Popular Science2 min read
Remember Those 'Spot The Difference' Games? Here’s Why Your Brain Is So Bad At Them.
They entertained you for entire minutes at the dentist's office. Key information photographs by Brian Klutch Gaze at the top image of Ben Franklin’s famous kite study. Now, the one below it. See the changes? You probably can’t, and you’re not alone.
Popular Science4 min readScience
The Montecito Mudslide Is A Tragic Reminder To Respect Our Soil
“A nation that destroys its soil destroys itself.” The Monetico mudslide seen from the air. Staff Sgt. Cristian Meyers via the Air National Guard Franklin D. Roosevelt was one of the United States’s more quotable presidents. But one of his best is al
Popular Science2 min read
Inside The Country's Biggest Nuclear Power Plant Tear-down
Unbuilding an atomic giant. Unbuilding an atomic giant Inside the biggest nuclear power plant tear-down in the U.S. Illustration by Adam Simpson At the San Onofre nuclear power plant, workers transfer 2,668 fuel assemblies—holding 1,109 metric tons o
Popular Science3 min readTech
The Meltdown And Spectre Vulnerabilities Affect Nearly Every Computer. Here's What You Need To Know.
Understanding the two new scary silicon security issues. Meltdown and Spectre take advantage of the way the processors in phones, computers, and servers operate. Photo by Thom via Unsplash We’ll give it to you straight: There is bad news and good new
Popular Science3 min read
Cold Weather Is The Best Time To Look At—and Photograph—the Night Sky
Grab your coat and your camera, then head out under the stars. Spray Lakes Reservoir Jack Fusco shot this image with a Sony A7R Mark II camera and a wide-angle 20mm Sigma Art lens. Jack Fusco When the temperatures drop, it’s tempting to bundle up ins
Popular Science2 min read
Five Rad And Random Things I Found This Week
The end-of-week dispatch from PopSci's commerce editor. Vol. 33. My job is to find cool stuff. Throughout the week I spend hours scouring the web for things that are useful or fun or ridiculously cheap. Often times, these choices coalesce into a guid
Popular Science2 min read
A Six Pack Won’t Make You A Better Runner, But These Deep Core Exercises Might
Your deep core muscles aren't visible, but they could prevent chronic back pain. Doing static exercises like planks helps to strengthen your deep core muscles which researchers found might prevent back pain in runners. Deposit Photos Most new runners
Popular Science2 min readScience
Scientists Are Making Carbon Fiber From Plants Instead Of Petroleum
Cheaper, plant-based carbon fiber could be used to make lighter cars that consume less fuel. Carbon fiber Jeremiah Wong Carbon fiber is the Superman of materials. Five times stronger than steel and a fraction of the weight, it is used in everything f
Popular Science5 min readFitness
Here's Why Your Body Stores More Fat In Certain Places
We’re talkin’ bout sex (hormones), baby. Every January, fat's in the crosshairs of health columnists, fitness magazines, and desperate Americans. This year, PopSci looks at the macronutrient beyond its most negative associations. What’s fat good for?
Popular Science1 min read
Even As We Use More Gadgets, American Energy Consumption Is Dropping
More appliances? No problem. Powering down. Sara Chodosh From blaring alarm clocks to late-night Netflix binges, the average American uses 12 kilowatt-hours of energy around the house every day. That’s a lot of wattage—enough to drive a Nissan Leaf a
Popular Science7 min readScience
Meet The Amateur Astronomers Who Track Secretive Spy Satellites For Fun
If Zuma is still up there, these are the people who might spot it. SpaceX launch of Zuma and landing of the first stage rocket. SpaceX via Flickr What the heck happened to Zuma? We know that the super-secret satellite was built by Northrop Grumman fo
Popular Science4 min readScience
2017's Natural Disasters Are Going To Cost Us
Hundreds of billions of dollars, to be precise. 2017 Billion Dollar Weather and Climate Disasters (NOAA) 2017 broke records for the number of extreme weather events that occurred, and the damages that resulted. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Admini
Popular Science3 min readScience
When You Lose Weight, Your Fat Cells Don't Just Let Go Of Fat
Belly flab is like a storage unit for the rest of your body. Every January, fat's in the crosshairs of health columnists, fitness magazines, and desperate Americans. This year, PopSci looks at the macronutrient beyond its most negative associations.
Popular Science2 min read
Watch The James Webb Space Telescope Go Through Nine Months Of Testing In Two Minutes
The spectacular scope launches in 2019. The James Webb Space Telescope took decades to build. It won't launch until 2019 at the earliest, it's slowly but surely making its way toward that distant date, after which it will finally get a chance to capt
Popular Science3 min readTech
CES 2018: Day Four And The Gadgets Are Getting Weird
A smart toilet, laser tag, and a scent DJ show up at the Consumer Electronics Show. CES 2018 Kohler Numi Intelligent Toilet Kohler The first flashy days of CES are over, which means we’re getting into the weirder—and often more interesting—parts of t
Popular Science32 min read
Peeing For Astronauts, A DIY Breast Reconstruction, And Other Tales From The Field
Stories from the coolest day jobs in the world. "Giant rocks aren't any stranger than gemstones as currency." Anuj Shrethra ↑ Scott Fitzpatrick, Professor of Archeology at the University of Oregon I research some of the world’s most intriguing coins.
