Nick K

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Why mind-reading is a science, not a magic trick

Electrical activity within the brain means that our thoughts can be read and understood<p>You may believe your thoughts are intangible and inscrutable, but all mental activity is communicated via electrical impulses. As our understanding of the brain improves, we’re increasingly able to decode our …

The Brain

These Are What the Google Artificial Intelligence’s Dreams Look Like

Spoiler alert: they're as weird as electric sheep<p>Google's servers drive the much of the world's data, and apparently, they dream as well, according to a Google blog post by two Google software engineers and an intern.<p>Google’s artificial neural networks (ANNs) are stacked layers of artificial …

Artificial Intelligence

20 fascinating facts that make you think twice

Luckily, the folks over at Reddit have a collection of true facts about life, and we've combed through them to find our favorites.<p>From a creature that can survive the harsh vacuum of space to the odd state sport of Maryland, you're bound to learn something that makes you think twice.<p><i>Note: A shorter</i> …

Wikimedia

The hidden tricks of powerful persuasion

Are we always in control of our minds? As David Robson discovers, it’s surprisingly easy to plant ideas in peoples’ heads without them realising.<p>Are we all just puppets on a string? Most people would like to assume that they are free agents – their fate lies in their own hands. But they’d be wrong. …

Al Gore

Take an incredible drone flight through the world's biggest cave

At a length of some 9 kilometres (5.6 miles), Hang Sơn Đoòng in Vietnam, near the Laos border, is the largest known cave in the world. Inside is a large, fast-flowing river; its own microclimate; a chamber 5 kilometres (3.1 miles) long, 200 metres (660 feet) high and 150 metres (490 feet) wide; and …

15 Pictures That Will Change The Way You See The World

A selection from the amazing finalists of the Smithsonian.com's 12th annual photo contest.

Spies feared hostile nations were controlling the weather

US government agents asked leading environmental expert to see how such attempts to control the weather could be detected<p>The CIA was worried that hostile nations were trying to control the world's weather, it has emerged.<p>US government agents were so concerned that they contacted a leading …

Wormhole to another galaxy may exist in Milky Way

A space-time tunnel could exist in the middle of the Milky Way and we could travel through it, say scientists<p>A giant doorway to another galaxy may exist at the centre of the Milky Way, a study suggests.<p>Scientists believe that dark matter at the centre of our galaxy could sustain a wormhole that we …

'Woman on top' is most dangerous sex position, scientists conclude

It might have emancipated women from the drudgery of the 'Missionary Position', but it seems that men are paying a painful price for revolution in the bedroom.<p>"Woman on top" is the most dangerous sex position, according to a new scientific study.<p>Scientists have found that the position, dubbed …

19 Breathtaking Photos of Winter Wonderlands Around the World

We're in the middle of winter here, so what better time is it to look at some of the most breathtaking photos of the season? We've looked through the web and we've found photo after photo of photographers who've shot, not just snow or ice, but trees covered in white, lakes dotted in ice. Around the …

How to Lay Down the Absolute Quickest Lap Times at the Track – Feature

Whether you’re aware of it or not, you learned the basic rules of track lapping in kindergarten: Get in line, stay in line, and follow the line. And no hitting others. Mastering the concept, however, requires a physicist’s understanding of how dramatically a slight misstep can adversely affect your …

These 36 questions can make you 'fall in love with anyone'

A simple test claims to be able to make two people fall head-over-heels in love, by helping them seem vulnerable to each other. Why not give it a try?<p>The path to true love just got a whole lot smoother.<p>The key? To ask someone the 36 questions below - and answer them yourself. Doing this, …

Kepler 438b: Most Earth-like planet ever discovered could be home for alien life

An alien world that orbits a distant star in the constellation of Lyra may be the most Earth-like planet ever found outside the solar system.<p>The planet, named Kepler 438b, is slightly larger than Earth and circles an orange dwarf star that bathes it in 40% more heat than our home planet receives …

6 ways to delete yourself from the internet

If you're reading this, it's highly likely your personal information is available to the public. And by "public" I mean everyone everywhere. To drive home this point, I give you exhibit A: Earlier this week, Facebook came under fire when it was revealed that the data of more than 50 million …

