Category: Science

Photo: Humpback whale feeding with the sheerwaters

Our photo of the day comes from California's Central Coast. Photographer Rick Derevan caught this image of a humpback in the midst of a lunge feeding, in which a whale sets upon a school of fish with mouth agape and...

/ May 31, 2019

Here’s an incredibly simple solution to plastic packaging waste

Remove the water.Solving the global plastic pollution problem is a dilemma that has many innovators and companies scratching their heads. Better recyclables, thinner and more compact packaging, biodegradable materials, and refillable reusables are some of the solutions that get bandied...

/ May 30, 2019

Photo: The knowing gaze of a clearwing moth

Our photo of the day comes from the rainforest of Ecuador. While butterflies may get all the fanfare, moths may be secretly cooler. (But don't tell the butterflies.) With their often times fluffy appearance, array of wacky markings, and other...

/ May 30, 2019

Elephant poaching declines in Africa, but 15,000 still illegally killed each year

Even though there has been notable progress, at current poaching rates elephants are still in danger of becoming virtually extinct on the continent.In 2011, the annual toll of poaching on Africa’s elephants peaked with a mortality rate of 10 percent...

/ May 29, 2019

Malaysia vows to send plastic waste back to countries of origin

Environment minister called waste importers 'traitors' who don't care about the country's long-term sustainability.It all started last month, when the Philippines ordered Canada to take back 69 shipping containers filled with Canadian trash that had been sitting in port for...

/ May 29, 2019

Photo: Great gray owl lands with precision

Our photo of the day comes from Calgary, Canada. We have loads of photos of majestic owls in flight or posted regally upon their perches, but I can't take my eyes off of this unique action shot of a great...

/ May 29, 2019

This AI Uses Echolocation to Identify What You’re Doing

Guo Xinhua wants to teach computers to echolocate. He and his colleagues have built a device, about the size of a thin laptop, that emits sound at frequencies 10 times higher than the shrillest note a piccolo can sustain. The...

/ May 28, 2019

What do marine mammals drink?

Water, water, every where, Nor any drop to drink?In one of the more vexing ironies about human life on Earth, we rely on water for life, yet 96.5 percent of all Earth's water is sea water, which we cannot drink....

/ May 28, 2019

The real reason this reservoir is covered in 96,000,000 black balls

Shade balls in the Los Angeles Reservoir can save up to 300 millions gallons of water a year. That's enough to supply drinking water for 8,100 Californians. Good news? Absolutely. On the other hand, what if producing those shade balls...

/ May 28, 2019

Mysterious Midwest Tornadoes, Airbnb’s NYC Truce, and More News

Tornadoes are tearing up the Midwest, Airbnb calls truce, and we've got some books for your long weekend. Here's the news you need to know, in two minutes or less.Today's HeadlinesTornadoes are tearing up the midwest. So why are they...

/ May 24, 2019

The Mystifying Case of the Missing Planets

After the sun formed, the dust and gas left over from its natal cloud slowly swirled into the eight planets we have today. Small, rocky things clung close to the sun. Gigantic gas worlds floated in the system’s distant reaches....

/ May 19, 2019

NASA Needs $1.6 Billion More to Send a Human to the Moon

NASA revealed Monday that it needs an additional $1.6 billion in funding for fiscal year 2020 to stay on track for a human return to the moon by 2024. The space agency's budget amendment comes in addition to the $21 billion...

/ May 15, 2019

Bad Air Linked To Dementia, Bezos’ Lunar Lander, and More News

Air pollution is worse for us than we thought, the world's richest man unveiled his moon craft, and Mother's Day is around the corner. Here's what you should know, in two minutes or less.Today's HeadlinesEvidence suggests air pollution might cause...

/ May 10, 2019

A Physics Analysis of Every Jedi Jump in All of *Star Wars*

May the Fourth Be With You. That's Star Wars Day, May 4. Now for some Star Wars physics—because that's what I do. Yes, I have a bunch of Star Wars physics (here is a list). But since this is a...

/ May 4, 2019

Real-life zombies you’ll find in nature

Actually, nope. This is the grossest Walking Dead episode of all time. A parasitic, microscopic barnacle called Loxothylacus panopaei infects a small crab called the white-fingered mud crab. According to the National Resources Defense Council, the barnacle is an invasive...

/ May 1, 2019

R.I.P., Anki: Yet Another Home Robotics Company Powers Down

Today brings sad news in the world of consumer robotics. Anki, maker of Vector, a toy-like autonomous countertop robot, is shutting down, and hundreds of people are losing their jobs. It’s a brutal answer to a question we asked last...

/ April 30, 2019

Ancestry.com’s Racist Ad Tumbles Into a Cultural Minefield

On Thursday, the world’s largest DNA testing company, Ancestry.com, pulled a video advertisement amid a cascade of criticism on social media. The ad, titled “Inseparable” and cinematically shot to portray a gauzy, gothic moment on the streets of the antebellum...

/ April 19, 2019

How to Cook With Weed—and a Dash of Tasty, Tasty Science

Mac and cheese. Peanut butter and jelly. Asparagus and … cannabis oil with a citrusy terpene profile? Welcome to food pairings in the heady era of cannabis legalization.A new breed of chef is thriving, experimenting with how to infuse dishes...

/ April 19, 2019

New York’s Aggressive Climate Law Takes Aim at Skyscrapers

On Thursday, the New York City Council voted into law a sweeping set of rules to fight climate change, a metropolis-scaled version of a Green New Deal. And if the lawmakers and policy wonks who built the bills have their...

/ April 18, 2019

Why a (Very Bad and Unsafe!) Playground Stunt Sends Folks Flying

[embedded content] Why do people do such dumb things? In today's dumb thing, these kids decide to use the wheel of a gasoline-powered scooter to spin up a small merry-go-round at a park. Oh, don't worry, they have helmets on...

/ April 15, 2019