Dealing with people who exhibit passive-aggressive behavior is easily one of the most challenging aspects of our social lives. Here’s what you need to know about this annoying personality quirk and how you can handle people who express their hostility in indirect and backhanded ways.
The sensory chaos of battle has always posed a challenge to armies hoping to prepare for—and recover from—war. And while it’s clear to most people how sight and sound factor into a soldier’s experience and memory of battle, the smells of combat were, for most of history, largely ignored. But by the eve of the 20th…
On the 23rd and 24th of January, 1930, a young astronomer working in Flagstaff, Arizona, scanned a small patch of the night sky. He was taking pictures of star positions, looking for anomalies that would signal movement somewhere at the edge of the solar system. He took the pictures then set them aside, not realizing…
Do you think you know what a cornfield looks like? You don’t know what a cornfield looks like.
Teeth grinding is a problem that affects nearly one in ten individuals, yet many of us don’t even realize we’re doing it. And that’s a problem given just how harmful it can be to our health. Here’s how to find out if you grind your teeth when you sleep—and why it’s something you shouldn’t ignore.
This year marks the 75th anniversary of the Battle of Britain, the first time in history that one nation tried to defeat another using airstrikes. Here’s how the Nazis thought they could do it—and how agonizingly close they actually came to achieving victory.
Brave New World used to be one of the most terrifying stories about a false utopia. It gave us the concept of “test tube babies,” and its name became synonymous with technological progress run wild. But many of the things Aldous Huxley predicted are coming true, and it turns out they’re not so scary.
Unlike a certain companion animal that will go unnamed, dogs lose their minds when reunited with their owners. But it’s not immediately obvious why our canine companions should grant us such an over-the-top greeting—especially considering the power imbalance that exists between the two species. We spoke to the experts…
“Space is big,” said Douglas Adams. “You just won’t believe how vastly, hugely, mind-boggingly big it is.” But why must this be so? And why does our Universe exhibit such tremendous scale, from the very tiny to the extremely large? Here are some possible answers.
Given the vastness of space, it may only be a matter of time before we make contact with intelligent extraterrestrials. But how might an alien civilization react to such a monumental meet-and-greet, and can we possibly know their intentions? Here’s what we might expect.
We know ants form large colonies. In 2002, we realized one specific kind of ant formed supercolonies. And then, in 2010, we learned that they had formed a global colony— and that, without even know it, we had helped them do it.
It used to be that making cheese meant killing cows. Young cows, specifically—a few days old, at most. The stomach of an unweaned calf produces enzymes that turn liquid milk into good, hard, flavorful cheeses like Parmesan and Cheddar. These enzymes, called rennet, are secreted by mucous membranes that line the calf’s…
Since their inception 60 years ago, satellites have gone on to become an indispensable component of our modern high-tech civilization. But because they’re reliable and practically invisible, we take their existence for granted. Here’s what would happen if all our satellites suddenly just disappeared.
The world's population has exploded over the past century, growing from less than 2 billion to 7 billion people. And it's not stopping. The U.N.'s current projection is that humanity will number 9.3 billion individuals in 2050, and then hit 10.1 billion by 2100. Meanwhile, our energy resources are dwindling and…
More than 60% of Americans still wash their laundry in warm water. It’s a practice that’s as costly as it is environmentally unfriendly. What’s more, it doesn’t make our clothes appreciably cleaner. Here’s why you should make the switch to cold water.
Many popular exercises are performed incorrectly, often by people who probably shouldn’t be attempting them in the first place. This can result in injuries and futility at the gym. We talked to the experts to find out which exercises are the most problematic, and how to do them correctly.
Here’s a question you’ve probably asked at some point in your life. Most likely you’ve asked it in passing, while parked in seat 22A on a flight to... wherever: What’s with that little hole in the airplane window?
Most patients receiving end-of-life care want to avoid aggressive attempts to prolong their life, but medical culture and practices often contradict these wishes. Part of the problem is due to confusion surrounding do-not-resuscitate orders. Here’s what patients really need to know about the “no code.”
Once she has lowered herself into the mouth of the cannon and slid down to the base of the barrel, Gemma “The Jet” Kirby performs a series of breath-synchronized movements that seem more suited to yoga or lamaze than to one of the deadliest stunts in circus history. This sequence is the culmination of hours of…
The key to the human race’s future may be right beneath our feet. It sounds bizarre, but fungi better known as mushrooms can help solve many of society’s greatest challenges, from cleaning up the environment and living more sustainability to colonizing other planets.