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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 11:42am Wednesday 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 7:40pm 7/24/15 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 7:55pm 7/23/15 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 4:30pm 6/24/15 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 6:22pm 6/09/15 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 7:30pm 6/05/15 7:30pm

The US Is Cutting Down Its Forests to Feed Europe's Biomass Fuel Craze 

Since 2012, the US has held the title of world’s number one wood pellet exporter. What’s the big deal with wood pellets? Well, Europe has very keen on replacing coal with more environmentally friendly wood pellets—except, well, depending on who you ask, wood may not be that great either. » 6/04/15 6:50pm 6/04/15 6:50pm

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 3:26pm 6/02/15 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 5:40pm 5/26/15 5:40pm

What the Hell Is the "Oh-My-God" Particle?

The Fly’s Eye was a crude cosmic ray detector perched on top a Utah mountain in the early 80s and 90s. It’s long obsolete now, but it’ll always have a place in astronomy history: On October, 15 1991, it detected something called the Oh-My-God particle, a cosmic ray going faster than astronomers thought possible. » 5/14/15 8:00pm 5/14/15 8:00pm

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 11:11pm 5/07/15 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 6:00pm 5/06/15 6:00pm

How Bird Poop Helps Populate a New Volcanic Island With Life

In 2013, a new island was born off the coast of Japan. While some of these islands formed by volcanic eruptions are only temporary, Nii-jima (“new neighbor” in Japanese) kept growing, eventually consuming the nearby island of Nishino-shima as well. Now the entire landmass is coated in fresh lava just waiting for new… » 5/04/15 7:50pm 5/04/15 7:50pm

California's Drought Is Making Its Dying Inland Sea Even More Toxic

Most of the narratives about California’s drought focus on the state’s Central Valley, where the nonexistent snowpack from the Sierras is threatening the economic vitality of the region. But the other, lesser told story is playing out in the southeast corner of the state, where the lack of water is actually poisoning… » 5/01/15 6:20pm 5/01/15 6:20pm

The Minority Report Of Famine Prediction Knows Where To Send Aid

On a day spent dodging Periscope unboxings of Apple Watches on the other side of the country, it’s difficult to believe that there’s too little information in the world. But when it comes to life-and-death predictions of agriculture in Africa, our system is woefully inadequate, and the only hope is space. » 4/24/15 5:50pm 4/24/15 5:50pm