SunStrider

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Why children with autism love trains (and the 10 best UK rail adventures for families)

I didn’t know it then, but my son’s love for trains was the first obvious clue to his autism. A railway line runs above our local playground, and as a toddler he would visibly shake with excitement at each passing train. Since one passed roughly every three minutes, it did strike me as odd that …

Trains

See How Fish Get From Coral Reefs to Your Aquarium Tank

A group of marine conservationists traced each step in the process, from capture to display.<p>Even if you’ve never owned a saltwater aquarium, it’s likely you’ve come across one before—perhaps at a restaurant or in your friend’s living room—with corals aglow and flamboyant fish flitting around them …

Marine Conservation

视觉大餐:廿张美图看伦敦圣诞百年变迁

节日时分,人的各种感情都被彩灯放大。看看现在和过去的圣诞美图,想想什么变了什么没变,既是视觉享受,也是心灵鸡汤。

What Happens If China Makes First Contact?

As America has turned away from searching for extraterrestrial intelligence, China has built the world’s largest radio dish for precisely that purpose.<p>Last January, the Chinese Academy of Sciences invited Liu Cixin, China’s preeminent science-fiction writer, to visit its new state-of-the-art radio …

UC Berkeley

Now We Know Why Poison Frogs Don't Poison Themselves

Some frogs' nervous systems resist a toxin 200 times more powerful than morphine. How do they do it?<p>Deep in the forests of South America live poison dart frogs that carry around a toxin 200 times more potent than morphine. While it packs a fatal punch for predators, the poison doesn't much affect …

Zoology

A Beginner’s Guide to Adobe Lightroom: Part 1

It is easy to feel overwhelmed with the many different features of Adobe Lightroom. Lightroom has so many possibilities, that even after years of …

The Templars Got Rich Fighting for God—Then Lost It All

The armed religious order was founded to protect pilgrims during the Crusades but now inspires modern extremists. Why?<p>Though their order was dissolved more than 700 years ago, the Knights Templar have continued to cast a spell over the world. Terrorists and drug cartels evoke them. Dan Brown’s …

Ancient History

The Best—and Quirkiest—Maps of the 2017 Solar Eclipse

Want to see if you’re due for clouds—or if your eclipse comes with a side of waffles? These maps are for you.<p>A solar eclipse is an inherently spatial event: It’s caused by the alignment of the sun, moon and Earth, and it moves across our planet on a predictable path. This makes it an irresistible …

Astronomy

'Game Of Thrones' Is Starting To Suffer Without George R. R. Martin's Writing

Tonight should bring to fruition a moment <i>Game of Thrones</i> fans have been a very long time for; we’re about to see Jon Snow meet Daenerys Targaryen. Will they fall in love? Become bitter enemies? Have a dragon and direwolf dance party? Who knows? But I have to say I’m more than a little sad that it’s …

13 Useful Apps for Off the Grid Adventures

These wifi-free apps were designed with remote areas in mind.<p>Though purists may say nothing can replace a printed topographic map, the world’s leading smartphone apps are getting close. Technology is making it easier than ever to get lost in an adventure without getting lost in the wilderness, and …

Apps

Here are some ways to make a mummy that Tom Cruise doesn't cover in The Mummy

Different cultures made mummies in different ways, with different reasons<p>The latest cinematic iteration of <i>The Mummy</i> takes off when antiquities thief Nick Morton (Tom Cruise) unearths an ancient Egyptian tomb — in Iraq<i>.</i> Ignoring the portents of impending doom (and the fact that stealing antiquities …

How to See the Best Total Solar Eclipse in a Century

The August eclipse will be the first to go coast to coast across the U.S. since 1918, offering viewing opportunities for millions of people.<p>Sky-watchers across the United States are gearing up for the best cosmic spectacle in nearly a century, when a total solar eclipse will race over the entire …

Solar Eclipse

The Very Confusing History Of April Fools' Day

We’ve all been there. The moment April 1 rolls around, the salt shaker is substituted with sugar, your mum texts you about chickens laying square …

