Popular Science2 min gelesenIntelligence (AI) & Semantics
Pile Driver
ROBOT VACUUMS do an admirable job sucking up dirt and slaying dust bunnies. But anyone with kids can tell you they choke on Legos, and folks with dogs live in mortal fear of Fido leaving a surprise that turns a small accident into a cleaning catastro
Popular Science9 min gelesenIntelligence (AI) & Semantics
Street Smarts
DRIVE EAST along Baum Boulevard, a four-lane thoroughfare through Pittsburgh’s East Liberty neighborhood, and you may notice something unusual. The road, like many in the largely up-and-coming area, passes auto shops, fast-food joints, brick warehous
Popular Science2 min gelesen
Did I Really Just Eat A Spider?
THE IDEA THAT you swallow eight arachnids each night is a load of malarkey popularized by a list of random “facts” that went viral in the early days of the internet. Still, there is a reason this stomach-churning urban legend persists: Humans unknowi
Popular Science7 min gelesen
Science’s Dirtiest Jobs
THERE’S SOMETHING DEEPLY respectable about messy work. Someone who slams their coffee and starts their day with decomposition lives a hero’s journey. One second our intrepid adventurer is eating a granola bar in the car, and the next they are face-to
Popular Science1 min gelesen
Popular Science
Editor-in-Chief Corinne Iozzio Design Director Russ Smith Executive Editor Rachel Feltman Managing Editor Jean McKenna Deputy Editor Purbita Saha DIY Editor John Kennedy Technology Editor Rob Verger Features Editor Susan Murcko Digital Edition Editor
Popular Science2 min gelesen
Should I Worry About My Child Being Dirty?
LEFT TO THEIR OWN DEVICES, most children won’t hesitate to, say, lick a doorknob or wipe snot with their sleeve. But is there any truth to the idea that their affinity for getting dirty can be beneficial to their health? That theory dates to the 1800
Popular Science2 min gelesenInternet & Web
Can We Clean The Internet?
THE WEB IS CLUTTERED with disinformation, plagued by hackers, and littered with harmful content. That’s when it’s working—and good luck figuring out what’s wrong with your connection if it isn’t. It’s almost enough to make you log off and read a book
Popular Science8 min gelesen
Tuff Luck
ONE DAY IN THE LATE 1980s, Bruce Menge was wandering the aisles of a grocery store, thinking over a particular problem he was having with plankton. A professor of marine biology at Oregon State University, Menge is a specialist in what’s known as a m
Popular Science11 min gelesen
Cave Of Wonders
THE AIR INSIDE SULPHUR CAVE in Steamboat Springs, Colorado, is full of poisonous hydrogen sulfide and lethal levels of carbon dioxide. The cavern, blocked off with a three-board fence, has hosted few visitors. Old editions of the Steamboat Pilot news
Popular Science3 min gelesen
Stuck In The Past
AMBER is a portal to the past. The pieces often capture insects and other tiny organisms in stained-glass mausoleums, providing vivid glimpses of flora and fauna that lived more than 100 million years ago. Each reveals subtle clues about how life on
Popular Science4 min gelesenChemistry
Could The Power Grid Run On Garbage?
OUR ENTIRE SOCIETY runs on garbage, at least in a manner of speaking. Eons-old junk—coal and oil that began as ancient plants and dinosaur remains, among other dreck—has powered our electric grid since the beginning of the industrial age. Of the 3.8
Popular Science1 min gelesen
Genuine Lather
Rubbing a Ditch the Itch Bar directly onto insect bites provides almost immediate relief from their infuriating burn. Tea tree oil helps reduce inflammation, while glycerin hydrates the surrounding tissue without leaving an unpleasant residue. Bacter
Popular Science2 min gelesen
Super Soakers
PSI: 725 Flow: 1.1 gallons/minute A pair of 20-volt rechargeable batteries powers a pump in this washer that draws H2O from any standing water source—think a bucket, pond, or pool. A low-maintenance brushless motor propels the liquid through the nozz
Popular Science10 min gelesen
Dust In The Wind
A PAIR OF EMPTY DOCKS sit atop dried muck at an abandoned marina, glaring reminders that the largest saltwater lake in the Western Hemisphere is disappearing. Three main tributaries empty into Utah’s Great Salt Lake, but decades of their flows being
Popular Science2 min gelesen
Gimme The Dirt
I STILL REMEMBER my first oxymoron. I was sitting cross-legged on the living room floor watching The Joy of Painting on PBS when Bob Ross uttered the phrase “happy accidents.” I cocked my 5-year-old head to one side, puzzling over the implication tha
Popular Science5 min gelesen
A Mess Of Cosmic Proportions
IN NOVEMBER OF 2021, the crew of the International Space Station briefly went on lockdown after they were pummeled by shards of metal from a retired satellite blown up during an unannounced Russian military exercise. According to NASA, the Department
Popular Science2 min gelesenChemistry
How Do Blunders Turn To Wonders?
