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11 holiday gift ideas for the person impossible to shop for
From coffee makers and headphones to a calming weighted blanket, something here should appeal to just about anyone on your list.
There's always someone on your holiday shopping list who presents a major challenge. Oh, they aren't trying to make your life difficult. But whether it's a cousin or a sibling or even your dear old Mom, you just have a tough time finding them the right gift.
We get it. That's why we pulled together 11 very fun, yet very different gift ideas that should help you crack the code for those most head-scratching giftees. From coffee makers to headphones to even a new warm blanket, something here should appeal to just about anyone on your list. And as a bonus, if you enter the code MERRYSAVE15 at checkout, you can lop another 15 percent off your total.
Here’s something for the compulsive note-taker on your list. Just jot handwritten notes with the included Pilot FriXion pen into your Rocketbook and you can instantly upload them to the cloud using your smartphone. And when you fill up the notebook? Just pop it in the microwave to erase your notebook and start again.
From clothes and hairbrushes to glasses and even fruits and vegetables, the Sonic Soak can clean just about anything. Drop the Sonic Soak and your items in a sink or bowl of water and the Sonic Soak's ultrasonic vibrations remove dirt, oils and other contaminants from your laundry, food, jewelry, personal care items and more. It's a super-cool (and efficient) way to clean -- and it's over half off.
This state-of-the-coffee-art maker from Norway looks as good on the counter as it brews...and it brews pretty darn well! The award-winning machine offers a sleek, elegant look that puts your brewing process on full display, while delivering the perfect cup of joe every time. At under $75, this is a gift that will win the attention and love of any coffee fanatic.
AquaSonic Black Series Toothbrush & Travel Case With 8 Dupont Brush Heads - $33.99 after coupon; originally $139.99
Take your personal hygiene up a notch with a premium quality sonic toothbrush that removes more than 10 times the plague a traditional brush can reach. Including various whitening and cleaning modes, you'll see tooth stains dissolve and gum health improve. Plus, you get eight extra brush heads, all at over $100 off the regular price.
PaMu Slide Bluetooth 5.0 In-Ear Headphones with Wireless Charger - $84.99 (After coupon; originally $199)
For those constantly struggling to keep wireless earbuds in place, these earphones are ergonomically designed to remain firmly in your ear canal at all times, even when you're jogging, exercising or traveling. These buds are powered by a Qualcomm chip with Bluetooth 5.0 tech, feature up to 10 hours of battery life on a single charge and produce robust sound with extra bass, and they're currently more than half off.
Screen your own films and television shows anywhere you are. The CIRQ connects wirelessly to your phone via WiFi, then projects full HD quality video on a surface up to 240 inches across. It's even got its own built-in speakers for the full movie theater experience. It's also close to $350 off with this holiday discount.
The Calm Embrace is perfect for anyone experiencing anxiety and stress, offering deep pressure stimulation that help release brain chemicals to provide soothing relief while you sleep. At over 50 percent off, this blanket is its own self-care routine that can help anyone feel calming comfort, anytime, anywhere.
Save $20 on perhaps the most advanced method around for learning to play guitar like a rock star. The high tech, lightweight, and portable Jamstik 7 combined with its powerful app delivers a training process that takes all the guesswork out of learning to play. It's only 18 inches, but it's just like playing the real thing.
With the Mighty Vibe, you can rock out to all your favorite Spotify playlists and podcasts without using your smartphone, a screen or even a WiFi or Bluetooth connection. The Mighty Vibe syncs and saves your playlists to the unit, so you can take your music anywhere and never worry about losing your signal.
When this Singer machine says heavy duty, it means heavy duty. Denim, canvas, almost any manner of tough durable fabric won't slow down this powerful sewer's 1,110 stitches per minute top speed. At nearly $200 off when bought refurbished, this is a machine capable of handling nearly any sewing project with all the added features you'd expect from a true Singer sewing machine.
This Bluetooth connected controller syncs to almost any gaming device for a true retro gaming experience. The SN30 Gamepad sports 18 hours of game life and works with everything from Windows, Android and macOS to even Steam and the Nintendo Switch. And with the added discount, it's practically priced like a stocking stuffer.
Prices are subject to change.