Popular Science10 min read
This Strange Condition Makes You Feel Like You Just Burned Your Mouth On Hot Coffee—indefinitely
You've heard of auditory and visual hallucinations, but what about oral phantoms? The tongue of a patient with burning mouth syndrome, which looks much like that of a person without the condition. Courtesy of Miriam Grushka The pain came without warn
Popular Science4 min read
Updated: Desk Stuff To Make Your Workday More Productive, Cheerful, And Disaster-proof
14 seriously thoughtful picks for your workspace MOONABCN Concrete Desk Organizer Etsy Like it or not, your desk is a reflection of your work and your personality. Luckily, organized isn't a synonym for dull or sparse. Below, things that will keep yo
Popular Science7 min readTech
How To Choose The Best Smart TV For Your Viewing Habits
Weigh your options and make the right decision. Want to buy the perfect smart television for your family? Follow our shopping guide to make sense of the specs. Sony The right smart TV can vastly improve your home entertainment, filling your living ro
Popular Science4 min readTech
CES 2018 Day 3: Are You Sick Of New Gadgets Yet?
Google VR, party lighting for your house, and the fanciest treadmill you'll ever see. Peleton Tread This is the kind of treadmill usage I can get behind—no running. Tread All the lights went out in the Central Hall of CES today, but that didn’t stop
Popular Science2 min readTech
How A FedEx Employee Discovered The World’s Largest Prime Number
He used free software running on a church computer. The newly-discovered prime is 23.2 million digits long. Photo by isnewsroom via pixabay Jon Pace, a longtime FedEx employee, has loved math since high school. Today, he’s a flight operations finance
Popular Science2 min read
What It Really Takes To Power Your Home For A Day
Here's how much gas, coal, oil, wind, solar, water, or nuclear fuel is required. Pound by pound and gallon by gallon. Muti-Folio Art Like any good consumer, you’ve filled your home with power-thirsty screens and toasters. And they make your average A
Popular Science3 min readScience
This Is How Much Humans Actually Grow When They Go To Space
Contrary to certain tall tales. Norishige Kanai of the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA, left), Anton Shkaplerov the Russian Federal Space Agency (Roscosmos, center) and Scott Tingle of NASA (right). NASA The human body is meant to exist unde
Popular Science4 min read
These Bird Feathers Are So Black Your Eyes Can't Focus On Them
It's like, how much more black could this be? Super-black feathers on these guys are like looking into a dark cave. Natasha Baucas, CC BY-SA What do birds and aerospace engineers have in common? Both have invented incredibly dark, “super-black” surfa
Popular Science7 min read
24 Hidden IPhone Settings You Should Know About
Dig deeper into iOS. Customize your iPhone settings. William Hook via Unsplash Part of the appeal of the iPhone is its simplicity—you can grab it right out of the box and starting setting it up without reading any instructions. However, behind that s
Popular Science5 min readFitness
There Are Better Ways To Measure Body Fat Than BMI
We’re using an outdated, inaccurate system. Every January, fat's in the crosshairs of health columnists, fitness magazines, and desperate Americans. This year, PopSci looks at the macronutrient beyond its most negative associations. What’s fat good f
Popular Science4 min read
Most Male Emperor Penguins Fast For 115 Days—but A Few Of Them May Sneak Snacks
Cheat day(s). Ok kids, time for your parents to go grab a snack. vladsilver via Depositphotos May in Antarctica means winter, with frigid temperatures and nights that stretch out, shoving what scant daylight remains into a shrunken block of a few hou
Popular Science14 min readScience
Can We Actually Stop Using Fossil Fuels?
Is it smart—or crazy stupid—to rely solely on wind, solar, and hydro? This past July, as Dawn Lippert surfed the swells at her home beach in Honolulu, a rogue board sprang up and slammed her between the eyes. It could have been a knockout blow. But L
Popular Science4 min readScience
Alaska Is Warming So Quickly That Weather Algorithms Can't Keep Up
The Arctic is heating up way faster than the rest of the world. A picture that could not possibly have been taken in Utqiaġvik this week because it's currently dark 24 hours a day there. Pixabay The National Centers for Environmental Information get
Popular Science3 min readScience
When You Burn Fat, Where Does It Actually Go?
Getting rid of fat can be exhausting, but it's as natural as breathing. You're breathing away the byproducts of fat. Depositphotos Every January, fat's in the crosshairs of health columnists, fitness magazines, and desperate Americans. This year, Pop
…Or Discover Something New