Modern architecture loves glass. Glass makes interiors brighter and adds sparkle to cityscapes. But glass also kills millions of birds every year when they collide with windows. Biologists say as more glass buildings go up, more birds are dying.
Originally published on Tue August 7, 2012 9:36 pm
Credit JPL-Caltech / NASA
Our world seems so broken now and so much of it seems our own fault. The whole of our infrastructure — from highways to high schools, power-grids to public universities — seem on the verge of crumbling. The resources to repair or expand these arteries of public life are gone, we are told, in part because four years ago the economy was jerked to halt through (what appear to be) selective acts of titanic greed and apocalyptic mismanagement.
Many neuroscientists and philosophers think it ain't gonna happen, ever.
We're talking about building a machine that functions as the equivalent, or maybe as superior to, a human mind.
A synthetic brain doesn't have to be the exact equivalent of a human brain, but there are humans, the brilliant inventor Ray Kurzweil in particular, who hope one day to dump their minds into such a machine, boot up and go on living, disembodied, but mentally intact, forever.
It may take some time to pinpoint the exact cause of India's massive blackouts last week, but the underlying issue for India and many other parts of the developing world is that supply is struggling to keep up with the growing demand for power — an imbalance that can affect the reliability of electric grids.
Joe Palca describes the mood of NASA Mars scientists in the wake of the landing overnight, what the latest pictures and data are from the surface of the red planet and what mission scientists are going to do next with Curiosity.
The last couple of years have certainly felt unusually hot in many parts of the U.S., but are they really all that unusual?
Many people wonder whether a warming climate is turning up the temperature or whether it's all just part of the normal variation in the weather. Among scientists, there's a growing view that these latest heat waves are indeed a result of climate change.
When it's hot and humid, you probably don't want to move much and aren't very hungry. The same goes for cows; but when they don't eat, farmers lose money.
Researchers at the University of Missouri think they can help avoid those losses. They've produced a new mobile app that can detect the threat of heat stress in cows using nothing more than a smartphone.
Originally published on Mon August 6, 2012 4:07 pm
Credit Adrian Dennis / AFP/Getty Images
Rocky's coach forbade him to have sex with his girlfriend while he was in training. Was this because he would be so tired out by sex? Or was it that the coach believed it would alter Rocky's drive, or mindset, somehow making him happy and relaxed, depriving him of the disturbed drive, the hunger, to win? I was just a kid when I saw the movie. I didn't really understand.
The Mars Science Laboratory rover, named Curiosity, made a successful landing on the surface of the red planet, drawing shouts and cheers from the mission control staff at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory. University of Redlands professor Tyler Nordgren explains what Curiosity may discover.
Originally published on Mon August 6, 2012 4:18 pm
Credit Hulton Archive / Getty Images
I wish to write of our humanity, and begin autobiographically. How many of us at 16 begin to sense our adult selves, only glimpsed at that age? Two streams in my own life began then. Einstein died that year. I cried. I had just begun to try to understand special and general Relativity. Their beauty and his daring drew my love. How I hoped someday to do scientific work of value.