Mary Beth Griggs
at 10:26 AM May 6 2016
UWM/SSEC/CIMSS, William Straka III

Last year record-setting "wildfires" (it's what they call bushfires, poor dears) raged across North America, and this year firefighters across the continent are bracing for another bad season.

Kelsey D. Atherton
at 10:26 AM May 6 2016
ze_bear, via Wikimedia Commons CC BY-SA 2.0

Talk about being left out in the cold. Captain America, a superhero from the golden age of comics whose third film Captain America: Civil War debuted last weekend, spent much of the 20th century frozen and in stasis.

Kelsey D. Atherton
at 10:26 AM May 6 2016
Screenshot by author, from YouTube
Robots // 

Cooperation is an evolutionary advantage. While many creatures are perfectly comfortable spending most of their time alone, creatures that work together are capable of far more than their individual components working separately. It should come as no surprise, then, that when researchers make animal-inspired robots, they design them to work together, as a team.

G. Clay Whittaker
at 10:26 AM May 6 2016
Bjørn Bulthuis, Flickr

Google (you know, THIS Google and THIS Google) thinks that the best way to make a computer more human is to make it read romance novels.

Mary Beth Griggs
at 10:26 AM May 6 2016
Science // 

Can you explain a complicated scientific concept in just 90 seconds? That was the challenge laid down for entrants into Science's inaugural Data Stories video contest.

G. Clay Whittaker
at 10:26 AM May 6 2016
https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/Category:Listeria_monocytogenes#/media/File:Listeria_monocytogenes_-Columbia_Horse_Blood_Agar-Detail.jpg

Hundreds of food products, ranging from flash frozen vegetables to jars of sunflower seed kernels, are being recalled this week due to possible Listeria contamination. The contamination apparently happened at a food packaging center in Washington state, and has been tied to the hospitalization of eight people so far.

Kelsey D. Atherton
at 10:26 AM May 6 2016
Tesla
Cars // 

Starbucks built an empire by discovering that people were willing to pay a lot of different prices for coffee, and finding a way to sell essentially the same thing to different customers at different price points. Modern video games followed the same premise, with future profits baked in down the road. Sure, today someone is only willing to get the free version of the game, but after a month, maybe they'll splurge for a different character, a shortcut, a new power-up, or more levels. Tesla, it seems, took this same lesson, and snuck it into their electric cars.

G. Clay Whittaker
at 10:26 AM May 6 2016
http://www.popsci.com/watch-this-smartwatch-use-your-skin-as-touchpad

Hepatitis C has hit an all-time high as a killer disease. New data from 2014 was released this week by the Centers for Disease Control, showing that Hep-C is now more deadly than HIV, Pneumonia, and TB combined. Nearly 20,000 people died in that year alone.

G. Clay Whittaker
at 10:26 AM May 6 2016
YouTube
Gadgets // 

Researchers at Carnegie Mellon have used electrodes to turn your skin into a touchpad extension for wearables like smartwatches. The SkinTrack system uses four pairs of electrodes embedded in the watchband, while a ring on your finger generates an electrical signal when you touch your arm. The electrodes use that signal to track your finger movements, and as a result, your arm or hand becomes a touchpad--and a much larger one that makes intricate commands much easier on a small device.

Jason Lederman
at 10:26 AM May 6 2016

On last night's The Late Show with Stephen Colbert, Apollo astronaut Buzz Aldrin appeared to promote his new book No Dream is Too High: Life Lessons From a Man Who Walked on the Moon. Right off the bat, the second man on the moon revealed to Colbert that the moon landing was, wait for it: real.

Kelsey D. Atherton
at 10:26 AM May 6 2016
DARPA

Unassuming gray paint hid the future as it lifelessly sailed to port. Designed by DARPA and the Office of Naval Research, the Sea Hunter is 130 feet of entirely uncrewed ship, and it's now sailed down America's Pacific coast.

Xavier Harding
at 10:26 AM May 6 2016
Creative Commons/Flickr
Cars // 

Seems like just yesterday car giant General Motors invested $500 million in Lyft--the ride-sharing service competing with Uber for dominance over your cab experience. Like Google, Tesla, Uber and others, Lyft wants to bring its riders a driverless experience where cars pilot themselves. Now their project, according to the Wall Street Journal, has a launch window: 2017.

G. Clay Whittaker
at 10:26 AM May 6 2016
EHang
Drones // 

EHang Holdings Limited of China announced a partnership with Lung Biotechnology in the U.S. to put 1,000 drones to work as organ delivery vehicles.

G. Clay Whittaker
at 10:26 AM May 6 2016
YouTube
Space // 

GoPro is at its best in extreme situations, and not much is more extreme than being strapped to a rocket. That's what happened on November 5, 2015 when Aerospace, Inc. placed a handful of the action cameras at different points on one of their near-space rockets. You can see takeoff, return, and a beautiful shot of separation.

Mary Beth Griggs
at 10:26 AM May 6 2016
NASA/Bill Ingalls

Today is the 55th anniversary of Alan Shephard's trip into space, a first for Americans. But he wouldn't have gotten very far if it wasn't for Katherine Johnson, a mathematician at NASA who calculated the trajectory of his journey.

 
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