The Daily: December 17

We scour the news so you don't have to...
Can you speak cow?
The term ‘moo’ is used very commonly when we attempt to sound like a cow; but have you ever stopped to wonder what it means? Probably not. However, for the past 10 months researchers at Nottingham University have been studying the cow language to be able to translate what the cows want in particular. The team of researchers found that there are two types of calls when the mother is communicating with their calves which depend on how far apart they are from one another. The mother would produce a low maternal sound if she is near to the calf; on the other hand she would make a louder, higher pitched call if the calf is out of visual contact. At the same time, the researchers discovered the calves have a specific call for when they want milk.

Swedish Ice Hotel celebrates 25 seasons
Over the last few weeks a Swedish ice hotel has been constructed by 42 artists from around the world. The Icehotel uses 1,600 tonnes of snow and ice which is collected from the nearby Torne River, which is not far from the village of Jukkasjarvi where the hotel is located. The hotel is only temporary: the doors open on the 20 December and will close when it begins to melt in March. The hotel consists of 16 uniquely designed rooms (known as ‘art suites’) which are influenced by the changing of the season, the perception of time and the concepts of love. 2014’s ice bar is designed to represent a giant explosion which covers the walls and the large dance floor with shards of ice. There is also the Aurora hall which is created from solid ice, allowing an acoustic environment and a translucent ceiling.

Olympics head to Los Angeles
It seems far too early to start planning the 2024 Olympics, considering that the 2016 games haven’t even begun. Nonetheless, Los Angeles has been confirmed to be the front runner for the United States games. The other four other cities which have been considered for the Summer Games include San Francisco, Boston and Washington, it would be the first time hosting the other games for these cities. The games were last hosted in the United States in 1996 and the final destination for the games will be decided in January. The Olympics have been hosted in Los Angeles twice in the past, once in 1932 and once in 1984. With the increasing excitement for the 2016 Rio Games the 2024 Games seem quite a while away.

Is there really life on Mars?
For years we have all speculated the idea of there being life on Mars, but can we now start to believe it? The idea of life on this curious planet first began when they discovered there had once been water on the surface. Nonetheless NASA continued to hunt for further evidence and they have discovered something extraordinary. An instrument which is featured on the rover discovered methane which the scientists believe could have come from bacteria-like organisms found on the surface… it could be the first sign of alien life found. Vents of methane have been seen before but never at the scale of which was discovered and measured at the Gale Crater, where scientists suggest water had been previously. It would be an tremendous discovery if this were to be true.

Downton Abbey releases holiday lodgings
If you are a fan of the popular ITV drama, Downton Abbey, then you may be very interested in knowing that the owners of Highclere Castle have opened their 200-year-old gatehouse. The Grade-II listed Georgian gatehouse is situated at the beginning of the mile-long drive way to the beautiful stately home and has been restored as a guest lodge. The lodgings will be opened from Valentine’s Day 2015 and guests can stay there throughout the Spring and Summer, however it will cost you £350 per night and Carlson the Butler isn’t included as it is self-catering. The castle already attracts many tourists wanting to take pictures of this beautiful estate and now with the new availability to stay here it will become even more popular.