What It Feels Like to Shoot With the Military’s Experimental Smart Scope

You’ve probably never fired an M4 carbine. Until a couple weeks ago, I hadn’t either. But at a recent DARPA demo day, I loaded a magazine (also a first for me), snuggled up to the deadly assault rifle, and looked through one of the most technologically advanced smart scopes ever built. Then I pulled the trigger. » 4/29/15 12:09pm 4/29/15 12:09pm

Trying to Make Game of Thrones Valyrian Steel Sword With Real Materials 

Nothing reigns consistently in HBO’s Game of Thrones (and George R.R. Martin’s “Song of Ice and Fire” book series that inspired it) except Valyrian steel, a magical sword material. Valyrian steel is, of course, extremely not real. But materials scientist Ryan Consell took a look at its chemistry anyway. » 4/07/15 12:07pm 4/07/15 12:07pm

The Computer Simulation That Almost Started World War III

Remember the 1983 movie WarGames? The film is about a computer "game" with the potential to start thermonuclear war. But strangely this scenario is more truth than fiction. Because in 1979 programmers at NORAD almost started World War III when they accidentally ran a computer simulation of a Soviet attack. » 2/17/15 12:18pm 2/17/15 12:18pm