How the American Dream Is Killing the American Electric Bill

In 2012, American homes consumed 3.65 billion kilowatthours (kWh) worth of electricity—up from 720 million kWh in 1950—more than double per household than our British counterparts, and second only to China. How did the American home become such an energy hog, despite so many advances in efficient appliances and… » 4/10/14 2:00pm Thursday 2:00pm

Why Freezing Yourself Is a Terrible Way to Achieve Immortality

What happens after we die? It's a question that has plagued the human mind since we first developed the concept of "death." The search for an answer—and, more importantly, a means of circumventing its effects—has encited organized religion and served to shape one of the foundations of human culture. » 4/01/14 3:00pm 4/01/14 3:00pm

How Global Warming Is Dissolving Sea Life (And What We Can Do About It)

The last time Earth's oceans were this acidic, a six mile-wide sulphur-rich space rock had just smashed into the Yucatan Peninsula, unleashing a deluge of acid rain that exterminated all sea life in the the top 400 meters of the water column. Now, some 65 million years after the Cretaceous extinction, human activity is … » 3/25/14 3:00pm 3/25/14 3:00pm

A Nick in Time: How Shaving Evolved Over 100,000 Years of History

Removing unwanted body hair has been a part of human hygiene since the dawn of history. Over the centuries, this practice has served to denote everything from high-ranking social status to acts of contrition. And as the tradition of shaving has evolved in step with global culture, so too have the tools of the trade. » 3/18/14 2:20pm 3/18/14 2:20pm

How the Art of Tattoo Has Colored World History

Tattoo is among humanity's earliest and most ubiquitous art forms. Cultures from every habitable continent have embedded permanent dyes in their bodies for more than 5000 years—as mystical wards, status symbols, rites of passage, or simply as personal decoration. That tradition continues today, just with a much smaller … » 3/05/14 11:00am 3/05/14 11:00am

Comcast-TWC Would Be a Monopoly, But That Probably Won't Stop It

The proposed $45.2 billion acquisition of Time Warner Cable by Comcast—the nation's two largest cable and home Internet providers—has once again raised the specter of monopoly control over yet another American utility. Are these fears overblown? Nope! It's really that bad. » 2/26/14 12:20pm 2/26/14 12:20pm

What Are GMO Foods, And Are They Okay To Eat?

The advent of genetically modified crops has promised heartier food and higher yields that could potentially reduce poverty and malnutrition rates the world over. Two decades later, they're also broadly maligned and mistrusted. But is it finally time to put down the pitchforks? » 2/19/14 3:00pm 2/19/14 3:00pm

What Are "Smart" Credit Cards, and Why Are They Coming to America?

It only took the theft of 40 million Target customer credit card details to spur Congress into finally joining the rest of the world in abandoning the highly insecure credit cards you're used to. Starting late next year, every credit card in the United States will adopt a more secure system. Here's what it is, and how… » 2/11/14 2:00pm 2/11/14 2:00pm

Why Your Ears Keep Ringing (And What You Can Do About It)

Some perceive it as a high-pitched, mosquito-like squeal; others, an incessant electrical buzzing. It can even sound like unintelligible voices or music. It's known as tinnitus, and it's a surprisingly common affliction, affecting some 50 million people in America alone. Here's why it happens, and how you can prevent… » 2/04/14 2:20pm 2/04/14 2:20pm

Why Curved TVs Aren't Just Another Gimmick

They've been a vital aspect of movie theater visuals for years, but curved displays have become increasingly common on small screens—specifically high-end OLED televisions and adventurous smartphones. But are curves in your TV or phone really the wave of the future? Or just another marketing gimmick? » 1/23/14 12:00pm 1/23/14 12:00pm

How IMAX Makes Movies Sound as Big as Their Screens

It takes more than just overwhelmingly humongous visuals to create the immersive "IMAX Experience" that moviegoers have come to expect. The film's soundtrack plays an equally vital role. Here's an in-depth look at how IMAX engineers develop and deliver a sound big enough to match the on-screen action. » 12/17/13 5:45pm 12/17/13 5:45pm

Why People Think Friday the 13th Is Unlucky

Being wary of Friday the 13th is much more than a quaint superstition observed by a few uneducated people in distant, unreachable towns and hamlets. In the United States alone, it is estimated that between 17 and 21 million people dread that date to the extent that it can be officially classified as a phobia. » 12/13/13 8:00am 12/13/13 8:00am