Entrepreneur
3 min read

3 Proven Strategies on Taking Breaks That Will Help You Become More Productive

Every busy entrepreneur knows you have to take breaks. And yet breaks often take a backseat to, you know, attending to the vast amount of work we have to do on a daily basis. But therein lies the paradox of breaks. Working for long, uninterrupted hours, day after day, may make you feel productive, but, in reality, it’s likely hurting your performance. Related: Why You Should Start Taking a Proper Lunch Break The fact is: Breaks work. Studies show that people who take a breather approximately every hour perform better than those who work for several hours straight. Others have found that our br
The Atlantic
4 min read
Psychology

Is It Possible to Be Scared to Death?

A couple weeks ago, along with more than $270,000,000 worth of other Americans, I saw the movie It. As is the case with most horror movies I see, I wasn’t as scared as I hoped to be. At least, I wasn’t especially frightened by the clown Pennywise himself. What did frighten me was the notion that fear itself—what Pennywise ultimately represents—could kill. I may not scare easily in a movie theater, but I scare extremely easily just about everywhere else. If it really is possible for a person to die of fear, surely I am one of the most likely candidates. I got in touch with a few experts hoping
Newsweek
5 min read
Science

Science Sniffs Out a Hidden Superpower: Sense of Smell

An extraordinary human superpower has long been hidden in plain sight, a secret weapon as easy to spot as the nose on your face… because it is the nose on your face. Contrary to popular belief, humans have an excellent sense of smell. And the story behind why we ever thought differently is an incredible illustration of how facts can be buried by bias. In a newly published paper in Science, neuroscientist John McGann, who studies sensory perception at Rutgers University, explains that religious politics of 19th century France spurred the misconception that humans have a poor sense of smell. T
The Atlantic
3 min read
Science

The Coming Explosion of Gravitational-Wave Detections

Astronomers have detected gravitational waves coming from the collision of black holes somewhere in the universe—again. The detection, announced Wednesday, marks the fourth time in less than two years that scientists have observed the cosmic phenomenon. The Laser Interferometer Gravitational-Wave Observatory, or LIGO, announced the first-ever detection in February 2016. That news came a century after Albert Einstein predicted the existence of gravitational waves in 1916 as part of his general theory of relativity. A second detection was made public in June 2016 and a third in July of this year
Popular Science
5 min read
Science

Good News! We're Probably Not Living In A Computer Simulation.

A perennial topic of science fiction, researchers stumbled upon the answer to the question of whether or not we're secretly living inside of a computer. Depositphotos From Star Trek: The Next Generation’s "Ship in a Bottle" episode, to the eponymously named computer system in the movie The Matrix, the idea that life is little more than a computer simulation has served as a sci-fi standby for generations. But that technological twist on the idea that life might just be a dream can’t possibly be true. Right? Well, what if it is? What if this life is just a simulation of the real thing? What if y
The New York Times
4 min read
Science

Who Invented 'Zero'?

Carbon dating of an ancient Indian document, the Bakhshali manuscript, has recently placed the first written occurrence of the number zero in the third or fourth century A.D., about 500 years earlier than previously believed. While the news has no practical bearing on the infrastructure of zeros (and ones) underlying our high-tech civilization, it does remind us how indebted we are for this invention. But to whom is this debt owed? And how should it be repaid? Chauvinistic politicians might loudly trumpet India’s role (as they have, more controversially, in the case of the Pythagorean theorem)
NPR
4 min read
Science

In Italy, A Medieval Town Confronts A Double Threat — Erosion And Too Many Tourists

Tourism is booming in Italy, which welcomed close to 50 million visitors over the summer. That has helped some places that have been struggling to survive. But for one destination, it might be too much of a good thing. Civita di Bagnoregio is in the northern corner of the Lazio region, 75 miles north of Rome, tucked between Tuscany and Umbria. On the road, signposts point the way to "Civita, The Town That Is Dying." And in fact, not so long ago, Civita was at death's door — shrinking because of erosion and landslides and in need of constant restoration. Then, in 2013, the town took a bold step
Men's Health
12 min read

Hack Your DNA And 19 Other Ways To Be Your Own Doctor

Onno Faber was 33 when he woke one day to a terrible sound in his left ear. Every noise around him, even a toilet flush, sounded like breaking glass. A series of tests produced no answers, until the day he walked into a doctor’s office and saw a bright circle—a tumor—in the image of his brain on the computer screen. And Onno thought, “Fuck!” Onno had neurofibromatosis type 2, or NF2, a rare disorder in which tumors grow on the cells surrounding certain nerves within the central nervous system that enable hearing, balance, and movement. It wouldn’t kill him, the doctors said, but in time he wou
Bloomberg Businessweek
4 min read
Psychology

