William Kirkwood

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Is Facebook the enemy of truth and civic unity?

The defining political achievements of the past decade have favored tolerance and empathy – and online discussion has fuelled them all, argues Steven Johnson<p>Every new technology threatens to kill off some revered institution. But in the waning months of 2015, more than a few smart and tech-savvy …

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These fighter jets inspired the aircraft in 'Star Wars'

From WWII to long ago and far, far away.<p>During George Lucas’s childhood in the 1950s, World War II was still very much a part of popular culture despite being safely in the rearview mirror. Action heroes frequented the silver screen in large numbers, and none were more glamorous than fighter …

Black hole observed devouring a star

Any star that wanders too close to a black hole can be shredded and consumed by the immense gravitational force. Usually, astronomers only observe the devastation after the fact. Catching a black hole in the act is far rarer.<p>An international team of astronomers has made a new observation of a black …

Pentagon's vaunted F-35 earns lousy review from test pilot in secret report

How would the military’s new F-35 Joint Strike Fighter aircraft fare in a dogfight against an old F-16D fighter? Not well, according to a leaked test pilot report of mock air battles in January between the two aircraft.<p>The test pilot’s report was first reported by the website War is Boring, which …