Category: Science

The Left Case against Open Borders

As the readers of my blog know, the opinions I express here are strictly non-partisan and non-ideological. My main interest is to go where science leads. Ideological thinking is different from science in that in science data triumphs over theories.…

NASA Will Give You $20,000 If They Like Your ‘Lunar Loo’ Design

This article originally appeared on VICE India. Space travel might be exciting and glamorous but one question that most people have had for astronauts over the decades—apart from whether they have sex in space—is how they pee and poop up…

Loneliness Rewires How the Human Brain Perceives Relationships

This article originally appeared on VICE India. Loneliness can be a terrible, terrible feeling. It alienates you from your surroundings, makes you feel misunderstood and unwanted by the people around you, and severely affects your understanding of other people. Now,…

The Scientist Who Predicted 2020’s Political Unrest Reveals What Comes Next

In 2012, VICE published an article titled, "2012 Is Bullshit; 2020 Is When We'll Really Be in Trouble". That headline was fairly prophetic: while 2012 saw the embers of the Arab Spring uprisings and quaint fears of a foretold apocalypse,…

The Science behind My Forecast for 2020

Quite a number of people, here and on Twitter, asked me about how I came up with my forecast for 2020. Here’s the story. By the early 2000s I had already delved into structural-demographic theory and its implications for historical…

The long road to coronavirus herd immunity depends on a vaccine and how the virus spreads

The sought-after state of herd immunity — in which widespread outbreaks are prevented because enough people in a community are immune to a disease — is complicated by open questions about the effectiveness of a future vaccine and how COVID-19…

2020

America is burning. Dozens of cities across the United States remain under curfews at a level not seen since riots following the 1968 assassination of Martin Luther King Jr. Most commentary is focusing on the immediate causes of this wave…

Live updates: SpaceX to launch NASA astronauts Saturday

At 3:22 p.m. ET today, SpaceX is expected to launch NASA astronauts Bob Behnken and Doug Hurley to the International Space Station for the first time. Why it matters: The liftoff — should it go off without a hitch —…

Live updates: SpaceX to launch historic crewed mission for NASA

SpaceX will attempt to launch NASA astronauts Doug Hurley and Bob Behnken to the International Space Station today. Why it matters: If all goes well, this launch — expected to happen at 4:33 p.m. ET — will mark the first…

Hydroxychloroquine increases risk of death in coronavirus patients despite Trump’s praises

Coronavirus patients who took hydroxychloroquine or its related drug chloroquine were more likely to die or develop an irregular heart rhythm that can lead to sudden cardiac death, compared to those who did nothing, a retrospective review published in The…

A Tale of Two Countries

Sweden and Denmark are both Nordic countries speaking similar languages, sharing a lot of culture and a lot of common history. But they followed very different approaches to managing the Covid-19 pandemic. Denmark was among the first in Europe to…

Asian giant hornets, which kill roughly 50 people a year in Japan, have arrived in the U.S.

Asian giant hornets, called by some researchers as “murder hornets,” have arrived in the U.S., the New York Times reports. Why it matters: The insects, which were spotted by a beekeeper in Washington state in December, kill roughly 50 people…

U.S. coronavirus updates: Case numbers surge past 988,000 as cities ease restrictions

Data: The Center for Systems Science and Engineering at Johns Hopkins; Map: Andrew Witherspoon/Axios. This graphic includes “probable deaths” that New York City began reporting on April 14. The novel coronavirus has killed more than 56,200 people in the U.S.,…

World coronavirus updates: Markets rally as countries look to reopen economies

Data: The Center for Systems Science and Engineering at Johns Hopkins; Map: Axios Visuals Markets rallied in Asia Monday as several countries look to reopen after coronavirus lockdowns, per the Wall Street Journal, which reports Japan’s Nikkei 225 stock index…