What Would Being In A Bunker For 15 Years Really Do To Your Head?

So a woman emerges from a bunker after 15 years. She's cheerful and ready to embrace life. It's the premise of the recent Netflix series The Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt, but what is the reality? What do years of isolation and confinement actually do to a person's brain? » 3/30/15 11:20am Today 11:20am

What's Daily Life Really Like For Someone With Short-Term Amnesia?

Anterograde amnesia doesn't allow people to make any new memories — and it's a terrifying condition, when viewed from the outside. But what is it like from the inside? We'll tell you a little about the daily life of the world's most famous amnesia patient. » 3/24/15 12:00pm 3/24/15 12:00pm

The Strangest Discoveries That Made Me Fall in Love With Science Again

Even for people with the right inclination, the sciences aren't always easy to enjoy. They're exacting frustrating, and slow-to-advance — but also ever-changing. And sometimes, the most unexpected things can make you rediscover them all over again. Here are the strangest things that made me love each of the sciences. » 3/23/15 11:24am 3/23/15 11:24am

Where Did Kissing Come From?

Kissing is so commonplace that most people rarely think to stop and ask where humans picked up the habit in the first place. Where in humanity's evolutionary history did smooshing our faces together come to be regarded as a display of lust, care, friendship, and love? » 3/20/15 1:43pm 3/20/15 1:43pm

Why Whale Songs Are Still One Of Science's Greatest Mysteries

Humpback whales are renowned for their ability to produce songs of remarkable beauty, complexity, and duration. But despite decades of research, scientists still aren't sure why these whales engage in such elaborate acoustic displays. Here's what we know — and have yet to learn — about the humpback whale's song. » 3/19/15 11:40am 3/19/15 11:40am

How The Great French Wine Blight Changed Grapes Forever

One hundred fifty years ago, the Great French Wine Blight nearly wiped out an industry that today produces some 40 billion bottles of wine a year. The only solution was a radical fusion of species that remains essential to the success of the wine market. Here's the story of how humanity hacked the wine grape. » 3/17/15 11:39am 3/17/15 11:39am

Ukraine Is Just The Beginning: Welcome To The Age Of Shadow Wars

Confused about what's been going on between Russia and Ukraine? You're not alone. And that's sort of the point — this conflict serves as a case study in the effectiveness of shadowy, "hybrid" warfare, which is hard to understand from the outside. And the effectiveness of this strategy means it could be the future of… » 3/13/15 10:06am 3/13/15 10:06am

Is The "Fix-Up" The Best Kind Of Science Fiction Novel There Is?

Everybody knows that short stories are where science fiction writers really get to experiment, and the most perfect pieces of narrative often happen at shorter lengths. But we also love to explore a world at the length of a whole book. So that makes the "fix-up" the best of both worlds, right? » 3/10/15 1:30pm 3/10/15 1:30pm

The Time That Charles Babbage Tried To Summon The Devil

Charles Babbage was one of the fathers of computing, but in addition to his fascination with mathematics and engineering, he had a curiosity with the occult. Starting from an early age, Babbage wondered if the existence of God and paranormal phenomena could be proven scientifically — and he started by trying to… » 3/05/15 11:00am 3/05/15 11:00am

How To Meditate (And Get The Most Benefit Out Of It)

Neuroscientists and psychologists keep discovering more health benefits from mindfulness meditation. And luckily, it's a simple practice, that virtually anyone can do. But how do you get started, and how do you get the most rewards from the practice? Here's our quick and easy guide to meditating. » 3/03/15 10:07am 3/03/15 10:07am

Everything You Need To Know About The New, More Effective HPV Vaccine

A recently approved vaccine called Gardasil 9 protects against more strains of HPV and HPV-related cancers than any vaccine currently available. But who should get it? And how did it get so much better? Here's a complete rundown on the state of the art in HPV-cancer prevention. » 2/26/15 11:58am 2/26/15 11:58am

What Men Really Need To Know About  Testosterone Replacement Therapy

One of the fastest growing areas in pharmacology today is testosterone supplementation in men. But while low-T is a genuine problem for some men, it's not as prevalent as you may think – and the treatment is not without its risks. Here's what men need to know about testosterone replacement therapy, and why it should… » 2/25/15 12:00pm 2/25/15 12:00pm

These Statements Are Both True, But One Is Easier To Believe

Presented with these two semantically identical statements, people will believe the top one more than the bottom one. Why is this? And what does it tell us about John Keats' famous dictum about beauty and truth? » 2/24/15 11:17am 2/24/15 11:17am

The Complete History Of Ceres, The Planet (?) Between Mars And Jupiter

Over the last couple of weeks, the Dawn Spacecraft has been beaming back spectacular pictures of Ceres – a world, discovered more than a century before Pluto, about which we know very little. This is the story of its discovery, and humanity's impending visit to one of the last unexplored planetary bodies in the… » 2/23/15 11:00am 2/23/15 11:00am

The CIA Once Ran Brothels And Dosed Unsuspecting Customers With LSD

For ten years during the Cold War, the CIA conducted mind-control experiments on unsuspecting San Franciscans. Dubbed Operation Midnight Climax, the program was packed with salacious details: a power-mad narcotics agent, a brothel equipped with two-way mirrors, and gallons of LSD. » 2/20/15 11:17am 2/20/15 11:17am

Why Some Things Get Better After A Disaster

Normally, the things around us become damaged after experiencing an unexpected disruption or shock. But there are aspects to our world that actually get better after a setback. Here's why things that don't kill us can sometimes make us stronger. » 2/19/15 10:15am 2/19/15 10:15am

Why Doesn't English Have A Gender-Neutral Pronoun?

Referring to a single person who may be of any gender in English can be tricky. It can be awkward to use words like "one" or phrases like "he or she," and many a grammarian hates using "they" as to refer to a single person. How has English gotten this far without such a convenient pronoun? Actually, it hasn't. » 2/17/15 9:10am 2/17/15 9:10am

How Does The Scoville Scale Measure The Exact Hotness Of A Pepper?

The hottest chili ever measured rates a whopping 1,569,300 Scoville Heat Units, but what exactly does that mean? Where does the Scoville Scale come from? What exactly does it measure? And how do we end up with such a precise number to describe the heat sensation a pepper can produce? » 2/16/15 12:00pm 2/16/15 12:00pm

What Happens To Your Body When You Drink Too Much Water?

The question How much water do I need to drink? is often followed with the related question Can I drink too much of it? We're here to tell you that, while difficult to do accidentally, it is in fact possible to drink too much water – and the repercussions can be deadly. » 2/13/15 11:35am 2/13/15 11:35am

How You Can Track Every Spy Satellite In Orbit

Nobody should be surprised that spy satellites are kept secret. But it's actually more complicated. The launches are aired, but with scheduled media blackouts. We get mission patches, but no details on the nature of the payload. But the weirdest thing is how easy it is to track these satellites. » 2/12/15 11:40am 2/12/15 11:40am