After several centuries of casting and counting ballots, it's shocking that we still haven't mastered what seems to be a simple task. But anyone who lived through the 2000 presidential election, in which a mishmash of flawed voting machines, contradictory county procedures, and unclear state laws in Florida led to the least reliable outcome in history, knows that 21st century voting is no better than the era when we shouted out our votes at the courthouse steps.
When Neil Armstrong pressed the first bootprint into the Sea of Tranquility, most of humanity watched the televised low-res blob and felt pride welling up in their chests. But a few watchers felt something entirely different—an unconfirmed, squinty-eyed skepticism that something about the whole deal smelled fishy. How could the United States, which could barely put a chimp into space in 1961, get two full-grown men on the surface of the moon eight years later? How could anyone confirm that men actually made it to the moon? And, how, exactly, had that $25 billion Apollo budget been spent?
The problem with cancer surgery, or so we hear, is that it's difficult for surgeons to know if they've removed all of a tumor, especially in late-stage cancers when the edges get indistinct. But a new imaging technology developed at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center's Center for Imaging Technology and Molecular Diagnostics in Boston is giving cutters visual cues on just where to aim their scalpels.
Has the holy grail of Sasquatch hunting been found in the hill country of Georgia?
By Jason DaleyPosted 08.15.2008 at 12:13 pm 10 Comments
Not since Harry and the Hendersons has the legend of Bigfoot, aka Sasquatch, aka Yowie, captured the attention of the country so thoroughly. This week, a pair of men from northern Georgia claimed they have found the body of the so-called Georgia Gorilla, and are keeping the remains in a chest freezer.
Scientists discover that chili peppers produce actual heat
By Jason DaleyPosted 08.14.2008 at 1:55 pm 2 Comments
We all know that eating hot peppers can burn your tongue and make you sweat, but up till now researchers thought the process was a result of chemicals stimulating neurons rather than the actually production of heat. But Yasser Ahmed Mahmmoud at Denmark’s University of Aarhus has discovered something surprising—chili peppers can actually turn up the temperature, a finding that may have significant uses in the future
Researchers ditch the ethanol in favor of biofuels derived from junk crops and trash, like cornhusks
By Jason DaleyPosted 08.12.2008 at 4:40 pm 5 Comments
We all thought biofuels we’re going to be our eco-savior (what could be greener than running our cars on renewable corn, soy, or sugarcane?) That is, until it turned out eco-fuels contribute to rising food prices, put conservation land back into agricultural production, and turn into an all-around bust because fermentation of the starches and sugars put lots of CO2 into the atmosphere. But biofuels may yet make their mark on mother earth.
By Jason DaleyPosted 08.12.2008 at 3:42 pm 5 Comments
A recent study by Stanford researchers has confirmed your worst fears—that dorky neighbor in the short-shorts who zips by every morning at 6 o'clock in the morning will likely outlive you, and will be healthier in the long run.
Don't blame yourself, blame your genes! Scientists find you can indeed be a born couch potato
By Jason DaleyPosted 07.29.2008 at 5:43 pm 2 Comments
Rather watch TV than bike 50 miles? The thought of a hike sound like torture instead of fun? Well, according to two recent research papers you can stop berating yourself for being a couch potato (maybe). Researchers have identified 23 gene locations that control the activity levels of mice. “Can you be born a couch potato? In exercise physiology, we didn't used to think so, but now I would say most definitely you can," says J. Timothy Lightfoot, lead researcher on the project at the University of North Carolina.
Grab another beer guys, carbo-loading could lead to longer lives say scientists
By Jason DaleyPosted 07.23.2008 at 5:13 pm 3 Comments
Finally, the scientific finding every man has been waiting to hear: carbo-loading on doughnuts optimizes your lifespan and makes you sexually potent. Too bad the research only applies to crickets (so far . . . ).
A remote control toy could help NASA scientists better understand Earth's polar regions
By Jason DaleyPosted 07.22.2008 at 1:00 pm 0 Comments
If you thought your remote control monster truck was badass, check out the SnoMote. The new remote control snowmobile was funded by NASA to help scientists in polar regions collect climate data without forcing them onto cracking ice sheets. The bots, designed to work as a team, can be programmed to monitor a target area; a fleet of bots is outfitted with sensors and cameras to navigate terrain autonomously, all the while taking temperature and barometric readings.