September 28, 2012 When William Buckland was a kid, an undergraduate at Oxford in the late 1790s, he pulled a prank that was so rude, so smart, and so biologically sophisticated for his day, he deserves a crown for The Best Use of Grass Ever.
September 27, 2012 Foodwise, we live in choosy times, mostly choosing "no thank you." That's why you should know about two men who went wildly, dramatically, the other way. They tried to eat everything, no matter how improbable — things like lark's tongue pie and the heart of one famous king.
September 25, 2012 When you see a tree, a big, tall, heavy one, and you wonder where did it get its mass, its thick trunk, its branches — the instinctive answer would be from the soil below, plus a little water (and, in some mysterious way, sunshine), right?
September 24, 2012 Kick a golf ball back onto the green. Sneak a peek at an opponent's cards in a friendly poker game. Grab a few hundred extra dollars in Monopoly. Duke University professor Dan Ariely studies cheating, and has figured out what drives us to to do it, and how we justify our actions.
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September 23, 2012 Among the thousands of words in the English language, how do you go about choosing the best word ever? One blogger creates a single-elimination word battle, using NCAA-style tournament brackets.
September 21, 2012 Usain Bolt is the fastest human on Earth, but the average sneeze is more than three times faster. And everyone knows that snails are sluggish, but how do they compare to the speed of a growing fingernail?
September 19, 2012 In the midst of the Cold War, many worried about securing a source of safe, drinkable water after a nuclear explosion. The results of a 1957 U.S. government study show that a post-bomb bottle of beer could be a fairly safe, but not tasty, substitute.
September 17, 2012 Scientists have estimated the answer to this age-old question. However, the vastness of these big, big numbers can be limited by our human perspective.
September 11, 2012 A Slinky falling in slow motion doesn't move the way you'd expect; the top of the Slinky falls normally, while the bottom seems to float in midair. The physics of that weird Slinky movement can also represent how we use signals to interact with the world around us.
September 7, 2012 Science isn't always about new drugs or robots on Mars. In his new book, This is Improbable: Cheese String Theory, Magnetic Chickens, and other WTF Research, Marc Abrahams shows us what we can learn from a man who swallowed a shrew, and other unlikely experiments.
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September 7, 2012 Bat biologist Nickolay Hristov, of UNC's Center for Design Innovation and Winston-Salem State University, develops new techniques for filming and visualizing bats and the caves they occupy. Some of the tools in his kit include a long-range laser scanner--for modelling bat cave morphology--and portable thermal cameras--to capture bat-life when the lights are off.
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September 7, 2012 Nobody imagined that the rings around Saturn might be fed by geysers. But some of the water vapor shot out by one of Saturn's moons actually makes it into orbit around the planet.
September 6, 2012 Photographer Noah Kalina has been taking a picture of himself every day for the past 12.5 years.
September 5, 2012 Over the 20th century, America's "growing season," a proxy for warmer temperatures, has been getting longer. And scientists say the trend is exactly what they expect to see as greenhouse gases in the atmosphere increase.
August 17, 2012 Writing in the journal Nature this week, astronomers say they've found a massive galaxy cluster that's pumping out stars at a record pace. Astronomer Michael McDonald describes the finding, and explains what might be causing the "Phoenix Cluster" to be in celestial overdrive.
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