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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.

Animal Trivia:

How many varieties of bears are there in the world?

Hint: Not including Winnie-the-Pooh.


(Scroll to the bottom for the answer!)

Lightest black hole or heaviest neutron star? MeerKAT uncovers a mysterious object in Milky Way | Science Daily

“Using the MeerKAT Radio Telescope, astronomers from a number of institutions including The University of Manchester and the Max Planck Institute for Radio Astronomy in Germany found an object in orbit around a rapidly spinning millisecond pulsar located around 40,000 light years away in a dense group of stars known as a globular cluster. It could be the first discovery of the much-coveted radio pulsar-black hole binary; a stellar pairing that could allow new tests of Einstein's general relativity and open doors to the study of black holes.”

Meet Tello's supercharged phone plans [Partner]

Time to start experiencing phone plans in an entirely new way with Tello Mobile. Think lower phone bills, more savings, and the same reliable 4G LTE/ 5G network you're used to without the premium price tag. Mix & match mins & data as you please to build your phone plan just the way you like it and never pay more than $25/mo. Tello's Unlimited plan comes with 35GB of high speed data and 5GB of free hotspot for only $25/month. NO contract, NO hidden fees, NO bulk buying. Just MAX flexibility. [Ad]

10 natural wonders that will make you think you’re on another planet | Atlas Obscura

“With ice-blue caves, kaleidoscopic lakes, and confusing rock formations, Earth is capable of producing some over-the-top scenery. These transportive landscapes are escapes from modern life — sometimes to what feel like other planets altogether. These are some of our favorite otherworldly natural wonders across the world, from the marvelous to the strange.”

Please don’t take this “gas station heroin” even though it's technically legal | Neoscope

“Seriously, folks: please don't take ‘gas station heroin.’ Often marketed as a cognition-boosting supplement, the unapproved drug plays on the same neuron receptors that dangerous opioids like oxycontin do, giving users a similar — and highly addictive — feeling of euphoria that's long been associated with opioids. Prominent tianeptine products include decidedly gas station-y titles such as Zaza, Tianaa Red, and Neptune's Fix, and although these products' availability online and at locations like gas stations and weed shops might trick buyers into thinking the drug is safe, it's anything but.”

Noom - Keep your mind & body in shape – Start your Free Trial with Noom today [Partner]

This isn't just another weight loss app that nags you about what you ate for lunch. It's a clever concoction of real psychology, science, and human support. So instead of just having you count calories, it’ll teach you about them in a way that won’t make you want to throw your phone at the wall. Instead of focusing on the stress of weight loss, it’ll equip you with the wisdom and power of behavioral psychology to help you build long-lasting, positive habits. And instead of doing it all on your own, you’ll get a team of real coaches to walk alongside you on your new wellness journey. If you’ve resolved to improve your health and diet this new year, consider Noom your trusty sidekick who can help you achieve sustainable results. Try it today with a 30-day free trial. [Ad]

See-through sound: stunning Ferguson Hill speakers ride the Jetstream | New Atlas

“When it comes to loudspeaker design, looks are much less important than how they sound. There are exceptions that please both eye and ear of course, such as the remarkable Nautilus floorstander or the A9 wireless disc. The rather pricey Jetstream system from Brit brand Ferguson Hill is a gorgeous example of the 'exceptions' design camp.”

StackSocial - Wanna go to space? [Partner]

If we’re doing our job right, reading The Futurist should make you want to head into space, discover new galaxies, and soar among the stars. And while it’s pretty unlikely that could happen IRL (Well, who knows? Maybe NASA is hiring.), you could do it virtually with Curiosity Stream. Award-winning documentaries take you through space, science, tech, and other exciting adventures. Just pay once and keep access for life. Can your other streaming services say the same? We didn’t think so. [Ad]

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The answer: There are eight varieties of bears in the world

The answer: There are eight varieties of bears in the world

According to the World Atlas website: “Mammals belonging to the family Ursidae are called bears. These animals are classified as caniforms and have pinnipeds as their closest relatives. Today, there are only eight surviving species of bears in the world, and they are distributed widely across the world. With the exception of Antarctica and Australia, bears occur in all other continents of the world.”