This bank in Italy accepted cheese as collateral. Here's why.

Why one Italian bank is counting on wheels of Parmigiano-Reggiano as collateral.

FILIPPO MONTEFORTE/AFP/Getty Images
  • When giving out a secured loan, most banks ask for a form of collateral to recoup their losses in case the borrower defaults.
  • Most people put up their homes as collateral, but one bank in Italy accepts wheels of delicious, sharp, and valuable cheese.
  • It might seem bizarre, but it's not the first time unusual items have been used as collateral.
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Matter can travel to the future through black holes, predicts new theory

Two new papers say everything we knew about black holes was wrong.

  • Scientists calculate that black holes don't have singularities at their centers.
  • Instead, the theory of loop quantum gravity predicts that black holes shoot out matter across the galaxy.
  • The matter dispersal comes much later in the future.
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6 essential books on existentialist philosophy

Wander into the deep recesses of the mind and never return the same with these existentialist books.

  • Existentialism deals with the search to find meaning through free will and choice, among other things.
  • Philosophers considered are existentialists who hailed mostly from Europe in the 19th and 20th century.
  • Many existentialists believe that humans should make their own worth regardless of rules, laws or tradition.
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How your brain can predict the future

New research suggests brains anticipate future events through a process called anticipatory timing.

  • Two systems work together to predict the future based on past actions or events stored in the brain.
  • Researchers worked with people with Parkinson's disease or cerebellar degeneration to test their hypothesis.
  • Researchers compared how people with these conditions used temporal clues respond to specific tests.
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10 paradoxes that will stretch your mind

From time-traveling billiard balls to information-destroying black holes, the world's got plenty of puzzles that are hard to wrap your head around.

Big Think
  • While it's one of the best on Earth, the human brain has a lot of trouble accounting for certain problems.
  • We've evolved to think of reality in a very specific way, but there are plenty of paradoxes out there to suggest that reality doesn't work quite the way we think it does.
  • Considering these paradoxes is a great way to come to grips with how incomplete our understanding of the universe really is.
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