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Stephen Hawking thinks that it's very likely alien life exists. He thinks it's a bad idea for us to try to contact them. He thinks that aliens visiting us, as our civilization stands right now, would be similar to when Columbus arrived in America.
Fear not, however, the Center for SETI (search for extraterrestrial lab) has technology in place that let's them detect signals from up to 1000 light-years away. Given how long we've been emitting broadcasts into space, it's not very likely that we have been on someone's radar long enough for someone to pay us a visit.
One of the rats is in Brazil, and the other is in the United States. Even at this great distance, neuroscientists have been able to create a new central nervous system out of two brains. This is the first step towards building an organic computer that uses a network of linked animal brains to solve tasks.
They way they tested follow: They taught one of the rats to press a lever. Then, the other would be prompted to press the same lever. If it did, they would both get a reward. So far their success rate has been 64%. Not significant, but greater than a 50/50 chance.
Some, however, are skeptical that they haven't achieved anything beyond a 'Hollywood blockbuster' pseudo-science. Read more at the source.
The Groom of the Stool is a fancy name for royal butt wiper. The position used to be the most intimate of the monarch's court. That was, of course, because of the physical intimacy that they both shared. This resulted in a monarch placing a lot of trust in this man, and telling him many royal secrets.
Over the centuries, the position became very respected and feared within the royal court. Eventually the groom of the stool administered royal finances and set fiscal policy.
Learn more about this important position at the source.