Internet

Superfluid Helium Can Leak Through Glass And Climb Out of Its Container

This incredible video proves that helium isn't just a voice-raising gas. In its superfluid state it also defies gravity, has zero friction and can …

15 colorful landscape photos from around the world | CNN Travel

Mathematician Suggests New Way Get To Mars On A Budget

Sometimes the cheapest distance between two points is not a straight line<p>In 1991, Japan's budding space agency sent its first spacecraft to the moon: Hiten, alongside a smaller orbiter named Hagamoro. Hagamoro was supposed to orbit the moon, but mission control lost contact with it after it …

European Space Agency

Department Of Defense Tests A Bullet That Can Steer

Precision on the smallest scale<p>Since the first gun appeared on a battlefield, bullets have dealt death in straight lines. As the shortest distance between two points, lines are great, but they mean enemies can hide behind walls or buildings and not get hit, a clearly undesirable prospect for anyone …

U.S. Dept. of Defense

NASA Envisions A Cloud City Above Hellish Surface Of Venus

Now if only we can get Lando Calrissian to spearhead the project<p>The planet Venus, named for the Roman goddess of Love, certainly wouldn’t be a very loving place to live. On the surface, Venus hosts scorching temperatures of more than 800 degrees Fahrenheit, a heat capable of melting lead, as well …

Watch A Spray-On Solar Cell Getting Made

A step toward turning surfaces into solar panels<p>Psst! There's a team of engineers in Canada working on spray-on solar cells. They've got a prototype that applies colloidal quantum dots—a relatively new nanotechnology material that's still under study for whether they could work in solar panels—via …

Engineer Reimagines Solar Energy With Stick-On Panels

In Xiaolin Zheng's version of the future, installing solar panels could be as simple as applying a sticker.<p><i>Editor's Note: Xiaolin Zheng is one of National Geographic's 2014 Emerging Explorers, part of a program that honors tomorrow's visionaries—those making discoveries, making a difference, and</i> …

Four Weird Ways Animals Sense the World

Creatures like crabs, butterflies, snakes, and octopuses sense the world in unusual ways.<p>When humans sniff in order to smell something, we draw a quick puff of air into our nostrils and over chemoreceptors in our nasal cavity. But octopuses, butterflies, and other animals don't have noses like …

Now You Can Play 'Smash Bros.' On Your TI-83 Calculator

Now there's a new way for bored kids to kill time in algebra class -- playing "Super Smash Bros." on their calculators.<p>"Super Smash Bros. Open" is a program that brings the popular Nintendo game to graphing calculators such as the TI-83 and TI-84. Hayleia, a user at Omnimaga.org, a calculator-game …

More Mysterious 'Magic Islands' Appear On Giant Saturn Moon

The "magic island" mystery on Saturn's moon Titan just became more puzzling.<p>Last year, astronomers spotted a strange bright feature in Titan's Ligeia Mare sea that they called a "magic island." The object first appeared in photos of the sea in July 2013, and then seemed to vanish until it …

How lemur poop helps rainforests thrive

A majority of Madagascar’s 101 species of lemurs are threatened with extinction, a fact that could spell trouble for the rainforests they call …

Radical New Quantum Theory Says Other Universes Affect Our Own

Parallel universes have long been a staple of science fiction. But according to a radical new theory of quantum mechanics published Oct. 23 in the journal Physical Review X, other universes are real--and they exist in vast numbers.<p>What's more, the scientists behind the theory say the other …

Meet 5 "Zombie" Parasites That Mind-Control Their Hosts

Hairworms turn crickets suicidal, wasps make spiders spin their last web, and more.<p>Zombies may still be a thing of fiction, but some parasites more or less turn their hosts into the walking dead.<p>These masters of mind control manipulate their hosts from within, causing them to act in …

Surreal survival adventure Grave coming to PS4

<i>Grave</i>, the first-person survival horror title from Phoenix-based Broken Window Studios, is on its way to PlayStation 4, the company announced earlier this week.<p>The news brings the number of platforms for <i>Grave</i> up to five. Broken Window raised more than $37,000 on Kickstarter this past spring to fund …