Letting Slower Passengers Board Airplane First Really Is Faster, Study Finds
Commercial airlines often prioritize boarding for passengers traveling with small children, or for those who need extra assistance, before starting to board the faster passengers. It’s counter-intuitive, but it turns out that letting slower passengers board first actually results in a more efficient process.
Is Our Brain Hard-Wired To Be Optimistic?
Psychologists have found that 80% of people have, what they define as an optimism bias and that’s regardless of whether they believe themselves to be more pessimistic or realistic. The optimism bias is our tendency to underestimate the likelihood of negative events and overestimating the likelihood of positive events.
How A Volcano In Hawaii Became A Battleground For Astronomy
Native Hawaiians are protecting the mountain of Maunakea, at the heart of Hawaii’s Big Island, from the construction of the Thirty Meter Telescope (TMT) at its summit, where the facility would join venerable observatories like the twin Keck domes and NASA’s Infrared Telescope Facility.
The $15BN Island That Will Make Or Break Sri Lanka
Sri Lanka has reclaimed two square kilometers of land from the Indian Ocean to double the size of its capital and retain talent, but will the investment pay off?
Scientists Create Enzyme That Breaks Down Plastic To Raw Materials
French scientists have discovered a mutant bacterial enzyme that can break down plastic for recycling within hours. The plastic-eating enzyme could offer an innovative recycling solution for millions of tonnes of toxic plastic waste material.
The Pandemic Will Reduce Inequality—Or Make It Worse
A recession is no picnic. A financial crisis leaves wounds that last for decades. A pandemic, though, can sow a unique kind of chaos. The rich got even richer after the Great Recession, but the Great Depression changed the social order.
How One NASA Image Tells Dozens Of Stories
In 2016, NASA used the Suomi NPP weather satellite to create a high resolution image of the earth at night. It can help us better understand the current developments and conflicts underway. The amount of light pollution is most severe in heavily populated areas, as well as in regions of high prosperity.
The Internet Is Destroying Our Collective Attention Span
The length of time our “collective attention” is on any given event has grown shorter, and topics become popular and then drop out of public view at an accelerating rate. It’s no surprise if it feels harder and harder to dwell deeply on any topic.
GauGAN: Changing Sketches Into Photorealistic Masterpieces In Seconds
A deep learning model developed by NVIDIA Research turns rough doodles into highly realistic scenes using generative adversarial networks (GANs). Dubbed GauGAN, the tool is like a smart paintbrush, converting segmentation maps into lifelike images.
Why Do Smart People Do Foolish Things?
Intelligence is not the same as critical thinking—and the difference matters. Most intelligence tests fail to capture real-world decision-making and our ability to interact well with others. This is why “smart” people do “dumb” things.
The Rise Of Junk Science
Fake publications are corrupting the world of research—and influencing real news. At the most benign level of the junk industry are papers, published in journals with no effective screening process, that are obvious nonsense.
The Tricky Economics Of All-You-Can-Eat Buffets
For a small fee, you’re granted unencumbered access to a wonderland of gluttony. Is it possible to out-eat the price you pay for a buffet? How do these places make money? We looked at the dollars and cents behind the meat and potatoes.
A Cutting-Edge Brain Surgery For Tremor, Without The Cutting
Essential tremor is the first condition the Food and Drug Administration has approved for noninvasive surgery with focused ultrasound. It might help people with Parkinson’s, brain cancer, and even ALS.
Is Sunscreen The New Margarine?
A rogue band of researchers argues that what made the people with high vitamin D levels so healthy was not the vitamin itself. Their vitamin D levels were high because they were getting plenty of exposure to the thing that was really responsible for their good health—that big orange ball shining down from above.
Give Me Capitalism Or Give Me Death
Politicians are floating the idea that the economy supersedes the needs of living, breathing human beings; cruise and airline companies are demanding bailouts and full control over the terms; senators are doing crimes in broad daylight; and billionaire corporatists who did the same are asking regular people for money.
Why Bigger Planes Mean Cramped Quarters
The current Boeing 737s, the world’s most flown craft, are all longer than the original by up to 45 feet. And yet, on the inside, we’re getting squeezed. That’s because more space doesn’t equal more space in Airline World. It equals more seats—and typically less room per person.
How Political Opinions Change
A powerful shaping factor about our social and political worlds is how they are structured by group belonging and identities. For instance, researchers have found that moral and emotion messages on contentious political topics, such as gun-control and climate change, spread more rapidly within rather than between ideologically like-minded networks.
How To Survive 75 Hours Alone In The Ocean
In n February 2006, Robert Hewitt was scuba diving near Mana Island, off the coast of New Zealand’s North Island. Amazingly, Hewitt spent the next 75 hours in the water, drifting back and forth over a distance of nearly 40 miles before he was spotted by Navy diving friends and rescued.
Tourism Is Eating The World
The number of international tourist arrivals has been increasing more or less exponentially since the mid-20th century, and totaled about 1.4 billion in 2018. Europe has seen the biggest share, but the Asia-Pacific region is growing fast.
The Promise And Peril Of Space Tourism
The Overview Effect is a phenomenon chronicled by astronauts to describe a sudden sense of awe or divine recognition that they feel when they depart from the planet and then turn and look back at it. A space tourism industry is being built on the proposition of personal and existential transformation. But at what cost?