Nikolaas Tinbergen's concept of "supernormal stimulus" explains why humans are attracted to a heightened version of reality.
Most of us will never run a 4 minute mile. But on a bicycle, almost anyone can do it. As human beings, we often take for granted how our bodies work. […]
The “Euro Night Sprinter” map is utopian, but Europe’s rail future could look a lot like it.
The only doubts are completely unreasonable. Where did the virus that causes COVID-19, SARS-CoV-2, come from? Over the past few weeks, there’s been a tremendous push — largely among politicians but also […]
Our views from the red planet’s surface are more spectacular than ever. Ever since the earliest spaceflight, humanity has reached for Mars. This photo composite shows Meande Ring, a river on […]
"You develop an instant global consciousness, a people orientation, an intense dissatisfaction with the state of the world, and a compulsion to do something about it."
They don’t. If your mirror is on a horizontal surface, it does flip up-and-down! Here’s why. If you’ve ever looked in a mirror, you’ve likely noticed that everything you see is […]
If you had a clear western horizon, you had your shot at this view! On September 9, 2021, the Moon and Venus nearly overlapped. A simulated view of the post-sunset skies […]
From succubi to aliens, stories of abductions or other unsettling encounters have been with us for millennia. What explains them?
This could change how researchers approach vaccine development.
An algorithm produced every possible melody. Now its creators want to destroy songwriter copyrights.
A computer coder and a lawyer decide they have a right to speak for all the songwriters that ever lived, those who are alive today, and all those yet to be born.
The sacrifices of early astronauts paved the way for Apollo’s successes, and so much more. In all of history, only 24 humans have ever escaped Earth’s gravity. The very first launch […]
To clear Scotland’s roads in winter, the local traffic agency employs heavy machinery with punny names. Can you grit and bear it?
The most feared sexually transmitted disease (STD) of the last half-millennium was usually named after foreigners, often the French.
Recent American presidents have all faced a crisis of legitimacy in a trend that threatens the health of our democracy.
Halley’s comet only visits every ~76 years, but its meteors arrive twice each year. The most famous comet of all — Halley’s comet — returns to our inner Solar System every ~76 years. Halley’s comet […]
A study describes how researchers conducted the first successful DNA sequencing on ancient Egyptian mummies.
And after years of mystery, we finally know where they come from. Here on Earth, thunderstorms and accompanying lightning strikes represent tremendous releases of energy. It was way back in 2011 […]
The attack on the Capitol forces us to confront an existential question about privacy.
It occurred naturally, and scientists know this for certain. Starting in late 2019, a novel strain of coronavirus, SARS-CoV-2, began infecting human beings for the very first time. Discovered in samples […]
Here are the best answers science has to a myriad of commonly asked questions. Over the past 12 months, the status of humans on planet Earth has changed dramatically. The […]
The bubonic plague ravaged the world for centuries, killing up to 200 million people.
Despite the enormous flood of recent reports, there’s no good evidence for a lab leak. At the very end of 2019, a new disease began to emerge in humans: COVID-19. Originally […]
Is working from home the ultimate liberation or the first step toward an even unhappier "new normal"?
First drawn in 1935, Hu Line illustrates persistent demographic split – how Beijing deals with it will determine the country's future.
One hundred years ago, a Ukrainian flag flew over Vladivostok and other parts of the “Russian” Far East.