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.”
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.
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.”
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.'
“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.