Free Thinker

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Trump Revokes Ex-C.I.A. Director John Brennan’s Security Clearance

WASHINGTON — President Trump revoked the security clearance of John O. Brennan, the former C.I.A. director under President Barack Obama, on Wednesday in a striking act of retaliation against an outspoken critic. The president threatened to do the same to other former national security officials who …

Donald Trump

This Two Billion Year-Old Natural Reactor May Hold The Key To Safe Nuclear Waste Disposal

The Oklo-reactor in Gabon, Africa is one of the most intriguing geological formations found on planet Earth. Here, naturally occurring fissile materials in two billion year-old rocks have sustained a slow nuclear fission reaction like that found in a modern nuclear reactor.<p>Uranium-235 is a …

Energy

Fernando Alonso retires from Formula 1

"After 17 wonderful years in this amazing sport, it's time for me to make a change and move on," says Alonso<p>McLaren driver Fernando Alonso will …

Motor Racing

These Are the 25 Highest-Paying Jobs in the U.S. Right Now

For the fourth consecutive year, the technology sector boasted the highest-paying jobs in the U.S., according to an annual report from …

Health Care

One Simple Reason Why Touching The Sun Is So Hard

This past weekend, NASA successfully launched the Parker Solar Probe: the first spacecraft that will ever touch, with its own instruments, solar material directly in the vicinity of the Sun itself. It seems paradoxical: how could it be so difficult to collide with the source of 99.8% of the mass in …

Astronomy

Now We Understand How Marijuana Makes Inflammatory Bowel Disease Bearable

No wonder people with IBD often turn to the drug.<p>People who live with inflammatory bowel disease deal with a lot of physical discomfort, and for some …

Immune System

Horner's Biggest Mistake?

Danny Ricciardo's decision to sign for Renault is one of the biggest surprises I have experienced in sixty years of following the sport.<p>When he …

Auto Racing

Google Tracks You Even If Location History's Off. Here's How to Stop It

If, like most people, you thought Google stopped tracking your location once you turned off Location History in your account settings, you were …

Privacy

How Quantum Computers Could Kill the Arrow of Time

A new technique for quantum computing could bust open our whole model of how time moves in the universe.<p>Here's what's long seemed to be true: Time …

Quantum Computing

Star zooms past monster black hole, confirms relativity

For the first time ever, researchers have watched a star race past the supermassive black hole at the heart of the Milky Way, verifying that its motion showed the effects of general relativity, as predicted by Albert Einstein.<p>The stars of the Milky Way orbit a gargantuan black hole called …

Black Holes

There Was No Big Bang Singularity

Almost everyone has heard the story of the Big Bang. But if you ask anyone, from a layperson to a cosmologist, to finish the following sentence, “In the beginning, there was…” you’ll get a slew of different answers. One of the most common ones is “a singularity,” which refers to an instant where …

Universe

This Simple Thought Experiment Shows Why We Need Quantum Gravity

There are two theories we have that explain all the particles and their interactions in the known Universe: General Relativity and the Standard Model of particle physics. General Relativity describes gravity perfectly everywhere we’ve ever looked. From the smallest-scale attractions we’ve ever …

Quantum Physics

The Peculiar Math That Could Underlie the Laws of Nature

New findings are fueling an old suspicion that fundamental particles and forces spring from strange eight-part numbers called “octonions.”

Physics

DNA Damage from CRISPR Has Been ‘Seriously Underestimated’

The breakthrough gene therapy has hit some major stumbling blocks in the last few months that threaten its status as a therapy.<p><i>This article is part of</i> DNA/IDK <i>, a semi-regular column exploring how genetic modification is shaping the future.</i> <b>Follow along here</b> <i>.</i><p>When CRISPR was first revealed to the …

Genetics

Trump: summit with Putin off to a 'very, very good start'

HELSINKI (AP) — President Donald Trump and Russia's Vladimir Putin opened their long-awaited summit Monday with a wink and slouch, respectively, then talked one on one behind closed doors for two-plus hours before the American leader declared their meeting was off to a "very, very good start for …

Donald Trump

Top Shots from the Tour de France: Pictures

Road Cycling

Ask Ethan: How Large Is The Entire, Unobservable Universe?

13.8 billion years ago, the Big Bang occurred. The Universe was filled with matter, antimatter, radiation, and existed in an ultra-hot, ultra-dense, but expanding-and-cooling state. By today, the volume containing our observable Universe has expanded to be 46 billion light years in radius, with the …

Dark Matter

Astronomers discover brightest object ever

Space is dark, which makes finding bright things like stars pretty darn easy. It also makes it possible for high-powered telescopes to spot things …

You're Wrong About Evolution: This 6-Minute Video Explains How It Really Works

"We're not monkeys. We're fish."<p>If you're a vocal science lover, there's one question we're pretty sure you've been asked at least once: "If we …

Scientists Say They've Found a Way to Make an Object Invisible From Every Angle

"Our work represents a breakthrough in the quest for invisibility cloaking."<p>Researchers from Montreal's National Institute of Scientific Research …

Quantum Computing Explained In Five Levels

Explaining quantum computing to your average person is hard. You'll definitely need an expert — and the expert has to be able to explain quantum …

The 'Anywhere' People from Silicon Valley vs. the 'Somewhere' Folk from the Heartland

We have British intellectual—founder of think tanks, editor—David Goodhart, to thank for the distinction between “Anywheres” and “Somewheres,” the …

The 4th State of Matter Is The Most Amazing And Full of Potential. Here's Why.

It's also the prettiest.<p>When I was at elementary school, my teacher told me that matter exists in three possible states: solid, liquid and gas. She …

Harlan Ellison wrote Star Trek’s greatest episode. He hated it.

The famously cantankerous science-fiction legend died this week. The story of “City on the Edge of Forever” represents his career in miniature.<p>Harlan Ellison, the legendary, legendarily irascible speculative fiction writer who died this week at age 84, wrote the greatest episode of <i>Star Trek</i> ever …

I'm Starting to Have Serious Doubts About Amazon Prime

My own personal Amazon Prime day is in two weeks. It’s not the day that Amazon puts a lot of random crap on sale. (That’s in approximately three …

Cave divers uncover new humanlike species in South Africa

Paleontologists have discovered an ancient human relative in South Africa thanks to a tricky cave diving excavation that recovered close to 1,550 …

McLaren make huge offer for 'king of the market' Daniel Ricciardo – report

Daniel Ricciardo could become one of the highest-paid Formula One drivers if he accepts a reported monster offer to switch from Red Bull. German media outlet Sports Bild is reporting a $20m-per-year deal is on the table from rival team McLaren for the Australian star, which would more than triple …

Daniel Ricciardo

How Red Bull-Renault corrupted a great F1 legacy

The dissolution of the Red Bull-Renault Formula 1 partnership risks leaving an ultra-successful grand prix racing combination with a corrupted legacy.<p>…

Sen. John Kennedy: Gun rights are being threatened by big banks

Taxpayers have long memories, especially when it comes to how their hard-earned money is spent. I bet taxpayers remember providing more than $812 billion to Citigroup and Bank of America, two Wall Street banks, in 2009 to bail them out during the 2008 financial crisis.<p>Taxpayers remember that …

The Surprising Reason Why Neutron Stars Don't All Collapse To Form Black Holes

There are few things in the Universe that are as easy to form, in theory, as black holes are. Bring enough mass into a compact volume and it gets more and more difficult to gravitationally escape from it. If you were to gather enough matter in a single spot and let gravitation do its thing, you’d …

Physics