It takes researchers years, sometimes decades, to pin down subtle, important findings about your health, but it takes bumbling journalists (or their editors) just a few seconds to screw it all up. Here, a selection of the most misleading headlines, and a few tips to help you spot the hype early.
I recently committed myself to the goal, before the weekend was out, of creating a device entirely from bacon and using it to cut a steel pan in half. My initial attempts were failures, but I knew success was within reach when I was able to ignite and melt the pan using seven beef sticks and a cucumber.
Apparently, this is oxymoron day. Healthy bacon. Silent snowmobiles... What's next—eco-friendly bombs? Well, sort of: Scientists have developed a novel substance that will blow things up without scattering the surrounding terrain with poisonous lead. Called nitrotetrazole, the chemical is good for use as a primary explosive—the highly sensitive, low-power compounds that set off ultra-powerful high explosives. Even better, the compound is inert when wet but recovers all its explosive punch once it dries out again. —Martha Harbison
Five amazing, clean technologies that will set us free, in this month's energy-focused issue. Also: how to build a better bomb detector, the robotic toys that are raising your children, a human catapult, the world's smallest arcade, and much more.