IT ALL STARTED with a broken beaker in St. Paul, Minnesota. 3M chemist Patsy Sherman was working on a synthetic rubber meant to endure the frigid temperatures aircraft encounter at high altitude when her assistant let the substance slip. The polymer
Popular Science2 min gelesenMathematics
What Do Tangled Cables Have To Do With DNA?
IT’S A TRUTH universally acknowledged that if you shove wired headphones into your pocket, they’ll eventually emerge in a jumble of knots. That’s why mathematical biologist Mariel Vazquez keeps a tangled pair at her desk: Looking at the messy cord he
Popular Science2 min gelesen
Am I Really That Stinky?
YOU HAVE B.O., but honestly, you’re not alone. This common problem starts with sweat, which is mainly an odorless mix of water and salt the body secretes to keep you cool. On its own, perspiration is fine; the funk comes from a combo of proteins and
Popular Science3 min gelesen
The Rise Of The Rodents
SINCE ARISTOTLE, scientists have vivisected, poked, and prodded live animals in pursuit of knowledge (Pavlov’s dog, anyone?), but at the turn of the 20th century, breeding gutter-dwelling creatures to understand our own physiology was becoming a nece
Popular Science1 min gelesen
The Messes We Can’t Resist Cleaning Up
I used to love polishing old silver as a kid. The chemicals were dangerous enough to be exciting, and I got the immediate gratification of tarnish turning to shine. —Rachel Feltman, executive editor My favorite part of playing video games where you c
Popular Science1 min gelesen
Bean Town
CRAFTING A PERFECT JELLY BEAN takes a week or more. That’s because—at least as far as Jelly Belly is concerned—flavor demands time. Each bite-size gem starts with a slurry of sugar, water, cornstarch, and corn syrup to which candymakers add juices, p
Popular Science2 min gelesen
How To Can Food Without Dying
IF YOU WANT to experience the joy of a ripe tomato or fresh peach year-round, try canning. It isn’t difficult, but it does require scrupulous care because produce can carry Clostridium botulinum, a potentially deadly bacteria that’s odorless, colorle
Popular Science1 min gelesen
Boost Your Senses
A PLATE of fried chicken or a sundae can evoke feelings of comfort and delight. Honing your ability to detect and identify smells and flavors, which are closely intertwined, can boost those emotions. These simple tricks from sommeliers and coffee roa
Popular Science1 min gelesenChemistry
Frequent Fryers
The BK Black Carbon Steel Skillet offers the same consistent heating, nonstick properties, and durability as cast iron. But at just 2 mm thick, it’s light enough for flippin’ flapjacks. Fluffy eggs demand constant movement. The anodized aluminum in C
Popular Science1 min gelesen
Maximize Your Microwave
A MICROWAVE OVEN is great for warming leftovers or making popcorn, but that electromagnetic box can do so much more. You wouldn’t want to cook a holiday feast in one, but time-strapped gourmets will appreciate these efficiency-boosting tricks. Zap wh
Popular Science2 min gelesen
Hold The Ice
PUTTING ASIDE snacks best served frigid—ice cream, anyone?—fresh food generally beats stuff from the icebox. Still, with surges in megastores, online shopping, and specialized diets, we’re downing more frozen shrimp, pizzas, meals, and ingredients th
Popular Science2 min gelesen
Sauce Boss
THERE ARE ROUGHLY 300 types of pasta in the world, from stalwarts like spaghetti and penne to more esoteric varieties like the spiral cavatappi and quill-like garganelli. Yet none of them satisfied the cravings of Dan Pashman, a food writer who hosts
Popular Science11 min gelesen
IT'S EARLY JULY, and Jessika Greendeer moseys along a row of head-high Mandan Bride corn, carefully weeding between the stalks while their tassels poke skyward. All around her, dozens of plant varieties grasp the earth with their roots—sunflowers tra
Popular Science2 min gelesenDiet & Nutrition
What Makes Food Tasty?
HUMANS ARE BORN with a love of sugar, but everything else is an acquired taste. As a result, your dietary preferences are largely the product of what you’ve been exposed to. Still, there are some seemingly universal principles of deliciousness: A bal
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