How did that tiny, complicated spiky tip on the Apollo modules transform into a usable tunnel for astronauts after they docked? Through a bit of engineering ingenuity still in use today. »
Everybody loves role-playing games (unless you’re irrationally worried about Satan.) Escaping into a fantasy world, surrounded by like-minded nerds, is just the best thing ever. Except when it isn’t, because someone is deciding to be a total Gelatinous Cube. Here are some of your worst RPG horror stories. »
War plays itself out on a literal battlefield, but it also makes its way into every aspect of our lives well beyond that—including technological. Here, a soldier explains how a basic technology has changed the way soldiers live. »
In 1994, a comet collided with Jupiter. But, even before that fatal collision, the comet was exceptional for something else: the tool that had first discovered it a year earlier. »
Out in Manchester, a remarkably powerful, 3,200 ton radio telescope has sat atop a field for almost 60 years. But the story of how it got there—and how near it came, even mid-construction, to not being there—is a tale of an incredibly close scientific call. »
Scientific labs are in the business of uncovering truths. But, when you look a little closer at how they work, there’s another truth coming out of them: The process to getting there is a lot messier than it looks from the outside.
In the 1950s, physicist Chien-Shiung Wu was doing research at Columbia University when two other physicists approached her with a bold idea, but no way to prove it—until Wu found one. »
By the time it arrives in your home, cast iron is one of the most durable materials you’re likely to lay your hands on. Getting it to that point, though, turns it to be an incredibly finicky process. »
Harold Ridley was an ophthalmologist treating the eye injuries of British fighter pilots during World War II, when he noticed an odd similarity between those injuries. And what he learned when he looked closer changed how we treat cataracts today. »
Academic rivalries can sometimes result in some pretty impressive science. Here’s how a war between two paleontologists ended up yielding over 140 new species — but also destroyed a lot of things on its way. »
When the Nazis invaded Denmark in 1940, Niels Bohr was in possession of two of the Nobel Prize’s gold medals for Physics that had previously been sent to him for safe-keeping. Here’s what he did to hide them — and how the Nobel prizes were brought back again. »
Scooby-Doo had plenty to teach us about meddling kids, hijinks, and the virtues of DIY van repair. But was there also a little something in there about the scientific method? »
Over two thousand years ago, Archimedes invented a tool with huge implications for ancient Greek farmers — and we’re still using it today, but in a different form. »
You may be more used to seeing these pinning your favorite shirts out for a line-dry in the sun, but on film sets, clothespins are used for something else entirely. »
Hey, friends, what do you recommend I do with this pile of powdered milk here? Stir it up with some water and drink it for the calcium? Use it to make some candy? OR MAYBE I SHOULD SCIENCE WITH IT? »
Look, just put down the card catalogue (put it down) and take a very quiet seat, because the librarians are here. And they’ve got a couple suggestions for exactly what you can do with the old collection of vintage National Geographics you keep trying to pawn off on them.