10 Urban Legends about Famous Scientists

We've all heard stories about killers in the back seat and puppies that turn out to be rats, but hapless heroines aren't the only ones who spawn urban legends. There are a number of urban legends about famous scientists. Some are funny, some are mere inaccuracies, and some are about committing murder by accident. » 7/19/13 10:00am 7/19/13 10:00am

Galileo's Ship was one of the oldest relativity thought experiments

We think it's obvious that the Earth goes around the sun, today, but back before Copernicus, detractors had the most obvious argument possible against heliocentrism. To combat this, in his argument in favor of a sun-centered universe, Galileo came up with a thought experiment about relativity now known as Galileo's… » 5/03/13 4:30pm 5/03/13 4:30pm

5 Historical Myths About Real Scientific Discoveries

Scientific discovery may require reason, rationality, and a firm handle on the facts, but science history has its share of myths, urban legends, and tall tales. Thought experiments are misinterpreted as real experiments; the scientist with the most interesting story gets the credit for a discovery; misunderstandings… » 11/24/12 9:00am 11/24/12 9:00am

Did Galileo get in trouble for being right, or for being a jerk about…

Galileo was facing some stiff odds when he published his Dialogue Concerning the Two Chief Systems of the World. He'd already been officially warned against heliocentrism, and he had enemies. But it's possible, just possible, that he would have squeaked by if he hadn't been a jerk to the Pope. » 9/15/11 8:30am 9/15/11 8:30am

Scotty Sees Your Pinky Amputation, Raises You A Right Middle Finger

Though the rumors of Shia LeBeouf's looming pinky amputation are probably false » 8/09/08 12:00pm 8/09/08 12:00pm, maybe he shouldn't celebrate just yet. After suffering through that procedure, LeBeouf would have joined many an important sci-fi persona — and I'm not just talking about Frodo of the Nine Fingers. If you want to find out which episodes…