High-Speed Video Reveals The Source Of That Incredible After-Rain Smell

That smell has a name. It's called petrichor. For decades, scientists have speculated on where this smell comes from, but the mechanism behind the phenomenon has remained elusive. Now, researchers at MIT studying high-speed video of raindrops think they've found the answer: The smell is released in tiny aerosol clouds… » 1/15/15 5:30pm 1/15/15 5:30pm

Watch A Pair Of Tank-Mounted Fighter Jet Engines Extinguish An Oil Fire

Pretty much what it says on the tin, folks. "The Big Wind" is a colossal, roving fire-extinguisher of Hungarian design that combines one part T-34 Soviet tank with two parts MiG-21 turbine engine. Bring it all together, add a trio of operators, and you've got a Mad-Maxian chimera that can gush water at a rate of 220… » 12/28/14 9:30am 12/28/14 9:30am

MIT Students Build Handmade Wooden Roller Coaster For Incoming Freshmen

The coaster was designed by three mechanical engineering juniors and built in the span of a week by the incoming freshmen who would ride its wooden rails. In early designs, the coaster even had an internal loop. Unfortunately, MIT's Environment Health and Safety department said "no upside-down people. Period." » 12/27/14 7:48am 12/27/14 7:48am

Computers Wrote the Caption for This Photograph, and Changed Everything

Computers at Google now have a machine-learning system that can analyze images like the one above and generate captions for them. The phrase used to caption this image? "A person riding a motorcycle on a dirt road." It might not seem like much, but it's actually one hell of an accomplishment. » 11/24/14 11:09am 11/24/14 11:09am

World's Fastest Train Hits 500km/h, And People Aboard Look Pretty Chill

The world's fastest train – a maglev vehicle operated by the Central Japan Railway Company capable of speeds in excess of 500km/h (~311mph) – is currently undergoing eight days of public testing. Short runs began Saturday, with 100 passengers making the 42.8 km trip from Uenehora to Fuefuki in about five minutes. » 11/19/14 10:20am 11/19/14 10:20am

How To Fold The World's Farthest-Flying Paper Airplane

The all-time distance record for paper airplane flight* was set in February, 2012. The paper craft was designed by John Collins (a.k.a. "The Paper Airplane Guy"), and soared a whopping 226 feet, 10 inches. Here, Collins walks us through how to fold his world-record-holding plane, which he's named "Suzanne." » 11/19/14 9:50am 11/19/14 9:50am

A Google Executive Just Crushed Felix Baumgartner's Free Fall Record

Move aside, Felix Baumgartner. Alan Eustace, a senior vice president at Google, fell from the top of the stratosphere this morning, plummeting nearly 26 vertical miles in the span of about 15 minutes. In doing so, he has broken Baumgartner's 2012 record for world's highest-altitude free fall – and by a pretty sizable… » 10/24/14 5:00pm 10/24/14 5:00pm