12 skills you can learn in a week that will impress just about anyone

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A competitor solves a Rubik's cube using one hand during the Rubik's Cube European Championship in Prague, Czech Republic, July 17, 2016. REUTERS/David W Cerny

In his 2013 TEDx Talk, "The first 20 hours," author and business expert Josh Kaufman busts the myth that learning new skills takes a lot of time.

Proficiency, Kaufman says, is really only 20 hours away.

Divided into two- or three-hour chunks, that’s about a week’s worth of practice. As responders to recent Quora threads have attested, that’s plenty of time to learn a host of impressive skills.

Here are just a sample of the many you could pick from.

SEE ALSO: 11 skills that are hard to learn but will pay off forever

Learn to play a song on a musical instrument.

Music theory is highly complex, but a week should be enough time to learn a single song on the ukulele or harmonica.

(At the end of his TEDx Talk, Kaufman shows off his ability to play a few chords in a medley of pop songs on his own ukulele, which he spent just 20 hours practicing on.)

On Quora, Karan Babar suggests picking a somewhat rare instrument if you want to impress people most.

Learn to drive stick shift.

Automatic transmissions are no doubt easier, but the ability to shift gears while driving still turns some heads. It’s also a useful skill to have if you ever need to drive someone else’s car.

The actual mechanics of using the clutch and gear shift are straightforward, but you’ll probably spend most of your week learning how to time your shifts correctly. Nobody likes to lurch.

Learn to solve a Rubik’s cube.

Speed-cubers — the people who solve Rubik’s cubes as fast as possible, sometimes in less than 10 seconds — will tell you there’s nothing all that special about the puzzle.

You just need to know a set of algorithms — or turn patterns — that orient pieces of the cube one at a time. Memorizing the order of those turns can be done surprisingly quickly.

A beginner could easily solve a Rubik’s cube in less than two minutes over the course of a week.

See the rest of the story at Business Insider

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Scientists have eliminated HIV in mice using CRISPR

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An important breakthrough has been made in the eradication of AIDs. Scientists have found they can successfully snip out the HIV virus from mouse cells using CRISPR/Cas9 technology.

Right now patients with the deadly virus must use a toxic concoction of anti-retroviral medications to suppress the virus from replicating. However, CRISPR/Cas9 can be programmed to chop out any genetic code in the body with scissor-like precision, including all HIV-1 DNA within the body. And if you cut out the DNA, you stop the virus from being able to make copies of itself.

First published in the journal Molecular Therapy, the team is the first to show HIV can be completely annihilated from the body using CRISPR. And with impressive effect. After just one treatment, scientists were able to show the technique had successfully removed all traces of the infection within mouse organs and tissue.

 

However, it’s not a permanent solution and it’s still early days for the crew — the study merely builds on a previous proof-of-concept study they conducted last year and the technique has only been used on mice so far. But, should the scientists be able to replicate their findings, the technique could move to human trials in the future.

“The next stage would be to repeat the study in primates, a more suitable animal model where HIV infection induces disease, in order to further demonstrate elimination of HIV-1 DNA in latently infected T cells and other sanctuary sites for HIV-1, including brain cells,” said co-author of the study Dr. Khalili in a statement. “Our eventual goal is a clinical trial in human patients.”

Featured Image: Nick Harris/Flickr UNDER A CC BY 2.0 LICENSE

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A new NASA video shows exactly what Cassini saw and where during its ‘first fantastic dive’ over Saturn

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saturn hexagon hurricane storm jet stream cassini nasa jpl caltech ssi kevin m gill flickr ccby2 33937814040_6d92b6f5ec_o

In late April, NASA’s Cassini spacecraft began a series of potentially dangerous dives, or "ring crossings," between Saturn and its innermost rings of ice.

Many of the new images it beamed back looked small, drab, and grainy, yet they represented the closest-ever views of Saturn’s stormy cloud tops.

"Shortly after images started arriving, some of Cassini’s scientists said they were seeing ‘some stuff’ they’d never seen before," Jo Pitesky, a project science engineer for Cassini at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL), previously told Business Insider in an email. "After almost thirteen years in orbit, Saturn continues to amaze and astound us."

