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How Three Guys With $10K and Decades-Old Data Almost Found the Higgs Boson First

Fri, 01/23/2015 - 6:45am
How Three Guys With $10K and Decades-Old Data Almost Found the Higgs Boson First

On a fall morning in 2009, a team of three young physicists huddled around a computer screen in a small office overlooking Broadway in New York. They were dressed for success—even the graduate student’s shirt had buttons—and a bottle of champagne was at the ready. With a click of the mouse, they hoped to unmask […]

The post How Three Guys With $10K and Decades-Old Data Almost Found the Higgs Boson First appeared first on WIRED.








Absurd Creature of the Week: The Fly That Devours Its Mother From the Inside Out

Fri, 01/23/2015 - 6:30am
 The Fly That Devours Its Mother From the Inside Out

Ah, motherhood. I don’t know anything about it, but I heard there’s a lot of, like, sacrifice and stuff. Not only do you have to bring the brat into the world, but then you have to feed it for at least 18 years or you get in big trouble. That’s a lot of pressure. But […]

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The Weirdest, Coolest Stuff We’ve Learned About Rosetta’s Comet So Far

Thu, 01/22/2015 - 2:00pm
The Weirdest, Coolest Stuff We’ve Learned About Rosetta’s Comet So Far

The Rosetta spacecraft has been studying comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko up close since August, collecting data of unprecedented detail and taking pictures of a starkly beautiful comet-scape. While the Philae lander has enjoyed much of the spotlight—partly thanks to its now-famous triple landing—Rosetta has been making plenty of its own discoveries. One of the biggest came last […]

The post The Weirdest, Coolest Stuff We’ve Learned About Rosetta’s Comet So Far appeared first on WIRED.








These Priests’ Invention Could Help Us Drill Into Icy Alien Worlds Someday

Thu, 01/22/2015 - 6:55am
These Priests’ Invention Could Help Us Drill Into Icy Alien Worlds Someday

A plan to store the world’s nuclear waste deep inside the ice sheets of Greenland and Antarctica, the two Catholic priests behind it, and how their quest contributed to the search for extraterrestrial life.

The post These Priests’ Invention Could Help Us Drill Into Icy Alien Worlds Someday appeared first on WIRED.








Science Graphic of the Week: Raptor’s-Eye View of the Hunt

Thu, 01/22/2015 - 6:45am
 Raptor’s-Eye View of the Hunt

A head-mounted camera shows how a bird of prey chases down its prey.

The post Science Graphic of the Week: Raptor’s-Eye View of the Hunt appeared first on WIRED.








A Visit to the Forgotten Volcano That Once Turned Europe Dark

Thu, 01/22/2015 - 6:30am
A Visit to the Forgotten Volcano That Once Turned Europe Dark

The following is excerpted from Island on Fire: The Extraordinary Story of a Forgotten Volcano That Changed the World, by Alexandra Witze and Jeff Kanipe (Pegasus Books, 2015).

The post A Visit to the Forgotten Volcano That Once Turned Europe Dark appeared first on WIRED.








The Most Ancient and Magnificent Trees From Around the World

Thu, 01/22/2015 - 5:30am
The Most Ancient and Magnificent Trees From Around the World

The Bowthorpe Oak is a massively thick, millennium-old tree in Lincolnshire, England that once was rumored to hold three dozen people in its enormous, hollowed-out trunk. Beth Moon photographed the leafy giant some 15 years ago and was struck by this tree's solemn nobility and overwhelming presence. Thus began a pilgrimage that would take her around the world to document the planet's most ancient trees.

The post The Most Ancient and Magnificent Trees From Around the World appeared first on WIRED.








Here Are All the Senators Who Do and Don’t Believe in Human-Caused Climate Change

Wed, 01/21/2015 - 9:38pm
Here Are All the Senators Who Do and Don’t Believe in Human-Caused Climate Change

United States Senators stood up for what they believed in today—and it wasn’t pretty.

The post Here Are All the Senators Who Do and Don’t Believe in Human-Caused Climate Change appeared first on WIRED.








How We Know 2014 Was the Hottest Year

Wed, 01/21/2015 - 1:32pm
How We Know 2014 Was the Hottest Year

Sure, it’s the middle of winter, and you’re probably more worried about tomorrow’s wind chill than last summer’s heat. But 2014 was particularly warm, as you may have heard—1.24 degrees Fahrenheit higher than the global average for the last century and the hottest year in the history of looking at such stuff. Overall, temperatures have […]

The post How We Know 2014 Was the Hottest Year appeared first on WIRED.








How Science Is Helping America Tackle Police Racism

Wed, 01/21/2015 - 6:45am
How Science Is Helping America Tackle Police Racism

The police killings of several unarmed black men in recent months have sparked protests nationwide demanding justice, heightening tensions between police departments and communities. In one narrative, these deaths represent a pattern of racist police officers using unnecessary lethal force against black communities. But that story—of bad people doing bad things—is much too simple, says Phillip […]

The post How Science Is Helping America Tackle Police Racism appeared first on WIRED.








