Microwaving Light Bulbs Is Genuinely Useful (And Entertaining)

I love finding new things to put in the microwave. Say, for instance, an incandescent light bulb, which can test your microwave for a number of issues, besides just looking awesome. Even a non-functioning bulb can work, so dig out the dusty old bulbs you have at the back of the closet. » 7/31/14 7:30am 7/31/14 7:30am

Spontaneous Stratification of Sand and Sugar

Sorting sand from sugar is a classic chemistry challenge — dissolve the mixture in water, filter out the sand, and evaporate the water to recrystallize the sugar. But spontaneous stratification offers a different, mesmerizing approach. » 6/15/14 10:01am 6/15/14 10:01am

Kitchen Moon Dust is a Silky Sandpile for Landlocked Playtime

Building sandcastles is one of the fundamental joys in life, irrespective of how old you get. While coastal residents can hop down to play by the ocean any time, landlocked adventurers need to get a bit more creative. Enter Moon Dust, a quick and cheap recipe for sticky sand. » 5/27/14 2:00pm 5/27/14 2:00pm

Using a Lava Flow to Boil Coke and Cook Ravioli

What happens when you boil a can of Coke with a lava flow? Or leave tall can of an energy drink to be engulfed in molten rock? Now that your drink is steaming hot, what does it look like to try cooking ravioli with an encroaching flow? » 5/25/14 12:30pm 5/25/14 12:30pm

Crowdfund shark research and a cyberpunk film by Larry Hama

The man who built up GI Joe's mythology in comics has a new story to tell about Homeland Security's Cyber Crime Division. You can also help fund documentaries about women in comics and Batman collaborator Bill Finger—or send your dollars toward research into the feeding habits of sharks. » 2/09/14 12:00pm 2/09/14 12:00pm

Crowdfunding site Experiment lets you support cutting-edge science

With government funding for science dropping to a shocking new low, researchers are looking to the public to support their work. After all, if Rob Thomas can get the Veronica Mars movie made with crowdfunding dollars, why shouldn't good science do the same? Enter Experiment, the scientist's crowdfunding portal. » 2/06/14 1:46pm 2/06/14 1:46pm

The Best Method of Breaking a Beer Bottle for All Your Holiday Brawls

Let's say someone has gotten a little sassy at your family's holiday gathering. Or maybe it's New Year's, and not everyone is getting in the spirit. Here's how to break a beer bottle so it turns into a weapon — using science! » 12/24/13 7:40am 12/24/13 7:40am

Of course you want a shaving cream rain cloud in a jar

Ever sat on a seat in the kitchen, or in a bathtub, and wanted to do a little artistic science? How about making it rain food coloring all around you? How about making a localized rainstorm. » 9/12/13 3:48pm 9/12/13 3:48pm

Bloated Tick + Hydrogen Peroxide = A Bloody Disgusting Eruption

From the department of experiments no one ever asked for, these folks decided to inject a blood-filled tick with hydrogen peroxide. The results are distinctly messy. » 6/01/13 8:00am 6/01/13 8:00am

Here's a beautiful fluid dynamics experiment that begins in your shower

The next time you're in the shower, try pouring a steady stream of shampoo into an open, flattened palm. See how the thread loops and buckles as it comes into contact with your hand? Physicists who study fluid dynamics call this behavior "the rope-coiling effect;" it's a physical property commonly observed in… » 1/04/12 9:40am 1/04/12 9:40am

Were you, like me, part of a great nutritional experiment?

Parents have always experimented on their children to make them better, even before the idea of genetic engineering was conceived. Perhaps the most basic experiment is making kids better through nutrition - an experiment I expect many people were a part of. I know I was. » 7/14/11 3:16pm 7/14/11 3:16pm

Why you can hold a paper cup over a flame without burning it

Paper burns. Especially if it has some incriminating evidence on it and it's in a dramatic film about corrupt lawyers. But even in everyday life, paper reaches a certain temperature, and bursts into flame. And yet sometimes it doesn't. » 7/08/11 3:23pm 7/08/11 3:23pm

Our eyes are theoretically capable of sensing magnetic fields

Birds, bees, and turtles all possess the ability to navigate by the Earth's magnetic field. Humans might actually possess the exact same magnetism-sensing hardware as these other creatures, as a light-sensitive protein taken from the human eye gave flies magnetovision. » 6/21/11 11:40am 6/21/11 11:40am

What is the ultimate impossible experiment?

There's an old psychological theory that it takes 10000 hours of practice to become an expert in a field...and some argue that it's only practice, not natural talent, that makes you an expert. But that theory is completely untestable. » 6/06/11 5:00pm 6/06/11 5:00pm

Medical science proves that fearing illness makes your illness worse

When in a cardiac emergency, your body turns your own worst fears against you. The more acutely you feel fear, the worse your heart problem gets. It's like the plot of IT, but without the bad special effects. » 6/02/11 8:30am 6/02/11 8:30am

Monty Python's most disgusting sketch ever unlocks the secret of…

Do people become more aggressive when they are forced to bottle up their emotions? It seems like a simple enough question, but psychologists decided to find out in the most sadistic way possible, with a little help from Monty Python. » 3/24/11 10:30am 3/24/11 10:30am

The Coriolis Effect Part II: As the Hurricane Turns

The Coriolis Effect pushes objects clockwise in the northern hemisphere and counterclockwise in the southern hemisphere. And yet hurricanes spin in exactly the opposite direction. Why? » 12/11/10 12:00pm 12/11/10 12:00pm

25% of the population are supertasters — are you one of them?

About a quarter of the population of the world has super-powered tongues. They experience taste more intensely than the rest of us. Find out if you're one of Them below. » 10/23/10 9:30am 10/23/10 9:30am

Watch men become monsters in Adrien Brody's prison experiment

We've been waiting for news on this film forever, and finally the trailer has been released. The Experiment recreates the infamous Stanford prison experiment in 1971, documenting what happens when college students are transformed into prisoners and prison guards. » 7/12/10 7:00am 7/12/10 7:00am

Chemist Discovers the Origins of Life in a Cardboard Box

In 1953, chemists Stanley Miller and Harold Urey created life. They filled flasks with water and gases from Earth’s primordial atmosphere and, with a jolt of electricity, created amino acids, the building blocks of all life on this planet. Last year, a former student of Miller’s discovered the remnants of the… » 10/17/08 8:40am 10/17/08 8:40am