October 22, 2019

Science

"I travelled with Bedouin in the Western Desert of Egypt. When we got a puncture, they used tape and an old inner tube to suck air from three tyres to inflate a fourth. It was the cook who suggested the idea; maybe he was used to making food..."

"For more than six decades, Loren Coleman has dedicated his life to Sasquatch. Since beginning his investigatory fieldwork in 1960, he’s written books, given talks, and taught university courses related to the concept of Bigfoot and other cryptids.."

"There is no agreed criterion to distinguish science from pseudoscience, or just plain ordinary bullshit, opening the door to all manner of metaphysics masquerading as science. This is ‘post-empirical’ science, where truth no longer matters, and..."

"Every October for the past five years, Fat Bear Week has showcased some of the healthiest, hungriest, and chonkiest bears in Katmai National Park and Preserve, a four-million-acre expanse of wilderness in southern Alaska..."

"For the Ancient Greeks, virtue wasn’t a goal in and of itself, but rather a route to a life well lived. By being honest and generous, embodying diligence and fortitude, showing restraint and kindness, a person would flourish – coming to live a..."

"When Paul Kay, then an anthropology graduate student at Harvard University, arrived in Tahiti in 1959 to study island life, he expected to have a hard time learning the local words for colors. His field had long espoused a theory called..."

"This was supposed to be the year. After nearly a decade of planning, NASA astronauts would fly to space on launch systems built by a commercial company hired to do the job the space agency no longer could, not after the Space Shuttle program ended."

"Like most people on Earth, Greta Thunberg is not a climate scientist. She has no formal scientific training of any type, nor does she possess any expert-level knowledge or expert-level skills in this regime. She has never worked on the problems..."

"Sex differences really do exist. Men and women, boys and girls, really do behave differently. The question – and difficultly – lies in establishing where these differences come from. Are the sexes wired differently? Or does culture explain..."

"Sarcasm is a rare and underappreciated mode in science writing, which tends toward wonderstruck lyricism or, when the situation demands it, sober concern. But sarcasm is exactly the tone called for when your subject is centuries of flimsy..."

"Take a deep breath. As you breathe in, your lungs fill with air. The air is carried through every part of your lungs by tubes. These tubes are organized in a particular way. They branch off, one into the left lung, one into the right. The tubes..."

"As alien enthusiasts arrive at a remote patch of the Nevada desert, one young hero has already emerged from the legion people who have pledged to invade Area 51, and finally “see them aliens.” The event, which was given the name “Storm Area 51..."

"In the archives of the Wildlife Conservation Society in New York, there is an old postcard from the city aquarium of a large sea turtle with four boys straddling its back. The turtle lies flattened upon a pathway in front of a fence. At the feet..."

"There are few one-offs in life on Earth—rarely can a single species boast a trait or ability that no other possesses. But human language is one such oddity. Our ability to use subtle combinations of sounds produced by our vocal cords to create..."

"Ask Americans about what they think is the biggest problem with their diets and you'll probably hear a variety of responses... "Too many calories." There's certainly a strong case for this. Americans consume an estimated 3,800 calories per day..."

"For many people, getting away from it all means decamping to a cabin in the woods or a house by the beach. Soon there may be another option: lifting off to a hotel serenely orbiting high above the planet. Though space hotels have long belonged..."

"Since the dawn of the space era more than six decades ago, there’s been just one way to get to the moon and back: rockets. But a pair of graduate students say we should now be able to ferry humans and cargo between Earth and our natural satellite.."

"Most lovers of science fiction are quick to tell you that there's a "time-honored" (pun intended) way to build a time machine - somehow get a wormhole and use it as a bridge to travel through time. (It's even worked in movies such as Thor and..."

"At this week's climate symposium on CNN, Elizabeth Warren answered a question about whether the government should be regulating lightbulbs in an interesting way. She said, basically, that we're focusing on the wrong thing. There's nothing wrong..."

