Pokemon Smile 🦷 Growing monkey brains 🐒 McDonald’s to hire 260,000 🍟!

Technology News

Pokémon Smile turns brushing your teeth into an augmented reality adventure

Pokémon Smile is an augmented reality toothbrushing game designed to encourage kids to brush their teeth better. Players help “rescue other Pokémon from cavity-causing bacteria” by brushing their teeth. The app features some adorable art styles and AR effects that let players wear Pokémon hats while they brush their own teeth alongside the game. If you manage to brush away all the bacteria, players are rewarded by getting to catch the pokémon at the end. Pokémon Smile isn’t The Pokémon Company’s only attempt at leveraging the brand into healthier living: the company also announced a sleep-tracking game called Pokémon Sleep last year.

A robot sloth will (very slowly) survey endangered species

The newly developed SlothBot is built to study animals, plants and the overall environment below them by moving as little as possible. It inches along overhead cables only when necessary, charging itself with solar panels to monitor factors like carbon dioxide levels and weather for as long as possible — possibly for years. It even crawls toward the sunlight to ensure it stays charged. The 3D-printed shell helps SlothBot blend in (at least in areas where sloths live) while sheltering its equipment from the rain. The robot will start by watching over the Atlanta Botanical Garden for several months, hanging from a lone 100-foot cable.

Science News

Scientists grew bigger monkey brains with a human gene

Researchers in Germany and Japan introduced a human-specific gene to the fetuses of common marmosets, Callithrix jacchus. “We had certain hopes — what the gene, ideally, could do and should, if it had the function that we had postulated it should have.” Essentially, the gene did everything in the marmoset fetus that you might expect an evolutionarily important gene to do: It’s as if the researchers re-created the same evolution that happened in the brains of ancient Homo sapiens. The scientists say that this is the first evidence of any human-specific gene, put into a non-human primate, that makes the brain physiologically bigger.

Higher trust in intuition helps account for why women are more likely to believe in magical phenomena

A new study provides evidence that women’s reliance on intuition and “gut” feelings helps to explain why they tend to report more magical beliefs than men. Women tended to report relying more on intuition and scored lower on a cognitive reflection test (an assessment of a person’s tendency to override an incorrect “gut” response), which were both associated with heightened magical beliefs. The study examined a variety of magical beliefs, such as ghosts, fate, and miracles. But men appear to employ more magical thinking than women in at least two specific domains: sports and gambling.

Business News

McDonald’s to hire 260,000 workers as it reopens U.S. dining rooms

McDonald’s said that it would hire 260,000 workers in the United States this summer. The announcement follows similar hiring plans from Subway, Yum Brands’ Taco Bell, Panda Express and Dunkin. However, McDonald’s plans are nearly double all four of those chains’ combined summer hiring plans. The Chicago-based chain is one of the largest private employers in the country. The summer months typically spark fast-food hiring as consumers spend more and teenagers look for work, but the hiring announcements this year arrive as the coronavirus pandemic has led millions of restaurant workers to lose their jobs.

Carnival loses $4.4 billion as coronavirus slams cruise industry

The cruise industry has ground to a halt during the coronavirus outbreak, so investors were already concerned about Carnival’s latest earnings. But the figures were even worse than expected. Revenue plummeted 85% to $700 million, missing estimates of about $738 million.The company is unable to provide any guidance because it is “unable to definitively predict when it will return to normal operations.” The bad news from Carnival comes one day after Norwegian said it was cancelling cruises it had tentatively planned for later this summer and was extending suspensions through September.

Miscellaneous News

66-Million-Year-Old “Deflated” Football-Sized Egg Discovered In Antarctica

An estimated 66 million years ago, an ancient marine reptile is believed to have left a large, football-sized egg on Antarctica. It is the first known fossil soft-shell egg to have been left on the continent and perhaps laid by an ancient, extinct giant marine reptile known as a mosasaur. the researchers then compiled data of 259 living reptiles in order to compare egg to body size, suggesting that the animal would have measured more than 6 meters (20 feet) long from end to end, not including a tail.

Brazilian care home creates ‘hug tunnel’ so loved ones can embrace elderly relatives

A care home for elderly people in southern Brazil has come up with a creative way to bring some love to its residents amid the coronavirus pandemic, by creating a “hug tunnel” that allows relatives to safely embrace them. The tunnel consists of a large plastic sheet with four arm holes in it, which is attached to one of the facility’s entrances. The arm holes are also covered in plastic and allow visitors to hold their loved ones without coming in direct contact with them. The visits are scheduled ahead of time and the area disinfected every 30 minutes.

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