A Different Way To Cut Kids From The Squad

About a decade ago, when Eric Castien was writing a history of Real Madrid soccer stars, he asked scouts and coaches what defined the greats. “They all pointed to their head and said, ‘It’s in between the ears, something complex, maybe even magic,’” the Dutch journalist and entrepreneur recalls. Could they be more specific? Not really. Castien went looking. In 2012 he met Ilja Sligte, an assistant professor at the University of Amsterdam and a rising star in cognitive neuroscience. Two years later the pair founded BrainsFirst BV (originally called SportsQ), an Amsterdam startup that promises
Popular Science
3 min read
Science

People With OCD Know What to Do, They Just Have Trouble Doing It

Symptoms of OCD are caused by problems in the brain. Deposit Photos If you’re pretty sure that it’s going to be cold in the office, you’re likely to throw a sweater in your bag to ward off the chill. It makes sense that those two ideas would be related: if you’re confident about something, it’s natural for your actions to be consistent with what you know. But for people with obsessive compulsive disorder, that natural relationship isn’t so natural. For them, there's a disconnect between their understanding of a likely outcome and their eventual action, according to a study published last week
Popular Science
4 min read
Self-Improvement

Yes, Your Dog Is Making Puppy Eyes At You

This Doberman Pinscher is saying "...am...am I a good boy?" Pixabay The problem with dogs is that they’re a lot like babies that never grow up. This is both a great strength and a huge annoyance, mostly because they can’t talk. Researchers who study infant learning and behavior have to rely on other cues, like how long subjects look at an object, because asking them questions is just a big waste of time. Dogs are the same, and that makes it very difficult to come to definitive conclusions about their behavior and what it means. We know, for example, that humans interpret dog facial expressions
Newsweek
3 min read
Science

Do All Animals Sleep?

Sleep is a biological process that is close to many of our hearts, but scientists haven't yet cracked all its secrets. In fact, we still don't even know why we sleep. Thus, one-third of our lives is a complete mystery.  Of course, sleep—or at least something that looks an awful lot like it—is pretty common: not just among humans and our close relatives, but also among birds, reptiles, fish, insects and even a microscopic worm found in many science labs, called C. elegans. Still, scientists aren't yet convinced that all animals sleep. So when a trio of Caltech grad students noticed some laborat
TechLife News
5 min read
Science

Space-Time Gravitational Wave Researchers Won a Nobel

For decades astronomers tried to prove Albert Einstein right by doing what Einstein thought was impossible: detecting the faint ripples in the universe called gravitational waves. They failed repeatedly until two years ago when they finally spotted one. Then another. And another. And another. Three American scientists — including one who initially flunked out of MIT — won the Nobel Prize in physics Tuesday that launched a whole new way to observe the cosmos. Sweden’s Royal Academy of Sciences cited the combination of highly advanced theory and ingenious equipment design in awarding Rainer Weis
Nautilus
4 min read
Science

The Science Behind “Blade Runner”’s Voight-Kampff Test

Is Rick Deckard a replicant, an advanced bioengineered being? The jury concerning the character in 1982’s Blade Runner is still out. Harrison Ford, who plays Deckard in the film, thinks he’s human. Ridley Scott, the film’s director, is adamant that he’s not.* Hampton Fancher, the screenwriter for the original film and the sequel, Blade Runner 2049, out today, prefers the ambiguity: “I like asking the question,” he’s said, “but I think it’s nonsense to answer it.” At the center of the question is a fictional test designed to distinguish between replicants and humans, called the Voight-Kampff t
Popular Science
4 min read
Science

The Conditions to Blame for 2017's Wildly Destructive Hurricane Season

Hurricane Harvey making landfall in Texas on August 25, 2017. NOAA/NASA It’s been a bad year for hurricanes, and we’re only a little over halfway through with the season. Five of these storms have slammed ashore this summer so far, claiming hundreds of lives and leaving behind unfathomable damage. In some areas, recovery could easily take decades. This marathon of intense hurricanes is a pretty big change from the last couple of years, which brought relatively unremarkable storm seasons. What is it about 2017 that’s so different from years past? We’ve had a smattering of noteworthy seasons ove
NPR
4 min read

