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Muse: The magazine of science, culture, and smart laughs for kids and children

Muse: The magazine of science, culture, and smart laughs for kids and children November/December 2019

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Kids who can't help wondering whether video games really kill their brain cells, or what a gentleman ladybug is called, will find the answers here, in articles written by award-winning authors and accompanied by high-quality illustration and photography. MUSE is perfect for any kid interested in science, history, and the arts. Grades 5-9

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United States
Cricket Media, Inc.
9 Issues

in this issue

5 min.
muse mail

Munching on Mangoes I’ve been a fan since I read my first article back in January. I love how you talk about all these cool things and make all these games and other fun things! My only complaint is that you don’t have enough puns! YOU NEED PUNS TO SUCCEED IN LIFE! Other than that, if you could just write something about mangoes, then your magazine would be perfect. I always like things that make absolutely no sense. Period. In my spare time I write comic books, normal books, binge watch TV, or enjoy a nice spot of tea and use a British accent. I also created (with my friends) the great land of Burg! It’s home of Super Duck, the duck of legends who defends the ponds of Burg; Cake…

1 min.
the tastiest technology

A TEAM OF ENGINEERS WHO ARE ALSO TRAINED PASTRY CHEFS says 3D printing is old news. The hot new technology is 4D printing. Hot, sugary, and delicious, that is. The team is using carefully engineered printers to make pastry. In traditional 3D printing, the three Ds are the three dimensions: length, width, and height. A 3D printer squirts out hot, liquid plastic to slowly build a three-dimensional object one layer at a time. In 4D printing, the fourth D is not another dimension—instead, it stands for “donut.” The engineer-chefs have opened a donut shop in California where they sell their creations. The “ink” in their printer is a top-secret batter recipe that solidifies into a nearly perfect donut as it cools. The treats don’t even need to be fried. (Because the printing…

1 min.
my, what big teeth this carnivore had

ABOUT 23 MILLION YEARS AGO, this creature was the biggest meat-eating mammal in Africa. Researchers dug up its bones decades ago in Kenya. But back then, they didn’t know what the bones were. A new analysis revealed that the fossils belong to a new species—with some serious chompers. Scientists named the new species Simbakubwa kutokaafrika. That’s Swahili for “big lion from Africa.” And this lion really was big: It had canine teeth up to 4 inches (10 cm) long. The researchers estimate the creature weighed as much as 3,300 pounds (1,500 kg) and may have been bigger than a polar bear. This would have made it a fearsome predator in ancient Africa.…

1 min.
teaching computers to “feel” scared

WHEN PEOPLE ARE DRIVING, their sense of fear helps keep them safe. A “watch out!” from an alert brain can make someone tap the brakes just in time. But computers don’t get scared. So scientists tried using fear to teach a computer program how to drive better. The researchers asked four people to play a computer game where they steered a car through a virtual maze. While they drove, participants wore a sensor on one finger. The sensor measured the blood flowing through the skin. This let researchers see when people had a “fight or flight” response—for example, if they had to steer around a sharp corner or ran into a wall. Then the researchers used this information to teach an artificially intelligent computer program which parts of the maze startled human…

1 min.
when brains aren’t quite dead

DEAD IS DEAD—RIGHT? Maybe not. Researchers have shown that some cells in pig brains can stay active for hours after the animals have died. The scientists studied the brains of pigs that were slaughtered for pork. After the animals died, the scientists put their brains into a system called BrainEx. It pumped a specially engineered artificial liquid through the brains, kind of like blood. Four hours after the pigs had died, the scientists found that some brain cells were still active. There weren’t any signs that the dead brains were conscious. But the result could change how scientists think about death in the brain.…

1 min.
life thrives on penguin and seal waste

IN ANTARCTICA, poop is precious. That’s what scientists discovered when they trekked around part of the Antarctic coast and studied places where seals and penguins live. The researchers looked at groups, called colonies, of elephant seals and three penguin species. They found that near these colonies, the diversity of other life forms was higher. Looking at the plants and soil around the colonies, the researchers found lots of insects, including mites and roundworms. These critters were up to eight times more abundant at sites near seal and penguin colonies than in other parts of Antarctica. The scientists think life thrives in these Antarctic hotspots because of chemicals in penguin and seal poop. Namely, ammonia from the animals’ waste floats through the air, carrying the element nitrogen to all the soil in the…