Compared to most natural disasters, a lava invasion does not move all that fast. Nowhere is that more evident than the small Hawaiian community of Pahoa, where a lava flow has been approaching the town since June 27. Now, the lava has finally arrived on the outskirts of town, overrunning private property. In the picture above, the lava behind the fence is chest-high. Geologists are keeping a close eye on the progress of the flow, which currently seems to be headed straight for Pahoa Village Road, one of the village's main streets, and beyond that, for Highway 130, a traffic artery travelled by 10,000 cars a day. It's already crossed over one road, Cemetery Road, and a cemetery (presumably the road's namesake).
The Commonwealth has been working on a plan for taking care of the Great Barrier Reef over the next four decades—but scientists say it's inadequate. The Australian Academy of Science released today an 11-page critique of the government's latest draft of its Reef 2050 Long-Term Sustainability Plan.
Physics says that if two particles are entangled on a quantum level, they are permanently linked -- a change in one particle will instantaneously affect the other one, no matter the distance between them. That’s something that could be fantastic for quickly transporting information across vast distances … but only if we can figure out how to use it.
When the Hubble Telescope snapped this true-color image in April, NASA scientists found Jupiter staring right back at them. That black dot is Ganymede's shadow, crossing Jupiter's Great Red Spot, creating an eerily blank-looking eye. It is almost certainly the eye of a large and eternally amused monster (after all, Jupiter was, among other things, the "bringer of jollity").
In the 90s kids show The Magic School Bus, eccentric teacher Ms. Frizzle took her class for a wild ride in a sick student’s immune system -- only to be attacked by white blood cells. White blood cells tracked the bus using the same chemical traces they follow to find infected sites or navigate their way to viruses. If microscopic robots could replicate this complex navigation system, which is shared by many different cells and bacteria, doctors could use them to provide real-time updates on internal structures or distribute drugs to specific targets within a body.
There may be no such thing as a window seat on the airliners of the future. A concept released by the U.K.’s Centre for Process Innovation (CPI) envisions airliners with thinner walls, made by doing away with cabin windows altogether. In their place, CPI sees OLED screens lining entire interior walls, which would show passengers the sky around them.
We’ve been telling you all along that the Rosetta mission is incredible—the spacecraft has traveled for 10 years and some 250 million miles, and on November 12, it’ll become the first spacecraft ever to land on a comet. Now it appears that Aidan Gillen, the guy who plays ‘Littlefinger’ on HBO’s Game of Thrones, is also getting behind the mission. In a sci-fi short named Ambition, Gillen's character explains why Rosetta is awesome.
In the not too distant future, swimmers in distress may look up to the sky for help and find, not a lifeguard, but a drone, delivering a life preserver in their moment of need. Designed by Amin Rigi and RTS Labs in Iran, the Pars drone is a robotic lifesaver. First demonstrated in 2013, Rigi is launching an RTS Labs offshoot, RTS London, to mass produce the drones.
It’s called the sweet spot. That perfect place on your dog’s belly or sides that, when scratched, causes your pet’s foot to go into crazy automatic kicking mode. Every dog owner knows where to find this magical region on his or her canine, as it usually offers up unmitigated joy.
You can think of an Othermill as the opposite of a 3D printer. Instead of building up objects from raw materials, Othermills create objects by cutting away a larger block of material into something smaller. They're like tiny robotic sculptors, similar to the artists who chisel away at a big block of marble until it becomes a work of art.