The indigenous people of Easter Island, the Rapa Nui, experienced a societal collapse after the 17th century because they stripped the island clean of its natural resources. Or at least, that’s the leading theory. An analysis of the tools used by the Rapa Nui to build their iconic stone statues suggests a very…
Artificial intelligence is all the rage these days, so naturally we want to throw it at all of our problems. Yesterday, Mark Zuckerberg’s comment that Facebook won’t have effective tools to filter hate speech for another “five to 10 years” seemed both dismissive and uninspiring. No doubt, it was classic Silicon…
Investigators in Chile have released thousands of declassified documents dating back to the Second World War, revealing the extent to which Nazi spies had infiltrated the country. Among the more shocking revelations is the discovery of a Nazi plot to destroy the Panama Canal—an act that would have changed “the history…
Let’s face it, we’ve all been wondering why so many rich, successful, powerful people are cheating, lying, disgraces. Is it that only unethical people make it to the top? At least one study indicates that this is not the case—it’s that winning itself makes people behave unethically.
Science is a messy, error fraught business, which is why reproducibility is so essential. Unfortunately, that doesn’t appear to be one of psychology’s strong suits, according to a massive analysis published yesterday in Science.
Want to know whether a given area has a higher number of racists than average? It turns out that Google searches can provide you with a pretty good answer, at least according to two recent studies.
For the past eight years, 21-year-old Zack Kopplin has been fighting to keep creationism out of Louisiana’s science classrooms. Despite a series of setbacks and the feeling that he’s continually losing battles, Kopplin still feels he’ll win the war. We spoke with him to learn more.
It turns out that memes are something that white people like. At least, that’s one possible way to understand a recent study of 50 popular memes, which found that there are an awful lot of white people in these widely-shared internet joke cycles.
Market research company YouGov wanted to know how people in the U.S. and the U.K. expected the world to end. What they found revealed a profound difference between the two countries.
There are some great research-minded tumblrs out there — I highly recommend JSTOR's — the Muncie, Indiana Public Library is celebrating technology month in February. They asked their local history librarians what they thought the best technology was. They were big fans of microfilm.
In the days and weeks before Chinese New Year, some 700 million people—twice the entire population of the U.S.—cram onto trains, buses, planes and boats to go home. This mass migration is the largest annual movement of humans in the world, and now it can be tracked by smartphone.
In a historic decision, the Canadian Supreme Court has unanimously ruled that adults who are mentally competent and suffering intolerably and permanently have the right to seek a doctor's help in dying — and it doesn't matter if that suffering is physical or psychological.
A workgroup is being set up by deputies of Russia's parliament to calculate the damage that Nazi Germany inflicted upon the Soviet Union during the Second World War. Initial estimates place the figure between $3.43 to $4.56 trillion dollars — but good luck getting Germany to pay.
Last night's State of the Union address by President Barack Obama was tailored around a tenth-grade comprehension level, which is actually higher than his previous speeches.
In a recent interview, the exiled leader of Tibetan Buddhism conceded that he may be the very last to hold the title. The reason, it would appear, has as much to do with metaphysics as it does with Chinese meddling.
Recently, when consoling a boy whose dog had died, Pope Francis publicly stated that "paradise is open to all of God's creatures." Despite the ambiguousness of the statement, many animal lovers and rights groups have interpreted it as a repudiation of Catholic theology stating animals don't have souls.
Are Millennials really so different than the generations of young adults that came before them? Some data forensics reveals what has — and hasn't — actually changed about being a young adult in America.
A new study suggests that Americans live in a "culture of miserliness." Why do Americans give away so little of their money and time, compared to people in other cultures? And is it making people in the U.S. more unhappy? The authors of an analysis of the study say it is.