We conversed with a whale hundreds of years before Spock

Plus, mathematical cookies.
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The Futurist is your daily tech, cosmic, and science (both weird or otherwise) newsletter with articles and content curated just for you.



Quantum batteries could charge by breaking our understanding of time | New Atlas

“In a sense, you could say that quantum batteries are powered by paradoxes. On paper, they work by storing energy in the quantum states of atoms and molecules – but of course, as soon as the word ‘quantum’ enters the conversation you know weird stuff is about to happen. In this case, a new study has found that quantum batteries could work by violating cause-and-effect as we know it.”

Stumped on gifting? Groupon’s got you covered [Partner]

So you waited until the last minute to do your holiday shopping? It’s cool; we’re not here to judge. Some people are just hard to find gifts for, and the last thing you want to give them is a junky item they never asked for or don’t need. That’s why gifting an experience is a safe bet, and with Groupon, it’s a pretty affordable option, too. Browse digital deals that take zero time (and money) to ship: live shows, memberships, hotel stays, spas and massages, tours, and other fun adventures. [Ad]

How do you make cosmic sausage? | Popular Science

“Around 10 billion years ago, a small galaxy collided with our Milky Way, creating a cosmic sausage. That so-called ‘Gaia-Enceladus-sausage’ (GES) merger event stirred up the stars in our galaxy, flinging some of them into sausage-like elongated orbits around the galaxy’s central black hole and puffing up the Milky Way’s disk to its current thick, pancake-like shape. Now, astronomers think that the GES merger might also be responsible for molding the Milky Way’s characteristic bar — a straight line of stars at the center of the galaxy’s spiral.”

Scientists say they conversed with a whale. It may be practice for aliens | Mashable

“Researchers from the University of California, Davis, the SETI (Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence) Institute, and the Alaska Whale Foundation reported in a new study that they had a 20-minute ‘conversation’ with a humpback whale named Twain. The study, published in the journal Peer J Life and Environment, details how the researchers recorded and played back a whale call to Twain, who responded to almost every call with her own of the same type. The scientists say that although this study is very preliminary, it could provide a starting point for future attempts to communicate with other intelligent species, both on Earth and potentially beyond it.”

MSCHF - It's ACTUALLY a MILLION Dollars... [Partner]

The 2 Million Dollar Puzzle is a 500 piece QR code puzzle, that when scanned, reveals a prize of up to $1,000,000! Yes, you read that right, one MILLION dollars! But hey, if you don't win the biggest prize - $10,000, $100,000, $250,000, and $500,000 all sound pretty great to us too...


The more you buy, the more likely you are to win! With a 150x better chance to win $1,000,000 with just one puzzle than the lottery jackpot, imagine with one of our amazing bundles! You’ve got until December 21 to purchase for guaranteed shipment before Christmas. [Ad]

The satisfaction of mathematically efficient Christmas cookies | Atlas Obscura

“This December, Martin Lersch, a Norwegian chemist and a passionate cook, rolled out his homemade gingerbread dough and got to work. He flipped his cookie cutter to and fro repeatedly, creating a quilt of cookies in the shape of Christmas trees. But Lersch’s main goal wasn’t simply a batch of delicious holiday cookies. He wanted to bake mathematically perfect ones.”

StackSocial - Still paying recurring cloud storage fees? That’s cute [Partner]

There’s a good reason people don’t really use hard drives anymore, but they did have one perk: you only had to pay for them once. These days, cloud storage has taken the cake, and for obvious reasons like easy file access and management. But monthly fees keep it from being an affordable option. Koofr lets you pay once and keep 1TB (aka, a ton of space) for life. You’ll get all those file organization perks plus easy connectivity with existing Dropbox, Google Drive, Amazon, and OneDrive accounts, but without any recurring fees. Use code KOOFR to save $40 for a limited time. [Ad]

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