isaacschultz
Isaac Schultz
isaacschultz
Science writer at Gizmodo.
Apr 6
1

Great question! (Would’ve gotten to it soooner; I was out yesterday.) Meteotsunamis are faster, and have less slosh to them than seiches. Read more

Mar 30
2

Edited for clarity! (For what it’s worth, we aren’t 100% it is an arachnid; in one comment the archaeologist said it was “probably” a spider, and in another he called it a spider god.) Read more

Mar 24
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Louder, I suppose. But seems like the mic in this video was very close to the craft. And sound on Mars gets drastically more muffled as one moves away from the source... Read more

Mar 24
2

May I direct you to one of my favorite parts of NASA: their X-planes page https://www.nasa.gov/centers/armstrong/history/experimental_aircraft/index2.html. Read more

Mar 23
1

A reasonable question, but not one I’m sure is too easy to get an answer on. When asked about a breakdown during the press conference, Balaram (the chief engineer) said it was “a little bit difficult” to separate out the total cost of any one element, given the integrated/holistic nature of the machine’s development. Read more

Mar 23
3

Thanks for linking! The sound (at full hum around 2:50) is pretty wicked, too. A perfect fifth!

Mar 18
1

A book like this actually exists. It’s a 2006 sci-fi horror fiction called Natural Selection. The paleoart gave me a panicked flashback.

Mar 18
1

You’re completely correct. When the seals start doing particle physics, I’ll be the first on it.

Mar 18
3

Definitely huge for a burrower. Digger perhaps not. The paper mentions previous research said the animals were too large to dig, but Lee et al. counter with ground sloths being diggers. As for burrows, they note “Although mylodontids [ground sloths] were capable of dwelling in underground spaces, it is doubtful that Read more

Mar 3
8

Ha! Perhaps dropped out wasn’t the right wording. The two others were booted from the trial when they wouldn’t follow the researchers’ instructions. Insubordinate cephalopods.

Mar 2
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But they didn’t give Perseverance a megaphone! Run it back, NASA. 

Mar 1
9

One thing I didn’t get to in this article (but hope to discuss in future coverage of X-57) is that the planes had a few different mods it’s been working through. With each mod, they’re testing some different elements. In Mod II, that involves adding motors piecemeal and testing how they run on the ground.

Feb 9
2

Thylacine cloning has been a hot topic pretty much since the mid-2000s, to my recollection. The objects of intrigue were a couple of thylacine pups with recoverable genetic material. The genome was officially sequenced back in 2017: https://www.nature.com/articles/s41559-017-0417-y. Read more

Feb 8
2

I’m glad you ask. Adding to their allure, no audio of a thylacine exists. Accounts generally describe hissing, low growls, and a higher-pitched double “yip” of a bark. Read more

Feb 4
10

Perhaps I should’ve mentioned: Californium (#98) was originally discovered at UC Berkeley in 1950, hence the name. Tennessee only got an element named for it in 2010: Tennessine (#117).

Feb 4
7

Could be. The leader of Berkeley Lab’s Heavy Element Chemistry Group said the following in a press release: Read more

Jan 28
4

The main reason is their size. Brookesia micra was the previous smallest reptile known, and also hails from Madagascar. Scherz (one of the co-authors of the recent paper) explained a bit about how they look for the lizards in this Twitter thread, with some bonus bits here on the chameleon genitalia. The article’s been Read more