Erin Abernathy

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Travel

Floating solar-powered Waternest eco-home is nearly 100% recyclable

If you prefer views of blue waters over grass lawns, you’ll love the WaterNest 100, an adorable ecological floating habitat. Designed by architect …

Fascinating floating city shaped like a manta ray would be 100% self-sustaining

French architect Jacques Rougerie has envisioned a giant floating city which bears a striking resemblance to a manta ray. He discusses his love for …

The Buddhist and the Neuroscientist

What compassion does to the brain<p>In 1992, the neuroscientist Richard Davidson got a challenge from the Dalai Lama. By that point, he’d spent his career asking why people respond to, in his words, “life’s slings and arrows” in different ways. Why are some people more resilient than others in the …

Mindfulness

Freckles Like Veils of Stars

People have always been Fritz Liedtke’s favorite subjects. He was out to dinner several years ago when he was taken with one of his dining companions, a woman with “amazing freckles.” Liedtke asked if he could take her photograph, which he did under the light of a neon sign in front of the …

Water Use for Fracking Has Skyrocketed, USGS Data Show

Wells drilled for gas drink far more chemical-laced fluids than those drilled for oil.<p>Water-based fluid used for horizontal fracturing in the U.S., 1990 – 2010<p>(gallons per well)<p>Gas<p>Oil<p>1990<p>2000<p>2010<p>NG Staff; J. L. Wang Source: United States Geological Survey<p>As a concept, hydraulic fracturing has …

Oldest Human Fossil Found, Redrawing Family Tree

Discovery pushes back the origin of our genus, Homo, by half a million years.<p>In a rare congruence of new evidence, two fossil jaws cast a fused beam of light on one of the darkest mysteries in human evolution: the origin of our genus <i>Homo</i>. The two lower jaws—one a reconstruction of a pivotal …

Anthropology

Hard Feelings: Science’s Struggle to Define Emotions

While it's possible for researchers to study facial expressions, brain patterns, behavior, and more, each of these is only part of a more elusive whole.<p>When Paul Ekman was a grad student in the 1950s, psychologists were mostly ignoring emotions. Most psychology research at the time was focused on …

Consciousness

Mars One Picks 100 to Compete for One-Way Red Planet Trips

The Dutch-based Mars One venture says it's winnowed down its list of applicants to 50 men and 50 women who will compete for the chance to take a one-way trip to Mars. Yes, that's the reward — not the punishment. The Mars One project plans to put on a reality-TV competition to select 24 prospective …

Space Science

5 Trends That Will Shape The Future Of Tiny Housing

Cities and renters are starting to accept apartments that are just 350 square feet. Here’s what the future of micro-housing holds.<p>The American dream of a household with 2.5 children, a dog, and a two-car garage is no longer the norm: people are staying single longer, having children later, and …

These Are The Ballerinas And Ballerinos Of Instagram

American Ballet Theater icon Misty Copeland has over 402,000 followers on Instagram. To compare, athletes like Venus and Serena Williams have 89,500 and 992,000 followers, respectively. Michael Phelps has 462,000. Danica Patrick has 26,900.<p>Of course, ballet is easily the most photogenic of the …

The World's Most Intense Fitness Program

I was a multisport burnout, searching for a new challenge, when a Web trawl served up a fitness program I’d never heard of: Kokoro Camp, a civilian version of the infamous Hell Week that the Navy uses as a grueling test of the men who hope to serve as SEALs. Kokoro is run by coaches working for a …

5 Madly Delicious Ways to Make Meatballs

<b>1. Swedish Meatballs</b><p>Delicate, bite-sized and covered in a light cream gravy -- what's not to love about Swedish meatballs? Spear them with toothpicks for a party or spoon them over lightly buttered egg noodles for dinner. Either way, make extra -- they disappear quickly! <b>GET THE RECIPE</b><p><b>2. Chicken</b> …

The Definitive Reading List of the 14 Best Books of 2014 Overall

I consider my annual best-of reading lists a kind of Old Year’s resolutions in reverse — unlike traditional resolutions, which lay out an aspirational list of priorities for the new year, these represent a look back at the books that proved themselves most worth prioritizing over the setting year. …

Devialet’s Hi-Tech “Phantom” Implosion Stereo Sounds Better Than Speakers 20X Its Size

You need a big sub-woofer for big bass, right? Wrong. After 10 years of research, French acoustic engineers as Devialet just unveiled a giant step forward in audio that’s just one foot long. The Phantom is a petite, spherical, all-in-one amplifier and speaker that delivers what audiophiles think …

New Spectacular Moleskine Doodles That Explode with Energy

A lot has changed in a year and a half, or when we last featured the work of Philippines-based illustrator Kerby Rosanes. Take a look at his website, called Sketchy Stories, and you'll see a chart filled with logos of the companies he's worked with which include Nike, Ford and Mazda. On Facebook …

Best Space Pictures of 2014: A Year's Delights Courtesy of Starry Nights

Of the 350 breathtaking space photos we published in 2014, here are our picks for the 12 best of the year.

Gorgeous Atmos LED Lamp Uses Water to Diffuse Light

The otherworldly bluish glow of the Atmos LED Lamp comes from the water droplets condensing on its inner walls. French designer Arturo Erbsman wanted …

Top 10 Extreme Planet Facts

Photo Credit: IAU/Martin Kornmesser<p>Slide 1 of 21<p>Strange, But True - Our Solar System<p>The worlds around our sun run the gamut from small and lifeless …

The Imitation Game: how Alan Turing played dumb to fool US intelligence

On 12 November 1942, the mathematician Alan Turing arrived in New York, bound for Washington DC and the headquarters of the US Secret Service, an organisation now known as the CIA. More than 500 American ships had been sunk by German U-boats since the US began sending supplies across the Atlantic …

The Futuristic Technology That Could Enable Interstellar Travel

Technically savvy scientists and engineers have put much effort into conceiving far-future technologies that might make possible near- light-speed …

Black Holes

Review: Parrot Zik 2.0

Headphones already are smart. Among models designed for mobile use, things like in-line remotes, Bluetooth connectivity, and active noise canceling …

11 Famous Books That Have Proven Impossible to Film

<i>The Fault in Our Stars. A Long Way Down. The Giver. A Most Wanted Man. Gone Girl. Mockingjay. Wild.</i> If it seems as if just about every film on your …

NASA's 1st Orion Spaceship Set for Launch Pad Trek

NASA's next spaceship is about to take a big step toward its historic December spaceflight debut.<p>The Orion capsule will roll out to the launch pad …

Space Exploration

First-Ever Comet Landing Next Week to Be Truly Epic, Scientists Say

European scientists and engineers are gearing up to soft-land a robotic probe on the mysterious surface of a comet for the first time.<p>The European …

Micro-community of tiny homes flourishes on rehabilitated vacant lot

Will tiny houses be the next big thing? We've outlined before some of the barriers that might be keeping tiny houses from becoming mainstream -- one …

Mother’s Little Anti-Psychotic Is Worth $6.9 Billion A Year

The best-selling drug in America isn’t what you think—and it’s a whole lot more powerful than you’d expect.<p>Quick: what’s the top-selling drug in the …

Elon Musk plans satellite network

After shaking up the automotive world with his electric car venture, entrepreneur Elon Musk has set his sights skywards in a bid to bring the internet to the billions who still lack access.<p>Musk is working on an embryonic $1bn plan to launch 700 satellites that are less than half the size of the …