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Talking Points: Water bottle sculpture, human-to-human mind control, good fathers

BLUE-SKYING: A worker builds a sculpture made of 7000 recycled plastic water bottles fitted with LED lights at Victoria Park in Hong Kong.



Would you book passage on a flight to Mars, even if it was a one-way ticket? As reported in The Independent, organizers of the Mars One Mission say that 202,586 people have submitted application videos to join the crew of the mission to the angry red planet. Dutch entrepreneur Bas Lansdorp is financing the journey toward the goal of establishing the first human colony on Mars. The ambitious mission involves building six teams of four people, each from a different continent, who will live and train together for seven years before the planned 2022 launch date. So who wants to go? Most applicants are from the U.S., with more than 47,000 submitted videos, followed by Britain with 8,500 and Canada with nearly 7,000. Canadian applicant Ben Pearce isn't deterred by the lack of a scheduled return date. "Space adventure is the next logical step to advancing civilization," Pearce told Canadian Press.


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Remember how Star Trek's Mr. Spock would use the Vulcan Mind Meld to tap into people's brains? It's almost a reality. BBC reports that University of Washington researchers have conducted the first documented case of human-to-human "mind control." Two scientists played a computer game and one player used the Internet to signal the other telling him when to fire at a target. Participant Rajesh Rao said it was "exciting and eerie" to watch the command from his brain translate into action by his partner. Watch out, Klingons.


What makes a man a good father? BBC says a study at Emory University in Atlanta drew a direct line between testicle size and helping bring up baby. Seventy men with children aged 1 to 2 had brain scans while looking at pictures of their children. Participants with smaller testicles had a greater response in the reward area of the brain, and were also shown to be more active in assuming parenting duties. Researcher James Rilling told BBC: "I don't think that excuses other men. It just might require more effort for some than others."


"It is utterly false and cruelly arbitrary to put all the play and learning into childhood, all the work into middle age and all the regrets into old age."

Margaret Mead, cultural anthropologist (1901-1978)

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