'Impossible To Save': Scientists Are Watching China's Glaciers Disappear

At the end of every summer, scientist Li Zhongqin takes his seasonal hike near the top of a glacier in the Tianshan mountains in China's far northwestern region of Xinjiang. Li scrambles over a frozen ridge and heads toward a lone red pole wedged in the ice. Clouds emerge from a peak above and quickly blow past. He stops to catch his breath. He's at 14,000 ft. The snow is thick. The air is thin. "This is called a sight rod," he says, grasping the pole. "We come up here each month to check it, to see how fast the glacier's melting. Each year, the glacier is 15 feet thinner." Li, who heads the T
TechLife News
5 min read
Science

Scientists Witness Huge Cosmic Crash, Find Origins Of Gold

It was a faint signal, but it told of one of the most violent acts in the universe, and it would soon reveal secrets of the cosmos, including how gold was created. Astronomers around the world reacted to the signal quickly, focusing telescopes located on every continent and even in orbit to a distant spot in the sky. What they witnessed in mid-August and revealed Monday was the long-ago collision of two neutron stars — a phenomenon California Institute of Technology’s David H. Reitze called “the most spectacular fireworks in the universe.” “When these things collide, all hell breaks loose,” he
Mic
4 min read
Self-Improvement

This Is the Best Way to Deal With Failure, According to Science

When you fail to achieve a goal or face a setback, whether in the workplace or elsewhere, you might respond in one of a couple ways: by raging at the futility of it all, or by calmly and rationally analyzing why you failed. Which is best? Surprisingly, an emotional response might be the better instinct, at least according to a new paper from researchers at University of Kansas, Ohio State University and Stanford University. That’s because people who are prompted to think about or reflect on their failures are actually more likely to slack off at similar future tasks — while those who approach
Los Angeles Times
3 min read
Science

Astronomers Strike Gold — And Platinum — As They Watch Two Neutron Stars Collide

In a highly anticipated first, scientists said they've detected the collision of two neutron stars and confirmed that these cataclysmic events are indeed a source of gold, platinum and other heavy elements in the universe. The powerful smash-up produced gravitational waves that were picked up by the LIGO and Virgo observatories. It also emitted a broad swath of electromagnetic radiation that could be seen by more traditional telescopes, including ones that capture visible light. By studying the gravitational waves, gamma rays, X-rays, ultraviolet light, infrared, radio waves and visible light
Apple Magazine
5 min read
Science

Space-Time Gravitational Wave Researchers Won a Nobel

For decades astronomers tried to prove Albert Einstein right by doing what Einstein thought was impossible: detecting the faint ripples in the universe called gravitational waves. They failed repeatedly until two years ago when they finally spotted one. Then another. And another. And another. Three American scientists — including one who initially flunked out of MIT — won the Nobel Prize in physics Tuesday that launched a whole new way to observe the cosmos. Sweden’s Royal Academy of Sciences cited the combination of highly advanced theory and ingenious equipment design in awarding Rainer Weis
Mic
6 min read
Science

The Human Microbiome, Explained: How Bad Science And Junky Diets Gave Rise To Serious Disease

We’re just as much bacteria as we are human. Some studies even suggest that our body contains more microbes than it does actual cells. In fact, when we combine the billions of these tiny organisms (also known as “germs”) living off our bodies, they add up to about the same weight as our brains. By that logic, dousing the house in antibacterial spray or smothering hands with antibacterial sanitizer is — loosely speaking — a bit anti-human. More and more, scientists are realizing that the human microbiome is closely tied to our overall health, and killing swaths of microbes may not be doing us a
Mic
2 min read
Science

Trump Gives White House A “10” On PR Response — But The Numbers Tell A Different Story

President Donald Trump on Thursday told reporters that if he were to grade his administration’s response to the aftermath of Hurricane Maria in Puerto Rico, he would give it a “10” on a scale of one to 10. According to Jenna Johnson, a politics reporter at the Washington Post, Puerto Rico Gov. Ricardo Rossello also expressed satisfaction with federal relief efforts during the same exchange, confirming that the White House had answered “all of our petitions” in the weeks following the storm. But despite the president’s ebullient praise for the aid response Puerto Rico has received, the small i
STAT
9 min read
Science

