9 Things You Didn’t Know About Some Of The Biggest Stories Of The Year

You can see the same headline a million times, but do you even know what’s possibly hiding beneath? There are a ton more amazing details out in the ether that you just don’t get when you skim. The Economist challenges you to Dare2GoDeep and find them. Here are some amazing things you might have missed recently. posted on

1. You’ve probably heard about China’s tight Internet restrictions.

BUT DID YOU KNOW…

… that because the space has become so fragmented, that human inputs are required to maintain certain levels of restriction across the country. There are believed to be “100,000 people, employed both by the state and by private companies, policing China’s internet around the clock.”

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2. Hey, remember that time we landed an exploratory robot on Mars?

WELL, DID YOU KNOW…

… that there’s another camera that’s been circling Mars since 2006? The Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter captures billions of observatory space pixels, furthering the field of space archaeology. It has recently helped scientists discover remnants of other countries’ failed missions to the Red Planet.

NASA / Reuters

3. By now, you must know that cars will be driving themselves soon.

BUT DID YOU KNOW…

… it could be as soon as five years from now? And with the data collected in that time, engineers will find ways to make driver’s assistance so efficient that cars in autopilot will be safer than a human driving.

Eric Risberg / AP

4. If you merely have a Facebook account, you’re well aware by now that the U.S. Supreme Court is hearing arguments in favor of marriage equality.

facebook.com / Via http://Human%20Rights%20Campaign

BUT ARE YOU AWARE…

… that right now, three more countries are making strides too - with bills in favor of marriage equality being introduced, passed, or nearly passed in Uruguay, France, and New Zealand.

5. Universally accessible Internet still may not be a thing yet.

HOWEVER, IN THE MEANTIME…

… two new types of cable-free mega-fast WiFi connections are in development and supported by industry experts. Gigabit wireless technology will increase data speeds ten times from the current norm.

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6. There’s a lot of talk about how the study of genetics is the key to the future of humanity.

BUT I BET YOU DIDN’T KNOW…

… that firms are beginning to formally patent patterns of DNA so they can create benchmarks and better observe harmful mutations. “Products of nature” like DNA (or water, for example) are technically ineligible for patent registration, but isolated chemical replicas from a lab are classified as “human inventions,” so those iterations are. It’s all still up for debate, but it could be a massive step forward.

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7. Remember that day last year when you couldn’t look up that thing you wanted on Wikipedia and it killed you for a whole 24 hours?

That was in protest of S.O.P.A. and P.I.P.A. - two bills introduced to Congress that would limit freedom of accessibility and information on the web, including contextual use of animated GIFs.

NBC / Reveille / Via dream-big-wish-hard.tumblr.com

WELL, GUESS WHAT…

… there’s a new bill on the table: C.I.S.P.A. - the Cyber Intelligence Sharing and Protection Act, which was created to defend digital infrastructures from cyberattacks. It could potentially put people’s personal information at stake for investigative purposes.

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8. We’re very sorry Polaroid went bankrupt and their classic cameras stopped being produced before you could snag one.

HOW COOL IS THIS THOUGH…

… before the company appointed a modern-day icon like Lady Gaga as its creative director, Polaroid had an Artist Support Program which put its cameras in the hands of iconic fine artists like Ansel Adams, Andy Warhol, and Robert Rauschenberg as consultants and product testers.

Mario Tama / Getty Images

9. Back to China for a sec. Did you realize China doesn’t have a trade agreement with a SINGLE European country?

UNTIL NOW…

China just signed into a free-trade agreement with Iceland! A country with 1/10th of the population of a mere city in China. The focus is said to be not so much on the accessibility to Iceland’s actual market materials, but rather the access of the shipping routes surrounding the country.

Getty News Pool / Getty Images

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