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Over the weekend, NASA teased some very big news.

More specifically, all weekend long, the agency teased that a major Mars mystery was solved.


This morning's press conference, broadcast live from NASA headquarters in Washington, D.C., on NASA Television and on the agency's website, did not disappoint.

A self-portrait of the Curiosity Mars rover. Photo by NASA/JPL-Caltech/MSSS.

At 11:30 a.m. Sept. 28, 2015, NASA announced that, for the first time, they have evidence of flowing water on Mars.

They're called Recurring Slope Lineae, or RSL. They appear as dark streaks that begin in late spring, grow in the summer, and disappear by fall. Until now, NASA researchers couldn't explain what the streaks were.

Turns out, the streaks are evidence of salty water intermittently moving across the surface of the planet.

These dark, narrow streaks were formed by flowing water on Mars. Photo by NASA/JPL/University of Arizona.

But this isn't the first time water's been found on Mars.

(Wait, what?) Yep. Researchers discovered water frozen in small, salty puddles on the planet's surface at night and permafrost at Mars' poles.


Permafrost on the surface of Mars. Exciting. Photo by NASA/JPL-Caltech/University of Arizona.

But this latest announcement and discovery marks the first time that flowing water has been found on the incredibly cold, harsh planet.

Evidence of moving water could be a huge step forward in the search for life, and it opens up possibilities when it comes to the red planet's ability to sustain human life.

So ... are we sending humans to Mars? Not just yet.


Photo by NASA/JPL-Caltech/Cornell University/Arizona State University.

Even with the discovery of moving water, inhabiting the red planet — or even sending humans for a visit — is still a long way off. (Sorry, Matt Damon).

So for now, NASA and other international space agencies are conducting dry runs here on Earth.

Last October, six strangers (three men and three women) were picked to live in a dome on a Hawaiian volcano for eight months to simulate a stay on Mars. NASA backed the study to see if people isolated from civilization can work together and get along. It was essentially "Real World: Red Planet."


Even with successful simulations, NASA estimates the first human-manned mission to Mars won't happen until the 2030s.

That may seem like a long time to wait, especially after today's announcement. But as Dr. Jim Green, director of planetary science at NASA, told the crowd at today's announcement, it's all about safety.

"NASA's approach to exploration is not 'Star Trek.' It's not 'go where no man has gone before,'" he said. "It's really a very methodical approach for which we learn everything about the environment that we're going to subject humans to that we possibly can. ... And I anticipate continuing to do that for many years before humans even get in the vicinity of Mars."

But! This is a major breakthrough, and it lays the groundwork for many missions to come.

While you can't drink the water on Mars (it's much too salty) and you can't grow crops with it (the atmosphere on Mars is too thin), finding moving water on Mars is truly unprecedented and opens a lot of doors for exciting missions and exploration to come.

As astronaut John Grunsfeld said at this morning's announcement, "We are on a journey to Mars, and science is leading the way."

Photo by NASA/Greg Shirah.

Joy

1991 blooper clip of Robin Williams and Elmo is a wholesome nugget of comedic genius

Robin Williams is still bringing smiles to faces after all these years.

Robin Williams and Elmo (Kevin Clash) bloopers.

The late Robin Williams could make picking out socks funny, so pairing him with the fuzzy red monster Elmo was bound to be pure wholesome gold. Honestly, how the puppeteer, Kevin Clash, didn’t completely break character and bust out laughing is a miracle. In this short outtake clip, you get to see Williams crack a few jokes in his signature style while Elmo tries desperately to keep it together.

Williams has been a household name since what seems like the beginning of time, and before his death in 2014, he would make frequent appearances on "Sesame Street." The late actor played so many roles that if you were ask 10 different people what their favorite was, you’d likely get 10 different answers. But for the kids who spent their childhoods watching PBS, they got to see him being silly with his favorite monsters and a giant yellow canary. At least I think Big Bird is a canary.

When he stopped by "Sesame Street" for the special “Big Bird's Birthday or Let Me Eat Cake” in 1991, he was there to show Elmo all of the wonderful things you could do with a stick. Williams turns the stick into a hockey stick and a baton before losing his composure and walking off camera. The entire time, Elmo looks enthralled … if puppets can look enthralled. He’s definitely paying attention before slumping over at the realization that Williams goofed a line. But the actor comes back to continue the scene before Elmo slinks down inside his box after getting Williams’ name wrong, which causes his human co-star to take his stick and leave.

The little blooper reel is so cute and pure that it makes you feel good for a few minutes. For an additional boost of serotonin, check out this other (perfectly executed) clip about conflict that Williams did with the two-headed monster. He certainly had a way of engaging his audience, so it makes sense that even after all of these years, he's still greatly missed.

Noe Hernandez and Maria Carrillo, the owners of Noel Barber Shop in Anaheim, California.

Jordyn Poulter was the youngest member of the U.S. women’s volleyball team, which took home the gold medal at the Tokyo Olympics last year. She was named the best setter at the Tokyo games and has been a member of the team since 2018.

Unfortunately, according to a report from ABC 7 News, her gold medal was stolen from her car in a parking garage in Anaheim, California, on May 25.

It was taken along with her passport, which she kept in her glove compartment. While storing a gold medal in your car probably isn’t the best idea, she did it to keep it by her side while fulfilling the hectic schedule of an Olympian.

"We live this crazy life of living so many different places. So many of us play overseas, then go home, then come out here and train,” Poulter said, according to ABC 7. "So I keep the medal on me (to show) friends and family I haven't seen in a while, or just people in the community who want to see the medal. Everyone feels connected to it when they meet an Olympian, and it's such a cool thing to share with people."

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Hold on, Frankie! Mama's coming!

How do you explain motherhood in a nutshell? Thanks to Cait Oakley, who stopped a preying bald eagle from capturing her pet goose as she breastfed her daughter, we have it summed up in one gloriously hilarious TikTok.

The now viral video shows the family’s pet goose, Frankie, frantically squawking as it gets dragged off the porch by a bald eagle—likely another mom taking care of her own kiddos.

Wearing nothing but her husband’s boxers while holding on to her newborn, Willow, Oakley dashes out of the house and successfully comes to Frankie's rescue while yelling “hey, hey hey!”

The video’s caption revealed that the Oakleys had already lost three chickens due to hungry birds of prey, so nothing was going to stop “Mama bear” from protecting “sweet Frankie.” Not even a breastfeeding session.

Oakley told TODAY Parents, “It was just a split second reaction ...There was nowhere to put Willow down at that point.” Sometimes being a mom means feeding your child and saving your pet all at the same time.

As for how she feels about running around topless in her underwear on camera, Oakley declared, “I could have been naked and I’m like, ‘whatever, I’m feeding my baby.’”

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