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See All 26 Letters of the Alphabet Spelled Out in Stunning Space Photography

A: Utah’s Green River doubling back on itself—a feature known as Bowknot Bend—photographed by an astronaut from the Inte<p>... VIEW MORE<p>NASA

Space

What The Many-Worlds Interpretation of Quantum Physics Really Means

It’s been quiet here for a couple of weeks, as I was off visiting family for the holidays and then at a meeting in South Carolina. It’s a New Year though, so let’s ease back into things with a simple and non-controversial topic. Say, the Many-Worlds interpretation of quantum physics.<p>OK, maybe that …

Quantum Mechanics

The Satirical World of Atheist Activism

Recently, Massachusetts resident Lindsay Miller won the right to wear a colander in her State ID photo on account of her belief in Pastafarianism. There are two ways of interpreting this:<p>1. <b>This is compelling</b>. Most Departments of Motor Vehicles only allow head coverings in state-issued IDs for …

School Administration

80 Books Every Person Should Read

We invited eight female literary powerhouses, from Michiko Kakutani to Anna Holmes to Roxane Gay, to help us create an updated list of books everyone should read. Each participant made 10 picks. It's a new year, a new Esquire.com. We're looking forward to reading and we hope you are, too.<p>What can …

Literature

An 80-Year-Old Prank Revealed, Hiding in the Periodic Table!

You wouldn’t know it, because it’s hiding down there at the bottom of the periodic table of elements, but it’s a prank—something a five-year-old might do—and the guy who did it was one of the greatest chemists in America. It’s pure silliness, staring right at you, right where I’ve drawn my circle, …

Earth Is Surrounded by Strings of Dark Matter

New computations from NASA suggest that long strings of mysterious dark matter form around planets like Earth.<p>The solar system is hairy? Thanks to …

Dark Matter

What to Know About the Deadly ISIS vs. al-Qaeda Rivalry

Newsha Tavakolian for TIME<p>Newsha Tavakolian for TIME<p>Newsha Tavakolian for TIME<p>Newsha Tavakolian for TIME<p>Newsha Tavakolian for TIME<p>Newsha Tavakolian …

Islam

Interesting facts that make you think twice

The world is a fascinating place, and it's full of weird and interesting facts that you might have never realized were true.<p>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 …

Mosquitoes

I was in the CIA for 25 years — Here's how I explained my job to my kids

"Dad, what do you do?" my 13-year-old daughter Peggy asked about six months after we had settled into our home in North Thailand.<p>She had been observing my strange comings and goings, my home office with its safe, map, and cameras, and my frequent hushed conversations with a variety of visitors. She …

Gung Ho

Google boss warns of 'forgotten century' with email and photos at risk

Digital material including key historical documents could be lost forever because programs to view them will become defunct, says Vint Cerf<p>Piles of digitised material – from blogs, tweets, pictures and videos, to official documents such as court rulings and emails – may be lost forever because the …

Humanities

How Coca-Cola Used Clever Bottle Design To Outsell Competitors

Packaging design matters. It’s not just that people want to buy a sleek, cool package. It’s that factors such as the size and shape of a product can influence how much consumers want it, according to University of Chicago psychologist Sian Beilock.<p>“Subtle changes in the placement or packaging of …

Alcohol

10 futuristic gadgets for the early adopter

A few years from now, people might reminisce about a time when they watched movies on screens and manually closed their bedroom curtains.<p>We're in the …

Why Do Many Reasonable People Doubt Science?

There’s a scene in Stanley Kubrick’s comic masterpiece <i>Dr. Strangelove</i> in which Jack D. Ripper, an American general who’s gone rogue and ordered a nuclear attack on the Soviet Union, unspools his paranoid worldview—and the explanation for why he drinks “only distilled water, or rainwater, and only …

The View-Master is back. Now it's virtual reality for kids.

Remember the View-Master? That classic toy is getting a virtual reality reboot.<p>This fall, Google (GOOG) and Mattel (MAT) are coming out with a plastic viewer that pairs up with your smartphone. You can explore virtual reality environments, make three-dimensional dinosaurs appear in the real world …

Machine Perception

What ISIS Really Wants

The Islamic State is no mere collection of psychopaths. It is a religious group with carefully considered beliefs, among them that it is a key agent of the coming apocalypse. Here’s what that means for its strategy—and for how to stop it.<p>What is the Islamic State?<p>Where did it come from, and what …

Religion

Meet the 100 people hoping to live and die on Mars

We're one step closer to finding out who could be the first humans to live on another planet. Mars One, the private organization planning to find and train a group of four astronauts to send on a one-way trip to Mars, has reached the third round of its selection process and has narrowed its …

Mars

7 Cities That Are Starting To Go Car-Free

Urban planners are finally recognizing that streets should be designed for people, not careening hunks of deadly metal.<p>After over a hundred years of living with cars, some cities are slowly starting to realize that the automobile doesn’t make a lot of sense in the urban context. It isn’t just the …

The top 10 wearables you can buy right now

This year's CES was awash in wearables and while many of them took the form of wrist-worn fitness trackers and smartwatches, the genre has expanded beyond the basics. While some iOS users may be holding out for the Apple Watch in April, there's still a great selection of cross-platform devices …

Wearable Tech

15 Traditional Cleaning Tricks You Never Knew

<i>This story was originally published on February 19, 2015</i><p>One of the biggest Lunar New Year traditions in China — besides the red envelopes and parades …

Chinese New Year

How people Photoshopped before Photoshop

Photoshop before Photoshop<p>100 years of manipulating images without computers<p>1856-57<p>c. 1855<p>1857<p>Almost as soon as the science of photography was …

The 10 most important Youtube videos of all time

In the past decade, the website has become a huge part of our culture and an important platform for brands to engage with users.<p>It's where music videos live. It's where movie trailers premiere. It's where a whole new class of multimillionaire "Youtube stars" have cropped up.<p>To chart Youtube's …

Advertising