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Pandemic-inspired housing innovation will collide with techno-acceleration.
Our family tree is complicated, and some of the branches are still unlabled.
- A new study of the genomes of Modern Humans, Neanderthals, and Denisovans suggests the three were interbreeding quite often.
- The study also found DNA from an unidentified, archaic human ancestor which we inherited from the Denisovans.
- Homo Erectus is the most likely source of this DNA.
Some of our evolutionary relatives never really left, genetically speaking.<p>The paper, <a href="https://journals.plos.org/plosgenetics/article?id=10.1371/journal.pgen.1008895" target="_blank"><em>Mapping gene flow between ancient hominins through demography-aware inference of the ancestral recombination graph</em></a><em>, </em>was published in PLOS Genetics. It's authors used a new statistical method to analyze the genomes of two Neanderthals, a Denisovan, and two modern humans.</p><p>The new method allowed the researchers to determine when segments of one individual's DNA are worked into the chromosomes of another. These occurrences are called "recombination events" and can be used to determine when specific genes entered our genome and provide evidence of where it came from. As an example of how this can be <a href="https://www.livescience.com/mystery-ancestor-mated-with-humans.html" target="_blank">used</a>, if Neanderthal DNA contained genes from another pre-human ancestor that they then passed to us, this method would identify it. </p><p>The analysis confirmed previous studies that showed that Modern Humans interbred with Neanderthals and Denisovans. However, this analysis suggests that some of this mixing took place between 200,000 and 300,000 years ago, long before what previous studies had suggested. It also indicates that more instances of interbreeding occurred than previously suspected.</p><p>Most interestingly, the researchers noticed that one percent of the DNA in the Denisovans from an even more ancient human ancestor. Fifteen percent of the genes that this ancestor passed onto the Denisovans still exist in the Modern Human <a href="https://phys.org/news/2020-08-dna-ancient-unidentified-ancestor-humans.html" target="_blank">genome</a>. </p><p>Exactly who this ancestor was is remains unknown, but some clues point to who it was. The fact that this ancestor separated from the linage that would lead to modern humans about 1,000,000 years ago is the most useful one we currently have. This led the researchers to suggest Homo Erectus as the most likely candidate. </p>
Who was Homo Erectus?<div class="rm-shortcode" data-media_id="oZzgXq4d" data-player_id="FvQKszTI" data-rm-shortcode-id="0007d6c597f8cc6c95d9d3b5fae7c1ad"> <div id="botr_oZzgXq4d_FvQKszTI_div" class="jwplayer-media" data-jwplayer-video-src="https://content.jwplatform.com/players/oZzgXq4d-FvQKszTI.js"> <img src="https://cdn.jwplayer.com/thumbs/oZzgXq4d-1920.jpg" class="jwplayer-media-preview" /> </div> <script src="https://content.jwplatform.com/players/oZzgXq4d-FvQKszTI.js"></script> </div> <p>The bane of all school teachers focusing on human evolution and the original "missing link," <a href="https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Homo_erectus" target="_blank">Homo Erectus</a> was the first human ancestor to leave Africa. They spread widely throughout the old world, with their remains found from Spain to Java. They resembled modern humans, though they were a tad shorter. They were the first to control fire, made tools, created artwork, and likely had rudimentary language.</p><p>It should be repeated that while Homo Erectus is the probable source of this ancient DNA, the jury is still out. We would have to sequence its genome to know for sure. </p><p>Studying human evolution leads us down some very strange roads. It is increasingly clear to us that wherever there was an overlap of human species, there was interbreeding and that a considerable amount of the genetic remnants of this endure to this day. While this might get in the way of the old view of evolution as a slow climb to the humanity, the pinnacle of biological achievement, it does provide us a richer view of who we are, where we come form, and where we might be going. </p>
Some of the most extreme weather in the Solar System just got stranger.
- The Juno probe orbiting Jupiter has observed lightning at impossibly high points in the Jovian atmosphere.
- The findings, combined with other atmopsheric data, led to the creation of a new model of the atmosphere.
- The findings answer a few questions about Jupiter, but create many more.
