Originally published on Tue March 11, 2014 10:56 am
Uncertainty is the order of the day as officials in Kuala Lumpur brief the media on a missing Malaysia Airlines jet.
Credit How Foo Yeen / Getty Images
We are rarely lost anymore.
In a foreign city or just a drive out of town, our GPS-enabled smartphones pin our positions on digital maps to within a few meters. We are rarely without facts anymore. Any question that has an objective answer — from the last day of the Civil War to the maximum speed of a Boeing 777 — is as close as Google. For a broad class of experience in modern life we have become very used to "knowing." Events a world away may be subject to our opinions, but rarely anymore are they cloaked in an enveloping darkness.
The task of building your very own toy, or robot, or radio can seem daunting for someone without much background in engineering. But a set of color-coded electronic bits that can be magnetically snapped together called littleBits is aiming to make creating your own electronics easy for everyone. It's like Legos, if only Legos could be connected into circuits that light up, move or make music.
"Circuits in seconds," promises the outside of the box.
Originally published on Tue March 11, 2014 2:19 pm
The illusion of an out-of-body experience made it harder for people to remember what happened.
Our bodies may help us remember our lives, fixing experiences in place. By using virtual reality, scientists can make people feel like they're outside their own bodies. And when they do, the brain struggles to remember what happened.
Originally published on Mon March 10, 2014 6:15 pm
"Better Together" will illustrate a story about bird personalities and cooperation when the book <em>Great Adaptations</em> is published in the fall.
Credit James Munro / Courtesy of Breadpig, Inc.
Young children are notorious for their surfeit of why questions, often directed at aspects of the biological world. Take a three-year-old to the zoo, for example, and you might be asked to explain why zebras have stripes, why elephants have trunks and why flamingos have such skinny legs. (Also: why you can't pet the lion, why another cookie is off limits and why it's really, really time to go home.)
In 1966, psychedelic drug advocate and former Harvard professor Timothy Leary appeared on the Merv Griffin Show.
"I'm in the unfortunate situation of being about 20 years ahead of my time," Leary said. When asked how many times he'd taken LSD, he answered 311. The audience gasped.
Leary was fired for experimenting with psychedelics on undergraduates, and before long, LSD was classified as a Schedule I drug, meaning it had "no known medical use." Research on the medical uses of LSD and other psychedelics came to a halt.