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  • How An Evangelical Christian Researcher Reconciles Science With Her Faith

    The Christian Scientist

    Editor's note: Our profile of Bill Nye [September 2014] elicited an impassioned response from readers. We received more than 100 letters, many from readers grappling with how to reconcile ... More >
  • In Africa, Ebola Patients Need More Than Medicine

    Ebola Patients Need More Than Medicine

    The dusty hills around Lima sprout concrete at all angles. There are many words here for the gray delineation of poverty-struck areas: áreas tugurizadas (slum zones), the less formal tugurios ... More >
  • Space Combat Won't Look At All Like 'Star Wars'

    Space Combat Won't Look At All Like 'Star Wars'

    If humanity brings war into space, what will those battles look like? Well, if our understanding of physics is anything close to correct, they won’t look at all like Star Wars. In this six ... More >
  • Climate Week 2014: The Wrap-Up

    Climate Week 2014: The Wrap-Up

    As Climate Week NYC slips into the rearview mirror, what can we take away? Did anything, you know, happen? More >
  • Facebook Says Wi-Fi Drones Will Be Jumbo Jet-Sized

    Wi-Fi Drones the Size of 747s

    If a new Facebook plan is successful, the easiest way to access the cloud may be ... in the clouds. Facebook wants to spread Wi-Fi Internet to unconnected parts of the world with drones, and ... More >
Francie Diep
at 09:55 AM Oct 1 2014
Barrett Technology
Robots // 

Some things are just harder for robots to do. You know, things like appreciating literature, or writing music. Or grasping objects with their fingers.

Kelsey D. Atherton
at 09:55 AM Oct 1 2014
National War College, via Wikimedia Commons
Space // 

If humanity brings war into space, what will those battles look like? Well, if our understanding of physics is anything close to correct, they won’t look at all like Star Wars. In this six minute clip by PBS Digital Studios, host Joe Hanson explores the physics of space battles.

Kelsey D. Atherton
at 09:31 AM Oct 1 2014
Team Nixie
Drones // 

Sure, Apple's new smart watch brings smartphone features to users' wrists, but can it fly free and take video in the air? The Nixie, which has none of the features of a watch other than wrist-wearability, is a drone for people who like robots as fashion statements, as well as aerial photography.

Francie Diep
at 09:31 AM Oct 1 2014
Pacific Northwest National Laboratory
Make // 

The Pacific Northwest National Laboratory has released printable files that will help turn your smartphone into a microscope of up to 1000X magnification. If you have access to an  3D printer--which you may through your local library or community center--this is something you could put together in 15 minutes.

Sarah Fecht
at 09:31 AM Oct 1 2014
Hans Hillewaert via Wikimedia Commons
Nature // 

Remember those old sea monkey kits, with the pictures that made it look like you could raise tiny mermen in a fish tank? My parents never bought me one (despite my best efforts), but apparently a lot of kids were severely disappointed when their freeze-dried eggs hatched and looked like this instead:

Francie Diep
at 09:31 AM Oct 1 2014
Photo by Toby Hudson on Wikimedia Commons
Nature // 

Well, it certainly sounds nicer than real cicadas would otherwise. To help them analyze data they had recorded about when cicadas sing, a team of scientists set their data to music. The musical notes—which replace recordings of actual cicada screeching—make the pattern in cicada-calling clear. The little bugs sing less intensely at first, and in waves. Then they build up in a noisy, near-constant chorus. Finally, they fade off in waves again. Take a listen:

Rafi Letzter
at 09:31 AM Oct 1 2014
Aude via Wikimedia Commons
Tech // 

What the FBI is not disclosing is how, exactly, they did it -- and when and on whom the technology might also be used.

Emily Gertz
at 09:31 AM Oct 1 2014
United Nations
Nature // 

As Climate Week NYC slips into the rearview mirror, what can we take away? Did anything, you know, happen?

Emily Gertz
at 09:27 AM Oct 1 2014
ESA, DGFI/Planetary Visions
Nature // 

Just when you wondered if climate change news couldn't get much worse, along comes proof that it's affected one of the fundamental forces of nature: The ice sheet covering West Antarctica lost enough mass between 2009 and 2012 to cause a measurable dip in the region's gravity field.

Michael Nuñez
at 10:21 AM Sep 30 2014
Sam Kaplan
Tech // 

Every mechanic knows that moving parts break down over time, and David Weiner, founder of Priority Bicycles, knows it better than most. Weiner spent six years as a bike mechanic in his hometown of Walnut Creek, California, and much of his job was spent fixing the same handful of problems: tuning derailleurs, adjusting brakes, greasing chains, and replacing flat tires.

Francie Diep
at 10:21 AM Sep 30 2014
Valve Corporation
Gaming // 

Like many people, Val Shute likes playing video games. But while she's gaming, she doesn't exactly think about the same things the average person does.

Katharine Hayhoe
at 10:21 AM Sep 30 2014
NASA
Science // 

Editor's note: Our profile of Bill Nye [September 2014] elicited an impassioned response from readers. We received more than 100 letters, many from readers grappling with how to reconcile scientific concepts like climate change with religion. We asked climate scientist Katharine Hayhoe, an evangelical Christian, why science doesn't have to conflict with faith.

Francie Diep
at 10:20 AM Sep 30 2014
Orangutan Outreach
Tech // 

Human-computer interaction is a fast-growing field of study that examines questions like how people feel about robots, or what people choose to click first when they visit a webpage. With some clever setups, researchers are even able to investigate scenarios aren't quite technologically possible, such as how people react to a robot that begs not to be put away. The results of human-computer interaction studies can be fascinating, even if some of them are not applicable to everyday life… yet. 

Kelsey D. Atherton
at 10:20 AM Sep 30 2014
Courtesy of the researchers
Robots // 

Inspecting a ship’s cargo is a dull, tedious, time-consuming task. So a pair of researchers at MIT, including graduate student Sampriti Bhattacharyya and her advisor Harry Asada, created a small robot that resembles a squished foam ball to inspect ship cargo quickly, cheaply, and silently. They presented their findings earlier this month at the International Conference on Intelligent Robots and Systems.

Andrew Rosenblum
at 10:20 AM Sep 30 2014
Shek Graham via Flickr CC By 2.0
Energy // 

Cryan's research, published today in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, found that certain species of tree-roosting bats are more likely to be killed by wind turbines when the blades are moving at low speeds. By tracking the bats with thermal surveillance cameras, near-infrared video, acoustic detectors, and radar, the researchers discovered that bats tend to approach turbines from downwind, particularly when the turbines spin slowly relative to the wind speeds around them. This led researchers to theorize that the wind currents around slow moving turbines may resemble those created by trees, where the bats gather to roost and hunt insects.

 
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