Wired Weird Science
Google's search czar just broke the record for highest sky dive ever. As reported in the New York Times, Alan Eustace jumped from a balloon that was 135,908 feet above the Earth.
The post Google’s Search Czar Just Smashed Felix Baumgartner’s Sky Dive Record appeared first on WIRED.
For Italian artist Leonardo Ulian, this is our universe. At its center: a microchip. Beyond: resistors, capacitors, inductors, transistors. Ulian’s “technological mandalas”—webs of circuitry in the form of the Hindu or Buddhist symbolic diagrams of the cosmos—are icons for an electronic age, and he’ll be exhibiting them this fall in Milan. Each mandala, the biggest […]
The post Visualizing Our Tech Worship With Giant Webs of Circuitry appeared first on WIRED.
A veteran EMT and ambulance driver in Boston, Ed McCarthy is in a great position to understand his hometown spatially. But he’s also a history geek, and while constantly driving around the city’s neighborhoods, he loves recognizing the streets, buildings and other locales from the history books he so often buries his nose in.
The post Regular Guy From Boston Decides to Map the City’s Entire History appeared first on WIRED.
The frog they’d found wasn’t particularly remarkable. As far as flying frogs go, its feet weren’t as comically large and webbed as, say, Helen’s flying frog (which Rowley also discovered, and named after her mother). But once Rowley got a tadpole under a microscope, she realized she’d found the most unique larval frog on Earth.
The post Absurd Creature of the Week: The Vampire Frog That Devours Its Mother’s Eggs appeared first on WIRED.
Like many stars, the sun is prone to sudden outbursts. Erupting from the star's surface, these events sometimes sling globs of charged particles and sun-stuff in Earth's direction. If they're powerful enough, these coronal mass ejections can produce geomagnetic storms that damage satellites and disrupt power grids.
The post Science Graphic of the Week: Spectacular, Twisted Solar Eruption appeared first on WIRED.
In her new book, Spineless: Portraits of Marine Invertebrates, The Backbone of Life, Susan Middleton gives jellyfish, nudibranchs, and anemones (among many others) the type of photographic treatment usually reserved for sports stars and heads of state. Shot against plain black or white backgrounds, the weird beauty of these creatures---many of them rare species seldom seen by human eyes---really stands out.
The post Striking Portraits Bring the Bizarre Beauty of Marine Invertebrates to Life appeared first on WIRED.
Kip Thorne looks into the black hole he helped create and thinks, “Why, of course. That's what it would do.”
This particular black hole is a simulation of unprecedented accuracy. It appears to spin at nearly the speed of light, dragging bits of the universe along with it. (That's gravity for you; relativity is superweird.) In theory it was once a star, but instead of fading or exploding, it collapsed like a failed soufflé into a tiny point of inescapable singularity. A glowing ring orbiting the spheroidal maelstrom seems to curve over the top and below the bottom simultaneously.
The post How Building a Black Hole for Interstellar Led to an Amazing Scientific Discovery appeared first on WIRED.
What can you tell from a jump? Quite a bit, according to Sparta Performance Science, the Menlo Park, California, athletics-lab-meets-software-startup that developed the tech.
The post Software That Can Measure Your Athleticism Just by Watching You Jump appeared first on WIRED.
The Super Bowl isn’t just a game, it’s a cinematic experience. Minutes before kickoff, trumpets blare, as though armies were charging towards each other for a clash. During the game, sounds herald the appearance of onscreen statistics and instant replays. Depending on your reason for watching the game, the signature tune that segues to a commercial break […]
The post How the Super Bowl and Sizzling Fajitas Manipulate You With Sound appeared first on WIRED.
In the classic millennial film The Mighty Ducks, which was so awesome it convinced me and my frail pre-teen body to become a roller hockey goalie (to predictable ends), the team makes use of the iconic “Flying V” formation when in a pinch. The power of such a formation is of course proven in migrating […]
The post Fantastically Wrong: The Scientist Who Thought That Birds Migrate to the Moon appeared first on WIRED.
Plans Courtesy of Blue Planet Research Bryan Christie Design I'd always wanted to visit Mars. Instead I got Hawaii. There, about 8,200 feet above sea level on Mauna Loa, sits a geodesically domed habitat for testing crew psychology and technologies for boldly going. I did a four-month tour at the NASA-funded HI-SEAS—that's Hawaii Space Exploration […]
Theodore Gray's new book, Molecules, is dedicated to exploring chemistry's building blocks on their own terms.
The post New Book Explores the Building Blocks of Everything From Poison to Soap appeared first on WIRED.
Sure, the label on your Côtes du Rhinoceros suggests that the grapes were tended by craggy, distant-eyed, French-accented wine savants who nurture the earth, as did their fathers and their fathers' fathers before them. But the truth is, if modern technology can make for better vino and cut costs, plenty of winemakers are going to buy it. (Anyway, between hotter summers and an influx of bulk wine from around the world, that French guy will soon be out of a job.) Here's how they keep the Tempranillo flowing.
The post The Futuristic Gadgets Running Today’s High-Tech Vineyards appeared first on WIRED.
Few parasitoids are more bizarre or disturbing than the wasps of the genus Glyptapanteles, whose females inject their eggs into living caterpillars. Once inside, the larvae mature, feeding on the caterpillar’s body fluids before gnawing through its skin en masse and emerging into the light of day. And despite the trauma, not only does the caterpillar survive---initially at least---but the larvae proceed to mind-control it, turning their host into a bodyguard that protects them as they spin their cocoons and finish maturing. Then, finally, the caterpillar starves to death, but only after the tiny wasps emerge from their cocoons and fly away.
The post Absurd Creature of the Week: The Wasp That Lays Eggs Inside Caterpillars and Turns Them Into Slaves appeared first on WIRED.
After a severe brain injury, some people remain in a vegetative or minimally conscious state, unable to speak or move intentionally, and apparently unaware of the world around them. But in recent years, neuroscientists have found signs that some of these patients may still be conscious, at least to a degree. Now researchers have used a branch of mathematics called graph theory to search for neural signatures of consciousness.
The post New Algorithms Search for Signs of Consciousness in Brain Injury Patients appeared first on WIRED.
Making perfect energy isn’t so easy: Companies and government labs have spent 60 years being just a decade away from nuclear fusion.
The post So Lockheed Martin Says It’s Made a Big Advance in Nuclear Fusion… appeared first on WIRED.
This month in Italy, three judges have a chance to undo the Kafkaesque nightmare that has ensnared some of the country’s top scientists for almost five years. So far it looks doubtful they will. In 2012, seven scientists and engineers were convicted of manslaughter for things they said and did not say in the days […]
The post Italian Scientists Appeal Absurd Conviction for Quake Deaths appeared first on WIRED.
What does the universe look like? How about the sun, moon, planets, and stars? These are probably question that humans have been asking themselves ever since we first looked up at the sky. A new book, Cosmigraphics: Picturing Space Through Time, looks at the imaginative variety of ways that people have answered these questions throughout […]
The post Travel Through Time With These Strange and Beautiful Visualizations of the Universe appeared first on WIRED.
Hans Christian Andersen’s The Little Mermaid is a heartwarming tale of a mermaid falling in love, battling evil to be with her love, and living happily ever after as a human. Just kidding. That’s the Disney version. In Andersen’s, the young mermaid has her tongue cut out, gets burned hard by the prince when he […]
The post Fantastically Wrong: The Murderous, Sometimes Sexy History of the Mermaid appeared first on WIRED.