It's Better On Top: DNews Nuggets

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It's Better on Top — NASA is investigating some unconventional aircraft configurations to make flying more efficient. One concept, dubbed Advanced Model for Extreme Lift and Improved Aeroacoustics, calls for mounting the jet engines on top of an aircraft's wings instead of underneath. Wind tunnel tests conducted with the help of engineers from California Polytechnic State University San Louis Obispo showed numerous advantages to that configuration. First, noise is reduced, since the wings are under the loud jets. And secondly, the setup produces extra lift, so much so that a 737's lift could be increased by up to 250 percent. That could allow for steeper take-offs and landings, opening up air travel to airports with shorter runways. (8:10 p.m.) via Dvice

No Nukes: Japan now has only one operational nuclear reactor, and it's due to be shut down in May. Since the devastating earthquake and tsunami in March 2011, 54 nuclear reactors were temporarily closed and underwent routine stress tests. But local residents blocked power companies from switching them back on again. Before the 2011 disaster — which crippled the power plant in Fukushima, causing huge radioactive contamination problems — Japan depended on nuclear power for a third of its electricity needs. (6:45 p.m.) via BBC News

How Cats Survive a Fall: After this cat survived a 19-story fall without a scratch, we wondered, how do they do that? Gizmodo offers up a bit of an explanation. "Cats have also evolved a keen sense for knowing which way is up. Weirdly, given a big enough fall, that means that they're capable of righting themselves in mid-air by spinning their tails, to ensure they land feet-first." But that's not all. The physiology of the cat is fascinating. (5:04 p.m.) via Gizmodo

Hummingbird Toughs Out NYC Winter:: Last December, a cute brown hummingbird was spotted in a most conspicuous NYC location — sipping from ornamental flowers around the American Museum of Natural History. The city's birdwatchers were soon aflutter with the sighting since the Rufous hummingbird rarely strays so far east on its way to Mexico, where it usually spends its winters. The mild winter in New York, in addition to the perk of a sugar water feeder set up by the museum's staff, enticed the bird to stay through the rest of winter. The famous little bird was last sighted on March 20, and ornithologists aren't sure if it's still around. They don't really expect it to linger much longer as spring blossoms are emerging and undoubtedly luring the little bird away from its captivated audience. (2:02 p.m.) via New York Times

Tron Dance: There's not much to say about this video of men in light suits dancing to a techno Tron-dance except: wo. The Japanese group, called the Wrecking Crew Orchestra, is dressed in LED lights that are remote controlled on and off. How they don't wham into each other is anyone's guess. Happy Monday. (11:30 a.m.) via HolyKaw