Neil Armstrong didn't misspeak on the Moon. That's how Ohioans talk.

At this point, I think we can all agree it doesn't really matter whether Neil Armstrong said "one small step for man" or "one small step for a man" when he set foot on the Moon's surface. Sure, semantic accuracy would have been nice, but again: he was the first person to set foot on the Moon. That's kind of the… » 6/02/13 1:00pm 6/02/13 1:00pm

The first proof of the Doppler Effect

The Doppler Effect is physics that is so ingrained in our brain that even the movies get it right. Any time some character is walking down a street and a car or train rushes past, the sound of the horn drops down a few notes as it passes by. Anything else would be jarring. We all hear it, all the time. But how was it… » 1/10/13 7:40am 1/10/13 7:40am

How to Explain to Children Why, in Space, No One Can Hear Them Scream

We all love that famous movie tagline, but it can be tough for kids to understand. Here's a basic experiment you can do with kids — or for your own curiosity — to demonstrate exactly how a vacuum can eliminate sound. All it takes is a bottle, a bell, and a couple of matches. Try it out! » 1/04/13 4:00pm 1/04/13 4:00pm

Practice your ninja skills with the Franssen Effect audio illusion

So you want to be a ninja. You've got the long samurai sword and the throwing stars. You've covered yourself completely in black clothes, leaving only a dramatic opening to set off your eyes. You are within springing distance of your enemy. But it's all for naught if you come clumping loudly up to your intended… » 12/07/12 7:20am 12/07/12 7:20am

The oceans used to be filled with noise

There's a theory that all the noise that we're pumping into the seas — sonar, drilling, and more — may be disorienting for sea mammals like whales that navigate by sound. But there's something else that humans already did to the ocean, according to a new study. We killed off almost all the mammals that were there to… » 10/29/12 6:20am 10/29/12 6:20am

Do people of different races have different voices?

Is there such thing as a Caucasian, Asian, or African voice? And could you actually identify someone's race just by listening to him or her? Admittedly, the whole notion of race is nebulous to say the least — it's a concept that blends physiological and social differences indiscriminately. But there are still… » 7/23/12 8:00am 7/23/12 8:00am