Robert Matthew Hughes

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The Best Refried Beans

From the Saveur archives: Unearthing the legendary refritos from Austin's Las Manitas<p>In a large pot, combine the beans, all but 1 tablespoons of the …

Lithium-ion batteries finally have a rechargeable competitor

Last week, Sun Microsystems co-founder Bill Joy and the company he currently backs, Ionic Materials, unveiled a solid-state alkaline battery design that they claim would be cheaper and safer than the lithium-ion battery.<p>"What people didn't really realize is that alkaline batteries could be made …

Maryam Mirzakhani, the first woman to win mathematics’ Fields Medal, has died at age 40

Maryam Mirzakhani, the Stanford University mathematician who was the only woman to win the Fields Medal, died Saturday (July 15) of breast cancer at age 40.<p>The Stanford News reported that Mirzakhani, who was born in Iran, used theoretical mathematics to explore the geometric complexities of curved …

Mathematics

This zero-emission boat will make its own hydrogen fuel and sail around the world

‘Energy Observer’ is a unique boat, covered with solar panels, which produces its own hydrogen-based fuel.<p>It set sail from France, where the …

Plane

NASA has achieved a significant milestone in its effort to make supersonic passenger jet travel over land a real possibility by completing the …

Aviation

Secret U.S. Space Plane Lands With A Boom In Florida

The Air Force's experimental X-37B space plane announced the end of its nearly two-year mission by creating a sonic boom on Sunday that surprised residents along Florida's Space Coast. Officials have provided only vague details about the unmanned craft's more than 700-day mission.<p>"Not much is known …

Space Exploration

NASA just got its closest look at Saturn yet — here's what it saw

On April 26, NASA flew its Cassini spacecraft closer to Saturn than ever before. In fact, it's the closest any spacecraft has ever come to Saturn — just 1,900 miles from the beautiful planet's cloud tops.<p>Even more exciting, Cassini has already transmitted images of what it saw from its deepest dive …

To Calm the Gut, Look to Weed and Hot Peppers

Surprising new research says it helps to turn up the heat to chill out.<p>If your gut is giving you a hard time, eating a whole bunch of spicy food and …

Aiming for a new era in airships

It's a plane, it's a helicopter, it's a butt-shaped blimp. The Airlander 10 is like no other aircraft in the skies.<p>You can see the Airlander 10's home long before you actually get there. I first glimpsed the immense Hangar One in the English village of Cardington from about 5 miles away while I was …

Aviation

Women Are Tweeting #ThatsHarassment To Share Powerful Stories

On Monday, actor David Schwimmer appeared in a series of films centered on sexual harassment. They were eerily spot-on, uncomfortable, and timely. …

SpaceX is about to make history by relaunching a used Falcon 9 rocket

And the vehicle’s going to attempt another landing, too<p>On Thursday, SpaceX is set to launch yet another satellite into orbit from the Florida coast — but this mission will be far from routine for the company. The Falcon 9 rocket that SpaceX is using for the launch has already flown before. Around …

What Buffy taught me about mental health, sex & being a girl

Today, <i>Buffy The Vampire Slayer</i> celebrates its 20th anniversary. For those who haven’t seen it, it’s hard to understand why this would be worthy of celebration. How could a show about a blonde, Californian teenager fighting monsters have any significant cultural impact? On the surface, it seems …

Why Women Weren't Allowed to Be Astronauts

Critics had plenty of reasons for wanting to disqualify women from spaceflight in its early stages—but none of them stuck.<p>When the Apollo astronauts went to space in the 1960s, Mae Jemison was a little girl in Chicago, watching the historic launches along with the rest of the country. She remembers …

A Mathematician Might’ve Created an Anti-Tsunami Cannon That Could Save Millions Of Lives

A mathematician might’ve figured out how to stop tsunamis in their tracks… or at least dampen their power. Image: Sean Davey<p><b>Back in 2004, I was in</b> …

Birds flying through laser light reveal faults in flight research

The protective goggles are tight, the chin strap secure. Conditions are calm and the lasers are ready; the air is infused with tiny aerosol particles …

Particles

Airbus is building flying taxis so that it can become the Uber of the skies

Uber released a 98-page white paper last week outlining its plans to bring "flying cars" to commuters by 2026. Google co-founder Larry Page is also funding a "flying car" project through a start-up named Zee.Aero, and its prototype was reportedly seen in action at Hollister Municipal Airport in …

