Alexander Rickert

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Could This Hydrogen-Powered Drone Work?

¯\_(ツ)_/¯<p>The biggest physical constraint on small drones is their power supply. Batteries can only hold so much energy, and as adding more batteries to a drone also increase the weight of that drone, there are finite limits on how long quadcopters can fly in a single flight. A new drone concept by …

Watch A Record-Setting Hoverboard Flight

Funny, Marty McFly was supposed to do that in October<p>Although the movie was set in 2015, <i>Back to the Future Part II</i>-style hoverboards remain the province of fiction or elaborate marketing stunts. But that didn’t stop Catalin Alexandru Duru from building a device inspired by the film, and then, with …

This is your brain on Whiteness: The invisible psychology of white American ignorance explained

The contrast in media narratives about Baltimore and Waco are undeniable—but many white Americans are blind to them<p>Earlier this week, outlaw motorcycle clubs engaged in a daylight gun battle in Waco, Texas. This combat involved hundreds of people. The mall where the riot occurred was left …

Immune System

The Navy's new drone-killing laser may not be as impressive as it seems

The new weapon, called the Laser Weapons System, or LaWS, could replace costly conventional projectiles with blasts of focused heat that only cost as much as their energy input — perhaps as little as $1 per shot.<p>But the reality may have been very different. According to a startling new analysis …

Military

Spotify's deal with Sony reveals the high costs of streaming music

Labels and streaming music services have spent ages bickering over payments for streaming music, but it's never really been clear who was getting the short end of the stick... besides the artists, that is. We may have a better sense of things now that <i>The Verge</i> has leaked details of Sony Music …

How Washington Derailed Amtrak

Thirty-nine minutes in­to his south­bound ride from Wilm­ing­ton, Delaware, to Wash­ing­ton, D.C., Joseph H. Board­man, pres­id­ent and CEO of …

Trains

America Is Ready for Gay Marriage

As the Supreme Court hears arguments for legalizing same-sex unions nationally, shifting public opinion could convince the justices to act.<p>Gay marriage is now legal in 37 states. Eighteen states have legalized it in the past six months alone. Meanwhile, public support continues to increase, with 61 …

LGBTQI

How Your iPhone’s Music App Is About to Change

Apple is planning a big redesign for the Music app on your iPhone and iPad.<p>The new version featured in a preview version of an upcoming update is …

Album Art

Is the Placebo Effect in Your DNA?

Some people feel better after dummy treatments, while others feel no difference unless the drugs are real. A new paper argues that the difference may come down to genetics.<p>The first real, physical proof of the placebo effect came in 1978. Running a study on patients who had recently had their …

Placebos

Evidence of liquid water found on Mars

<b>Nasa's Curiosity rover has found that water can exist as a liquid near the Martian surface.</b><p>Mars should be too cold to support liquid water at the surface, but salts in the soil lower its freezing point - allowing briny films to form.<p>The results lend credence to a theory that dark streaks seen on …

Geoscience

Meet Laurel Kaye, the 21-Year-Old Finalist for the One-Way Mission to Mars

Talk about having guts.<p>Once upon a time, women weren't allowed to even think of becoming an astronaut, but now one New York-area woman could be headed to <i>live</i> on Mars.<p>Laurel Kaye, 21, took countless childhood trips to the Hayden Planetarium at the American Museum of Natural History, hoping one day …

American Museum of Natural History

The 7 Most Gloriously Disgusting Ballpark Snacks of 2015

Who needs hamburger buns when you can use two entire funnel cakes?<p>Sunday is Opening Day for the 2015 Major League Baseball season, which means this is the week the public found out what to expect on the only official roster that really matters: The ballpark menu, of course.<p>The New York Mets, the …

The Next Steps in the Battle Over Religious-Freedom Laws

Same-sex marriage supporters press their advantage, as the fate of statutes in Indiana and Arkansas remains uncertain.<p>Sometimes social change seems like the advance of a glacier: a few inches a year, with no real visible effect. And sometimes the ice breaks up overnight.<p>Yesterday, Indiana Governor …

LGBTQI

You’re Not Fooling Anyone With Your Pretend Laughter

Why do we laugh? The obvious answer is because something is funny. But if we look closer at when and how laughter occurs in ordinary social …

Biology

Engineering students extinguish fire with sound

A pair of engineering students created a new type of fire extinguisher that uses sound waves to put out flames.<p>Imagine if all you needed to put out fire was a subwoofer. It's an idea that has been toyed with, theoretically, over the years -- DARPA demonstrated an acoustic extinguisher in 2012, …

Engineering

Why Jurassic Park is one of the best action films ever (and how the sequel seems to flub it)

For the purposes of this opinion piece, which may turn into something of a rant, I’m going to ask for your indulgence while I state that <i>Jurassic Park</i> is one of the best action films ever made.<p>Not only is it one of Steven Spielberg's best films in terms of both scares and wonder, but it stands above …

2016 Chevrolet Malibu Coming With Nanny System To Watch Over Teen Drivers

Chevrolet is set to unveil an all-new Malibu at next month’s 2015 New York Auto Show, and in the lead up to the car’s arrival the bowtie brand has …

North Korea

Waiting On The Watch: Apple's Unprecedented Moment

The Apple Watch launch, set for Monday at 10 a.m. PT, is fraught with expectation and desire in a way no other new product from the company ever has been before.<p>There's a fascinating moment in the <i>New Yorker</i>'s recent profile of Jonathan Ive. On the cusp of the Apple Watch announcement, he describes …

Nutrition

YouTube is 10 years old: the evolution of online video

Ten years is a long time on the internet, especially when 300 hours of video are uploaded to your site every minute. On YouTube’s 10th birthday, we trace the growth and growing pains of online video<p>Allow me to make a bold statement: YouTube, at 10 years old, is the most interesting place on the …

Internet

10 Bacon Recipes for Your Inner Piglet

The pig is a superior animal. Without pigs, there are no chicharrones, no pork buns, no bacon. This last would be truly tragic: Bacon is a magical food.<p>See, bacon could be called the gateway meat. We know more than a few ex-vegetarians who couldn’t resist bacon's charms, and why should they? Bacon …

The Big Book of Bacon

Look beyond the common BLT and bacon-accompanied breakfast to broader uses of this wonderful cured meat with <i>The Big Book of Bacon: Savory</i> …

Food
Military Aircraft

John McCain tells protesters at hearing: 'Get out of here, you lowlife scum'

Code Pink activists ushered out by capitol police after they demand the arrest of Henry Kissinger for ‘war crimes’; no arrests were made<p>US Senate armed services committee chairman John McCain kicked protesters out of a committee hearing Thursday, calling them “lowlife scum” as they hollered for the …

Justice
Mccain

Chris Pratt and Chris Evans line up superpowered Super Bowl bet

The two Marvel actors trash-talk each other into a wager on the Super Bowl, with each having to visit a children’s hospital in costume if their team loses<p>They may have taken on the forces of darkness in their respective superhero films, but now Chris Pratt and Chris Evans may have to take on their …

NFL

What he said, what he meant

He has messages for his GOP and Democratic critics.<p>President Barack Obama used his State of the Union speech Tuesday night to set an optimistic tone for the rest of his presidency — but also to drop big hints about the fights that lie ahead.<p>He targeted lines at his Republican critics and talked …

Republicans

Why Islam forbids images of Mohammed

<b>(CNN) —</b> French officials are still trying to determine what caused gunmen to attack a satirical magazine in Paris, killing 12 people. But, according to French media, the gunmen yelled, "We have avenged the Prophet!" as they stormed the office.<p>Charlie Hebdo, the French satirical magazine attacked on …

Islam