Why Scientific American's Predictions from 10 Years Ago Were So Wrong

Recently, we did an experiment: We took an outdated issue of a respected popular science magazine, Scientific American, and researched exactly what happened to the highly-touted breakthroughs of the era that would supposedly change everything. What we discovered is just how terrible we are at predicting the long arc… » 5/04/15 12:40pm 5/04/15 12:40pm

New Test Suggests NASA's "Impossible" EM Drive Will Work In Space

Last year, NASA’s advanced propulsion research wing made headlines by announcing the successful test of a physics-defying electromagnetic drive, or EM drive. Now, this futuristic engine, which could in theory propel objects to near-relativistic speeds, has been shown to work inside a space-like vacuum. » 4/30/15 12:14pm 4/30/15 12:14pm

8 Reasons Future Generations Will Consider Us Barbarians

Long ago, people were dirty and mean and ignorant. They would crap in a bucket and throw it in the river. They would burn people alive if they wanted them to die, and tell them swallow mercury if they wanted them to live. They were barbarians, in other words. Here are eight reasons why future generations will see us… » 4/24/15 1:13pm 4/24/15 1:13pm

What Is Liquid Cremation and Why Is It Illegal?

Excuse the bluntness, but once we shuffle off this mortal coil, our bodies are nothing but bags of live bacteria and dead cells. We can attempt to slow our decay (embalming), or we can preempt it with a destructive blaze (cremation). We can also dissolve our bodies with lye, using an increasingly popular procedure… » 4/10/15 2:07pm 4/10/15 2:07pm

A Particle Accelerator in Space Could Trigger Artificial Auroras 

Auroras appear according to the whims of nature, not humans, which might just be part of their eerie appeal. But c’mon, it’s the 21st century now. Why are we just waiting around? So here’s a crazy idea unearthed by Mark Zastrow writing in Eos: Let’s a build a particle accelerator to trigger auroras whenever we want. » 4/08/15 5:50pm 4/08/15 5:50pm

​How Autodesk's Experimental Lab Gave Us an Odd Little Star Wars Movie

The long rectangles of San Francisco's famous piers gave the city a blocky, geometric border with the Bay over a century ago. Now these abandoned remnants of the Barbary Coast are being rejuvenated by companies like software giant Autodesk, whose Pier 9 Workshop is so experimental that it feels like science fiction. » 3/30/15 10:00am 3/30/15 10:00am

A.I. Pilots Are Not The Solution To Preventing Airline Disasters

We're still trying to understand the horrific Germanwings tragedy. But already, some people are suggesting it could have been prevented if a computer had been flying the plane. But that's not the solution. We spoke to an expert about why an A.I. pilot would open up an entirely new set of risks and complications. » 3/27/15 3:00pm 3/27/15 3:00pm

The One Ebook You Have to Read If You Love Digital Books

You have not read a truly digital book until you've read The New World. The novella is about a woman trying to reclaim her dead husband's head from a cult-like cryogenics company. But more than that, it is the most ambitious attempt I've seen at exploring a future where books lack physical form and are better for it. » 3/10/15 2:10pm 3/10/15 2:10pm