Ancient Rome

Here are the Best Liars in the Animal Kingdom

From sneaky squid to blue jay impressionists, deceit abounds in the animal kingdom.<p>Nature is brutal, and some creatures have evolved their own sneaky ways of surviving, from mimicking other animals to taking advantage of dutiful parents.<p>Weird Animal Question of the Week decided to take an honest …

Birds

Wormistoune: A luxuriant, sheltered garden tucked away in Scotland

For sheer romance and, given its coastal location, a surprising amount of shelter, it would be hard to beat this luxuriantly planted and colourful …

The Hidden Costs of Flying

Scientists calculate the surprising fuel costs of catering, carry-ons, computers, and even a full bladder.<p>While airlines may set the fares and fees for air travel, the decisions made by passengers also come with costs. Every item on board makes a plane heavier, which burns more fuel. An airliner’s …

6 fantastic places that expand your mind (and your belly), by Professor Brian Cox

Scientist and TV presenter Professor Brian Cox’s adventures have taken him from the frozen Arctic to the ‘birthplace’ of humanity, not just learning, …

How Advertisers Have Used Maps to Try to Sell You Stuff

A huge collection of “persuasive maps”—newly available online—reveals how our trust in cartography can be used to sway us.<p>People seem to trust maps more than other forms of conveying information. It’s one thing to read that a city is racially segregated; seeing it on a map makes it seem more real. …

Maps

Europe's 28 best hidden seaside resorts

A Timeline of William Shakespeare's Life

Major Life Events That Shaped The Bard's Literary Career<p>This timeline of the legendary William Shakespeare reveals that his plays and sonnets cannot …

William Shakespeare

The Gunpowder Plot: Treason in 17th Century England

The Gunpowder Plot was thought up and driven on by Robert Catesby, a man who combined an ambition unconstrained by doubt with a charisma powerful …

Humanities

The fascinating hidden history of London's lost rivers

London is usually seen as a one-river city, just big old Father Thames. The city breathes with the rise and fall of its tide, and for centuries the Thames has posed patiently for tourist drawings, etchings and photos. But what of London’s other rivers, the capital’s unseen waterways? Twenty-one …

This new map helps you find the best time to visit anywhere in the world

Do you have a dream destination in mind and unsure of when to go? Or do you have time booked off and you’re trying to find a place to enjoy it? This handy new map tool will now allow you to find the best time to visit anywhere in the world.<p>To discover your perfect destination, simply select your …

Inside Einstein’s Love Affair With ‘Lina’—His Cherished Violin

The famed physicist rarely left home without his music, and it inspired him as he developed some of the most elegant theories in science.<p>He would one day develop the theory of relativity and the most famous equation ever written, E=mc2. He would help lay the foundations for modern quantum theory, …

Piano

7 easy tips to make your iPhone videos look pro

When Steve Jobs famously announced the original iPhone in 2007 he described the device as an "iPod, a phone and an internet communicator." For all its revolutionary design and features, the original iPhone had a camera but didn't shoot video.<p>Ten years later, the iPhone has evolved into the primary …

Mobile Photography

I Spent Two Years Botting on Instagram — Here’s What I Learned

In the world of Instagram, there is a practice known as <i>botting</i> — and I hate it. For the uninitiated, botting is the process of tying your Instagram …

'I died in hell (They called it Passchendaele)': A poignant voyage through the battlefields of Flanders

Old soldiers never forget. After buglers sounded the Last Post at the Menin Gate in Ypres, Terry Harragan of the Royal Artillery Association marched forward proudly and laid the poppy wreath he had brought specially from London. He saluted as the crowd stood in silent contemplation and a visiting …

Geography Isn’t Sacred in the Playful World of Pictorial Maps

A new book highlights an occasionally twisted, often amusing, always colorful tradition of hand-drawn cartography.<p>The maps in the slideshow above represent an underappreciated form of American visual art: the pictorial map. They’re maps designed to draw you in and—as often as not—try to sell you …

Panama Canal

How Tube stations got their unusual names

Scan a map of the London Underground for the first time, and you’ll likely notice that it is more than the ground-breaking design that seems imaginative. The names of the stations, too, can seem curiously, even bizarrely, whimsical. Some seem suited better to a medieval fantasy (Knightsbridge, …