Zombie Viruses Found in Siberian PermafrostOne quarter of the Northern Hemisphere used to be permafrost, where the ground itself is always frozen. But due to climate change, that frost is not so perma after all. Melting glaciers and thawing permafrost have been revealing secrets for years, like preserved mammoths and ancient human artifacts, but they have also revealed viruses that the world hasn't seen in thousands of years. What we call "zombies" are beings that have died and come back to life. Viruses live on the very edge of our definition of "alive," so they can be frozen for thousands of years and reactivate when thawed. But while they were frozen, other species have moved on, and have not had to develop immunity from novel viruses. Russian scientists have identified 13 unique viruses in the thawing Siberian permafrost, one that was identified as 48,500 years old -a world record. Three distinct viruses were identified in a 27,000-year-old chunk of mammoth poop.The viruses that have been identified so far only infect amoebas, but they have the potential to become infectious pathogens to other species. -via Strange Company (Image credit: NASA) 
The Amazing Microbiomes of CheeseTurning milk into cheese has been going on for thousands of years, and it's still a tasty way to preserve milk. What makes cheese is the bacteria working in it. Cheesemakers will tell you what kind of bacteria they introduce to produce their distinctive kinds of cheese, but that's just the beginning of the story. Scientists who study samples of cheese for bacterial DNA have found that the bacteria the cheese is known for can be a very small sliver of what's actually living in there- up to 400 kinds of bacteria, plus yeasts and other funguses! Some of these were there in the beginning, with the gathering of milk on farms. Others were deliberately introduced, but many are a mystery, and could have something to do with the region where the cheese is made or the techniques used to manufacture it. Research is also going on about the interactions between these species in making cheese. Some species are rivals for resources, and can even go to battle with each other. Or they can just try to crowd each other out. Read about the latest research on the astonishing variety of bacteria in aged cheese at Smithsonian. -via Damn Interesting​(Image credit: Silar) 
Hyperrealistic Eyeballs Painted on ToenailsThis is the perfect look for open-toed shoe days!Sure, it’s pretty late in the year for those of us in the Northern Hemisphere. So we may have to wait a few months before booking an appointment with @NailedByTav so that we can really rock those sandals. But the wait will be worth it.This artist in Los Angeles offers a huge portfolio of nail options, but it’s her eyeball toenails that have grabbed the internet’s attention.Now we just need some way to make them blink or follow the viewer. Perhaps there’s an augmented reality option there.-via Techanbob
Beautiful Carved Bar Top Shows a Surfacing AlligatorMy Modern Met introduces us to Scott Dow, a wood sculptor who produces wonders from his workshop in the small town of Corry in northwestern Pennsylvania.After seeing a sculpture showing a surfacing fish, Dow decided to make this bar top with a rising alligator closing in on its prey. It’s carved from a single piece of wood, which is very impressive considering how hard it must have been to render the mouth.Dow protected the surface with at least one coat of urethane. I gather that the project is still in progress. It certainly needs more varnishing before it’s actually put to use in bar where it could be damaged.
How Brussels Sprouts Came to Taste GoodWhen I was a kid, Brussels sprouts seemed to be a punishment of some sort. The only reason to eat them is because your mother made you, but what kid wants to eat something only because "it's good for you"? Well, we know that children are particularly sensitive to bitter tastes, and vegetables that we hated as children often become a favorite in adulthood, but Brussel sprouts didn't get any better for me as a young adult. It turns out that it wasn't just me. However, Brussels sprouts have become much better in the 21st century. The difference came about in two ways. First, the plant crop itself has undergone changes that first ruined Brussels sprouts and then made them better. Second, we figured out that vegetables are better roasted in the oven than boiled. Read about the evolution of Brussels sprouts at NPR. And if you've been avoiding this vegetable for years, maybe now you can try them again. You might be surprised! -via Mental Floss​
This Antique Bed Looks Like a PianoThe Brooklyn Museum contains this unusual piece of furniture from 1885. This Smith & Co. firm produced a variety of luxury furniture pieces in the United States, including “metamorphic furniture” which converted as needed. City dwellers who wanted to show off for guests but make best use of space might enjoy having something that looks like a classy upright piano in a parlor. At night, they could also make use of it by opening the front and adding bedding to the springs inside.As far as I can tell, it’s not a functional piano—it just looks like one. Nor does it look like a comfortable bed. But it would be an excellent convesation piece during the day or night.-via Fake History Hunter