Near The Campus Cow Pasture, A Scientist Works To Grow Human Organs — In Pigs

DAVIS, Calif. — Like many of the scientists who helped usher in the groundbreaking creation of a part-human, part-animal chimera earlier this year, biologist Dr. Pablo Juan Ross is no stranger to cutting-edge tools such as CRISPR and stem cells. But he also knows his way around the inside of a pig uterus. While growing human cells inside fetal pigs involved some of science’s fanciest new tricks, it also required something decidedly more mundane: a farm, stocked with livestock and staffed with people like Ross who know how to handle them. Trained as a veterinarian and animal scientist, Ross wor
NPR
2 min read

Orionid Meteor Shower Will Peak Overnight, With Best Show Before Dawn

The Orionid Meteor Shower will reach its peak on Friday night and Saturday morning, with the best viewing shortly before dawn (wherever you are). Last year, the annual show was less than spectacular — a bright gibbous moon hung in the sky for most of the night, stealing the glory from the meteors. But this year, there's barely a sliver of moon in sight — the new moon was just on Thursday. And much of America can expect a nearly cloudless sky, to boot. NASA says that viewers can expect to see up to 20 meteors an hour during the peak of the shower. If you miss it tonight, you can try again in t
NPR
3 min read
Science

Troubled By Flint Water Crisis, 11-Year-Old Girl Invents Lead-Detecting Device

When the drinking water in Flint, Mich., became contaminated with lead, causing a major public health crisis, 11-year-old Gitanjali Rao took notice. "I had been following the Flint, Michigan, issue for about two years," the seventh-grader told ABC News. "I was appalled by the number of people affected by lead contamination in water." She saw her parents testing the water in their own home in Lone Tree, Colo., and was unimpressed by the options, which can be slow, unreliable or both. "I went, 'Well, this is not a reliable process and I've got to do something to change this,' " the seventh-grad
NPR
5 min read
Science

St. John Could Get Electricity Turned Back On, 6 Weeks After Hurricane Irma

If all goes well, people on St. John in the U.S. Virgin Islands could have power restored next week for the first time since a pair of devastating Category 5 hurricanes struck in September, the local electric utility says. "Portions of St. John are scheduled to be restored by the middle of next week," says Jean P. Greaux, Jr., communications director for Virgin Islands Water and Power Authority. As they repair electrical transmission and distribution lines in St. Croix, St. Thomas and St. John, officials say they hope to restore power to 90 percent of the Virgin Islands territory by Christmas.
Popular Science
8 min read

Your Memories Are Less Accurate Than You Think

How can you trust human memory? Depositphotos Earlier this year, the Air Force Office of Special Investigations reported that a cold case of nearly 14 years had finally been cracked. In 2015, a woman who was attacked by her Air Force instructor in 2000 had been able to describe a family portrait she noticed in his home. The instructor denied that it had ever hung on his wall—until the prosecution projected a photo of his family sitting on their living room sofa with the portrait visible behind them. To close the case, investigators used a technique called cognitive interviewing, which was desi
Associated Press
4 min read
Science

Einstein Proof: Nobel Winners Find Ripples in the Universe

WASHINGTON (AP) — For decades astronomers tried to prove Albert Einstein right by doing what Einstein thought was impossible: detecting the faint ripples in the universe called gravitational waves. They failed repeatedly until two years ago when they finally spotted one. Then another. And another. And another. Three American scientists — including one who initially flunked out of MIT — won the Nobel Prize in physics Tuesday that launched a whole new way to observe the cosmos. Sweden's Royal Academy of Sciences cited the combination of highly advanced theory and ingenious equipment design in aw
FactCheck.org
11 min read
Science

Warming to Blame for Western Wildfires?

Q: Did climate change cause the wildfires out West? A: Scientists say a hot and dry summer — conditions more likely in a warmer world — caused widespread wildfires in Western states. But land use changes also have played a role. As of early October, the National Interagency Fire Center reported that roughly 8.4 million acres — an area larger than Maryland — have burned across the U.S. this year. Just five Western states — Montana, Nevada, California, Idaho and Oregon — made up more than half of that acreage. Alaska and Texas, the country’s two largest states, also contributed hefty sums. Th
Nautilus
5 min read
Science

Astronomy Has Just Gained a New Sense

There are many stories to tell about GW170817. There are stories of a binary neutron star inspiral, two dead stars locked in a deadly dance that culminated in a collision. There are accounts of a worldwide collaboration of scientists, all working to discover what happened 130 million light-years away in NGC 4993. There are even tales of treasure—of gold and uranium, whose true origin may be the cosmic anvil of neutron star mergers. Many of these have been covered by excellent reporting of yesterday’s news. In some ways, the biggest story is that there are so many stories to tell. And the reaso