When an airplane gets struck by lightning  

Imagine watching a plane packed with passengers — including one or more of your friends or relatives whom you’ve just seen off at the airport — take off in a thunder storm and a couple of thousand feet up it gets struck by a great big jagged bolt of lightning.

That would be horrendous. Right?

Not necessarily. The plane would most probably continue on its way without pause, its passengers blissfully unaware of what you just saw happen from the ground.

Find that hard to believe?

Then watch this video, taken by an onlooker, of a passenger plane actually getting struck in midair by a lightning bolt.

The return of Europe’s extinct wild supercows  

Once upon a time, aurochs, — mighty cows “that stood almost as tall as elephants, with lean, powerful frames and fearsome horns,” — roamed wild in Europe.

For thousands of years these great mammals lived in relative peace, mostly invulnerable to attacks by wolves (the only beasts of prey in the same neck of the woods they needed to keep an eye on).

Then humans found them and began to decimate their numbers until the last auroch died in Poland in 1627.

But here’s the thing. While the auroch is indeed extinct, some of its genes survived and are to this day present in various breeds of cattle in Europe.

And this article explains why that’s key, both to bringing back these magnificent animals and to benefitting the region’s ecology .

Radical football fans in the Arab Muslim capital of America  

I found this great article about “a Muslim enclave that is openly radicalized (over who loves this country even more), deeply divided (over which team to root for) and secretly plotting in the garage about a controversial religion: football.”

Legal status for robots?  

‘A European Parliament committee has voted in favor of a draft report that proposes granting legal status to robots, categorizing them as “electronic persons”‘ . . .  ‘with specific rights and obligations, including that of making good any damage they may cause.’

Is this ‘to ensure that robots are and will remain in the service of humans’?

And are they also taking precautions against the future possibility of conscious robots?

Makes you wonder what kind of world humans will be living in, a couple hundred years from now, considering how technologically advanced robots will be, a couple hundred years from now.

Makes you even wonder who or what will be in charge then — humans, or robots?

Or maybe, a couple hundred years from now, humans will have evolved to amalgamate with robots to become immortal cyborgs “in the biggest evolution in biology since the emergence of life four billion years ago.”

The possibilities are mind-boggling.

From crack house to America’s pillow king  

Mike Lindell, the MyPillow man whose face with the push-broom mustache is “familiar to anyone who watches cable TV,” was once a crack addict.

Today, “Lindell is sober and phenomenally successful. He quit everything — alcohol, powdered cocaine, and crack — after one final party on Jan. 16, 2009, and presides over an empire that’s still growing precipitously. Last year he opened a second factory, saw sales rise from $115 million to $280 million, and almost tripled his workforce, to 1,500. To date he’s sold more than 26 million pillows . . .”

Can we fix Mars to make it fit for human habitation?  

Mars is a very inhospitable place, but we humans may need to find a way to change it, or ourselves, to be able to go live there someday because, at the rate we’re going, our own planet will be unfit for human habitation sooner than we may realize.

This article explores some of the options being looked at.