Have Spelling Bee "Winning Words" Always Been So Obscure?

Arvind Mahankali won the 2013 National Spelling Bee on "knaidel," a type of dumpling. The winning word the year prior was "guetapens," before that "cymotrichous," and before that "stromuhr." Have bee-winning words always been this insane, or is this a recent development? » 5/30/14 4:57am 5/30/14 4:57am

How Long Can Humans Hold Their Breath?

Holding your breath may not be the flashiest feat of athleticism, but performing it at its highest level is still incredibly impressive, especially since it's something we've all done, and can all relate to. The limits to which some can push breath control, in fact, are more impressive than most people probably know. » 11/19/13 7:24pm 11/19/13 7:24pm

Christopher Nolan's Interstellar has a release date

We still don't know much about Christopher Nolan's wormhole traveling film Interstellar, but the movie already has a release date. According to a press releas from Paramount Pictures and Warner Bros. Pictures, which are co-producing and jointly distributing the film, Interstellar will hit theaters and IMAX on November… » 3/10/13 9:30am 3/10/13 9:30am

An Alternate History of Doctor Who, in which the Doctor has always been…

We've wondered if one of the Doctor's future incarnations might be female, but what would Doctor Who have been like if the Doctor had always been played by a woman? Alasdair Stuart of SciFind has cooked up an alternate history of Doctor Who, positing which actresses might be a match for each of the eleven Doctors, the… » 2/09/13 4:00pm 2/09/13 4:00pm

Benedict Cumberbatch's next big role might be as Alan Turing

This falls within the realm of strong rumor, but it's an exciting rumor all the same. Deadline is reporting that Benedict Cumberbatch is "in deep conversations" to play cryptanalyst and computer scientist Alan Turing in the biopic The Imitation Game, a script from the 2011 Black List. Will Cumberbatch make the jump… » 2/03/13 10:30am 2/03/13 10:30am

The First Doctor returns to Doctor Who, courtesy of... Harry Potter?!

Well, now we know one previous Doctor that's going to make an appearance during Doctor Who's 50th anniversary. Although William Hartnell, the actor who originated the role in 1963, passed away in 1975, David Bradley has been cast ias the Doctor — Bradley being better known as Argus Filch, the surly Hogwarts custodian… » 1/30/13 8:30am 1/30/13 8:30am

China arrests 500 people for believing in tomorrow's Mayan Apocalypse

Here in the United States, we're mostly treating tomorrow's scheduled End of Days as a bit of a joke — but in China, it's deadly serious. At least, serious enough for the Chinese government to round up and detain 500 members of the Church of Almighty God, a Chinese religious sect, for spreading the notion that the… » 12/20/12 3:14pm 12/20/12 3:14pm

R.I.P. Sir Patrick Moore, who brought the mysteries of space into the…

For many astronomers, their love of space began with a man on their television set. Astronomer Sir Patrick Moore began hosting the BBC's The Sky at Night in 1957, and for the next 55 years, he unraveled the mysteries of the cosmos for his viewers and helped them understand what they were seeing when they looked toward… » 12/09/12 10:30am 12/09/12 10:30am

Liberals and goblins, beware: Stephen Colbert will have a cameo in The…

Stephen Colbert is an enormous fan of J.R.R. Tolkien's works. Just look at his explanation of American politics using Lord of the Rings action figures or his challenging James Franco to a Tolkien debate. Colbert even owns Aragorn's sword, Anduril. So if any satirical political pundit deserves a role in Jackson's Hobbit » 10/20/12 1:30pm 10/20/12 1:30pm

Space Shuttle Endeavour takes its final trip through the streets of Los…

The retired space shuttle Endeavour rolled into its final home this morning, the California Science Center at Exposition Park. But before being put out to pasture, Endeavour got one final ride this weekend, through the streets of Los Angeles, treating locals to the surreal sight of a space shuttle in their midst. » 10/14/12 1:00pm 10/14/12 1:00pm

How cheesy will Michael Bay's post-apocalyptic show The Last Ship be?

TNT is going into production on The Last Ship, a TV show based on William Brinkley's 1989 novel about a U.S. Navy vessel that survives a global catastrophe. (In the book, it's a nuclear war. But in the TV show, it's something more complicated. Scroll all the way to the bottom to find out what.) » 10/09/12 1:37pm 10/09/12 1:37pm

Young Adult Fiction's Hottest New Trend: Mermaids?

YA books, like everything else for teens, are subject to the whims of trends and fashion. Remember when they were all about vampires? Or all about magical boarding schools? Or magical boarding schools with vampires? Or hyper-violent anti-authoritarian post-apocalypses? Those trends are all in the past — and they've… » 8/21/12 3:27pm 8/21/12 3:27pm