Nienke van den Nouwland

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January’s birthstone is the garnet

Happy birthday January babies! Your birthstone is the garnet.<p>The birthstone for January is the garnet.<p>The name “garnet” is derived from the Latin …

How snowflakes get their shape

Depending on the temperature and humidity of the air where the snowflakes form, the resulting ice crystals will grow into a myriad of different …

What effect does extreme cold have on the human body?

North America’s east coast is braced for more freezing weather a year after the January 2014 polar vortex sent temperatures tumbling down to -50C (-58F). In this piece from the BBC Future archive, we ask what does such intense cold do to the human body?<p>The polar vortex currently sweeping across the …

School Snow Days Are Good For Education

Even if some students make it to the classroom, keeping schools open on the snowiest days can hurt learning.<p>When a storm is brewing and the streets are soon to be rendered useless by mounds of snow, there's really only one thing running through every student's mind: <i>please let tomorrow be a snow …

A Marshmallow Launcher To Hit Your Sweet Tooth

Four engineering students built a cannon that aims the spongy confection at faces. Thank you, science.<p>What happens when you give four college students $250 and three months to make something for an engineering class? They build an auto-reloading cannon that blasts Jet-Puffed Marshmallows into the …

6 Famous Thought Experiments Explained in 1 Minute Each

Einstein once said, “If you can’t explain it simply, you don’t understand it well enough.”<p>The Open University, an online educational institute, took …

Shivering can help you stay slim

Shivering in the cold may help burn off as many calories as exercise, according to scientists<p>It is usually a signal to reach for a jumper or turn up the heating, but it seems shivering may also be an effective way to stay slim.<p>A new study from scientists at the National Institutes of Health has …

Algebra-cadabra! Here's a classic magic trick, and the mathematical secret behind it

You only need a cursory familiarity with the work of magicians like Derren Brown and David Blaine to realise that at the heart of many illusions lies a piece of rock-solid mathematics.<p>Sometimes tricks require fooling people with probability, as Brown expertly did in The System, his classic show …

How an Olympic skier uses wind tunnels to shave seconds off his time

Olympic skier Steven Nyman's tuck is as well-renowned as David Beckham's free kick, reads a new story in <i>Wired</i> by Jeffrey Marlow. And Nyman didn't perfect his tuck on the mountain as he rounded flags at 80 mph, flying towards the finish line. He did it in a wind tunnel.<p>"Wind tunnel data has …

Video: The chemistry of love

Nature wants love to feel good. Here’s how it works.<p>Especially for Valentines Day …. Love is chemistry, right?<p>The chemistry of love is the subject of …

Video: The science of kissing

Why do we kiss? Well, duh, because it feels good. But why does it feel good?<p>The EarthSky team has a blast bringing you daily updates on your cosmos …

What would happen if Earth stopped spinning?

Our planet's rotation goes almost unnoticed in our day-to-day lives, but what would happen if it stopped spinning altogether? Or span in the opposite direction?<p>Earth rotates at around 1,670 km/h, but how important is this rotation to our lives? If this stopped suddenly the effects would be …

Why Does White Noise Help People Sleep?

A white noise machine is the simplest solution to blocking out noise.<p>On its face, flipping on white noise before hitting the sack must be the most counterintuitive idea out there. Want to sleep better? Simple solution: make a bunch of noise. Sweet dreams ahoy.<p>And yet, not only do some people swear …

Netherlands court orders end to Pirate Bay ban

<b>A Dutch court has told local internet service providers they can restore access to The Pirate Bay.</b><p>The ISPs had been ordered in 2011 to stop internet addresses linked to the file-sharing site working.<p>But the Hague Appeals Court has reversed the decision on the basis it had proved "ineffective" at …

Pupil reflections reveal hidden faces behind the camera - ExtremeTech

By on December 28, 2013 at 9:00 am<p>This site may earn affiliate commissions from the links on this page. Terms of use.<p>Your eyes may be giving away …

Smoother-than-expected electrons could mean rethinking particle physics - ExtremeTech

By on December 25, 2013 at 9:00 am<p>This site may earn affiliate commissions from the links on this page. Terms of use.<p>Researchers at the Large Hadron …

Super-material could create robot muscles with 1000x human strength - ExtremeTech

By on December 23, 2013 at 2:30 pm<p>This site may earn affiliate commissions from the links on this page. Terms of use.<p>When you flex a muscle in your …

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Google wins DARPA's robotics challenge, wonders if it was a good idea to turn down future military contracts - ExtremeTech

Google wins DARPA’s robotics challenge, wonders if it was a good idea to turn down future military contracts<p>By on December 23, 2013 at 12:20 pm<p>This …