With more than 2 billion monthly active users, Facebook can keep tabs on nearly a third of the world's population. Whether you visit the social network daily (as 1.32 billion people do) or only log on to RSVP to events, you should be aware of how much of your personal data you're giving to the site, and the company behind it.
You don't often feel bad for spiders. But when a fuzzy, black-eyed jumping spider raises his green forearms into the air, wiggles his butt, and flashes his orange knees, only to have a lady spider literally turn around in the middle of his dance...what kind of monster doesn't feel a pang of empathy? It doesn't even matter that arachnids are unlikely to experience rejection and angst the way humans do—you feel for the little guy.
A ridesharing service like Uber or Lyft seems like it should help stem drunk driving by offering an easy, cheap option for tipsy customers to get home at the end of the night. And Uber even claims on its website that ride-hailing options like it “are helping to curb drunk driving.” But new research shows that Uber's presence in a city only inconsistently leads to a decline in accidents caused by intoxication behind the wheel, and there's far from being a conclusive answer to the question.
When it comes to space exploration, Don Gurnett has seen it all. He still vividly remembers seeing America's first attempt at a satellite launch, the Vanguard project, blew up on the launch pad from the comfort of his living room. When it comes time to talk of more modern cosmic endeavors, he will wax poetic about hydrocarbon rains falling into pools of methane on Titan. He's been there for everything, and he's not done yet.
The brief lull in the Atlantic Ocean's hurricane activity seems to have come to an end sooner than we'd hoped. A new tropical depression is brewing in the western Caribbean Sea, and it could threaten the United States this weekend and early next week. It's still too soon to know what effects the storm will have, but the threat exists for a potential hurricane to approach the Gulf Coast on Sunday or Monday.
Before the invention of cryo-electron microscopy, which won biochemists Jacques Dubochet, Joachim Frank and Richard Henderson the 2017 Nobel Prize in Chemistry on Wednesday, scientists had to stain or fix cells before they looked at them under an electron microscope. That process often caused fragile biological structures to fall apart, and if they didn't, the radiation from the electron microscope or the vacuum the scientists put the cells into often turned the once-living specimens into mush. Cryo-electron therapy allows scientists to look at the cells as if they were in their natural liquid environment—just like they are in our bodies.
Last week I splashed into an underground university pool with an Apple Watch Series 3. As the company's wearable has matured, Apple has marketed it more and more as a fitness device, one that's, thanks to a partnership with Nike, particularly well-suited as a running companion. But the Apple Watch also tackles something more dynamic and varied than your morning jog: exercise in the water.
It was 8:07 p.m. on a Friday night in Riverhead, Long Island, when the operators at an RCA Communications outpost picked up a signal that had never been heard before on Earth. A sharp, insistent beep sang out over short-wave radios, filling up our ears with the knowledge that humans had succeeded in sending something to the wispiest edge of our protective blanket of nitrogen, oxygen, and carbon dioxide.
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.