How does science define a year?

It's been a year since Joe Hanson took his fantastic science tumblr, It's Okay to be Smart, to YouTube. To celebrate, his latest episode takes a look at the ways humans experience years biologically, and how we define them astronomically. » 1/30/14 1:13pm 1/30/14 1:13pm

A black widow story that'll make you shake out your sheets tonight

Inspired by Jackson Landers’s recent piece on black widows at The New York Times, It's Okay to be Smart's Joe Hanson decided to relate the story of his own harrowing encounter with the iconic arachnid. "It's all true," he writes. "This happened fifteen years ago, and I remember it like it was yesterday." » 9/19/13 1:20pm 9/19/13 1:20pm

An Epic Assortment of Animal Superpowers

In the latest episode of It's Okay to be Smart, Joe Hanson takes a look at evolution's many (many, many) super-human solutions to the selective pressures of the natural world. If you've ever needed evidence of evolution's boundless creativity, look no further than this collection. » 8/09/13 10:32am 8/09/13 10:32am

Our ability to pay close attention is both a blessing and a curse

Sometimes paying close attention can cause us to overlook the seemingly obvious. Then again, if we couldn't focus our minds on a single task, we'd never get anything done. » 6/18/13 7:20am 6/18/13 7:20am

Why finding love is like finding alien intelligence

Current estimates put the number of stars in the Milky Way at well over 100 billion, each of which is thought to have at least one planet in its orbit. Assuming at least some of these planets have given rise to intelligent life capable of communicating with Earth, why haven't we heard from them yet? » 2/13/13 1:58pm 2/13/13 1:58pm