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  • Wyoming is basically trying to outlaw clean energy

    Wyoming is basically trying to outlaw clean energy

    It's often said that in New Zealand, there are more sheep than people. In Wyoming, there's way more energy than people. More >
  • James Bond has been teaching kids to smoke for over half a century

    Does James Bond Teach Kids to Smoke?

    Over the course of six decades, James Bond dodged thousands of enemy bullets, averted global wars and deactivated some potent bombs. But he may have also encouraged kids to try smoking cigarettes. More >
  • These 5 finalists will race to the moon in Google's Lunar XPrize competition

    And Now, The Lunar X Prize

    This team from Israel was the first to book its ticket to the moon. Instead of rolling like a rover, this dishwasher-sized spacecraft will "hop" using retro-thrusters to move 500 meters across the ... More >
  • Using Tech to... Talk to Toddlers?

    Using Tech to... Talk to Toddlers?

    In a classroom at a transitional housing program in San Mateo, California, Brianna is talking about her 2-year-old daughter, Hope. She's having trouble getting Hope to talk to her—but the ... More >
  • This is What it Could Look Like to Land on Pluto

    This is What it Could Look Like to Land on Pluto

    After a 10-year journey, NASA's New Horizons spacecraft sped past Pluto for just a few short hours in July 2015. It was going far too fast to enter an orbit around the dwarf planet—let alone ... More >
Kelsey Atherton
at 10:50 AM Feb 24 2017
DRI and Drone America
Drones // 

Dr. Adam Watts of the Desert Research Institute is standing by the side of the road near Donner Pass, shouting over the wind into his phone to talk about a recent test flight. “We built a robot that can fly itself and bring more water out of clouds,” he says, capturing the technological promise at hand in just a few words. Together with Nevada's Drone America, the team flew a cloud-seeding drone beyond the pilot's line of sight. It's the next step in a gradual and ambitious process, aimed at solving a decades-old problem: can the desert pull more water from the sky, and can it do so without injuring anyone along the way?

Mary Beth Griggs
at 10:50 AM Feb 24 2017
Iida Loukola/QMUL
Nature // 

Here's the buzz: bees are brilliant. And not just because they are a vital part of our ecosystem. Bees are also very clever—and apparently capable of learning one of the fundamentals of football.

Sarah Fecht
at 10:50 AM Feb 24 2017
Billy Cadden/Popular Science
Gadgets // 

The phrase "reinventing the wheel" usually means someone is wasting time and effort trying to fix something that isn't broken. The same could be said for reinventing straws, which is something that McDonald's has half-jokingly tried to do with its new STRAW (Suction Tube for Reverse Axial Withdrawal).

Rachel Feltman
at 10:50 AM Feb 24 2017
NASA
Space // 

Have you heard the good news? On Wednesday, scientists announced a fleet of new planets. And not just any old exoplanets: they unveiled a solar system seemingly jam-packed with Earth-sized worlds. Those seven probably-rocky bodies could be an excellent place to search for life. And the good folks at NASA have created a whole new website devoted to the TRAPPIST-1 system. There's a lot to unpack here.

Jeffrey Lin and P.W. Singer
at 10:50 AM Feb 24 2017
Weibo

At the Dubai IDEX defense exposition, arms makers from around the world show off their latest wares. A notable debut at the recent 2017 show: a new, triple hulled Chinese warship design.

Kendra Pierre-Louis
at 10:50 AM Feb 24 2017
NASA Earth Observatory image by Jesse Allen, using Landsat data from the U.S. Geological Survey
Nature // 

A crack along an Antarctic glacier has grown roughly 50 kilometres in a matter of months, leaving NASA researchers to believe that the resulting iceberg—known as Larsen C—may make it to the open ocean in as little as a weeks or months. The 9 km added to the rift since early January has brought it to a staggering 160 km (give or take) in length.

Sara Chodosh
at 10:50 AM Feb 24 2017
Keith Ramos // Fish and Wildlife Service
Nature // 

The fightin' sea cows are making a comeback. Manatees have been on the endangered species list since 1972, but in the last few years they've been more abundant than ever. So abundant that they may have their status downgraded to 'threatened.'

Cici Zhang
at 10:50 AM Feb 24 2017
Thiele et al. Sci. Adv. 2017
Drones // 

From body parts to supercars, the family of 3D printed products just keeps expanding. But in a study published last week in Science Advances, scientists think small: German researchers 3D printed different lenses—each smaller than the width of a human hair—onto a chip. Such micro-cameras could be perfect for tiny drones and other pint-sized robots.

Kate Baggaley
at 10:50 AM Feb 24 2017
Flickr user DigitalRalph

Today's artificial intelligence is certainly formidable. It can beat world champions at intricate games like chess and Go, or dominate at Jeopardy!. It can interpret heaps of data for us, guide driverless cars, respond to spoken commands, and track down the answers to your internet search queries.

Mary Beth Griggs
at 10:35 AM Feb 23 2017
NASA Photo
Nature // 

It all started with an e-mail. Three years ago, University College London professor Chronis Tzedakis had just explained the basic cycles of an ice age to an undergraduate geology class; how the Earth goes through periods of glaciation followed by warmer periods when glaciers melt. Sometimes, the timing between those periods varies dramatically.

Rachel Feltman
at 10:35 AM Feb 23 2017
Pexels

When I saw the press release for a new study linking the risk of autism to maternal infection with genital herpes, my heart sunk. Because you can't put two scary buzzwords like "autism" and "herpes" into a press release without creating this kind of media response:

Sarah Fecht
at 10:35 AM Feb 23 2017
NASA/JPL-Caltech
Space // 

Planet-hunters are always on the lookout for worlds that look like Earth—rocky planets that are not too hot and not too cold for liquid water to flow on the surface. Now scientists have hit the jackpot, discovering seven Earth-size exoplanets orbiting a single star just 39 light-years away.

Sara Chodosh
at 10:35 AM Feb 23 2017
Pexels user Tookapic

Cat owners can sleep easy tonight. Well, maybe they can't if their cat likes to wake them up at 4am by gently clawing their cheeks, but they can at least put their minds at ease: owning a cat isn't actually bad for your mental health.

Mary Beth Griggs
at 10:35 AM Feb 23 2017
Science // 

Today, the seeds of 49,000 varieties of crops—including cabbages, wheat, lentils, sweet peas, and many others—will be wheeled into a vault in a mountainside. There they will lay in in sturdy black plastic boxes in a frigid underground vault high above the Arctic Circle, an insurance policy for the entire world's food supply.

Sonia Weiser
at 10:35 AM Feb 23 2017
Fisher Price

Say you're on the phone with a company and the automated virtual assistant needs a few seconds to “look up” your information. And then you hear it. The sound is unmistakable. It's familiar. It's the clickity-clack of a keyboard. You know it's just a sound effect, but unlike hold music or a stream of company information, it's not annoying. In fact, it's kind of comforting.

 
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