This Is Why Glowing Jellyfish Proteins Have Revolutionized Medicine

In his new book Illuminating Disease, chemist Marc Zimmer explains how fluorescent proteins have changed science. Taken from glowing jellyfish, these proteins are now one of the most important tools in medicine, used in everything from brain mapping to disease research. And yes, that is a GMO glowing chicken. » 1/26/15 4:20pm 1/26/15 4:20pm

OK Cupid on Oregon and Vermont's Shared Porn Interests, Shower Hatred

With enough data, even the most seemingly random, disconnected sequence of events can be teased apart and explained through the power of statistical analysis. And thanks to the reams upon reams of data points collected through his hit dating website, OKCupid co-founder Christian Rudder explores the kinks, tendencies,… » 9/11/14 2:50pm 9/11/14 2:50pm

12 Pieces of Tech That Turned the Tide At Normandy

The Allied Invasion of Normandy was one of the single most logistically and strategically complex maneuvers ever concocted by the US military. With a strike force numbering in the hundreds of thousands and the momentum of the entire counter-offensive hanging in the balance, there was simply no room for failure. » 5/20/14 9:00am 5/20/14 9:00am

The Inside Story of How the iPad Got Its Iconic Design

While Jony Ive's group was secretly working on the iPad, Steve Jobs was telling the public and press that Apple had no intention of releasing a tablet. “Tablets appeal to rich guys with plenty of other PCs and de- vices already,” he said publicly. But Jobs was dissembling. “Steve never lost his desire to do a tablet,”… » 11/14/13 11:00am 11/14/13 11:00am

How We Barely Beat Soviet Russia to Inventing the Laser

Russians were pioneers in the development of lasers, today a multi-billion dollar industry. Two of them, Alexander Prokhorov and Nikolai Basov, won the Nobel Prize in 1964, along with the American Charles Townes, for the invention of lasers and masers. Even much earlier, in the nineteen thirties and forties the… » 11/13/13 3:00pm 11/13/13 3:00pm

The Book of Bourbon: How the World's Best Whiskey Got Its Start

Just as gin in Britain and vodka in Russia, America's most renowned for its whiskey. This delicious amber liquor once helped turn the tide of the Civil War, it survived Prohibition, and is now once again finding its way into the tumblers of a thirsty public. In his new book, Drink More Whiskey, Daniel Yaffe explores… » 10/10/13 6:00pm 10/10/13 6:00pm

Build Your Own LEGO Sputnik to Commemorate the Start of the Space Race

Fifty-six years ago today, humanity entered the Space Age as a 23-inch radio-pulsing metal sphere dubbed Sputnik 1 entered LEO. As it sped around the Earth at 18,000 mph, Sputnik set off a firestorm of envy from the Americans which directly incited a Space Race that would last until we put a man on the Moon. » 10/04/13 2:00pm 10/04/13 2:00pm

How Human History Could Have Turned Out (And Probably Should Have)

In this infinite universe of ours, every event that occurs and every choice that we make continually split away into countless individual timelines—alternate realities, if you will. So who's to say that Bigfoot, Kraken, Martians, even Cthulu himself aren't perfectly real but simply residents of a now divergent… » 10/02/13 3:00pm 10/02/13 3:00pm

Why LEGO Architecture Is the Best Kind of Architecture

Why LEGO? It is a medium that offers instant gratification. No matter how large a project is, at the end of the day, I can look at the section I've built in its finished state. LEGO is a one-step process; there’s no gluey mess, sanding, or painting to worry about. I just build. This gives me the opportunity, after… » 9/23/13 4:40pm 9/23/13 4:40pm

Apple Juice: How to Charge Your Phone With Pocket Change and Fruit

Arthur C. Clarke wrote that "any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic," but he was wrong. It's easy to tell the difference—technology works. For example, "remote-viewing" mentalists claim they can see events far away, yet they fail every test. In fact, remote viewing is simple: It's called… » 5/31/13 2:00pm 5/31/13 2:00pm

How Human Evolution Prepared Us to Survive Future Disasters

We may be in the early stages of a disaster so profound that it could kick off a mass extinction. Does that mean humanity is doomed? No. Scientific evidence suggests that humans will survive. Find out why, in this excerpt from Scatter, Adapt, and Remember: How Humans Will Survive A Mass Extinction. » 5/13/13 12:52pm 5/13/13 12:52pm