When Gravity Breaks Down
Albert Einstein’s theory of general relativity is more than a hundred years old, but still it gives physicists headaches. Not only are Einstein’s equations hideously difficult to solve, they also clash with physicists’ other most-cherished achievement, quantum theory.
The Canadian Genius Who Created Modern AI
For nearly 40 years, Geoff Hinton has been trying to get computers to learn like people do, a quest almost everyone thought was crazy or at least hopeless – right up until the moment it revolutionized the field. In this video, Bloomberg Businessweek’s Ashlee Vance meets the Godfather of AI.
Inside The Billion-Euro Nuclear Reactor That Was Never Switched On
Zwentendorf Nuclear Power Plant, in Austria, was ready to go: it just needed starting up. But that never happened, and forty years later, it still sits mothballed. The government eventually held a referendum: “do you want nuclear power?” When everything was counted, 50.5% said…”No”.
A Forest Submerged 60,000 Years Ago Could Save Your Life One Day
Before this underwater forest in the Gulf of Mexico disappears, scientists recently raced to search for shipworms and other sea life that could serve as incubators of unexpected medicines, churning out new lifesaving formulas and compounds that may not be found anywhere else on the planet.
Can You Die From A Broken Heart?
The emotional devastation of losing a loved one can certainly feel like physical pain. But can you really die from a broken heart? As it turns out, you can, from “broken-heart syndrome,” also known as stress-induced cardiomyopathy.
People Born Blind Are Mysteriously Protected From Schizophrenia
It was something Tom Pollak had heard whispers about—an odd factoid, referred to now and again, usually with bewilderment: No person who was born blind has ever been diagnosed with schizophrenia. Over the past 60-some years, scientists around the world have been writing about this mystery.
Palantir’s Top-Secret User Manual For Cops
Palantir is one of the most significant and secretive companies in big data analysis. The company acts as an information management service for Immigrations and Customs Enforcement, corporations like JP Morgan and Airbus, and dozens of other local, state, and federal agencies.
How To Keep The Earth As Inhabitable As Possible
We’ve been behind where we need to be for decades now, and the fact that we’ll be living in a hotter, less hospitable world is an inevitability. The only uncertainty left is how quickly we respond and how much damage we’re going to be able to prevent.
Defeated Chess Champ Garry Kasparov Has Made Peace With AI
For almost two decades after becoming world champion in 1985, Garry Kasparov dominated the game with a ferocious style of play and an equally ferocious swagger. In 1997, at the height of his powers, Kasparov was crushed and cowed by an IBM supercomputer called Deep Blue.
The Doomsday Invention: Will Artificial Intelligence Bring Us Utopia Or Destruction?
Philosopher Nick Bostrom argues that true artificial intelligence, if it is realized, might pose a danger that exceeds every previous threat from technology—even nuclear weapons—and that if its development is not managed carefully humanity risks engineering its own extinction.
The Time When Zambia Tried To Go To Mars
Edward Makuka Nkoloso of Zambia had dreams to land Zambians on moon and mars beating the US and USSR in the Space race. He did everything he could with his limited resources to make his dream a reality but could he fulfill his dreams?
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.
The Diabetes Patients Who Hacked A Pancreas
While diabetics anxiously awaited the release of commercial systems, tech-savvy diabetics and their loved ones worked on do-it-yourself systems. How could a bunch of hackers, working in their free time, create something medical manufacturing companies had yet to put on the market?
The True Toll Of The Chernobyl Disaster
On 26 April 1986 reactor number four at the power plant suffered a catastrophic explosion that exposed the core and threw clouds of radioactive material over the surrounding. Covered up by a secretive Soviet Union at the time, the true number of deaths and illnesses caused by the nuclear accident are only now becoming clear.
Kidney Stone Drug Found To Starve Pancreatic Cancer Cells To Death
A research team at Columbia University has made an exciting discovery, finding that a compound currently under development for a rare kidney stone disease can starve pancreatic cancer cells of a key amino acid they depend on, a technique that proved to stop tumor growth in mice.
The Metaphysics Of The Hangover
A hangover is about being poisoned, no doubt. The toxins linger in the body and must be expelled, or waited out. We’re sick with a mini-flu and need to get better. But isn’t a hangover about more than physical toxins, at least some of the time? I’ll wager that a hangover is frequently about shame as well.
‘Astounding New Finds’ Suggest Ancient Empire May Be Hiding In Plain Sight
Evidence from Maya writing and art suggests Teotihuacan conquered Tikal outright, adding it to what some archaeologists see as a sweeping empire that may have included several Maya cities. Teotihuacan may have turned against Maya expatriates who had lived there peacefully for decades.
What Makes A Person Charismatic?
Why do some people so clearly have it and others don’t? Why do we fall so easily under its influence? Charismatics can make us feel charmed and great about ourselves. They can inspire us to excel. But they can also be dangerous. They use charisma for their own purposes, to enhance their power, to manipulate others.
The “Neuropolitics” Consultants Who Hack Voters’ Brains
Campaigns around the world are employing Emotion Research Lab and other marketers versed in neuroscience to penetrate voters’ unspoken feelings.These experts say they can divine political preferences you can’t express from signals you don’t know you’re producing.
How I Rewired My Brain To Become Fluent In Math
Having a basic, deep-seated fluency in math and science—not just an “understanding,” is critical. The “fluency” part of me that loved literature and language was also the same part of me that ultimately fell in love with math and science—and transformed and enriched my life.
Why You Shouldn’t Exercise To Lose Weight, Explained With 60+ Studies
We’ve been taught for years that as long as you hit the gym you can hit the buffet line and still lose weight. But there’s plenty of science out there to prove this statement false.