Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Something New Up Above

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It’s hard to tell as a human, but the atmosphere can behave a lot like the sea. Evidence: these strange waves in the above time-lapse. More on what could be a brand new cloud formation at Popular Science.

(GIF courtesy of Alex Schueth)

Monday, September 29, 2014
Portal 2 kicks Lumosity’s ass. Val Shute, a psychology of education researcher, on the value of Valve’s puzzler vs. an extremely popular brain-training app.
For many of us, our values come from our faith, and the core value of the Christian faith is to love others as Christ loved us, and to our God with all our heart and love our neighbors as ourselves. Today, when we look at the impact our energy choices are having on our neighbors here at home and around the world, it is clear from our values that doing nothing about climate change or, even worse, refusing to acknowledge the reality of this problem is 100 percent inconsistent with our faith. Katharine Hayhoe, an Evangelical Christian climate scientist writing for Popular Science
Friday, September 26, 2014

The DIY squishy robot is here, and it’s a bit weird.

(Visuals courtesy of the Harvard Biodesign Lab.)

COOL SPACE THING
The water in your glass is older than the sun. Here’s why that’s good news for alien hunters.
(Image credit: Bill Saxton, NSF/AUI/NRAO)
COOL SPACE THING

The water in your glass is older than the sun. Here’s why that’s good news for alien hunters.

(Image credit: Bill Saxton, NSF/AUI/NRAO)

Thursday, September 25, 2014

Tumblr Q&A: Francie Diep On Tumbleweeds

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This conversation is the first in a new Popular Science Tumblr series. We plan to bring you interviews with our writers and editors about the job of finding and telling compelling stories about science and technology. Francie Diep, who wrote “Unleashing An Epidemic To Kill the Tumbleweeds,” published yesterday on our website, is our first subject. This interview has been edited and condensed.

image(Francie Diep)

Why would anyone want to kill off tumbleweeds?

Tumbleweeds are these weird, quirky plants. We all grew up seeing them in Westerns — these plants bouncing along. The thing is, they’re actually not from here. They come from the Russian steppes, and because of that there isn’t much around here that kills them. When they’re alive and still green they take over land and drive out grass. Cows won’t eat them. Farmers don’t like them. When they’re dead and dry and tumbling they can bury towns and kindle fires.

What drew you to this story?

The way this other invasive species, this fungus, was being brought in just to wipe out another plant. I saw it in this agricultural research magazine. I think as a kid we all watched that video telling you not to bring plants and animals where they don’t belong. It was interesting that people were actually doing that for conservation. It turns out there’s a whole bunch of scientists applying to do the same thing with other species. That surprised me.

What else surprised you as you reported this story?

One thing I thought was kind of fun was that when the scientists first received the fungus they had to test it in something called a “biosafety level three greenhouse.” I didn’t even know they had that for plants.

Where can Tumblr go to read your story?

Right here!

If there’s a Popular Science story that interests you, or if you have a question for our writers or editors, drop us a line at our brand-new tumblr@popsci.com dedicated inbox.

(Tumbleweed gif courtesy of http://www.awesomelyluvvie.com/2013/05/5-plugins-wordpress-blog.html/tumbleweeds2 via giphy.com)

Wednesday, September 24, 2014
'I am building a rocket to prove that Evel Knievel didn't chicken out and to pay homage to my dad,' he said as we stood by the precipice. 'Our goal is to cure history.' Scott Traux in “The Devils And The Deep Blue Sky,” from our October issue.
Tuesday, September 23, 2014

These 15 scientists joined the march for climate change action Sunday. Read what they had to say.

Saturday, September 20, 2014
.@jen_bogo asks @peterthiel: “Would you upload your brain to a computer to live forever?” Answer at popsci.com/peterthiel (at Popular Science)

.@jen_bogo asks @peterthiel: “Would you upload your brain to a computer to live forever?” Answer at popsci.com/peterthiel (at Popular Science)

Thanks to @oskay at #makerfaire for egging us on! (Yes, we’re a bunch of eggheads.) #yolkyolkjokes #toomanypuns #dealwithit (at New York Hall of Science)

Thanks to @oskay at #makerfaire for egging us on! (Yes, we’re a bunch of eggheads.) #yolkyolkjokes #toomanypuns #dealwithit (at New York Hall of Science)