**How long would it take to fall through Earth? **For years, physics students have been told the answer is 42 minutes. But a new calculation, published in the latest issue of *The American Journal of Physics*, gives a more accurate travel time of 38 minutes. Over at *Science*, Adrian Cho unpacks the new equation.

# This Week's Puzzle Is Impossible. Can You Explain Why?

The solution to this classic puzzle is that it's impossible to solve. But can you explain *why* it's impossible?

# Lose Yourself In The Captivating Kinetic Sculptures of Jennifer Townley

Netherlands-based artist Jennifer Townley combines wood, metal, and electrical motors to build spellbinding mechanical creations.

# Can You Solve One Of Archimedes' Most Challenging Puzzles?

Archimedes was the greatest mathematician of antiquity. He was also a lover of puzzles, which he would devise and pose to his contemporaries. This week, we present you with two versions of what is arguably Archimedes' most challenging puzzle ever.

# You'll Have To Think Like A Pirate To Solve This Week's Puzzle

Pirates, of course, are notoriously greedy – but they're also incredibly shrewd. And don't forget, they'll kill you, if given the chance.

# Chicks Might Map Numbers From Left To Right – Just Like Us!

When you think of the numbers 1–10, you probably envision them running along a line, with 1 on the left and 10 on the right. Scientists have long debated whether this tendency is hardwired or culturally instilled. This week, the hardwired camp scored a major point. Young chickens, it seems, also map numbers from…

# Can You Solve This Puzzle Blindfolded?

This puzzle would be a lot easier without the blindfold. Are you up for the challenge?

# How To Prove A Geometric Formula With A Clementine And A Piece of Paper

Here's a fun demonstration from Cornell maths professor Steven Strogatz. Take a clementine (or any spherical, peelable fruit) and trace around its widest part four times. Then peel it. Flatten out the peelings as best you can and divvy them up evenly among the circles. Voilà! Tangible proof that the the surface area…

# The Correct Way(s) To Load A Dishwasher

The dishwasher! The perennial optimization problem. Even the chronically untidy have been known to harbor strong opinions on efficient loading technique. But did you know dishwasher manuals actually include photos and illustrations of ideal rack layouts? (Be honest – did you even realize your dishwasher had a manual?)

# This Math Equation Is Also A Limerick

This week's Sunday Puzzle looks like a mathematical equation. Well, it *is* a mathematical equation. But hidden in that equation is a poem. Can you recite it back to us?

# MIT Students Build Handmade Wooden Roller Coaster For Incoming Freshmen

The coaster was designed by three mechanical engineering juniors and built in the span of a week by the incoming freshmen who would ride its wooden rails. In early designs, the coaster even had an internal loop. Unfortunately, MIT's Environment Health and Safety department said "no upside-down people. Period."

# The Most Commonly Used Words In *Billboard* Pop Song Titles, By Decade

Over at *Prooffreader*, data nerd extraordinaire David Taylor has charted the most-used words from pop song titles by decade, from 1890 (which, who even knew *Billboard *rankings have existed since the 19th Century?) to present. The most common words from the 2010s? "Hell," "Yeah," "We," "Fuck," and "Die." Sounds about…

# Can You Guess The Next Number In This Sequence?

Everything you need to solve this riddle can be found in the numbers you see here. Be apprised: The mathematically inclined tend to struggle with this puzzle.

# A Mathematical Model Explains Why All Hipsters Look The Same

When enough contrarians actively resist mainstream trends, their nonconformity may actually align. Ergo beardsplosion.