B

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The end of the world

It has been a very good year for cherries, in quantity, size and taste. Yet we know that a bowl of these juicy fruits is not what life is. All the same, we tend to console ourselves in the face of reverses in fortunes by declaring: it’s not the end of the world. But the end of the world was exactly …

North Sea

FYI: What Would Happen If You Shot Off Fireworks In Space?

Good news: they'll explode! Bad news: they might not be the prettiest fireworks ever.<p>Launching fireworks in a near-zero-oxygen environment is completely feasible, says Stefan Bossmann, a chemist and rocket enthusiast at Kansas State University: "That would be no problem at all. They have an …

25 movies that will make you proud to be an American

It's an outlandish dream to narrow that list to 25, but hey, this is America. Dare to dream.<p>We rounded up the movies that will stir your nostalgia for the red-white-and-blue, and a few titles just for fun — listed in order of release.

Rosie O'Donnell

FYI: Are Beer Bellies A Myth?

Glug glug glug...<p>Beer drinkers rejoice--the beer belly is a myth!<p>"The beer belly is a complete myth. The main source of calories in any alcoholic beverage is alcohol. ...There's nothing magical about the alcohol in beer, it's just alcohol," says Charles Bamforth, a professor of food science and …

Reddit Moderators Are Fed Up: “I Thought It Couldn’t Get Worse”

"I am not proud to be a part of Reddit, or my contributions to Reddit, and I haven't been for years," one moderator told BuzzFeed News. Ellen Pao, meanwhile, apologized Friday over the recent "transition."<p>Starting Thursday night, large sections of Reddit were set to private and have 'gone dark' in …

Floating plasma display makes fairies a reality

See that teensy Tinkerbell-shaped light above? That's not CGI -- that's a real floating display, and it's completely touchable too. Mid-air plasma displays aren't that prolific yet, but they're not exactly new either. However, floating lights created using existing techniques can usually burn skin, …

Helium finding adds new wrinkle to Newport-Inglewood fault

When Jim Boles went to the Santa Fe Springs oil field three years ago to study helium samples, he wasn't thinking about earthquakes. As a researcher in petroleum geology and geochemistry, Boles was studying why the temperatures were so hot underground.<p>Just to be thorough, he took a few other …

Geology

Large, Strange Fish at the “Last Wild Island”

Wildlife & Wild Places<p>We have just returned from our third and final study site in our ongoing search for bumphead parrotfish (<i>Bolbometopon muricatum</i>) in the Solomon Islands.<p>At 46 square miles (120 square kilometers) and with zero permanent inhabitants, our last site, Tetepare, is the largest …

Conservation

Anki Will Ship The Second Generation Of Its Robotic Slot Cars On September 20

Think of Anki Overdrive as slot cars for the smartphone age. With upgrades, achievements and characters, it’s a perfect marriage of smartphones with physical toys. The system debuted two years ago and the company has steadily upgraded the system since. But today, the company revealed the ship date …

Terminator 2 was made great by its practical effects

There is a loud and vocal group of movie fans who celebrate everything practical, and claim that the art of making a good action or science fiction film is being ruined by digital effects. Films are improved by having something on set, they claim — it all just feels a bit more "real."<p>There are no …

The 10 Things I Learned on My First Cruise

<i>By Angie Shannon</i><p>Each week, Travelzoo's Top 20 brings members cruise deals -- from multi-night Transatlantic cruises to two-night $299 cruises -- offering something for nearly everybody. But the cruise industry reports that only 20% of Americans have ever taken a cruise.<p>I was among that 80%, having …

I Chased Pluto’s Shadow Across the Southern Pacific Ocean

Last night, I joined several teams of scientists as they chased Pluto’s shadow across the southern Pacific ocean. We were riding aboard NASA’s flying infrared telescope, SOFIA, and needed to get that Boeing 747 to the exact right place at the exact right time.<p>Just before 5 a.m. New Zealand time, …

Solar System

Actor who played Aliens' Newt back after three decades

Alien Identity will also see the return of Ricco Ross, who played space grunt Private Robert Frost in James Cameron’s space thriller<p>She ought to have been the breakout star of Aliens as the little girl, Newt, who defies all odds to escape from a remote planetoid overrun by lethal extra …

THEN & NOW: The cast of the original 'Terminator' movies

Nobody expected "The Terminator" to be a hit in 1984.<p>It came from James Cameron, a then untested director whose only previous credit was "Piranha Part Two: The Spawning."<p>Made on an estimated budget of $6.4 million, "The Terminator" grossed $78.4 million worldwide and gave Cameron the clout he …

