Behind the Bouba-Kiki Effect

Feb 13, 2016

Launching the Latest OK Go Video in Zero-G

Feb 13, 2016

Launching the Latest OK Go Video in Zero-G

Feb 12, 2016

Behind the Bouba-Kiki Effect

Feb 12, 2016

Want to find a meteorite? Antarctica might be the best place to look.

Feb 12, 2016

Nina Lanza knows space rocks. In her day job as a staff scientist at Los Alamos National Laboratory, she operates the Curiosity Rover’s ChemCam, using a rock-vaporizing laser to analyze the Martian surface.

But recently, Lanza was having a very different kind of encounter with space rocks: She was picking them up off of the Antarctic ice.

Is Apple’s design getting worse without Steve Jobs?

Feb 8, 2016

For years, Apple has enjoyed a reputation for creating products that are both beautiful and easy-to-use, no manual necessary. Now one of the company’s own alums, usability consultant Bruce "Tog" Tognazzini, says that reputation might not be warranted anymore.

“Three or four years ago we began to see that that something was falling out from Apple,” says Tognazzina, who had founded the Apple Human Interface Group. 

How music can affect your sense of taste

Feb 8, 2016
Samrang Pring/Reuters

Eating engages all of the senses. Including hearing.

But did you know that sound can enhance your meal? Dan Pashman, host of WNYC’s The Sporkful podcast, says the way food sounds has a huge effect on how much we enjoy it. 

Deep in the Indian Ocean, far off the southeast coast of South Africa, there is a drill digging its way into the ocean floor of the underwater Atlantis Bank. 

A team of scientists aboard the research vessel JOIDES Resolution has been operating the drill since December, and they’re hoping to eventually break through the Earth’s crust and bore down into the mantle.

“We're about a half mile down and drilling ahead,” says geologist Henry Dick, co-chief scientist of the expedition.

Many are familiar with the 43North competition, which has been awarding millions in prizes to new Buffalo businesses in recent years. Now the state is providing $20 million over four years, including $10 million in prize money, for the new 76West clean energy competition in the Southern Tier.

If you’ve ever felt intimidated by math, or consider it a daunting labyrinth of numbers and equations in a textbook, open up Patterns of the Universe: A Coloring Adventure in Math and Beauty.

Flipping through this new coloring book is a mesmerizing journey. From perfect hexagonal tilings to luscious sine waves to nautilus shell spirals, every line illustration by mathematical artist Edmund Harriss (and a handful of others) brings a hypnotic sense of harmony.

A few weeks ago, researchers announced that a 5,300-year-old mummy — the Iceman dubbed Ötzi — contained a strain of a bacterium called Helicobacter pylori.

Just how big is the natural gas leak in California?

Feb 1, 2016
Dean Musgrove/Reuters

It’s been more than two months since inspectors uncovered a colossal natural gas leak in California’s Aliso Canyon, and it will take at least another month, possibly two, to plug it up, according to Southern California Gas Company’s latest estimates.

“On a scale of of actual emissions, of the size of the leak, this is dwarfing anything that's happened like that before in this area or really almost in any other area in this country,” says Stanford University environmental scientist Rob Jackson, “This is very unique and very unusual.”

How important is breast milk and delivery method to a newborn’s health?

Jan 31, 2016

A baby in the womb is protected from most microorganisms. But when that baby enters the outside world, it’s greeted by a welcoming committee of bacteria. Now researchers are trying to sort out what effect, factors like an infant’s delivery method and early diet have on its community of microorganisms.

What space explorers might live in once they get to Mars

Jan 31, 2016

NASA just got an extra $1.3 billion added to its budget for 2016. Part of this budget is set to be used to develop a deep space habitation module. The deep space dwelling would be a ship that a crew could live and work out of — perhaps even on a journey to Mars.

The deadline for the prototype is 2018, giving NASA just two years to develop the technology. 

Bruce Lieberman, a freelance science writer based in San Diego, California, says the habitation module will likely be something inflatable, made from a certain type of fabric. 

Can we recycle light? And can it help us fight global warming?

Jan 31, 2016

Once, there was the ordinary incandescent light bulb. It shone brightly, but wasted much of the energy put into it as heat. Then came the compact fluorescent. And as costs have dropped, consumers have increasingly been switching to light-emitting diode (LED) technology for many lighting applications, in an ongoing search for a more efficient bulb.

The old fashioned incandescent light bulb is more wasteful and inefficient than you may have realized. 

Why scientists think they've found a new planet in our solar system

Jan 29, 2016

It used to be that there were nine planets in our solar system. Although some people claimed that somewhere, out there, was a mysterious tenth planet called “Planet X.” In 2006, the IAU reclassified Pluto, in a hotly contested move that left the solar system with only eight official planets.

But recently, researchers published an argument that there is in fact another large planet in our solar system that we haven’t yet seen.

'Overeating doesn't make you fat. The process of getting fat makes you overeat.'

Jan 27, 2016

Dr. David Ludwig, a practicing endocrinologist at Boston Children’s Hospital and a professor of nutrition at the Harvard School of Health in Boston, says our conventional wisdom about losing weight may be completely incorrect. 

“Overeating doesn't make you fat. The process of getting fat makes you overeat,” Ludwig says. 

The health expert has just written a book called “Always Hungry” in which he lays out a series of new guidelines on dieting, healthy eating and weight maintenance. 

What can we learn from obsolete medical equipment — or is it pure quackery?

Jan 26, 2016

For more than 30 years, Steve Erenberg has collected early scientific and medical instruments. Victorian medical masks, surreal anatomical models, and futuristic test prostheses pack the display cases of his store/museum in Peekskill, New York.

There are giant eyeballs, a life-size paper mache model of a horse and disembodied faces. 

“I mean, there’s nothing sinister in this collection,” Erenberg says. “People look and they say, ‘Oh, what is that? Is that S&M?’ Or, ‘Is that a torture device?’ No. They’re medical devices or they’re life-saving devices.”

Somewhere Out There, Planet Nine

Jan 25, 2016

Digging Deep Into the Crust of the Earth

Jan 25, 2016