, published today in nature communicationsuggests that the seasonal flu is a direct descendant of the 1918 flu. This had been a mystery because at the time, scientists hadn’t yet discovered flu viruses, far fewer have the ability to sequence the genome of a virus. It wasn’t until the late 1990s that researchers were able to determine permafrost-preserved bodies that the 1918 pandemic was indeed the influenza A virus of the H1N1 subtype.
Here’s why that’s important for Covid-19.
A pickup truck is the ultimate “but I should” vehicle. But maybe I have to drag furniture. But maybe I should drive to Grandma’s house while towing an 8,000-pound boat. But maybe I need to overcome some off-road hurdles.
Ford knows all this and knows its truck customers. That’s what Built Ford Tough means, and while it could easily be dismissed as a silly marketing slogan, it means something at Ford and they won’t list a truck for sale unless it fits that bill.
The F-150 Lightning feels like a Ford F-150 that happens to be electric rather than an electric F-150. Ford has taken the best-selling vehicle in the country and created a built-in Ford Tough electric version with added capabilities.
According to a recent study, even more extreme heat waves may have swept the world that scientists were unaware of. Researchers at the University of Bristol in England have re-analyzed climate data from the 1950s. Worryingly, the June 2021 event will be in the top eight worst heatwaves to date, with others scattered around the world. The findings were: published on the news last week, Progress in science.
Using a combination of available data and climate models, the new report details some of the worst heat waves worldwide that went undetected, including the worst in size in Southeast Asia in 1998.
This study fills a gap, says lead author Vikki Thompson, a senior researcher at the University of Bristol’s School of Geographical Sciences. Most research focuses on a specific region or event, she says inverse†
“Looking globally, we get a different kind of picture of what’s happening… and we can put future events in a better context, because even if a region doesn’t [a heat wave]we can show that other parts of the world may have already experienced similar things.”
About this newsletter: Do you think it can be improved? Do you have a story idea? Want to share a story about the time you met an astronaut? Send those thoughts and more to [email protected]†
- On this day in history: On May 12, 1926, Roald Amundsen, Lincoln Ellsworth and Umberto Nobile flew over the North Pole – the first time anyone had ever succeeded. Amundsen was also the first person to reach the South Pole by any means — he made that expedition in 1911.
- Song of the Day: †Back on the road”, by Willie Nelson