|Filed Under:||Academics / General Science|
|Posts on Regator:||6417|
|Posts / Week:||19.2|
|Archived Since:||April 5, 2008|
It’s no secret that wolves, foxes, and dogs are highly social animals. But beyond all the wagging, pawing and yipping, we like to try to interpret, canids may have yet another way to communicate. New research hints at the possibility that dogs and their ilk could be sending each other signals with their eyes. A […]
If one thing is true about human beings, from the Mayans to the Chinese to the Celts, it’s that we just can’t help decapitating our enemies and putting their disembodied heads to “good” use. Certain peoples believe the heads provide spirit to the community, others use them to intimidate their foes, and still others shrink […]
A speed test between quantum and classical computers has ended in a draw. New research suggests the commercial quantum computer sold by Canadian company D-Wave Systems isn’t faster than the PC on your desk. In theory a quantum computer, which uses the quirks of quantum mechanics to perform calculations, should leave today’s most powerful machines […]
[HTML1] The best thing about the future of astronomy is that it starts with a bang. Today, you can watch as the European Southern Observatory takes the first step in building the world’s biggest ground-based telescope—the European Extremely Large Telescope (E-ELT)—by blowing up the top of a mountain in Chile. The blasting event will start […]
Ever wanted to 3-D print your own model of a human brain or femur? How about a virus or bacterium? Now you can, thanks to a 3-D image library launched yesterday by the National Institutes of Health.
This morning, the US Patent and Trademark Office cancelled six trademarks on the Washington Redskins' team name. This effectively pulls the rug out from under team owner Daniel Snyder, who had been standing firm against accusations that the nickname is wildly offensive to Native Americans. Show More Summary
The mandrake's roots can look bizarrely like a human body, and legend holds that it can even come in male and female form. It’s said to spring from the dripping fat and blood and semen of a hanged man. Dare pull it the from the earth and it lets out a monstrous scream, bestowing agony and death to all those within earshot.
Fish-eating spiders inhabit every continent except Antarctica, according to a new study.
For the past three weeks, Richard Ross has been spending his mornings next to a small tank in a back room at the Steinhart Aquarium in San Francisco. He leans in close. Not only is the room dark, but the fish inside this tank are masters of hiding in plain sight. They are Bargibant’s pygmy […]
The concept is called induced demand, which is economist-speak for when increasing the supply of something (like roads) makes people want that thing even more. Though some traffic engineers made note of this phenomenon at least as early...Show More Summary
Contract bridge is the chess of card games. You might know it as some stuffy old game your grandparents play, but it requires major brainpower, and preferably an obsession with rules and strategy. So how to make it even geekier? Throw in some quantum mechanics to try to gain a competitive advantage.
In just about a year, the New Horizons spacecraft will begin daily observations of the dwarf planet Pluto and its moons. A month after that, on 14 July 2015, the piano-sized 478-kilogram probe will pass Pluto at a nominal distance of only 10,000 kilometers moving at a velocity of 14 kilometers per second. At that […]
It's been a wacky week in science. First there was that computer that supposedly passed the Turing test, a 50-year old benchmark in artificial intelligence research. Then, yesterday, a paralyzed boy in a robotic exoskeleton took the opening kick in the World Cup in Brazil. Show More Summary
This is the world’s largest jellyfish, with a bell that reaches a staggering 8 feet wide and tentacles that grow to 120 feet long, far longer than a blue whale. And this monster is really, really loving the whole global warming thing, conquering more and more of Earth's oceans in massive blooms. So please, if you will, welcome our new giant gelatinous overlords.
The modern natural world is an increasingly fragmented one, with islands of ecological integrity isolated in vast sprawls of human development. An environment arranged such a fashion, suggests a new study, may inadvertently fuel the spread of disease.
A chatbot pretending to be a 13-year-old Ukrainian boy made waves last weekend when its programmers announced that it had passed the Turing test. But the judges of this test were apparently easily fooled, because any cursory exchange with 'Eugene Goosterman' reveals the machine inside the ghost. Show More Summary
Planet Earth is taking a hit today from back-to-back solar eruptions. No need to brace for impact: At worst this combined eruption will mess up radio and GPS signals for a few hours on the planet's sunny side. At best, people on the earth's darkened half might see the aurora as far south (or north) as the 39th parallel.
Computers are already smart, just in their own ways. They catalogue the breadth of human knowledge, find meaning in mushroom clouds of data, and fly spacecraft to other worlds. And they're getting better. Below are four domains of computing where the machines are rising.
Have you seen a banshee? Do you suspect she's been buzzing your house? Here's how to prove it.
[HTML1] Driving around with my little sister in the back seat recently, I noticed something odd. She had, well, “appropriated” a helium balloon from a display at the supermarket (stealing is wrong, Hanna) and I watched it float back and forth as we stopped and started on the road. The weird thing was that the […]