60 Years On: The Silver Ball That Shook the WorldIt was 8:07 p.m. on a Friday night in Riverhead, Long Island, when the operators at an RCA Communications outpost picked up a signal that had never been heard before on Earth. A sharp, insistent ... More >
How Your Smartwatch Tracks Your SwimLast week I splashed into an underground university pool with an Apple Watch Series 3. As the company's wearable has matured, Apple has marketed it more and more as a fitness device, one that's, ... More >
The Radio Pulse No Astronomer Can ExplainLong ago, 15 bright radio pulses emerged from a dwarf galaxy about 3 billion light years away from Earth. Last Saturday, a telescope in a remote area of West Virginia picked up those signals from ... More >
Is This The First Maths Textbook?Some researchers say the Babylonians invented trigonometry—and did it better. A long-debated tablet known as Plimpton 332, featuring 3,700-year-old scrawls from a Mesopotamian scribe, is the ... More >
Does Science Think You're An Alcoholic?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 ... More >
Google Street View images are filled with cars. That is a simple and pedestrian truth, and one which artificial intelligence researchers have taken advantage of to do something surprising. By analyzing car type, they were able to make predictions about the demographic information of the people in the cities they studied.
Ask Jodi Sherman to identify a culprit in global climate change, and you'll get an unexpected answer. The anesthesiologist from Yale University doesn't name the usual suspects—carbon dioxide, like the kind that spews out of our cars, or methane, the gas packed into every cow burp. Instead, she points a finger at anesthesia, the tool most essential to her trade. “And it's just being released into the atmosphere with no control,” she says.
If something claims to be a miracle cure—for cancer, for overeating, for run-of-the-mill acne—you should start by assuming it isn't. Life is hard and long and there are no easy shortcuts, especially when it comes to your health. That includes the internet darling that is apple cider vinegar.
One would assume that many of the strongest members of our species are elite athletes. And if particularly strong arms are what you're after, collegiate rowers—who routinely exert many times their body weight in power to propel a boat forward as fast as humanly possible—are about as good as it gets. But according to a new study, even elite female rowers have nothing on the arms of prehistoric women.
It would be easy to dismiss the myth of the yeti as just that: a myth. There's no conclusive evidence that a giant, ape-like creature lives in the Himalayas (or anywhere else, for that matter). But the beauty of science is that we don't just have to roll our eyes. We can test the hypothesis.
In a California warehouse in October, quadrocopter drones zoomed and buzzed, racing through an obstacle course of black-and-white checkered arches. On one team: drones guided by software and AI, the work of a team from NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory. On the other: a drone steered by a human professional—Ken Loo, a Google engineer and Drone Racing League pilot.
If you have a very limited media diet, you may not have heard that Prince Henry of Wales (usually referred to as Prince Harry) recently proposed to American actress, model, and humanitarian Meghan Markle. Along with his hand in marriage and a place in the British royal family, she has accepted a glittering rock from Botswana. It formed hundreds of thousands of feet under ground, billions of years ago, only to be pushed upwards by subsurface plumes of burning magma on its fateful journey to Markle's ring finger.
Twentieth Century German social psychologist Erich Fromm first advanced the notion that humans hold an inborn connection to nature. Later, it was popularized by biologist E.O. Wilson as “the urge to affiliate with other forms of life.” In the ensuing years, support for the positive effects of nature has gained considerable traction, grounded in a growing body of research. In recent weeks, at least four new studies have emerged adding more validity to what science repeatedly has revealed: being around nature is good for us. The latest research shows that interacting with nature makes the brain stronger and soothes the psyche.
In November of 1964, Popular Science published "Stupid Questions About What You Eat" because "most [people] have many mistaken notions" about the digestive process. The article sought to answer "fundamental questions about what and why you eat—with digested answers." The text of the article (formatted for the web) follows below. It can also be read in its original format through the Popular Science archives, here.
Humans have been buddies with booze for thousands of years. Some scientists believe this love affair goes back even further. The so-called drunken monkey hypothesis speculates that our ancestors possessed an unusual knack for consuming ethanol without keeling over dead, allowing them to access the sweet, sweet caloric payloads of rotting, fermenting fruit. But we've come a long way from merely tolerating overripe apples. These days, alcohol factors into our social interactions, our most cherished cultural ceremonies, countless classic poems, songs, paintings, and plays. And save for some occasions when we sip an elixir to fulfill a religious rite, we drink alcohol for one main reason: it makes us feel good.
Charles Manson, who died November 19, famously attracted a coterie of men and women to do his bidding, which included committing a string of murders in the late-1960s. Manson is undoubtedly a fascinating figure with a complicated life story. But as someone who studies human cognition, I'm more interested in the members of the Manson “family” like Susan Atkins and Patricia Krenwinkel, and how they become drawn to leaders of cult-like organizations in the first place.
Before owning a car became typical, roads and highways (the few that existed) were never crowded. It was only after everyone started purchasing and driving their own vehicles—to work, school, even the grocery store around the block—that streets grew congested, rush hour became an everyday occurrence, and car accidents became an inevitability.