10 Worst Misconceptions About Medieval Life You'd Get From Fantasy Books

Some tropes are so ingrained in Medieval-inspired fantasy stories that it's tempting to think that they represent real aspects of Medieval life. But often these stories are just reinforcing myths and misconceptions about life in the Middle Ages. » 2/19/15 2:10pm 2/19/15 2:10pm

"Natural" Flavorings Are Bullshit 

In one of those naked PR moves, Nestlé announced today it would only use natural flavorings and colors in its candy. Which means it's a good time to remember that is "natural" does not mean better. The natural stuff is just as processed, and comes from places like beaver butts and insects. » 2/17/15 6:30pm 2/17/15 6:30pm

The Truth Behind Interstellar's "Scientifically Accurate" Black Hole

You've probably heard that the black hole in Interstellar was a simulation of unprecedented scientific accuracy. You may also have heard that its creation led to an "amazing scientific discovery" having to do with the shape of its accretion disk, which loops over and under its dark, central shadow. Neither of these… » 2/17/15 4:42pm 2/17/15 4:42pm

Loggers didn't cut down world's oldest tree—but the real story is better

According to an article in World News Daily Report, loggers in the Amazon have accidentally cut down a 5,800-year-old Samauma tree, the oldest in the world. Except there is no such tree. This "news" article with 143,000 Facebook shares is a wholesale fabrication. » 12/10/14 4:43pm 12/10/14 4:43pm

Don’t Get Too Excited – No One Has Cracked Nuclear Fusion Yet

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Aerospace giant Lockheed Martin's announcement this week that it could make small-scale nuclear fusion power a reality in the next decade has understandably generated excitement in the media. Physicists, however, aren't getting their hopes up just yet. » 10/18/14 4:55pm 10/18/14 4:55pm

Why The Turing Test Is Bullshit

As many reported yesterday, a chatbot has passed the Turing Test, though under some very convenient conditions. The announcement has led some to declare that the age of AI is finally here, but that's nonsense. Here's why the Turing Test is a very poor way of measuring machine intelligence. » 6/09/14 5:39pm 6/09/14 5:39pm

The Great Library at Alexandria was destroyed by budget cuts, not fire

One of the great tragedies of ancient history, memorialized in myths and Hollywood film, is the burning of the great library at Alexandria. But the reality of the Library's end was actually a lot less pyrotechnic than that. A major cause of the Library's ruin was government budget cuts. » 10/08/13 9:03pm 10/08/13 9:03pm

That California Mystery Missile Was Probably Just a Regular Old Jet

Oh bummer. That mystery missile near LA that neither the Pentagon nor the Navy would take credit for? Well John Herrman, a fellow Gizmodo writer, lays out a pretty convincing case for it actually being a regular old vapor trail from a regular old jet. This is why we can't have nice conspiracies. [SmartPlanet] » 11/09/10 3:58pm 11/09/10 3:58pm

The Truth Behind the Everlasting Happy Meal: Burgers That Size Don't Rot

The internet was totally grossed out recently by images that showed a McDonald's hamburger sitting out in the open for six months without decomposing or rotting. But one blogger dug a bit deeper, and it turns out no hamburgers rot. » 11/05/10 4:40pm 11/05/10 4:40pm

Charlie Chaplin Movie's Cell Phone-Using Time Traveler Debunked?

Last week, the internet was captivated by a Charlie Chaplin movie outtake which appeared to show an extra chatting on a cell phone as she walked through the shot. Turns out it was probably just an old school hearing aid. » 11/01/10 2:20pm 11/01/10 2:20pm