Imagine you're at a beach, standing near the dunes and looking out on a peaceful sea. The dry sand squishes through your toes, and you decide to build a sandcastle near the shore, without using any liquid to bind the grains together. A few weeks later, you wander back the same way, and your sandcastle is still there.
Cherries grow on trees, strawberries on vines, but how do cashews grow? Thanks to our current food system, we can get crops from almost anywhere in the world—vanilla from Madagascar, bananas from Ecuador. Of course, the downside of receiving produce from far-off lands is that we can't exactly run into the fields to see how they're grown. For many, the manner in which fruits and veggies emerge from the earth can be something of a mystery. Here are some of the more unexpected ways plants propagate before they make their way into our meals:
In 2024 the clock will run out on the International Space Station. Maybe. That's the arbitrary deadline that Congress imposed back in 2014, at which point they'll have to decide whether or not to keep funding the ISS. And yeah, that's a whole seven years away. But then again...it's only seven years away.
At 582,578 square miles, Papahānaumokuākea Marine National Monument is not just the United States' largest marine protected area—it's currently the largest marine protected area in the world. The monument, a stepladder-shaped oceanic expanse dotted with atolls, shoals, and islands northeast of Hawaii's island of Kauai, was created by President Bush in 2006 and expanded by President Obama in 2016. The goal of Papahānaumokuākea, and of marine protected areas more broadly, is to spare it from the spoilage that frequently happens in unprotected areas: overfishing, pollution, and degradation.
Early on Tuesday, the Department of Homeland Security confirmed a specific “security enhancement,” which restricts “large electronic devices” in the cabins of flights into the U.S. from 10 airports in the Middle East. The fear is that they might be used to smuggle explosive devices—or at least crucial pieces of improvised bombs—onto commercial aircrafts. The U.K. has adopted a similar policy, and Canada is reportedly considering doing the same. The big question, however, is whether or not relegating these devices to the cargo hold actually makes passengers safer.
Katherine Schreiber and Leslie Sim are experts on exercise addiction who believe that tech advances encourage obsessive goal monitoring. Schreiber and Sim loathe wearable tech. “It's the worst,” Schreiber says. “The dumbest thing in the world,” says Sim. Schreiber has written extensively about exercise addiction, and Sim is a clinical child adolescent psychologist at the Mayo Clinic. Many of Sim's adolescent patients have twin exercise and eating disorders, which tend to go together.
Since August of 2012, NASA's Curiosity Rover has tooled around the red planet doing science for us Earthlings. Now, nearly five years and some 10 miles later, the robot is starting to experience the wear and tear of an aging machine: On Tuesday, NASA announced the first two breaks in the rover's wheel treads.
In 2016, hacked security cameras and PVRs took down the web in the US. One major international bank lost $81 million to cyber criminals. In this climate, skilled hero hackers get paid handsomely to help companies find their weaknesses and stop malicious hackers in their tracks. The Ethical Hacking A to Z Bundle helps you build a lucrative security career with 45 hours of premium instruction, now just $39 at the Popular Science Shop.
In August of 2005, as the dog days of summer lollygagged towards fall, waters agitated by the winds and currents of Hurricane Katrina rose up and over the Mississippi Gulf Coast. A flurry of criticisms followed—complaints of mediocre warnings, a lackluster disaster response on the part of the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), poorly made levees, and grief at the sheer loss of human life. Amidst the enormity of the disaster, it was easy to overlook the efforts of a small department, the National Homeland Security Research Center (NHSRC), in helping to put the region back together again. Its name, a tangle of government speak, seems designed to make the NHSRC forgettable.
On July 10th, 2015, a chunk of cliff with the same volume as nine Olympic-sized swimming pools tumbled from its perch on Comet 67P. A month later, the comet would reach its perihelion, the closest its elliptical orbit passes to the sun. As the sun's rays reached the Aswan cliff section of Comet 67P's northern hemisphere, the rapid change in temperature warmed the cliff from -220 degrees Fahrenheit to 122 degrees Fahrenheit in the space of about 20 minutes. One percent of the cliff's mass was lost to space, a great jetting plume cast off like water after a dive, and the boulder-like formations settled into a new ridge at the foot of the cliff. We know all of this drama in the heavens thanks to a paper published today in Nature Astronomy.