An answer to a lunar mystery: Why is the moon’s gravity so uneven?

An answer to a lunar mystery: Why is the moon’s gravity so uneven?

Ever since the first satellites were sent to the moon to scout landing sites for Apollo astronauts, scientists have noticed a peculiar phenomenon: As these probes orbited the moon, passing over certain craters and impact basins, they periodically veered off course, plummeting toward the lunar surface before pulling back up. As it turns out, the […] more…
Questions For Barbara King, Author Of ‘How Animals Grieve’

Questions For Barbara King, Author Of ‘How Animals Grieve’

  Attributing human characteristics to animals makes for great cartoons, but it’s not usually considered rigorous science. Now, a new book argues that animals do think and feel in ways similar to humans. King is a professor of anthropology and a commentator on NPR’s science blog, 13.7. See full story on npr.org more…
Anatomy of a hack: How crackers ransack passwords like “qeadzcwrsfxv1331”

Anatomy of a hack: How crackers ransack passwords like “qeadzcwrsfxv1331”

Thanks to the XKCD comic, every password cracking word list in the world probably has correcthorsebatterystaple in it already. Aurich Lawson In March, readers followed along as Nate Anderson, Ars deputy editor and a self-admitted newbie to password cracking, downloaded a list of more than 16,000 cryptographically hashed passcodes. The moral of the story: if […] more…
‘Return of the Jedi,’ 30 Years Later: When the Force Found its Cute Side

‘Return of the Jedi,’ 30 Years Later: When the Force Found its Cute Side

The Star Wars saga unfolds over 20,000 years and involves 17,000 characters dwelling on several thousand planets. Return of the Jedi was released 30 years ago on May 25, 1983. According to Deusche Bank (DB), it grossed $399 million in the United States alone, making it the 15th-most-successful movie of all time. See full story […] more…
The biggest merger you didn’t hear about

The biggest merger you didn’t hear about

Particularly once we consider that Tumblr basically is the latest/greatest means for teens to express themselves, while Warner Chilcott develops products to help people manage serious diseases and prevent unwanted pregnancies. So why are we media folk so obsessed with the acquisition of a low-revenue blogging platform and so dismissive of an $11 billion combined revenue drug-maker? […] more…
H.P.P.D.: A Trip That Doesn’t End

H.P.P.D.: A Trip That Doesn’t End

Early one night in the fall of 1987, a college freshman ate half of a microdot of lysergic acid diethylamide on his way to a party. He was young, but more than a little familiar with mind-altering chemicals: LSD, mescaline, psilocybin, and other, less common psychedelics. This trip, by comparison, turned out to be only […] more…
Study shows that adventure shapes the individual

Study shows that adventure shapes the individual

AFP – The act of exploring helps shape the brain and adventuring is what makes each individual different, according to a study out Thursday by researchers in Germany. The findings published in the US journal Science may offer new paths to treating psychiatric diseases, scientists said. Researchers sought to pin down why identical twins are […] more…
Our Very Normal Solar System Isn’t Normal Anymore

Our Very Normal Solar System Isn’t Normal Anymore

  Like somewhere out there, there are planets like ours. It’s got a sun in the middle, little planets on the inside, bigger ones farther out. That’s what most of them should look like, no? We thought they should. See full story on npr.org Image courtesy of npr.org more…
The Story Behind the QWERTY Keyboard

The Story Behind the QWERTY Keyboard

(image: Google patents) What came first: the typist or the keyboard? The new keyboard, known as KALQ, is designed specifically for thumb-typing on today’s smart phones and tablets. It’s an interesting and by all accounts commercially viable design that got me thinking about the rationale behind the QWERTY keyboard. See full story on smithsonianmag.com more…
Creepy or Cool? Portraits Derived From the DNA in Hair and Gum Found in Public Places

Creepy or Cool? Portraits Derived From the DNA in Hair and Gum Found in Public Places

Donning a pair of rubber gloves,Heather Dewey-Hagborg collected hairs from a public bathroom at Penn Station and placed them in plastic baggies for safe keeping. As the artist traverses her usual routes through New York City from her home in Brooklyn, down sidewalks onto city buses and subway cars—even into art museums—she gathers fingernails, cigarette […] more…
Robert Bigelow Plans a Real Estate Empire in Space

Robert Bigelow Plans a Real Estate Empire in Space

  Robert Bigelow was no more than 9 years old when he heard his first atom bomb explosion. He was upstairs in his bedroom, in a two-story brick house in Las Vegas. During the day, he and his classmates at Highland Elementary School were often sent out into the playground to watch as mushroom clouds […] more…
Economics focus: The plough and the now

Economics focus: The plough and the now

Rather, it was a fundamental change in the technology the Mesopotamians used to produce food: the adoption of the plough. The plough was heavier than the tools formerly used by farmers. By demanding significantly more upper-body strength than hoes did, it gave men an advantage over women. See full story on economist.com more…
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