The US Congress finally found something it could agree on: craft beer

The US Congress is poised to pass a measure that would reform how federal taxes are levied on the beer industry, making it cheaper for craft brewers to get their product to consumers.<p>It’s a sign that America’s two major political parties can still find common ground over a cold drink, something …

Beer

Medical marijuana has potential as Alzheimer's treatment, study says

<b>(CNN) —</b> Could medical marijuana treat Alzheimer's patients? One recent study found THC, the psychoactive ingredient in cannabis, stimulates the removal of toxic plaque in the brain, a common feature of the disease. Furthermore, the researchers discovered it blocks inflammation, which damages …

Dementia

Here's which SpaceX rocket will be reused 1st to make a monumental 2nd trip into space

In June, SpaceX CEO Elon Musk announced that we could see one of the retrieved Falcon 9 rockets be reused as early as September.<p>And now, after months of deliberation, the company has plucked one of its famed Falcon 9 rockets from the pack and is preparing it for a momentous second trip into …

US government plans to use drones to fire vaccine-laced M&Ms near endangered ferrets

The US Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) has a plan to save the endangered black-footed ferret, and it involves candy. The agency has proposed delivering vaccines to a ferret colony in Montana using drones capable of shooting vaccine-laced M&M's, <i>The Guardian</i> reports.<p>According to the USFWS, the …

Astronomers Just Discovered a Morse Code Message in The Dunes of Mars

Not aliens.<p>NASA has spotted a series of strange, dark dunes on Mars that look uncannily like the dots and dashes that make up Morse code.<p>This isn't …

Microsoft Co-Founder's Space Company Nears Debut of World's Biggest Plane

A space launch company bankrolled by Microsoft co-founder Paul Allen intends to compete with space entrepreneurs and industry stalwarts by launching satellites into orbit from the world’s biggest airplane.<p>Stratolaunch Systems, a unit of Allen’s privately owned Vulcan Aerospace, last week gave a …

Space Travel

The Hand You Write With Could Affect How Good You Are at Maths

Lefties do it better.<p>For lefties, the world can be a tough place. Scissors are awful, you're always awkwardly elbowing the person next to you while …

Scientists and insurers develop 'death clock' to predict when customers will die

Insurance premiums could rise after scientists teamed up with the insurance industry to create an algorithm which will predict when customers will die.<p>The University of East Anglia is launching a four year study using huge databases of medical data to determine life expectancy and long-term illness.<p>…

Insurance

Pentagon Opens Investigation Into Space Launch Contracts

The Pentagon’s inspector general has opened an investigation into comments made by a United Launch Alliance executive last week that suggested …

NASA releases even more of its fantastical space tourism posters

You might think NASA is a big bureaucratic agency that only operates according to rules, regulations, and process — and you'd mostly be right. But the space agency is also full of dreamers and thinkers like the ones who make up the design studio at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory, who were behind the …

Super-maneuverable drone airplanes are coming

Helicopter-like drones are extremely nimble, but their fixed-wing counterparts aren't so lucky. Chinese researchers have a way to bring some of that agility to conventional airplane designs, though. They've developed a vectored thrust propeller system that lets the drone make tighter turns, take …

The perfectly named ninja lanternshark is a new glow-in-the-dark shark species

Also known as the Etmopterus benchleyi<p>Meet the ninja lanternshark. It was officially declared a species just last week, and its superhero-esque new nickname — known scientifically as a "common name" — makes up for its slightly unsettling little frown mouth and iridescent eyeballs.<p>The shark's …

These 11 weapons have been in the US military’s inventory for more than 40 years

The western world is always in a rush for the latest and greatest iPhone or other tech gadgets, but troops know that some weapons systems stand the test of time without too many, if any, mods. Here are 11 of them.

Military

Say Hello to the First New U.S. Nuclear Plant in Almost 20 Years

The Tennessee Valley Authority’s Watts Bar 2 reactor just got approval to operate. What does this mean for the future of American nuclear energy?<p>Remember the last time a new nuclear power plant opened up in the U.S.? If not, that’s excusable. It wasn’t in this century. It was Watts Bar in …

Nuclear Energy