November 15, 2019

Science

"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"

"NOTHING’S MORE AMERICAN than a science-hero—an indomitable, big-brained hasher-out of ideas that change the world, that make the impossible possible. At least since Ben Franklin sat with the founders, and certainly since Vannevar Bush explicitly..."

"“In just one day,” she told me, “it burned everything away.” Nina Wells, a retired Environmental Specialist with the New Mexico Environment Department Surface Water Quality Bureau, has over 20 years of experience coping with fires and drought..."

"The suggestion that humans will soon set up bustling, long-lasting colonies on Mars is something many of us take for granted. What this lofty vision fails to appreciate, however, are the monumental—if not intractable—challenges awaiting..."

"Last week, a North Carolina man became a notorious microbial killer’s first confirmed victim this year. The 59-year-old Eddie Gray had unknowingly come across a brain-eating amoeba while swimming in a man-made lake near Fayetteville in mid-July..."

"“Consciousness” refers to any subjective experience — the delectable taste of Nutella, the sharp sting of an infected tooth, the slow passage of time when bored, the sense of vitality and anxiety just before a competitive event. In the words of..."

"When you hold out your palm and point it towards the sky, what is it that's interacting with your hand? You might correctly surmise that there are ions, electrons and molecules all colliding with your hand, as the atmosphere is simply..."

"On July 22, 2009, the neuroscientist Henry Markram walked onstage at the TEDGlobal conference in Oxford, England, and told the audience that he was going to simulate the human brain, in all its staggering complexity, in a computer. His goals..."

"A huge happiness and positive thinking industry, estimated to be worth US$11 billion a year, has helped to create the fantasy that happiness is a realistic goal. Chasing the happiness dream is a very American concept, exported to the rest of the..."

"There’s a theory doing the rounds online that nuclear research experiments caused the world to shift into an alternate reality where Donald Trump became president. This might sound stupid, but some people genuinely believe it to be true. And to..."

"If you can read this sentence, you can talk with a scientist. Well, maybe not about the details of her research, but at least you would share a common language. The overwhelming majority of communication in the natural sciences today – physics..."

"When Neil Armstrong took his giant leap for mankind on the moon’s surface 50 years ago this week, many people were already dreaming about staying. Thinkers proposing moon cities ranged from author Arthur C. Clarke, who in 1954 envisioned igloo..."

"The first lunar landing was many things — a D-Day-like feat of planning and logistics, a testament to the power of man's will, an ostensible propaganda coup for NATO. It was also, I think, one of the most misunderstood events in the history of..."

"Fifty years ago this week, more than a million Americans drove, flew and even boated to Florida’s Cape Canaveral to witness the launch of Apollo 11, which would culminate four days later on July 20, 1969, with America’s victory over the Soviet..."

""Obesity is the biggest threat to the health of our nation,” proclaims the chief of epidemiology at a major medical school on the Scientific American Observations blog. This all too common suggestion does far greater damage to public health than..."

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JJ Editor's Picks

"Venice's misfortunes never seem to stop. The popular tourist destination has been hit by the worst flooding in 50 years this week, resulting in damage worth hundreds of millions of euros. Italy's Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte said a state of..."

"Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-Minn.) must be feeling pretty good this week, if by "good" one means "proven right in an allegation anyone of good conscience must always hope will be proven wrong." Omar caught flak earlier this year for calling White House..."

"It was when I found myself perched on our rooftop at dawn in my pajamas, coating the asphalt shingles with Mongolian Hot Oil, that I first wondered whether I had lost perspective. The woodpeckers had forced my hand. Every morning that June, one..."

"Forty-nine years after she died of a heroin overdose at age 27, rock’s doomed diva is on the road again. “A Night With Janis Joplin,” a musical homage to the psychedelic era and its favorite blues singer, returned to its Bay Area roots in mid..."

"The Democratic candidates for President are promising a smorgasbord of new taxes, but why wait until 2021? Last week Maryland Senator Chris Van Hollen and Virginia Congressman Don Beyer unveiled the Millionaires Surtax Act, a plan to soak the..."

"The streaming wars were already heated, but a new combatant is entering the arena: the Walt Disney Company. Mickey Mouse may be a friendly corporate icon. But the new Disney Plus streaming service could have a decidedly unfriendly impact..."

"Netanyahu’s last resort in a bid to avoid facing a courtroom would be requesting a pardon from President Reuven Rivlin, pending the recommendation of the attorney general. A knowledgeable source close to the senior echelons of the state...."

"There’s a TikTok that’s just a boy saying, “I may be ugly, but at least I’m also … dumb and annoying.” Then he dances while Ariana Grande’s “Successful” plays. It’s extremely funny, and a little bit sad, and I think about it every day. Kids on..."