A Man Who Makes Babies–Lots of Babies–But Lives Alone

People who want to start a family but have, for whatever reason, a problem with the sperm half of the equation have options. There are in-vitro methods that get sperm right next to or injected directly inside an egg. There are sperm banks. Some people have friends who are willing to be sperm donors. And the internet… »10/06/15 3:30pmTuesday 3:30pm

Is There Really an Equation for Staying in Love?

Psychologists John and Julie Gottman spent years observing couples’ behavior and developed a method that claims to predict a romantic relationship’s chances of long-term success. They’ve (of course) used what they learned to create a $750-per-couple workshop that aims to help people become better partners. »8/26/15 11:42am8/26/15 11:42am

You Can Still Find Groundwater in California, But It'll Cost You

So your taps have run dry in the drought and you desperately need more water for your family. Why not just dig another well? For starters, the cost of digging a well might be more than you paid for your house. And then there’s another issue: No matter how deep you dig, someone with more money is gonna dig one deeper… »7/24/15 7:40pm7/24/15 7:40pm

Berlin Spends $16 Million a Month To Maintain This Never-Opened Airport

As the EU’s self-appointed morality police, Germany publicly spanked Greece earlier this month for being so financially frivolous. Well, Germany has its own money troubles! Namely, a catastrophe-riddled $6 billion airport that the country continues to pour money into—with no opening date in sight. Scheiße! »7/23/15 7:55pm7/23/15 7:55pm

We May Have Dramatically Misunderstood the Shapes of Black Holes

Even if you didn’t see Interstellar, you’ve probably heard about how black holes have an “event horizon” — and once you pass it, you’re mashed into multi-dimensional mush. But now, some physicists believe we got it all wrong. Black holes are more like fuzzy balls of cotton, with no event horizons at all. »6/24/15 4:30pm6/24/15 4:30pm

Far From Sterile, Some Hybrids May Start New Species

Your schoolteachers probably told you most species wouldn’t (or maybe couldn’t) successfully interbreed with one another. If some did, their hybrid offspring, like mules, couldn’t have babies of their own. That explanation was a bit oversimplified. Hybridization happens, and it may be one way new species arise. »6/09/15 6:22pm6/09/15 6:22pm

Farmers Are Pumping So Much Groundwater It's Making California Sink

What happens when your water supply runs dry? You go underground. In some parts of California, drought-plagued farmers are digging groundwater wells that plunge deeper and deeper into the earth, siphoning away the water of their neighbors, and causing the ground to collapse—potentially destroying the soil for good. »6/05/15 7:30pm6/05/15 7:30pm

Inventors Want Us to Have Better Safe Sex But Regulations Make it Hard

Some of you who’ve been reading Throb might think I’m a bit condom-obsessed, but that’s not accurate. I’m actually obsessed with people enjoying sex while preventing unwanted pregnancy and the spread of disease. And let’s be honest: no one is truly thrilled by latex condoms. In a word, they suck. Leaving aside the… »6/02/15 3:26pm6/02/15 3:26pm

Full Bank Accounts, Empty Storefronts: The Economics Of High-Rent Blight

Urban blight is nothing new. The signature image of plummeting real estate is block after block of properties vacated as businesses move out. Now the high price of real estate in American cities is creating a new phenomenon: In otherwise healthy economic areas, the rents are climbing so high they’re driving businesses… »5/26/15 5:40pm5/26/15 5:40pm

Are Female Condoms Finally Ready For A Second Chance?

Two decades after the “windsock” was nearly laughed off the market, a radical redesign has made the female condom more user-friendly. In a feature for Mosaic, Emily Anthes outlines the device’s history and how training in its use may help give women more choices for preventing pregnancy and sexually transmitted… »5/07/15 11:11pm5/07/15 11:11pm

Yet Another Dubious Argument For Not Building More Skyscrapers

The US is in the midst of a building boom that will dramatically change the skyline of most major American cities. Among the many concerns about sprinkling our cities with supertalls, there’s one issue that’s starting to crop up in legal battles: shadowy urban landscapes could stifle the potential for gathering solar… »5/06/15 6:00pm5/06/15 6:00pm