Chemtrails Are Too Crazy for Even the Tea Party to Believe

It’s hard to imagine a conspiracy theory so off the rails that it makes people involved with one of the country’s major Tea Party groups throw their hands up in the air and go “whoa, man, this is too much,” but lo and behold, chemtrails rose to the challenge. http://thevane.gawker.com/paper-writes-d... » 4/23/15 7:30pm Thursday 7:30pm

Meet the Futurist Politicians Who Want Free Education and Free Internet

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The day is coming when designer babies are the norm, space travel is available to everyone, and robots have personhood and even pay taxes. It may not be coming soon, but a number of futurist political parties have emerged in the last few years to make sure we’re ready when it does.
» 4/21/15 7:13pm Tuesday 7:13pm

Here's What Really Happens When You Force-Feed Someone

The American Medical Association and the Red Cross both condemn force-feeding as a form of torture. And yet, the U.S. government and the United Nations have both force-fed hunger-striking prisoners. The real problem? Most people probably don’t realize how complicated force-feeding is, and how much can go wrong. » 4/21/15 11:20am 4/21/15 11:20am

The "Heroic Translators" Who Reinvented Classic Science Fiction In China

When early science fiction novels were first translated into Chinese, the translators took a lot of liberties with the material, reinventing Jules Verne for Chinese readers. Author Ken Liu (The Grace of Kings) explains how this helped inspire him, in turn, to reinvent Chinese traditions for Western fantasy readers. » 4/10/15 8:00am 4/10/15 8:00am

The Hugo Awards Were Always Political. But Now They're Only Political.

Last August, the Hugo Awards for science fiction and fantasy were swept by a younger group of women and people of color. At the time, we said "This was really a year that underscored that a younger generation of diverse writers are becoming central to the genre." So maybe it's not surprising that there was an… » 4/04/15 1:35pm 4/04/15 1:35pm

An Eye-Opening Look At The Sudden Rise Of Private Armies

When you hear the name Blackwater, you think of gung-ho, well paid, trigger-happy military contractors who cause international incidents. This isn't entirely inaccurate, but it's not the full story, which is told through a new book by Sean McFate: The Modern Mercenary: Private Armies and What They Mean for World Order. » 4/01/15 4:16pm 4/01/15 4:16pm

Yep, That Anti-Robot Protest At SXSW Was A Marketing Stunt [UPDATED]

When a group of plucky students organized a protest at SXSW against the rising threat of artificial intelligence, they got a ton of attention. Including interviews on NPR and the BBC. A grassroots anti-robot protest seemed almost too good to be true. And it's looking like maybe it was. [Updated!] » 3/16/15 1:30pm 3/16/15 1:30pm

How Police Body Cameras Were Designed to Get Cops Off the Hook

In the wake of protests over police violence against black men, many civil rights activists are calling for a high-tech solution: strapping wearable body cameras to cops. The idea is to hold police accountable for unnecessary violence. But the history of police body cams reveals that the devices have often had the… » 3/16/15 2:48pm 3/16/15 2:48pm

When A Newspaper Gave Blade Runner's Replicant Test To Mayor Candidates

What if your city elected a Replicant as mayor and you didn't know it? There's only way to guard against this situation, and that's by administering the Voight-Kampff test to every single candidate during the mayoral election. One newspaper in San Francisco did that back in 2003, and the results were amazing. » 2/23/15 1:47pm 2/23/15 1:47pm

UMass Has Banned Iranian Students from Engineering and Science Programs…

Starting this month, the venerable University of Massachusetts at Amherst will no longer allow Iranian nationals to matriculate as graduate students in many of its programs in engineering and the natural sciences, including physics and electrical/computer engineering. » 2/17/15 3:30pm 2/17/15 3:30pm