Shouldn’t be all that surprising really, the planet is named after the god of thunder….<p>The findings are described in the study, <a href="https://www.nature.com/articles/s41586-020-2532-1" target="_blank"><em>Small lightning flashes from shallow electrical storms on Jupiter</em></a><em>, </em>published in <em>Nature</em>. Previous missions to Jupiter, including Voyager 1, Galileo and New Horizons, all observed lightning, but without the benefits of the equipment on the Juno probe or more recent developments in models of the Jovian atmosphere.</p><p>In this case, the lighting is notable for how high it is occurring in the atmosphere. While previous observations suggested lightning in water-based clouds deep inside the gas planet, the new data suggests lightning exists in the upper atmosphere in clouds of water and ammonia. This lightning is dubbed "shallow lightning." </p><p>According to a <a href="https://news.cornell.edu/stories/2020/08/ammonia-sparks-unexpected-exotic-lightning-jupiter" target="_blank">press release</a> by Cornell University, where two of the scientists involved in the study hail from, the ammonia is vital in creating the lightning, as it functions as an "anti-freeze" of sorts to keep the water in the clouds from freezing. The collision of droplets of mixed ammonia and water with ice water particles creates the charge needed for lightning strikes. <br> <br> This is different from any process that creates lightning on Earth.</p><p>That wasn't the only bit of strangeness the probe noticed. While Juno saw plenty of ammonia near the equator and at lower levels of the atmosphere, it was hard-pressed to find much anywhere else. To explain this, researchers developed a new model of atmospheric mixing. They suggest that the ammonia at lower levels of the atmosphere rises into storm clouds, interacts with water to cause the aforementioned lightning, and then falls back down in the form of <a href="https://phys.org/news/2020-08-ammonia-rich-hail-jupiter-weather.html" target="_blank">hailstones</a>. </p><p>The scientists gave these ammonia and water ice hailstones the name "mushballs<a href="https://www.inverse.com/science/jupiter-mush-balls" target="_blank"></a>."</p><p>This model explains many things, including why Juno couldn't detect ammonia where it expected to: the mushballs would be more challenging to detect than ammonia or water vapor. The scientists further speculated that the weight of the mushballs pulls the ammonia to lower levels of the <a href="https://scitechdaily.com/nasas-juno-spacecraft-reveals-jupiters-unusual-electrical-storms-shallow-lightning-and-mushballs/" target="_blank">atmosphere</a> where it is detected in more significant amounts. </p>
A NASA designed graphic demonstrating the weather systems theorized to create "mushballs." The liquid water and ammonia rises in the storm clouds until they reach points where the extremely low temperatures cause them to freeze. Freezing into semi-solid "mushballs" causes them to fall where they redistribute ammonia throughout the lower atmosphere.
How can we possibly know all of this?<div class="rm-shortcode" data-media_id="DywYHLlW" data-player_id="FvQKszTI" data-rm-shortcode-id="5a2fd33c35687b126de47078bac6875d"> <div id="botr_DywYHLlW_FvQKszTI_div" class="jwplayer-media" data-jwplayer-video-src="https://content.jwplatform.com/players/DywYHLlW-FvQKszTI.js"> <img src="https://cdn.jwplayer.com/thumbs/DywYHLlW-1920.jpg" class="jwplayer-media-preview" /> </div> <script src="https://content.jwplatform.com/players/DywYHLlW-FvQKszTI.js"></script> </div> <p>Juno relies on several pieces of equipment. The most relevant in this case is the <a href="https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Microwave_Radiometer_(Juno)" target="_blank">microwave radiometer</a>. This device uses microwaves, like the ones you cook with, to measure the Jovian atmosphere's composition. When microwaves hit water or ammonia particles, they begin to heat up. By hitting the planet with microwaves and then looking for changes in the particles' observed temperature, the probe can determine what chemicals are present.</p><p>The findings of these studies demonstrate that Jupiter's atmosphere is more complicated than previously thought. Given how we already knew about the storms larger than <a href="https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Great_Red_Spot" target="_blank">Earth</a>, temperatures that swing between extremes in different layers of the atmosphere, and winds that blow at 100 meters per <a href="http://www.lpl.arizona.edu/~showman/publications/ingersolletal-2004.pdf" target="_blank">second</a>, that is saying something.</p>
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