The Scientist Who Wanted To Bring A Death Row Inmate Back From The Dead

Dr. Robert E. Cornish is probably best known for his 1930s revivification experiments with dogs, in which he claimed to bring dogs back from clinical death. He wanted to try a similar procedure on humans — and when a death row inmate volunteered, Cornish petitioned the state of California to let him play re-animator. » 3/18/15 1:00pm 3/18/15 1:00pm

The Lazarus Effect Could Make Mad Science Scary Again

Mad scientists have existed since the beginning of cinema, and The Lazarus Effect has zero problem borrowing from earlier films. It also snatches crumbs from The Exorcist and Paranormal Activity, among others. But! It's got an unusually good cast, fast pacing, and some decent frights. » 2/27/15 9:00am 2/27/15 9:00am

Baby Poop Sausage, And Other Winners From The 2014 Ig Nobel Awards

Last night, scientists from around the world gathered at Harvard's iconic Sanders Theatre for the "24rd First Annual" Ig Nobel Awards, the wonderfully peculiar annual awards ceremony that recognizes those achievements that first make people laugh, and then make them think. » 9/19/14 1:30pm 9/19/14 1:30pm

The Mad Science Of Pouring A Vat Of Liquid Nitrogen Over Your Head

Canadian chemist Muhammad Qureshi has taken the viral ALS ice bucket challenge to its logical conclusion by dumping a bucket of liquid nitrogen over his head. Undeniably, it was a very dangerous thing to do — but Qureshi did have some basic chemistry on his side. » 9/02/14 7:30am 9/02/14 7:30am

Disturbing False Memory Experiment Has Long-Lasting Effects

How easy is it to make you hate someone irrationally? All too easy, it turns out — with the help of false memories. A group of criminologists conducted a successful experiment with memory manipulation that's intensely creepy — and has unsettling implications. » 8/19/14 11:30am 8/19/14 11:30am

Researcher Examines The Real Biology Of Captain America And The Hulk

While many comic book heroes may have gained their powers through scientific experiments or accidents, there's more magic than science behind their powers. Or is there? A Stanford biologist looks at how epigenetic science can explain two Marvel characters' abilities. » 8/15/14 3:38pm 8/15/14 3:38pm

The Engineer Who Said The Ark Of The Covenant Was A Giant Capacitor

Among the many lessons to be found in the Bible, prominent among them is "Look, but don't touch." When an Israelite named Uzzah laid hands upon the Ark of The Covenant, he was struck down by God. But, in 1933, an engineering professor theorized that the real cause of death was 10,000 volts of static electricity. » 7/01/14 9:45am 7/01/14 9:45am

Scientists Tackle the "Faceplanting" Phenomenon

Admit it — you've watched those videos where people crash into something and then faceplant into the ground. It turns out that scientists have been watching them too. Here's what they've discovered. » 5/29/14 6:00pm 5/29/14 6:00pm

Could You Get Drunk By Drinking The Blood Of A Drunk Person?

There's a common trope in vampire stories where a vampire gets drunk by drinking the blood of someone who is wasted. But could a real human being get drunk in the same way? » 5/28/14 8:40am 5/28/14 8:40am

The Scientist Who Predicted Humans Would Evolve Into A Race Of Cyclops

Nearly a century ago, an article appeared in Scientific American making the bold — and, dare I say, "visionary" — prediction that our left eye would become a vestigial organ, endowing us with a single, remaining eye that would possess astonishing powers of perception. » 5/28/14 7:40am 5/28/14 7:40am

A Semi-Scientific Study of Farting in the Workplace

We know that everybody picks their noses, and now we know that everybody farts too — especially at work. In fact, if this poll is to be believed, people fart at work in lots of places you wouldn't expect. » 5/19/14 3:30pm 5/19/14 3:30pm

The Astronomer Who Wanted to Rearrange the Solar System, Using Nukes

CalTech astronomer Fritz Zwicky was the first to conceive of dark matter, supernovas and neutron stars. He also had a theory about colonizing the solar system using nuclear bombs. We could terraform other planets, he argued, by pulverizing them and then moving them closer or further from the sun. » 5/14/14 11:00am 5/14/14 11:00am

A Marine Biologist Explains Godzilla's Exponential Growth

In 1954, Godzilla was 164 feet tall. With each successive appearance over the past 60 years, his height has increased, so that he now stands at 492 feet. Not bad, given that it took cetaceans 55 million years to go from 8.2 feet to 98 feet in length. Can evolutionary theory help explain Godzilla's rapid growth spurts? » 5/05/14 8:40am 5/05/14 8:40am

Physics Students Describe How to Make a Force Field with Today's Tech

A group of physics students from the University of Leicester have calculated that the laser-deflecting shields used by spaceships in Star Wars are not only theoretically feasible, but could also be constructed using today's technology. » 4/29/14 2:30pm 4/29/14 2:30pm

Easy Science Party Games For Your Summer Nerd Get-Togethers

Summer is the time for parties, but are you looking to add a little science to your usual backyard barbecues and late-night gatherings? Try these science-themed cocktails, tricks, and party games for soirées that are both fun and fascinating. » 4/25/14 9:17am 4/25/14 9:17am

The Avengers Mansion Could Be Yours For $113 Million

Inspired by the release of the Captain America sequel, a real estate expert, with the help of online fans and the Marvel Database, has scrupulously calculated how much the swank Avengers Mansion—with all of its amenities—would sell for in today's NYC market. » 4/07/14 1:30pm 4/07/14 1:30pm

Astronomers Publish Study On Extraterrestrial Zombies

While some scientists fritter away their time searching for extraterrestrial life, two astronomers have performed a genuine public service for Earth by calculating the likely number of nearby planets inhabited by the undead. » 4/04/14 10:46am 4/04/14 10:46am

Massive Spaceships Could Be Fueled by Human Exercise

What would be the most efficient way to power a spaceship carrying hundreds of thousands of passengers? According to some newly-published calculations, the best option would be to use the passengers themselves—by harnessing the power of exercise. » 4/01/14 5:00pm 4/01/14 5:00pm

The Insane History of Rockets at Jet Propulsion Laboratories

Everyone loves a gorgeous rocket launch, but the story of getting from the first sputtering attempts to the modern day marvels is completely unreal. The Jet Propulsion Laboratories took it up a notch, giving mad scientists their epic reputation. » 3/29/14 3:21pm 3/29/14 3:21pm

How to manipulate people into choosing the worst option

When we are choosing which action to take, one of the most basic calculations which guide us is, "How likely is it to lead to one option or another." We need to think of all possible outcomes, and the rough probability of each one occurring. There is a problem with this. We are not great at assessing probability. … » 3/06/14 8:00am 3/06/14 8:00am