Editor's Picks: Doctor Who, Dinosaur Graveyards and More

//

Above, you’ll see some of the top images of the week. Click on each one to explore the story behind it.

In case you were too busy watching the World Cup this week, here are the must-read Discovery News stories that you may have missed:

5. McChrystal Firing Not Unusual in U.S. History

By now, everyone’s heard the news of Gen. Stanley McChrystal’s explosive comments to Rolling Stone magazine. The report sparked a controversy that reverberated the world over.

What you may not know is that this kind of incident surrounding top military brass is not especially uncommon in U.S. history. For better and for worse, there has long been a natural tension between political authorities and military commanders.

For a complete rundown of other military leaders who have found themselves in hot water, take a look at Discovery News’ Emily Sohn’s report.

4. What Do Thousands of Barrels of Oil Look Like?

If you like video games but you’re not so keen on environmental catastrophe, then you’re going to love this video.

An anonymous user of the development kit for Unreal Tournament 3 has created a video that has all the excitement of a first-person shooter combined with the sheer thrill of counting.

So what exactly do thousands of barrels of oil look like? Click on the photo or the link above to find out.

3. Doctor Who’s ‘Crack in the Universe’ is Real?

It turns out the longest running sci-fi television series in history, Doctor Who, may not be entirely fiction.

Although less ominous than the one the Doctor faces this season, a literal crack in the universe has been reappearing with the same shape as the one in the series.

NASA’s Spitzer Space Telescope captured this eerie image. The dark clouds are dust that enshroud baby stars that will one day shine brightly and even harbor planets.

For a look at how this crack compares with the one in the series, check out Discovery News’ Nicole Gugliucci’s post by clicking on the link or the photo.

2. Homemade Nuclear Reactor Built in NYC

Are your electric bills too high? Do you have a lot of free time on your hands? Are you looking to really stick it to the International Atomic Energy Agency?

If you answered yes to all of the above questions, then you might just be a candidate to build your own nuclear reactor in your home, condominium or apartment complex.

Amateur physicists who call themselves “fusioneers” are already trying to solve the world’s energy problem in their basements. Who says you can’t, too?

Find out more about amateur nuclear science by clicking here.

1. Oldest Portraits Of Apostles Found

The earliest paintings of the Apostles Peter, Andrew, John and Paul have been discovered in a catacomb underneath an office building near St. Paul’s Basilica in Rome.

Dating from the end of the 4th century, the portraits were found on the ceiling of a burial place of a noblewoman from that era.

Trademark features of future depictions of the Apostles, such as Peter’s long, white beard, may have originated from these frescoes.

Get the full story by clicking here or on the headline above.

Those were my picks for the must-read stories. Here is a list of the most popular stories of the week:

5. Will Humans Be Extinct Within 100 Years?

We are all going to be wiped — very soon, according to an eminent 95-year-old scientist from Australia, Professor Frank Fenner. Find out more about how Fenner deduced this “uplifting” theory by clicking here or on the link or photo above.

4. Spectacular Aurora Ribbon Photographed by Astronaut

Our planet certainly knows how to accessorize. This intense green aurora ribbon was documented just as the International Space Station orbited overhead. Click here to take a closer look.

3. World’s Largest Dinosaur Graveyard Found

No need to be spooked: This graveyard is full of the bones of dinosaurs who died some 75 million years ago.

Then again, I guess there are few things scarier than dinosaur ghosts. Great, now I’m going to have to sleep with a nightlight on the whole weekend. Get the story here.

2. Are We Overlooking Alien Beacons?

If aliens have already been here, could they have left some trace behind? If they did leave behind some signal, could we even understand it? Click here or on the headline to get Discovery News’ Ray Villard’s take on these questions at more.

1. The Higgs Boson May Have ‘Five Faces’

When it comes to the hunt for the elusive Higgs Boson, perhaps we’ve been thinking too small. What if there’s more than one Higgs? Find out more about the Higgs family here.