Drought-stricken Kenya is sitting on 250-trillion liters of groundwater

With the world as thoroughly mapped and monitored as it is, it's easy to forget the Earth still harbors its fair share of secrets. Case in point: yesterday, the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization announced that Kenya's drought-striken Turkana County sits, rather ironically, atop a… » 9/11/13 1:42pm 9/11/13 1:42pm

If this video doesn't make your heart swell, there's a decent chance you …

Here comes your daily dose of optimism. Filmmaker Michael Marantz has just released The Future is Ours, a rousing two-minute tribute to the people and companies pushing humanity forward. Full screen, HD, headphones if you've got 'em. Fair warning: this will, at a minimum, give you chills — but don't be surprised if… » 6/26/12 11:20am 6/26/12 11:20am

The Wrong Way to Plan for the Future

We all know that thinking ahead is the only way to succeed in life. But a ton of new research shows that the more you think about future goals and events, the more mistakes you're likely to make. So how can you make forward-looking plans in a way that maximizes your chances of winning out? » 5/23/12 1:00pm 5/23/12 1:00pm

Are humans too optimistic for their own good?

We humans are a hopeful bunch — so hopeful, in fact, that our views of the future are often irrationally positive. But at what point does unflagging optimism become detrimental to our progress and success? Is there any chance that our starry-eyed tendencies could actually work in our favor, or do they simply leave us… » 4/12/12 8:21am 4/12/12 8:21am

How would you convince the 20th generation of space colonists to leave …

It is the year 2251. All is well on Earth – food is plentiful, climate ills are cured, and war is nonexistent. Humanity left its home decades ago, with the United Nations of Earth currently on the 20th round of colonization. How would you go about convincing a new round of colonists to brave the hazards of space? » 12/29/11 12:00pm 12/29/11 12:00pm

Sustainability Science: How to Create a New Research Field

If the world needs a new field of science, can you simply create one from scratch? That's the question of a group of researchers at the Los Alamos National Laboratory. The scientists recently chronicled the twenty-five year journey of sustainability science, a newly coined field with the goal of advancing society… » 12/01/11 11:01am 12/01/11 11:01am

Technology has proved it can transform the world overnight — so why…

Is optimism just a crazy notion, or does technological innovation totally justify our faith? In the comments on our article about optimistic stories that could still come true, commenter Corpore-metal points out some of the ways that technology has transformed the world — even if we're never going to have a utopia. » 10/27/11 11:40am 10/27/11 11:40am

Optimistic Science Fiction Stories that Could still Come True

Many of science fiction's most rosy ideas of the future seem less and less likely, or they've already failed to materialize on schedule. But the future could still be a beautiful place. » 10/27/11 9:00am 10/27/11 9:00am