• When we finally go to Mars, we might end up living in giant metal cans

    Go to Mars, Live in a Can

    If humans are ever really going to make it to Mars, we're going to need a bigger boat. Today's spaceships are built for short hauls to and from the International Space Station, a mere six or so ... More >
  • NASA's newly released video archives contain a skyfull of goodies

    NASA's Video Archives: Crack for Space-Fans

    NASA is forever linked to space, a plucky government agency bravely hurtling people and robots into the great beyond. Yet the agency has always had as much of an earth-bound mission as an outer ... More >
  • How fentanyl is making deadly drugs even deadlier

    Is Fear of Fentanyl Justified? Yes.

    It's relatively new to America's drug scene, but in the last few years, its victims have included everyone from musician Prince to a 10-year-old boy in Miami. The culprit is fentanyl, a lesser-know... More >
  • Doctors are wearing the new Google Glass while seeing patients

    Who Still Uses Google Glass? Doctors.

    You could be forgiven for assuming that Glass, Google's head-mounted augmented-reality device, had been effectively dead since 2015. But as Google's sister company X, the Moonshot Factory, ... More >
  • Ravens are so smart it's actually kind of disconcerting, new study finds

    Ravens Are Scary-Smart

    A flock of ravens ravaging a carcass may technically be called an unkindness, but the real unkindness is using that term. Everyone is always hating on the smarty pants, but ravens are not ... More >
Dennis Mersereau
at 15:53 PM Sep 20 2017
Dennis Mersereau
Science // 

The second scale-topping hurricane to make landfall in the past two weeks will tear through Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands on Wednesday, bringing to a climax one of the most severe hurricane seasons in recent memory. On Monday evening, Hurricane Maria rapidly strengthened into a category five shortly before striking the small island of Dominica. The tiny eye of the storm happened to hit the island of more than 70,000 people head-on, creating the latest in a string of humanitarian crises set forth by an unusually intense hurricane season. The island nation's prime minister reported on Tuesday morning that his country was devastated, grimly stating on Facebook that “we have lost all what money can buy and replace.”

Sara Chodosh
at 15:53 PM Sep 20 2017
Pexels
Science // 

About 36 million years ago, an asteroid slammed into Canada and created a fake diamond, which over the millennia degraded and transformed into a shiny black rock. Now, geologists have used that gem to confirm a new temperature record for the Earth's surface: 2370 degrees Celsius.

Mary Beth Griggs
at 15:53 PM Sep 20 2017
NASA
Space // 

We have discovered a planet. It gathers in light from its sun, and refuses to let go. In return, the star strips away the planet's atmosphere, slowly devouring it.

Kelsey D. Atherton
at 15:53 PM Sep 20 2017
Egan Airships

In 1908, five years after the Wright Brothers first flight at Kitty Hawk, U.S. Army Lieutenant Thomas Etholen Selfridge earned the dubious distinction as the first person to die in an airplane crash. In fact, the early years of aviation are littered with bodies. Last week, a pair of brothers in Washington state debuted an aircraft they see as the answer to the long-sought dream of perfectly safe flight. With a rigid, winged body held underneath a massive helium-containing envelope, their craft is billed as a fusion of both airplane and blimp technology. It is called “Plimp.”

David Nield
at 15:53 PM Sep 20 2017
Apple
Mobile // 

This week marks the official arrival of iOS 11, and Apple's latest operating system boasts quite a few party tricks that you're going to want to try out. Here are some of the best new features, from playing with the magic of augmented reality to adding a dock to your iPad interface.

Rob Verger
at 15:53 PM Sep 20 2017
Apple

Have you heard? Siri, the virtual persona that speaks from your iPhone, sounds different now. The new voice officially rolls out today as a part of Apple's latest mobile operating system, iOS 11. Her new pipes make her sound higher in pitch and younger. She's perkier and more personable. Most important, she sounds more human.

