Elliott Morgan is trying to kill me. Ten stories? Ten? No! I’m picking three. Do you hear me, Morgan?! I’m picking three! We’ve got depressed chimps, a massive planet and positive news regarding HIV infections. For story four I will be requesting the most efficient way to commence stealth night shoveling.
Let’s start with the massive planet. They’re calling it a “super-Jupiter,” as scientists discover an incredibly large planet that defies any of their current slate of classifications. It’s about thirteen times the size of Jupiter, which, if you’ve forgotten, is the largest planet in our Solar System.
It’s official name is Kappa Andromedae b, and I’m just going to call it “Kap.” Like it’s a Soviet commander or something. However, it’s sitting right on the line between “massive planet” and “small brown dwarf.” As they study it further, they may decide it’s not a planet for realsies and instead is the much more boring brown dwarf. For now, they’re classifying it as a “super-Jupiter.”
So I’m calling it “Kap the Sup-Jup” for short.
Next up, HIV infections are down, reports the UN. The UN AIDS program in its annual report now actually has optimism and believes that HIV could possibly be eradicated in our lifetime.
From the report:
The global community has embarked on an historic quest to lay the foundation for the eventual end of the AIDS epidemic. This effort is more than merely visionary. It is entirely feasible.
What the UN is seeing is not only declining infections and deaths, but also an acceleration of the decline. The executive director said, “what used to take a decade is now being achieved in 24 months.”
Meanwhile, the US Preventive Services Task Force is requesting that all Americans get at least one HIV test in their lifetime. They’re aiming to make HIV screening as part of a routine check-up, and note that if you’re already having blood drawn, you need only to ask your doctor to add an HIV test to the list.
1 in 5 Americans are infected with HIV and don’t know it. While it not only poses health risks for the person infected, they could also be unwittingly passing the virus on to other people.
Free testing is widely available in many cities across the country, and if you can’t get to those, tests aren’t all that expensive.
Finally: Depressed chimps. Chimpanzees have midlife crises. Just like humans, their general trends of happiness go into a U-shape. They start happy, they get sad, they get happy again and then they die.
Orangutans also go through similar periods in their lives. Chimps are least happy when they’re around 31.9 years old. I