Topic: Science & Tech

Salty Seas Make Lightning Brighter

Salt seems to be the reason why bolts are brighter over the ocean than over land.

Google Just Quietly Set the Stage for a Chrome OS Explosion

A subtle-seeming Google purchase paves the way for a dramatic expansion of Chrome OS's reach — and a dramatic reimagining of what a Chromebook even is.

The Tech Industry in 2020, Explained in Charts and Numbers

Inside the Surprisingly Big Business of Spotify’s Secretive White-Noise Spammers

Search engine optimized accounts that publish hundreds of nearly identical tracks rake in streams and profits

Why the American Brand of Anti-Science Is So Unique

The U.S. isn’t alone in harboring anti-vaxxers and flat-earthers. But two specific things about America set us apart from the rest — and make our distinct hatred of science stand out

When Masculinity Is Threatened, Men May Pull Away

Men may withdraw from their partners in an attempt to restore their masculinity, but it can backfire: It's bad for the relationship, and it doesn't make others see them as more masculine.

No One Can Explain Why Planes Stay in the Air

Do recent explanations solve the mysteries of aerodynamic lift?

Can We Bring Extinct Species Back? Should We?

Could extinct species, like mammoths and passenger pigeons, be brought back to life? The science says yes. In How to Clone a Mammoth: The Science of De-Extinction (Princeton UP, 2020), Beth Shapiro…

Why I'm Feeling Hopeful About the Environment in 2021

The BBC's Tom Heap explores exciting emissions-saving ideas that could help save the planet.

Interactive Map: The Top Surveillance Cities Worldwide

Which cities have the most CCTV cameras? This map reveals the top surveillance cities worldwide in terms of the prevalence of CCTV cameras.

Scientists Don't Know Why One-Third of U.S. Rivers Have Turned Yellow or Green

Satellite images of rivers across the U.S. have revealed a troubling color-changing trend: Over the past three decades, one-third of formerly blue rivers have turned a shade of yellow or green....

How the Escalator Forever Changed Our Sense of Space

Sure, the 19th-century invention transformed shopping. But it also revolutionized how we think about the built environment

Tiny Nuclear Reactors Can Save American Energy

They pack 10 percent of the power of a full-size nuclear plant in just 1 percent of the space.

I Lived Like an Astronaut for Months in Isolation

Kate Greene had a headstart in coping with lockdown cabin fever after living inside a geodesic dome at 8,000ft, as part of a space experiment

The Milky Way Gets a New Origin Story

Over the past two years, astronomers have rewritten the history of our galaxy.

The New History of the Milky Way

Over the past two years, researchers have rewritten nearly every major chapter of the galaxy’s history. What happened? They got better data.

Why Do We Dream? A New Theory on How It Protects Our Brains

"Dreams are primarily visual precisely because this is the only sense that is disadvantaged by darkness."

How to 3-D Print a Steak

'Peak Hype': Why the Driverless Car Revolution Has Stalled

As Uber parks its plans for robotaxis, experts admit the autonomous vehicle challenge is bigger than anticipated

How Claude Shannon Invented the Future

Notes on Technology in the 2020s

As we start a new decade, it’s a good time to reflect on expectations for the next 10 years. Tyler thinks the Great Stagnation could be ending. Caleb sees cracks. Noah expresses techno-optimism....

Camera Obscura: Beyond the Lens of User-Centered Design

As the world grows increasingly complex, the limitations of user-centered design are beginning to emerge

The Secret Formula

Could shrunken heads from the Amazon hold the key to curing cancer? One man thought so—and spent a lifetime trying to prove it.

The History of the World Is Written in Tree Rings

Trees store information about climatic conditions in the rings they lay down each year. Dendrochronology — the science of studying these rings — allows scientists to learn about the ancient...

Someone Explains How Poland Uses Clams to Control Its Water Supply and It’s Pretty Crazy

While it seems that various technologies are completely taking over many different parts of human life, it appears that even some man-made things are better left to nature.

57,000 Year-Old Wolf Puppy Found Frozen in Yukon Permafrost

The preserved pup is helping researchers understand how wolves migrated across Europe, Asia, and North America.

The Great Google Crash: The World’s Dependency Revealed

They Spent 12 Years Solving a Scientific Puzzle. It Yielded the First COVID-19 Vaccines

Long before anyone knew of SARS-CoV-2, a small band of government and university scientists uncovered a prototypical key that unlocked life-saving immunizations.

Tech That Will Change Your Life in 2021

New ways to work, exercise, see the doctor, watch movies and sanitize every surface in sight will continue to proliferate. So will monthly subscription fees.

Forbes Asia's 100 Digital Stars

Forbes Asia’s inaugural 100 Digital Stars list highlights 100 singers, bands, and film and TV stars from across the Asia-Pacific region who have taken the digital world by storm.

The High-Tech Valor Glass Vials Used to Deliver the Coronavirus Vaccine

As the world waits for COVID-19 vaccines, some pharmaceutical companies stand armed and ready with an exciting improvement: better vials to hold the doses. Vials haven’t changed much in the last...

Whoops, Humans Made a Space Barrier Around Earth

The kicker? It's actually saving us.

After Centuries, a Seemingly Simple Math Problem Gets an Exact Solution

How Attachment Theory Works in the Therapeutic Relationship

Why therapy works is still up for debate. But, when it does, its methods mimic the attachment dynamics of good parenting

Can Habit-Tracking Apps Help Bring Some Routine Back to Our Quarantine Lives?

Habit formation is a complicated process, and an app is only a first step.

From Labs to Jabs

The journey of COVID-19 vaccines from creation to inoculation

The World's Oceans in Distress

Our oceans provide more than just a home to a vast array of species – they also sequester unfathomable amounts of CO₂. But sea levels are also rising, posing a threat to coastal cities. What role...

Google Maps' Moat Is Evaporating

The views expressed in this newsletter are solely my own, and do not represent the views of my employer. Well, they aren’t solely my own, because I’ve stolen most of them from people smarter than...

Microsoft Hacked in Russia-Linked SolarWinds Cyberattack

Software giant says it saw ‘unusual activity’ on a few accounts that led it to discover the breach The Russia-linked hackers behind a widespread cyber-intrusion into U.S. corporate and government...

Quantum Teleportation Was Just Achieved With 90% Accuracy Over a 44km Distance

Scientists are edging closer to making a super-secure, super-fast quantum internet possible: they've now been able to 'teleport' high-fidelity quantum information over a total distance of 44...

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