Fantastic, Freaky and Futuristic: Our Best Stories You Might Have Missed This Week

Kids at Lucile Packard Children's Hospital in Palo Alto, California are using virtual reality to get some reprieve from painful medical procedures. Stanford CHARIOT

Every day we learn something new, and want our readers to, as well. We've pulled out some of the stories that inspired us most this week, from virtual reality in hospitals to growing fresh veggies in Antarctica. So, keep reading (and listening) to find out how exhilarating your world can be.

The Fantastic

Kids at Lucile Packard Children's Hospital in Palo Alto, California, are getting some reprieve from painful medical procedures, and it's coming from an unlikely source — virtual reality technology. That's right. The hospital is one of the first in the U.S. to use what's called distraction-based VR therapy. In a nutshell, the kids get to put on a VR headset during different procedures and escape into another world of fun and immersive experiences that have been proven to reduce their anxiety — and even their pain.

The Freaky

In honor of Friday the 13th (and the next season of "Stranger Things" dropping just weeks away), Stuff To Blow Your Mind hosts Robert, Joe and Christian get real about the science behind the fictional show. In this episode of the podcast, they delve deep into the mysteries of actual government research and psychic phenomena, sensory deprivation tanks (not unlike the tanks Eleven is forced to float in), interdimensional travel and the real-life researcher behind the demented Dr. Brenner. Sit down and listen up. Just don't forget your Eggos.

The Futuristic

If you think growing tomatoes in your home garden is tough, try growing them in Antarctica. That's what a group of scientists at the German Antarctic research station, Neumayer III, will do starting in January 2018. No ... they won't be growing them on the ice tundra. They'll be growing all types of veggies with the help of aeroponics and LED lighting inside a super high-tech shipping container. It's all part of research to determine if the same type of technology could one day be replicated on a mission to Mars. It's super cool stuff, and we expect those tomatoes to be pretty delicious too.