Of Penises and Planets: On Labels in Science and Culture

Just what counts as a penis? A debate over what to call the genitals of an unusual group of cave insects has broader implications, because it gets right at the heart of science and science communication: what's the relationship between the labels we use in science and the way those labels are understood by our culture? » 4/19/14 6:50pm Yesterday 6:50pm

How Does Human Culture Influence Our Genetics?

The way our ancestors ate, cooked, explored, and interacted with others has had a profound influence on our genetic inheritance. So how will modern culture shape the genetic legacies we leave to our descendents? » 4/14/14 11:19am Monday 11:19am

The Year's First Must-See Horror Movie Is So Much More Than That

» 3/28/14 1:20pm 3/28/14 1:20pm

Jennifer Kent's Australian thriller The Babadook is of the big success stories from this year's Sundance Film Festival. The story seems standard enough: A boogieman character named the Babadook terrorizes a single mother, Amelia (Essie Davis) and her son Samuel (Noah Wiseman), who's so poorly behaved, he's a bit of a… » 3/28/14 1:20pm 3/28/14 1:20pm

The Landscapes Of Suburbia Are The Real Science Fiction

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Science fiction is often charged with naïve technological optimism and historical amnesia. But for present-day Californians struggling with a wide range of environmental and social problems, science fiction might just provide the perspective we need to successfully pivot from the boom times of the twentieth century to… » 1/30/14 5:03pm 1/30/14 5:03pm

14 Common Words That Didn't Exist 20 Years Ago

If you want proof of how fast our world is changing, you only have to look at our language. Our everyday vocabulary is full of neologisms, expressing ideas that we wouldn't even have understood not long ago. Here are 14 commonly used words that didn't even exist a generation ago. » 10/31/13 9:35am 10/31/13 9:35am

The Best Science-inspired Album Covers Of All Time

LP covers are an art form all their own — and some of the coolest record covers feature fantasy and science fiction icons. But what about science itself? Some of the greatest album covers feature images lifted directly from science. Here's a gallery of the best album cover art inspired by real science. » 10/24/13 3:30pm 10/24/13 3:30pm

Oprah pisses off atheists by saying they've no sense of awe or wonder

On a recent episode of Super Soul Sunday, Oprah Winfrey told long-distance swimmer Diana Nyad that it's inconsistent for atheists to experience "awe" and "wonder," prompting one of the most awkward conversations about God and faith that you'll ever see. » 10/15/13 8:40am 10/15/13 8:40am

Horse_ebooks proves that humans yearn to be friends with bots

Normally, we worry that Twitter accounts and dating profiles are run by bots — sophisticated algorithms that pretend to be humans. But now, thanks to the Horse_ebooks Twitter account, we have to be on the lookout for humans luring us in by pretending to be machines. » 9/24/13 3:30pm 9/24/13 3:30pm

A unified theory to explain the casting of every new Doctor Who

So, your friendly neighborhood post-apocalyptic fake mailman has been hanging out in this place called Bridge City, which I swear to god is run by Tom Petty. He won’t admit it, but he keeps singing “Free Fallin’” and it’s driving me goddamned crazy. If I don’t hear “Mary Jane’s Last Dance” soon I’m throwing him off his … » 8/07/13 8:10am 8/07/13 8:10am

Iain M. Banks explains why the Culture will never end

Just a month before his passing, Iain M. Banks did a final interview with the Guardian, and it's a must-read in general. In particular, he answers one of the great longstanding questions about his Culture novels: why didn't he ever write a novel about the fall of the Culture, his massive spacefaring civilization? » 6/17/13 9:40am 6/17/13 9:40am

How Autism is Changing the World for Everybody

There's not much doubt that autism, along with Asperger Syndrome, is finally becoming accepted as a normal part of the human fabric. Even if some people still see autism as a condition that needs to be "treated," it's increasingly obvious that people on the autism spectrum are finding ways to succeed in our… » 7/26/12 9:00am 7/26/12 9:00am

New ‘Superhuman’ exhibit chronicles the history of human enhancement — …

Humans have tried to augment their capacities since the beginning of time. In many respects, the desire to overcome biological limitations is an indelible part of our species. Now, in an effort to chronicle these efforts, a new gallery has opened up in London which tracks human enhancement throughout the ages, from… » 7/19/12 11:31am 7/19/12 11:31am