Researchers may be closer to determining whether there has ever been life on Mars, thanks to a crucial discovery at an ancient lake on the Red Planet.
Former President Jimmy Carter is said to be in “good spirits” following his brain surgery.
And fans are buzzing about a disclaimer that appears before certain programs on the new Disney streaming channel, with many critics saying that Disney needs to do more to address racist depictions in older movies.
Here’s what you need to know in the daily roundup.
TOP STORY: Mars Crater Could Be the Key to Finding Evidence of Life On Mars
Scientists have honed in on a spot on Mars that could be critical in determining whether Mars has ever sustained life. NASA is planning to launch a new rover that will arrive on Mars in February of 2021. The space agency says it will land in the Jezero Crater.
Researchers say there used to a lake at the site of crater more than 3.5 billion years ago. According to a new study out of Brown University, the area contains a mineral called hydrated silica. Jesse Tarnas, the study’s lead author, explained, “We know from Earth that this mineral phase is exceptional at preserving microfossils and other biosignatures, so that makes these outcrops exciting targets for the rover to explore.”
The researchers relied on tools aboard NASA’s Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter for the study. NASA added on its website, “Like carbonates, this mineral excels at preserving signs of ancient life. If this location proves to be the bottom layer of the delta, it will be an especially good place to look for buried microbial fossils.”
Scientists are hoping that the hydrated silica contains evidence about what Mars may have been like billions of years ago. They are also hoping to figure out what might have caused the Red Planet to transform into its current, inhospitable condition.
UPDATE TO A STORY WE’RE FOLLOWING: Jimmy Carter Is Walking Around After Brain Surgery
Former President Jimmy Carter is walking around and chatting with people following his brain surgery. He underwent a procedure on Tuesday at Emory University Hospital in Atlanta to relieve the pressure that had built up around his brain following recent falls at his home.
Carter, who turned 95 last month, stumbled twice in October. After one of the incidents, he needed multiple stitches to his face. The falls caused bleeding on the surface of his brain, which is called a subdural hematoma.
According to the Carter Center, the 39th president will “remain in the hospital as long as advisable for observation.” His spokesperson said that there were no complications following the surgery. Carter’s pastor, Reverend Tony Lowden, visited him in the hospital and described Carter as being in good spirits.
WHAT’S BUZZING THAT HAS EVERYONE TALKING: Disney Warns Viewers About ‘Outdated Cultural Depictions’ In Older Movies On the Streaming Channel
The new Disney Plus streaming channel debuted Tuesday and has already amassed more than 10 million subscriptions. As CNET pointed out, it took HBO Now three years to reach 5 million subscribers. Disney isn’t planning to release any updated numbers until sometime next year.
Amid all of the hype, fans have noticed a disclaimer message that appears on the screen before some older movies and cartoons on the streaming service. Disney acknowledges that many of its older works include racist and prejudicial depictions. For example, the animated movie Dumbo had a scene showing a group of crows singing about seeing an elephant fly, with one of the crows named “Jim Crow.” Peter Pan has been criticized for its depictions of Native Americans, and the Siamese cats in Lady and the Tramp have been viewed as offensive toward people from eastern Asia.
Disney has included disclaimers before certain films with the warning that the “program is presented as originally created. It may contain outdated cultural depictions.”
Critics argue that Disney’s disclaimer doesn’t go far enough. It’s been compared to the statement shown by Warner Bros. Entertainment before certain “Looney Tunes” episodes. That disclaimer reads: “The cartoons you are about to see are products of their time. They may depict some of the ethnic and racial prejudices that were commonplace in American society. These depictions were wrong then and are wrong today. While these cartoons do not represent today’s society, they are being presented as they were originally created, because to do otherwise would be the same as claiming these prejudices never existed.”
Only one movie from the Disney archive is noticeably absent from the streaming channel. Disney chose to keep the 1946 movie Song of the South off the platform. The movie received a lot of criticism even after it was first released for how it depicted freed slaves still living on a plantation. The National Association for the Advancement of Colored People argued at the time that the movie perpetuated a “dangerously glorified picture of slavery” and gave “the impression of an idyllic master-slave relationship which is a distortion of the facts.”
DAILY NEWS ROUNDUP
- Venice, Italy is faced with historic flooding.
- Google is planning to offer checking accounts in 2020.
- Maryana Beyder is a real estate agent who is suing a swanky country club in New Jersey after a waiter spilled red wine on her $30,000 Hermes bag.
- A video of a fish with a human face on its head has gone viral. Is it real?
- Congress questioned diplomats Bill Taylor and George Kent Wednesday on the first day of public impeachments hearings. Here’s a summary.
CHECK THIS OUT
Check it out– it’s a dog with a second tail! The puppy was discovered abandoned at just 10 weeks old. Staff at an animal rescue center in Missouri, called Mac’s Mission, took in the puppy and named him Narwhal. He has a second tail located on his forehead.
The owner of the center, Rochelle Steffen, explained that based on x-rays, the tail on Narwhal’s face is not connected to his nervous system. It is therefore not causing him any pain, and there is no reason to remove it.
Steffen said that the center is going to postpone putting Narwhal up for adoption. They want to watch him grow and verify that the face-tail isn’t going to cause him any problems in the future.
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