Nicole Wetsman
at 15:53 PM Sep 20 2017
Deposit Photos

In March, an episode of Law & Order SVU dove into murky scientific waters when it introduced a character claiming to have a gene that made him commit sexual assault. The story was never clear on what specific gene had supposedly doomed the defendant to such a life. But claiming to have DNA that predisposes one to commit a crime is decidedly non-fictional.

Sara Chodosh
at 15:53 PM Sep 20 2017
Deposit Photos
Fitness // 

The trouble with alcohol is that it's everywhere. We don't treat any other drug the way we treat alcohol, marijuana included, and in part that's because we mostly don't think of it as a drug. It's what you down a shot of to loosen up on the dance floor, or to ease your social anxieties at your company's holiday party. You know it's not good for you, sure, but it's a part of daily life. It's easy to stop thinking of alcohol like a drug—but it is one. And like any drug, you can become addicted to it without even realizing.

Mary Beth Griggs
at 15:53 PM Sep 20 2017
NASA

It sent back data until the last possible moment, struggling against the atmospheric forces that would soon vaporize the spacecraft into dust. Then, it was gone. Cassini's perfectly executed dive last week shuttered one of our few windows to the solar system.

Ellen Airhart
at 15:53 PM Sep 20 2017
Deposit Photos
Science // 

For all of 2016, Andrew Taylor ate only potatoes. There were a few caveats: He ate both white potatoes and sweet ones, and sometimes mixed in soymilk, tomato sauce, salt and herbs. He also took B12 supplements. But, overall, he ate potatoes for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. He took four blood tests over the year which he claims all came back normal. He even lost weight and felt more energized.

Jeremy Deaton
at 14:26 PM Sep 7 2017
Pixabay
Science // 

  Labor Day weekend delivered record-breaking temperatures to California as a heat wave swept the state, fanning the flames of the largest wildfire Los Angeles has seen in decades. The unusually warm weather bears the mark of climate change, which is fueling record heat around the globe.

Kelsey D. Atherton
at 14:26 PM Sep 7 2017
KCNA, via DPRK Today

Over the weekend, North Korea unveiled a new weapon. It is small, maybe small enough to fit in the nose cone of a missile. It is powerful, detonating with the force of possibly 140 kilotons, or almost 10 times the destructive power as “Little Boy,” the bomb dropped on Hiroshima in 1945. This thermonuclear warhead is shiny, bare metal like the naked skins of the early jets that first fought in the skies above Korea almost 67 years ago.

Sara Chodosh
at 14:26 PM Sep 7 2017
Flickr user Amila Tennakoon
Nature // 

The same phenomenon that creates the Northern Lights might also be confusing male sperm whales. In case you've forgotten already (really, how could you?), early 2016 brought a veritable tidal wave of beached spermaceti in the North Sea. No one could figure out why at the time, but thanks to a study in the International Journal of Astrobiology, we now have a working hypothesis: it was those gosh darned solar storms at it again.

Jeffrey Lin and P.W. Singer
at 14:26 PM Sep 7 2017
CASIC

Hyperloops, the developing mode of transit that promises to zip people frictionlessly in pods and tubes, have long been associated with the innovations and dreams of billionaire Elon Musk. More recently, however, it's captivated the imaginations of others, including, now, a Chinese aerospace giant. The China Aerospace Science and Industrial Corporation (CASIC), a well-heeled newcomer to the mass transit industry, is betting big on its supersonic T Flight 'flying train.'

Sara Chodosh
at 12:12 PM Sep 4 2017
Jomegat
Nature // 

“Dragon boogers” go by many names. “Moss animals,” for one, and “bryozoans,” for another. They're also known as “ectoprocta,” meaning “anus outside.” If you're unfamiliar with the phylogeny of aquatic invertebrates, it might seem unnecessary to distinguish creatures with anuses outside from creatures with anuses inside. And yet, it is necessary—which is the beauty of water-dwelling blobs.

 
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