A Pyramid in the Middle of Nowhere Built To Track the End of the World

A huge pyramid in the middle of nowhere tracking the end of the world on radar. An abstract geometric shape beneath the sky without a human being in sight. It could be the opening scene of an apocalyptic science fiction film, but it's just the U.S. military going about its business, building vast and other-worldly… » 4/13/14 2:00pm Sunday 2:00pm

How Huge Subterranean Grids Could Protect Cities From Earthquakes

French engineers have been experimenting with a technique that could redirect seismic energy away from structures such as cities, dams, and nuclear power plants, sparing them from damage. It involves digging large, cylindrical boreholes into the ground, forming a defensive geometry of lace-like arrays that, researchers … » 4/08/14 6:00pm 4/08/14 6:00pm

Zooming-In On Satellite Calibration Targets in the Arizona Desert

These optical targets in the Arizona desert were built for calibrating the cameras of a spy satellite network called the Corona program. Similar to the huge bar codes found across the U.S. southwest, also used for testing high-altitude cameras, these targets are glyphs meant to be seen from the sky: fixed points of… » 4/08/14 11:59am 4/08/14 11:59am

NASA Has One More Chance to Explain Bizarre Glow on Moon's Horizon

Later this month, a NASA spacecraft will get one last chance to solve the mystery of the strange "horizon glow" seen on the moon. Scientists think the glow is caused by tiny particles of moon dust catching the sun's ultraviolet rays, becoming electrically charged, and then shooting upwards. But they don't know for sure. » 4/07/14 4:56pm 4/07/14 4:56pm

How Will Search & Rescue Work If A Plane Goes Down in the Arctic?

It has been nearly a month since Malaysia Airlines Flight 370 disappeared from radar, and its ultimate whereabouts remain unclear. The complex international effort of searching for the plane in a remote stretch of the South Indian Ocean raises the question of what would happen if a plane were to go down in the Arctic:… » 4/04/14 3:20pm 4/04/14 3:20pm

Some Canadian Roads Smell Like French Fries Thanks to Recycled Oil

Fryer oil turns plain old potatoes into delicious french fries. It powers our biodiesel cars. And, now, it's being used to turn the dusty surfaces of rural Canadian roads into stable makeshift asphalt—AND THEY SMELL LIKE FRENCH FRIES. God bless our obsession with that infernally unhealthy liquid. » 4/03/14 3:40pm 4/03/14 3:40pm

There's No End in Sight for California's Megadrought

California's chief snow surveyor ventured into the Sierras this week to see how much water the state can expect from the spring melt—and he came back with very bad news. The devastating drought that the state's been dealing with the past few months will continue to devastate for the foreseeable future. » 4/03/14 3:20pm 4/03/14 3:20pm

Some of L.A.'s Most Beautiful Landscapes Are Its Freeways

The vast and looping knots of L.A.'s elaborate freeway system have long inspired an unlikely stew made from equal parts road rage, suffocating air pollution, and an unexpected aesthetic appreciation for their stacked coils and crisp lines. A drivable geometry textbook, the freeways are perhaps the city's real… » 4/02/14 9:40am 4/02/14 9:40am

The US Grows the Most Productive Plants in the World, Says NASA

Remember learning about America's "amber waves of grain?" Well, it turns out that the United States' bread basket—a.k.a., the Corn Belt—is even more productive than previously thought. In fact, during its growing season, it's the most productive land on Earth, according to new NASA data. » 3/31/14 4:20pm 3/31/14 4:20pm

Would You Drink A Beer Made From Kudzu?

As the microbrew industry has become increasingly crowded, brewmasters are becoming more and more creative with their ingredients and techniques. The latest trend, Outside magazine says, is spiking batches with foraged ingredients, from sassafras to kudzu. Sound delicious? » 3/31/14 3:40pm 3/31/14 3:40pm

The Fossilized Machines Humans Will Leave Behind

In the debut issue of a new journal called The Anthropocene Review, University of Leicester geologist Jan Zalasiewicz leads a team of five writers in discussing the gradual fossilization of human artifacts, including industrial machines, everyday objects, and even whole cities. They refer to these as "technofossils," and … » 3/31/14 12:20pm 3/31/14 12:20pm

The Latest Mining Boom? Plants That Eat Metal And Scrub The Soil Clean

Plants that eat metal sound like a biological impossibility. But these hungry little guys exist, sucking tiny bits of toxic metal from the soil. They don't just clean the Earth, either—they can actually mine bits of gold and nickel for use by humans. » 3/27/14 12:40pm 3/27/14 12:40pm

How The Corvette Museum Rescued Its Cars From A Giant Sinkhole

In a story that united geologists with rare car enthusiasts last month, a massive sinkhole opened up beneath the National Corvette Museums's Skydome, swallowing eight rare cars into its cavernous depths. Since then, the museum has worked tirelessly to recover the cars and fill in the sinkhole so that the Skydome can… » 3/21/14 4:00pm 3/21/14 4:00pm

These Salt Mines Look Like Landscapes From Another Planet

There's something about looking at these photographs of Australian salt mines that… I don't know, they're like a visual chill pill or something. Photographer Emma Phillips snapped these beautiful shots in the Nullarbor Plain of Western Australia, but they look like a landscape from outer space. » 3/20/14 6:20pm 3/20/14 6:20pm