It’s our most visible alteration of the planet, easily seen from space: the millions of lights added to our cities due to our fear of the dark. We need them to keep our cities safe. Or do we? A series of studies on crime have revealed that we probably don’t need as many city lights as we think — and we might be better… »
I just spent two weeks in the Philippines, a place The Department of State deems dangerous and warns that “U.S. citizens should continue to exercise extreme caution if traveling to certain regions and cities.” Here’s why it wasn’t scary, and why you should plan to island-hop as soon as possible!
In the movies you see people falling into water after getting shot all the time. But apparently that also happens often enough in real life for someone to develop a bulletproof vest with an auto-inflating air bladder to keep someone afloat if they’re injured or unconscious. »
Google’s driverless cars keep getting into fender-benders, and the company keeps stressing that the crashes aren’t a result of a computer glitch or rogue robotics system. Google’s cars are getting dinged for the same reason regular cars do: because people who drive make mistakes. »
The Anna Karenina principle of biking is this: Everyone who learned how to ride a bicycle did so in roughly the same boring way; anyone who made it to adulthood without learning required a unique series of roadblocks, failures, negligence, and procrastination. If you fall into the latter group, congratulations! Your… »
Radioactivity stirs primal fears in many people—but an undue sense of its risks can cause real harm. »
A knife is the most essential and useful tool you can take with you into the outdoors. But, do you know how to get the most out of one? Let’s go over the basics and show you all the stuff a knife can do. »
An accident can happen in a split second when you’re driving, but studies have shown that half the time the human body is still able to quickly take defensive action before the impact. So Toyota has upgraded its crash test simulation software with improved virtual muscles to take this into account. »
Smart cars are already at the point where they can detect danger and react faster than a driver can. And to help ensure that a vehicle can actually stop in time to avoid an accident, a Swedish company has designed an emergency brake that grabs onto the road using extreme suction. »
A commercial airliner with multiple engines can limp to a runway if one of them fails. But a small plane, driven by just a single propeller, is in more serious trouble when its engine stops. So researchers have created a tiny electric backup that kicks in during an emergency, ensuring the craft can safely get to the… »
Last month, a vehicle rear-ended one of Google’s self-driving cars at a Mountain View intersection. No one was hurt, but Google didn’t exactly broadcast the news to the public. Now, anyone will be able to download monthly reports about where the cars are and what they’re doing, thanks to a new transparency initiative… »
Rock climbing can be divided into a crazy mess of sub-genres: top-roping, sport, trad, and about a thousand too bizarre to name. But they almost all rely on ropes to catch you if you fall. There is, however, another way: severing the nylon umbilical, and climbing rope-free above water instead. »
Driving is the most dangerous thing most people do. It’s also something for which they likely have no or minimal training. Before you hit the road for Memorial Day weekend, let’s look at how to make it more survivable.
On March 27, while riding a $450 motorcycle through Vietnam, I lost my backpack. It contained my camera, computer, and two hard drives containing seven months of RAW photos and videos. This is what I learned from the ordeal. »
Update 06/21: Google has emphasized that none of the accidents its cars were involved with were the fault of its self-driving vehicles, and has updated its recorded miles to nearly a million. With that information, the accident rate for self-driving cars looks less unsettling and a lot more reassuring. »
When I got back from vacation in Mexico, my bank sent me an alarming email with the subject “Declined Purchases,” which struck me as weird because I didn’t get declined the whole trip. The bank listed the locations—a perfume store and an Autozone in a town I didn’t visit—and I yelled: “I’ve been skimmed!” »