How NYC Would Respond to an Actual Stay Puft Marshmallow Man Attack

It's been 30 years since the Stay Puft Marshmallow Man first squished through Manhattan. With Ghostbusters returning to theaters tomorrow for an anniversary run, we thought it appropriate to consider a very serious question: How would New York City actually fight an evil god in the form of a marshmallow man?… » 8/28/14 1:00pm 8/28/14 1:00pm

Big Apple Apocalypse: 200 Years of Destroying New York City

Futurist thinkers have rarely been kind to New York City. In fact, writers and artists have spent the better part of two centuries destroying the Big Apple. Whether by flood or fire, nuclear explosion or alien invasion, New York more than any other city bears the brunt of our most apocalyptic futures. And perhaps no… » 8/07/14 4:00pm 8/07/14 4:00pm

Using goTenna's Pocket Antenna to Send Texts Without Cell Service

Inspired by the downed cell towers and utility outages of Hurricane Sandy, the folks at goTenna wanted a way to keep smartphones connected even when the grid fails. What they came up with is a pocket-sized handheld antenna that lets users send texts and location info without cell service. And we got to see a prototype… » 7/24/14 1:50pm 7/24/14 1:50pm

DARPA's Robotics Challenge Finals Just Got A Whole Lot Harder

DARPA just announced the details of the final round of its years-long Robotics Challenge, and boy, do they sound difficult. Not only will all the robots have to work wirelessly and without human intervention, the course must be completed all at once. If a robot falls and can't get it up, it's done. » 6/26/14 4:20pm 6/26/14 4:20pm

Inside the Disaster Housing NYC Is Testing For City Emergencies

More than eight million people live in NYC. And when a natural or human-made disaster strikes, there's a good chance it'll leave some New Yorkers without homes. That's why this summer, NYC's Office of Emergency Management is testing out a fast, cheap, and comfortable solution: Meet the Prototype. » 6/23/14 3:00pm 6/23/14 3:00pm

Earthquake Early Warning Systems Save Lives. So Why Don't We Have One?

Here's something you might not know about the 6.4 earthquake epicentered near the Pacific Coast of Mexico on May 8: By the time it hit Mexico City, 170 miles away, people there already knew it was coming. Even before the shaking started, they had time to move to safety. They were ready—thanks to their advanced warning… » 6/19/14 3:00pm 6/19/14 3:00pm

Take a Drone-Guided Tour of the Abandoned Fukushima Exclusion Zone

Over three years after the catastrophic earthquake in Japan, the town of Tokioma near the Fukushima nuclear power plant remains abandoned. Or, more specifically, the radioactive soil beneath Tokioma remains too dangerous for humans to return home. Drones, on the other hand, have an easier time getting around. » 5/02/14 2:20pm 5/02/14 2:20pm

A Timelapse of All the Earthquakes From This Record-Breaking April

Didn't it seem to you that the ground was exceptionally shaky last month? That there were reports on big earthquakes happening somewhere pretty much every week? It wasn't just your imagination: April produced a higher-than-normal number of moderate-to-large earthquakes, and you can see it for yourself. » 5/01/14 2:00pm 5/01/14 2:00pm

Is this week the worst week in American history?

History buffs might not know this already but it seems as if this week—April 14th to April 20th—might be the worst week in American history. Things like President Lincoln being assassinated, the Bay of Pigs invasion, the Columbine shooting, the Virginia Tech school shooting, the Oklahoma City bombing, the Boston… » 4/16/14 12:01am 4/16/14 12:01am

Map: How Hollywood Has Destroyed America

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How many times have you seen New York City destroyed onscreen? Los Angeles? Kansas? For nearly as long as there have been movies, there have been disaster movies. The map above shows 189+ such cinematic attacks—using a very broad definition of the "disaster" genre—that have afflicted various parts of the United… » 3/19/14 10:21pm 3/19/14 10:21pm

Bracing for the Next Big Quake With L.A.'s New City Seismologist

The 4.4 jolt that shook Angelenos awake this morning was the latest reminder of our complicated relationship with the ground below us. But I had a different perspective of what was happening under my feet this time: Just before this latest earthquake, I took a walk along Hollywood's fault lines with Dr. Lucy Jones,… » 3/17/14 7:10pm 3/17/14 7:10pm

Fukushima Could Make Japan a Leader In Nuclear Cleanup Tech

The idea that a nuclear disaster could actually drive innovation is definitely a new way to look at Japan's ongoing Fukushima debacle. But a new report from the AP does just that, suggesting that the long-term cleanup effort that Japan now faces will make it a world leader in decommissioning nuclear plants. » 3/09/14 10:00am 3/09/14 10:00am

It's Not the Snow, It's Not the Politics: Blame the Car-Dependent City

There's been plenty written about why the South suffered so much from this week's surprise snowstorm. But there's really only one thing to blame: those cold lumps of steel that are still abandoned on the side of the highway. What happened in Atlanta could happen any time, any place where people rely so heavily on cars. » 1/30/14 5:20pm 1/30/14 5:20pm