Economists Who Study Science Fiction Will See Science More Realistically

There are definitely plenty of economists who love science fiction — Paul Krugman comes to mind immediately. But economics could still benefit from more attention to the genre, argues economist Ha-Joon Chang from Cambridge University. But Chang's reasons for recommending SF might be a bit surprising. » 3/26/15 1:59pm Thursday 1:59pm

"Sex For Sunscreen," And Other Rejected Story Ideas For Lost Season 1

Back when Lost was nothing but an outline for the most expensive pilot to date, the writers were struggling to come up with more story ideas. Including stuff like: "Shannon trades sexual favors for sunscreen, which has rapidly become the most prized commodity on the island." That's just one of the revelations from a… » 3/24/15 3:38pm 3/24/15 3:38pm

A Must-Read Visual Essay On Ethnicity, Color, And Colorism In Comics

If you read one comic today, make it "Lighten Up," Ronald Wimberly's short essay about an interaction with an editor who asked Wimberly to lighten the skin tone of a comic book character, which left him with a single, frustrating question: Why? » 3/19/15 3:40pm 3/19/15 3:40pm

The Time Activists Tried to Destroy GPS With an Axe in the 90s 

If you had heard of GPS in 1992, you likely heard about it because of the Gulf War. For the first time, GPS was used to precisely guide missiles to Iraqi targets. With this context in mind, it perhaps makes more sense why two activists would want to hack a GPS satellite to pieces. » 3/06/15 12:02am 3/06/15 12:02am

The Ebola Outbreak Has Had Devastating Consequences For Maternal Health

In Liberia, Guinea and Sierra Leone, the Ebola outbreak is having a horrifying impact on pregnant women, regardless of whether they have Ebola. » 3/04/15 12:47pm 3/04/15 12:47pm

What Burger King's Super-Disturbing Mascot Teaches Us About Creepiness

Back in the mid-2000s, Burger King had a really unnerving ad campaign where a man in a plastic Burger King mask breaks into people's houses and watches them sleep. Over in the New Inquiry, Adam Kotsko uses the skin-crawling mascot, the King, as a jumping-off point to discuss the history of creepiness. » 3/02/15 2:27pm 3/02/15 2:27pm

A Nerve-Wracking Glimpse At The Future Where Computers Think For Us

We already outsource our memories, calculations and a lot of our fact-checking to Google and other systems. But what happens when the computers start actually guessing what we're going to think before we think it? That's the subject of this unnerving flash fiction by Schlock Mercenary's Howard Tayler. » 2/19/15 10:51am 2/19/15 10:51am

How Did Dinosaurs Become Birds?

Most paleontologists agree that birds are living dinosaurs, the distant evolutionary descendants of animals like Tyrannosaurus rex. Less clear, however, is how dinosaurs evolved into the birds we know today. » 2/18/15 4:30pm 2/18/15 4:30pm

Frank Drake: "It Would Be Silly" To Message Alien Life Today

Frank Drake, creator of the eponymous equation formulated to predict the probability of finding communicative extraterrestrial life in our galaxy, thinks that actively transmitting messages into outer space (as opposed to listening passively for extraterrestrial communication) is a silly, expensive, and inefficient… » 2/16/15 2:20pm 2/16/15 2:20pm

The FDA Is Hiding Scientific Fraud, And You Should Be Pissed

When the FDA encounters instances of scientific misconduct, it buries the evidence. A recent investigation sheds light on the extent of the problem. » 2/13/15 1:30pm 2/13/15 1:30pm

Yes, It Matters If The Science In Your Science Fiction Story Is Accurate

There's been a lot of debate lately over whether science fiction needs accurate science — or whether it's even worth discussing the accuracy of science in science fiction. What kind of person expects a science textbook instead of just a fun romp? But as a new essay points out, this is really a matter of suspension of… » 2/10/15 12:44pm 2/10/15 12:44pm

We're fast approaching an era when companies will be able to run themselves. Called Distributed Autonomous Corporations (DACS), they'll utilize cloud robots to manage supply chains without human supervision. But as an article at Aeon asks, will these blockchain-style systems set us free, or just make the rich richer? » 1/27/15 4:00pm 1/27/15 4:00pm

Diederik Stapel Recounts How He Became One Of Science's Biggest Frauds

In 2011, prominent social psychologist Diederik Stapel admitted to fabricating dozens of scientific studies. One year later, Stapel published Ontsporing ("Derailment"), a book about his rise and fall in the field of social psychology. Originally released in Dutch, Ontsporting has now been translated into English. » 1/23/15 4:04pm 1/23/15 4:04pm

Today's Greatest Science Fiction Short Story Is A Poem

The poem "Sci-Fi Violence" by Josh Bell (No Planets Strike) manages to tell a complete story of alien attacks and the trauma suffered by a survivor, with just a few well-chosen images here and there. It's totally intense, and it's well worth the five or six minutes it'll take to read. » 1/06/15 6:30pm 1/06/15 6:30pm

Why Ms Marvel Is One Of Comics' Most Interesting Discourses On Violence

Superheroes fight. They punch. They zap supervillains and toss them around. Sometimes they kill people and sometimes they die. But, as a recent essay points out, the current Ms. Marvel does an excellent job of asking the question: does a superhero really have to hurt other people? » 1/03/15 12:00pm 1/03/15 12:00pm

If You See A Craigslist Ad For A Rift In The Universe, Don't Answer

There are a lot of strange things advertised on Craigslist... but the strangest of all might be one rift in the fabric of the universe, in the lost and found section. And this is just the first of many startling wonders being described online and in newspapers, in Kelly Sandoval's story "The One They Took Before." » 12/22/14 4:00pm 12/22/14 4:00pm