Earth won’t always be fit for occupation. We know that in two billion years or so, an expanding sun will boil away our oceans, leaving our home in the universe uninhabitable—unless, that is, we haven’t already been wiped out by the Andromeda galaxy, which is on a multibillion-year collision course with our Milky Way. Moreover, at least a third of the thousand mile-wide asteroids that hurtle across our orbital path will eventually crash into us, at a rate of about one every 300,000 years.
On July 2, 2007, Scott Showalter climbed into a manure pit on his Virginia farm to clear a blocked pipe. Moments later, he fainted and died. An employee of his went in to save him but was quickly overcome as well. One by one, his two daughters and wife followed, only to die trying to save the people who went before them.
Why would a man construct a dining-room table that can cruise down a racetrack at 130 miles an hour and shoot flames into the air? Sheer competitiveness. A record for the world’s fastest furniture existed—92 mph on a sofa—and Perry Watkins wanted to beat it.
Studying our natural internal bacteria could help doctors cure diseases that affect millions
By Virginia HughesPosted 03.07.2011 at 11:00 am 7 Comments
When Jake Harvey visits the clinical center at the National Institutes of Health in Bethesda, Maryland, he is usually dirty, itchy and wheezing—not the happiest state of affairs for a 14-year-old boy. But his doctors require that for 24 hours prior to each visit, he refrain from bathing, or using the inhaler that soothes his asthma, or applying the ointment that softens his eczema. In order to study his illness, they need him to be in as close to his natural state as possible.
For decades, pro golfers have customized their clubs to help them straighten shots. TaylorMade's new R11 driver lets amateurs tweak their club in seconds and more accurately adjust shots than with previous models. the company's last driver had a moveable shaft to increase loft; each half-degree shift, though, also rotated the face in two-degree chunks, which could send drives adrift. The R11 adds an extra layer of adjustability, so golfers can change both loft and direction for the first time, saving amateurs from the tactics pros have used in the past, such as bending the head-shaft joint with blowtorches.
By Margaret KnoxPosted 02.28.2011 at 10:08 am 4 Comments
In 1896, Swedish scientist Svante Arrhenius theorized that adding carbon dioxide to the atmosphere by burning coal would create a "greenhouse effect" and raise the planet's average temperature. Most scientists scoffed. How could the puny actions of humans ever seriously alter the natural climate cycles?
The Six Million Dollar Man’s robotic arm worked as seamlessly as his natural one. But in the real world, robotic limbs have limited motions and the user can’t feel what he or she is “touching.” a new approach using optical fibers implanted around nerves could transmit more data and let prosthetics speak to the brain.
By Lawrence UlrichPosted 02.24.2011 at 11:40 am 0 Comments
The crossover SUV has reached a crossroads. Models like the Toyota RAV4 and Honda CR-V have grown so large and homogenized that they've become the new family SUV. Bite-sized boxes such as the Scions, Kia Souls and Nissan Cubes have plenty of attitude, but they've never been sporty enough to be taken seriously.