Originally published on Tue September 16, 2014 10:41 am
You'll find spinning wheels at the top of Netflix, Etsy, Foursquare and other top sites today, as they take part in Internet Slowdown Day. While sites won't slow down for real, participating Internet companies will be covered with the symbolic loading icons "to remind everyone what an Internet without net neutrality would look like," the organizers write on their website.
Originally published on Wed August 27, 2014 4:54 pm
Well into the 21st century, it is indisputable that we know more about the universe than ever before.
So that we don't get lulled into a false sense of confidence, today I provide a short list of open questions about the cosmos, focusing only on its composition. These are some of the mysteries that keep many fundamental physicists and astronomers busy and hopeful.
Originally published on Fri August 29, 2014 1:05 pm
Two volcanoes half a world apart are causing havoc today: Several flights have been diverted around an eruption in Papua New Guinea, and authorities in Iceland briefly put aviation on highest alert (again) owing to a temperamental Mount Bardarbunga, which has been rumbling for the past week.
Scientists examining an unusual African fish that can walk and breathe air think they've learned a thing or two about how our distant ancestors made the leap from the oceans to terra firma some 400 million years ago.
The wine country, however, was deeply affected. While it's still too early to tell just how much the quake will cost Napa Valley, what's clear is that some wineries lost some of their most cherished reserves, worth hundreds of thousands of dollars.
Originally published on Fri August 22, 2014 3:18 pm
Air pollution is clogging the skies of our planet. Now one scientist thinks Earth may be just one of many polluted worlds โ and that searching for extraterrestrial smog may actually be a good way to search for alien intelligence.
"People refer to 'little green men,' but ETs that are detected by this method should not be labeled as green," says Avi Loeb, an astronomer at Harvard University.
The idea of finding alien polluters may be a bit of a long shot, but Loeb says it's possible.
Originally published on Fri August 22, 2014 12:52 pm
Cyclists may soon have a convenient way to discourage bike thieves, thanks to new designs that use parts of the bikes themselves as locks. Two projects โ one based in Chile, another in Seattle โ are promising to provide peace of mind without the fuss of carrying a separate lock.
Originally published on Tue August 19, 2014 8:27 am
Back in the 1990s, historical societies, museums and symphonies across the country began transferring all kinds of information onto what was thought to be a very durable medium: the compact disc.
Now, preservationists are worried that a lot of key information stored on CDs โ from sound recordings to public records โ is going to disappear. Some of those little silver discs are degrading, and researchers at the Library of Congress are trying to figure out why.
Originally published on Sat August 16, 2014 5:49 pm
When was the last time you looked at the Milky Way? Or saw the shape of Cassiopeia? If you live in a city, you might not even remember. In the world's most populated areas, air and light pollution obscure the sight of thousands of stars once visible to the naked eye.