Health authorities are urging people to stop using electronic cigarettes and other vaping products while they investigate three more deaths from a mysterious illness

"Liquid helium is a quiet engine of American research and business. It is essential to a broad range of technologies, from cutting-edge quantum computing to M.R.I. scanners in hospitals. It has fostered the development of billion-dollar..."

"Human “exceptionalism” is for many people an unquestioned assumption. For the religious, it is a God-given fact; for humanists, it is a celebration of our unique mental capacities. No other species has created music, art, literature, or built..."

"The Chief Rabbinate’s interest in genetic testing as a tool to establish Jewishness should set off a historical warning light for everyone, but particularly for Jews. Over the past year the rabbinical courts began proposing that individuals in..."

"A growing body of research suggests that, rather than posing a threat to individual wellbeing, adopting a more sustainable lifestyle represents a pathway to a more satisfied life. Numerous studies have found that people who purchase green..."

"When climate change comes for our coffee and our wine, we’ll moan about it on Twitter, read about it on our favorite websites, and watch diverting videos on YouTube to fill the icy hole in our hearts. We’ll do all this until the websites go dark..."

"Here are two sets of statements from far-distant opposites in the climate change debate. The first is from Naomi Klein, who in her book This Changes Everything paints a bleak picture of a global socioeconomic system gone wrong: “There is a..."

"Humans are now living in a new geological epoch of our own making: the Anthropocene. Or so we’re told. Whereas some epochs in Earth history stretch more than 40 million years, this new chapter started maybe 400 years ago, when carbon dioxide..."

"In some ways, the history of science is the history of a philosophical resistance to mythical explanations of reality. In the ancient world, when we asked “Where did the world come from?” we were told creation myths. In the modern world, we are..."

"It is 4.18am. In the fireplace, where logs burned, there are now orange lumps that will soon be ash. Orion the Hunter is above the hill. Taurus, a sparkling V, is directly overhead, pointing to the Seven Sisters. Sirius, one of Orion’s heel..."

"In April, the lunar lander Beresheet — a privately funded Israeli project — crashed on the moon. The mission originally started as a contender for the Google Lunar X prize, a contest to land a privately made robot on the moon before a 2018 deadline"

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JJ Editor's Picks

"During the debate on Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s new Brexit deal in the United Kingdom’s Parliament on Saturday—which ended, as these things often have, with a vote calling for another delay—Johnson exposed the most basic blindness of Brexit..."

"Mick Mulvaney, the acting White House chief of staff, wants to change his story about Ukraine. On Thursday, at a press briefing, Mulvaney confirmed that when President Donald Trump suspended military aid to Ukraine in July, one reason was that..."

"I travelled with Bedouin in the Western Desert of Egypt. When we got a puncture, they used tape and an old inner tube to suck air from three tyres to inflate a fourth. It was the cook who suggested the idea; maybe he was used to making food..."

"The ultrasound technician places the wand on my daughter’s lower abdomen and moves it slowly across taut skin glistening with gel. I’ve been holding my breath since being ushered into the dimly lit cubicle to witness a sonogram that will..."

"Even many Democrats are criticizing Senator Elizabeth Warren for refusing to admit, in plain words, that her Medicare for All plan will require taxes to increase. They’re right to complain. The point could hardly be simpler: All presidential..."

"How do you update Watchmen for 2019? That might sound like a question with an obvious answer: You just do Watchmen. After all, the graphic novel, which has been consistently in print since its 12-volume run ended in 1987, is pretty terrific..."

"The climactic face-off of the 2019 Israeli Apartheid Week at the University of the Witwatersrand in Johannesburg took place on a wide, sunny plaza, between a statue dedicated to the millions of anonymous miners who had toiled under inhuman..."

"Mark Zuckerberg has rarely been so compelling. Facing increased scrutiny — especially after leaked audio of an internal meeting in which Zuckerberg called Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) an existential threat — the Facebook CEO outlined his..."