Fantastically Wrong: The Silly Theory That Almost Kept Darwin From Going on His Famous Voyage

Wed, 01/21/2015 - 6:30am
 The Silly Theory That Almost Kept Darwin From Going on His Famous Voyage

The other day I had what could be considered a bit of an … overreaction. On a crowded train during my morning commute to WIRED there was an old lady who looked kinda mean sitting with her purse splayed on the seat next to her. What a savage, I thought, someone should put her in a […]

The post Fantastically Wrong: The Silly Theory That Almost Kept Darwin From Going on His Famous Voyage appeared first on WIRED.








What’s Up With That: Birds Bob Their Heads When They Walk

Tue, 01/20/2015 - 6:45am
 Birds Bob Their Heads When They Walk

Birds, like chickens and pigeons, bob their heads so the world won't be a blur when they walk.

The post What’s Up With That: Birds Bob Their Heads When They Walk appeared first on WIRED.








Physicists Conjure Curves From Flat Surfaces Using Japanese Folding Art

Tue, 01/20/2015 - 6:30am
Physicists Conjure Curves From Flat Surfaces Using Japanese Folding Art

Try gift-wrapping a soccer ball, and you will quickly encounter the geometric abyss between paper’s inherent flatness and a sphere’s natural curves.

The post Physicists Conjure Curves From Flat Surfaces Using Japanese Folding Art appeared first on WIRED.








Charted: The Tricky Trade-Offs of Cancer Screenings and Treatments

Mon, 01/19/2015 - 6:30am
 The Tricky Trade-Offs of Cancer Screenings and Treatments

Mammograms cut your risk of dying from breast cancer by 20 percent! That's good. But you have a 10 percent chance of being sent on for a biopsy that reveals the scan to be a false positive (ouch)! Or it can lead to unnecessary, unpleasant treatment (ugh). Medical data clearly wants to confuse you—what if […]

The post Charted: The Tricky Trade-Offs of Cancer Screenings and Treatments appeared first on WIRED.








Why Elon Musk Doesn’t Mind That His Rocket Crashed Into His Robot Boat

Fri, 01/16/2015 - 6:13pm
Why Elon Musk Doesn’t Mind That His Rocket Crashed Into His Robot Boat

All things considered, for the first try, the Falcon could’ve done worse. Technically, Falcon did hit its target—just at the wrong angle, and a bit off-center.

The post Why Elon Musk Doesn’t Mind That His Rocket Crashed Into His Robot Boat appeared first on WIRED.








5 Charts That Explain 2014’s Record-Smashing Heat

Fri, 01/16/2015 - 2:17pm
5 Charts That Explain 2014’s Record-Smashing Heat

2014 was the hottest year since record-keeping began way back in the nineteenth century, according to reports released Friday by NASA and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. According to NASA, the Earth has now warmed roughly 1.4 degrees Fahrenheit since 1880, and most of that increase is the result of greenhouse gases released by humans. Nine of the 10 warmest years on record have occurred since 2000.

The post 5 Charts That Explain 2014’s Record-Smashing Heat appeared first on WIRED.








The Best Bet for Alien Life May Be in Planetary Systems Very Different From Ours

Fri, 01/16/2015 - 6:45am
The Best Bet for Alien Life May Be in Planetary Systems Very Different From Ours

In the hunt for extraterrestrial life, scientists started by searching for a world orbiting a star just like the sun. After all, the steady warmth of that glowing yellow ball in the sky makes life on Earth possible. But as astronomers continue to discover thousands of planets, they’re realizing that if (or when) we find signs […]

The post The Best Bet for Alien Life May Be in Planetary Systems Very Different From Ours appeared first on WIRED.








Absurd Creature of the Week: The Beautiful Octopus Whose Sex Is All About Dismemberment

Fri, 01/16/2015 - 6:30am
 The Beautiful Octopus Whose Sex Is All About Dismemberment

In Jules Verne’s 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea, the crew of the Nautilus takes a break from going for swims and pissing off native islanders to admire an armada of strange beasts floating along the surface, swimming backwards by blasting water out of their bodies. “Six of their eight tentacles were long, thin, and floated on the water, while the other two were rounded into palms and spread to the wind like light sails,” notes our trusty narrator. It’s an actual animal, alright, a rare and bizarre octopus that swims the open ocean: the argonaut. But those arms are no sails.

The post Absurd Creature of the Week: The Beautiful Octopus Whose Sex Is All About Dismemberment appeared first on WIRED.








Science Graphic of the Week: Perennial Arctic Sea Ice Continues to Shrink

Thu, 01/15/2015 - 2:52pm
 Perennial Arctic Sea Ice Continues to Shrink

A new video from NASA's Science Visualization Studio lets track the spiky, yet steady, decline of Arctic sea ice.

The post Science Graphic of the Week: Perennial Arctic Sea Ice Continues to Shrink appeared first on WIRED.








Strange Antique Medical Devices That Promised to Cure Everything With Electricity

Thu, 01/15/2015 - 6:45am
Strange Antique Medical Devices That Promised to Cure Everything With Electricity

Friend, have you felt your manly vigor waning? Have you experienced shaky nerves or sexual debility? Fear not! A cure is at hand. Experience the restorative virtues of Dr. Sanden's electric belt, guaranteed to enliven the elements of manhood and make the bodily organs strong, vigorous, and free of pain.

The post Strange Antique Medical Devices That Promised to Cure Everything With Electricity appeared first on WIRED.