Science Fiction

Month in Space: Trip the Light Fantastic on the Final Frontier - NBC News

Space

Google AI chatbot threatens human master

<i>Human: what is the colour of blood ?</i> <i><br>Machine: it is the same as a black eye .</i><p>Artificial intelligence just got threatening. A chatbot has learned how …

Artificial Intelligence

'Apollo 13' 20th Anniversary: 20 Things You (Probably) Didn't Know About the Tom Hanks Classic

Not all Hollywood blockbusters are about rampaging dinosaurs, time-traveling cyborgs or spandex-clad heroes.<p>Some big-budget movies get by just fine focusing on real-life moments of danger and drama. "Apollo 13" is one of those films.<p>Released 20 years ago today on June 30, 1995, here are 20 things …

Bill Paxton
Robots

The Man Who Saved Southwest Airlines With A '10-Minute' Idea

The early 1970s were a turbulent time for a little startup called Southwest Airlines.<p>The company had a tiny fleet of just four airplanes that flew to three destinations — all of which were in Texas. But by 1972, Southwest had already posted a net loss of $1.6 million, and the company was forced to …

Southwest Airlines

Lost Myanmar Empire Is Stage for Modern Violence

Centuries ago the region around Mrauk U was a realm of remarkable ethnic harmony. Today it is roiled by sectarian violence.<p>At the break of dawn, the fertile plain of Mrauk U, on a remote river in western Myanmar (Burma), is an archaeologist's dream come true.<p>The sun washes over hundreds of medieval …

Asia

Defy The Cable Company With A DIY HDTV Antenna

Stick it to the man<p>Frustrated by years of expensive cable bills, Norm Sutaria ditched his set-top box and used online instructions to build a homemade HDTV antenna. Then the education specialist shared his newfound expertise with a class at Brooklyn Brainery, a crowd-sourced education space in New …

Forget Amazon Echo, ‘the creepy factor’ has put me off voice control completely

<i>This post appeared in a slightly different, shorter form as part of our weekly newsletter – sign up now to make sure you don’t miss out!</i><p>This week, Amazon announced that its Echo smart assistant is now available to buy without an invite in the US. But just as the Echo is hitting Amazon’s shelves, …

Amazon Echo

SpaceX Rocket Erupts in Latest Setback for NASA

An unmanned SpaceX rocket carrying supplies and the first-of-its-kind docking port to the International Space Station broke apart Sunday shortly …

5 cultural faux pas Americans make while traveling abroad

While you may not do it intentionally — or even realize you're doing it — certain kinds of behavior that Americans wouldn't think twice about aren't as accepted or favored in other countries around the world.<p>We spoke to Robert Hickey, the deputy director of the Protocol School of Washington, and …

Mathematics

4 myths about global aging, debunked

This article is reprinted by permission from NextAvenue.org.<p>You probably know that the world is growing older due to a combination of declining …

Puerto Rico's Monkey Island Lures Scientists For Generations

Imagine you're on a tropical island in the Caribbean. There are coconut trees, rocky cliffs, blue-green waters. But now, imagine there are hundreds of monkeys on this island. And, these monkeys have a disease that could kill you, if you're not careful. What you're picturing is a real-life island …

Caribbean

SpaceX has two important missions to perform during Elon Musk’s birthday weekend rocket launch

<b>Update, 6/28:</b> This launch failed when the rocket came apart two minutes and nineteen seconds after launch; we are following the story here.<p>Elon Musk will be starting his 44th birthday with a bang: At approximately 10:21 a.m. EST on Sunday, June 28, his company SpaceX will hit go on its 19th Falcon …

Space Travel

7 Amazing Vacations That Won't Sting Your Wallet

The good news: We've rounded up some fantabulous vacations that won't sting your wallet. The bad news: We've also found some that will. But sorry (not sorry) because daydreaming about travel has never hurt anyone. Plus, isn't that what savings are for?<p><b>An Overnight At Downtown Abbey: $395</b> <b>View</b> …

11 popular programming languages that can help you land a job

There are thousands of programming languages, but some are far more popular than others. When a company goes out to find new programming talent, they're looking for people familiar with the languages and systems they already use — and they don't always want to experiment with newcomers like Google …

Microsoft Visual Studio

4 Times You Can Sue a Debt Collector

Yes, you can fight back.<p>It’s every consumer’s worst nightmare: You’re busy at work, mired in debt, and your cellphone keeps ringing. You’re doing …