Now the space agency’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory has released a brand-new video that shows exactly where, when, and how the spacecraft filmed the unprecedented string of images during its "first fantastic dive".

One view in the new animation follows the Cassini spacecraft, showing where its camera was pointed during the first hour of its dive between Saturn and the planet’s rings:

During the last moments, you can see the robot flip itself to deflect any wandering (and dangerous) bits of Saturn’s rings.

"In the half-hour or so along the closest point of the flyby, we’re pointing the high-gain antenna down, like a giant shield, to protect the instruments behind it," Linda Spilker, a Cassini project scientist and a planetary scientist at NASA’s JPL, previously told Business Insider. "We call this position ‘shield to ram.’"

A similar view zooms out from the gas giant, showing Cassini as a red dot that traces from north to south:

The clip cuts off shortly before the robot plunges through the void, since it was moving more than 76,800 mph — 45 times faster than a speeding bullet — and couldn’t take clear photos fast enough.

21 death-defying dives, plus 1 final plunge

cassini huygens mission spacecraft saturn probe nasa jpl caltech PIA21438The new images are just a taste of the data that NASA has scooped up (and will continue to get) by flying its $3.26 billion mission into uncharted territory.

Called the "Grand Finale," the goal is to squeeze as many discoveries as possible out of 22 extremely close and unprecedented flybys of Saturn and its rings.

The first, which generated the movies above, occurred on April 26.

Preston Dyches, a spokesperson for NASA JPL, said Cassini might have been able to get larger, more detailed images, but the team opted for lower quality on purpose.

"This is a mode in which the camera cuts down the image size by half in order to take images faster," Dyches previously told Business Insider in an email, adding that color likely won’t come to these first images. "It’s a trade off you make in order to capture something very close moving very quickly beneath you."

A second ring crossing happened on May 2, but NASA began downloading the images on May 3.

The 22nd and final orbit will destroy the nuclear-powered probe, burning it up in the clouds of Saturn on September 15, 2017.

This death is by design: The probe is low on propellant, and NASA doesn’t want it to crash into — and possibly contaminate — Enceladus and Titan, two icy moons of Saturn that may hide oceans with conditions that could foster alien life.

Watch NASA’s entire animation of Cassini’s first dive below.

SEE ALSO: NASA’s Saturn probe is doomed — here’s what it may discover before exploding

DON’T MISS: The 15 most important nuclear-powered space missions of all time

Join the conversation about this story »

NOW WATCH: NASA just discovered the first food source for potential aliens

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Watch NASA’s home movie of the first dive between Saturn and its rings

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Well if this lil’ home video doesn’t fill you with excitement and awe, check your pulse because you’re probably dead.

NASA’s Cassini’s spacecraft has been undergoing a series of risky AF "dives" or "ring crossings," swooping between Saturn and its icy rings and over the planet’s surface, capturing some incredible images (and spooky sounds) in the process.

Now, prepare to have your space pants blown off by this — an incredible movie-like sequence of images captured on April 26 on the first of the craft’s "grand finale" dives.

Captured at 6,800 miles per hour (aka 45 times faster than a speeding bullet) the "movie" represents the exploration of uncharted territory for the $3.26 billion mission.

Cowabunga!

Kunio Sayanagi, an associate of the Cassini imaging team who helped create the movie said, "I was surprised to see so many sharp edges along the hexagon’s outer boundary and the eye-wall of the polar vortex. Something must be keeping different latitudes from mixing to maintain those edges." 

A second animation, tacked onto the footage, adds an image of Saturn for reference. The red dot on the Saturn image shows the location of each frame in the movie. 

The third and final animation shows Cassini’s position and orientation above Saturn as the images were being taken, along with the camera’s field of view projected onto the planet.

The 22nd and final orbit will destroy the probe, burning it up in the clouds of Saturn on September 15, 2017.

Until, just sit back and ponder how small and insignificant we all are. Thanks, NASA!

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