September 19, 2019

Science

"Don’t get me wrong, I don’t think that elephants currently express the full range of personal and creative capacities that humans do. But I suspect all that’s missing are certain informational and institutional structures, along with the motivation"

"The findings raise concerns around how ingesting microplastics are (or aren’t) harmful to human health. Yet experts who weren’t associated with the study say they don’t have definitive answers due to a lack of research in the field."

We think of archeological finds as being clues to the ancient past. In a new book from Ulrike Sommer, archeology's effects on present-day national narratives are excavated.

"The cat is still hauled out today as if to imply that we’re as puzzled as ever by the mere fact that the quantum world at small scales turns into the world of classical physics at human scales."

Many ancient cultures believed that time was a repeating cycle. The ancient Hebrew envisioned a history that progresses. So is time a loop or a line? Physics may now have an answer.

"A mere half a degree could spell the difference between the Arctic being ice-free once a decade and once a century; between coral reefs being almost entirely wiped out and up to 30 percent hanging on..."

“What Gates thinks about global poverty, artificial intelligence, political freedom, clean meat, and humanity’s future.”

“Scientists bred healthy baby mice from same-sex parents for the first time.”

“Reality Is just a bunch of hallucinations we collectively agree on.”

“At the neighborhood level, these differences are sometimes even more drastic, appearing even when communities are only a few miles apart.”

The discovery of ancient petroglyphs is shining a light on a dark age.

“1.5 degrees Celsius of warming will be much worse than the 1 degree Celsius we’re experiencing now.”

“Dogs become most irresistible to people just when they need us most.”

Half a degree may not sound like much, but it could have disastrous effects.

“After researchers resurrected a long-dead pox, some critics argue that it's too easy for scientists to make decisions of global consequence.”

There’s a possible new moon in the distant reaches of our solar system, which could mean a new planet as well.

“How a sunbeam split in two became physics’ most elegant experiment…”

“NASA went searching for micro black holes in Antarctica. Instead, it detected cosmic rays shooting from the ground…”

Entrepreneurs are getting excited about the moon. Not only is it a symbol of human ambition, it’s also a blank slate for profiteering.

“Every drink is downed amid cultural expectations and societally mediated attitudes about women and power. Those things… have a stronger causal influence than the alcohol alone.”

“If things had gone just slightly differently on a tense night in 1983, today would be the 35th anniversary of the start of of World War III, for whoever was left alive to observe such an occasion.”

“Our species might have diverged 500 million years ago, but octopuses on ecstasy behave just as people do in many ways.”

If IQ tests are any indication, Americans are getting stupider. Some think environmental factors could be to blame. Others say that it's our culture which is to blame for making us stupider.

Climate change can be difficult to document. That's why scientists and journalists traveled to Greenland to study the slow transformation of ice. Follow the link to see the stunning photos of a landscape in flux.

Fast fashion is notoriously hard on the environment, but perhaps it doesn't have to be. Scientists are hard at work creating sustainable, biodegradable fabrics.

An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. Take a look at how scientists are trying to control hurricanes before they happen. These ideas might be crazy enough to work.

There are more scientists than ever before. Knowledge is more easily shared than ever before. All of this sounds like good news for scientific progress. So why are we seeing a slow-down?

There’s a powerful force that might be shaping all of your decisions and behaviors. Its called “societal tightness” and sociologists are beginning to understand how it works.

A new study sheds light on how animals pass ancestral knowledge from generation to generation. “Wildlife conservation isn’t just about raising the numbers on a population count. It’s also an act of cultural preservation.”

The United States Geological Survey is mapping space for potential mining ventures in the future. Along with planning future Mars colonies, is the talk of mining a sign that scientists are giving up on Earth?

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JJ Editor's Picks

"Blackface. I’ve been writing about, and researching – and opposing – racism for more than thirty years. And make no mistake: blackface isn’t funny. It’s racist. Ask Megyn Kelly. A year ago, the former Fox News star was filming a segment about..."

"Sen. Elizabeth Warren’s “selfie line” may be a “political phenomenon,” according to CNN, but it’s also a misnomer, twice over: The photos that supporters end up with aren’t technically selfies—campaign aides snap them—and no one waits in a line..."

"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..."

"As we celebrated my granddaughter’s third birthday this summer, I made the following rough calculation: I’d trekked from my home in New Jersey to her Brooklyn apartment roughly 150 times to provide once-a-week day care, plus other times as needed."

"That seems to be the emerging bipartisan consensus. “On the evidence we have, the meritocratic ideal ends up being just as undemocratic as the old emphasis on inheritance and tradition,” writes New York Times columnist Ross Douthat. “Our..."

"It was the 2019 Pet Sematary that finally broke me. Was this really necessary? I seethed in a theater earlier this year, at a loss for why anyone would green light a self-serious update to a 30-year-old so-bad-it's-good movie. "Update," even, was.."

"Tuesday was election day in Israel. But no winner has yet been declared. As of this writing, it appears that the parties committed to supporting Benjamin Netanyahu for prime minister will not win a majority in Knesset. At the same time, the..."

"The last time Netflix asked me “Are you still watching?” I had to think really hard about it. Was I still watching? Or at least enough to make my $16-a-month payment worth it? The subscription economy can be a wonderful thing. We don’t have to..."