This Week in Science: Live Music, Earthquakes, and Staying Hungry

It’s time for “Nerd News,” covering the most important news for your brain.

Here’s a quick rundown of this week in science . . .

1.  A study pinpointed the sunniest place in the world . . . and it’s NOT Phoenix.  A plateau in Chile gets blasted by more of the sun’s rays than any other spot on Earth.  Basically, you’d get sunburned there faster than anywhere else.

2.  In other Earth news:  Scientists may have finally figured out a way to predict earthquakes.  GPS data showed there’s a tiny slip in the tectonic plates about two hours before an earthquake happens.  But we’ll need sensors that are 100 times better than the ones we currently have.

3.  Everyone loves a live show, maybe even babies.  A study at the University of Toronto found infants’ heart rates sync up with live music, and they find it more exciting than watching a live show on TV.

4.  Ever been to a store and realized you forgot your wallet?  You won’t need it at Whole Foods soon.  They’ve been testing a gadget that lets you pay by scanning your palm.  Now they’re rolling it out to all their stores by the end of the year.

5.  The next time you feel a little hungry, maybe sit with that feeling for a minute.  A study at the University of Michigan found our bodies might age more slowly when we’re hungry.

6.  Google is testing a new A.I. that can write breaking news stories and headlines.  It could up-end journalism, and put a lot of writers out of work.

7.  In space news:  An asteroid as big as a 20-story building got closer to us than the Moon last week, and no one realized until two days later.  So that’s great.

8.  NASA is almost ready to launch a mission to a very valuable asteroid this fall.  It’s full of so much iron, nickel, and gold, it would be worth an estimated TEN QUINTILLION DOLLARS.  (Makes that Powerball jackpot seem pretty piddly.)