Richard Groves

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The Hair-Raising Science Of Goose Bumps

Watch a scary movie and your skin crawls. Goose bumps have become so associated with fear that the word is synonymous with thrills and chills.<p>But what on earth does scary have do to with chicken-skin bumps? For a long time, it wasn't well understood.<p>Physiologically, it's fairly simple. Adrenaline …

Charles Darwin

A Vladimir Lenin statue has been transformed into Darth Vader

Vladimir Lenin is not very popular in Ukraine these days. There are still lots of statues left over from the Soviet days, but they're slowly being taken down — or in this case, retrofitted into more inspirational figures from the capitalist mythos. With Vader-interest peaking as Lenin-interest …

Barack Obama

Nuke all your computer passwords, Intel exec says

With all the different websites and devices you log in to, it has become almost impossible to keep track of all your passwords.<p>But what if you could forget about passwords and log in instantly using something else, like your face or fingerprints?<p>Intel thinks that's a real possibility — and …

Computer Science

Lightning claw: fossilised bones found to be Australia's largest carnivorous dinosaur

Discovery by opal miners in 2005 finally identified by palaeontologists as seven-metre long predator equipped with giant talons that roamed 110m years ago<p>Australia’s largest carnivorous dinosaur, dubbed “lightning claw” due to its terrifyingly large talons, has been identified from fossilised bones …

Super-Strong Material Inspired By Squid Teeth Is Self-Healing

To repair, just add water<p>A team of researchers led by engineers from Penn State University has created the first material that heals itself in the presence of water, according to a study published yesterday in <i>Scientific Reports</i>. The material, inspired by squid teeth, could be used to repair devices …

54-propeller superdrone lifts off with a person inside

It took 54 propellers for the Swarm superdrone to get off the ground with a human passenger along for the exciting ride.<p>I've looked at little quadcopter drones and thought, "Gosh, if I could just shrink down to mouse size, that would be a lot of fun to ride around on."<p>YouTube user gasturbine101 …

Sharks! Skateboarders! Trees! Here's What Discovery Learned From Filming in VR.

Everything from video editing to not making people sick.<p>It may not have a figurative “ocean of puppies” like MTV, but<p>theDiscoveryChannelCommunications is starting to experiment with virtual reality — in a literal ocean of sharks, among other places.<p>The cable network released a mobile app this week …

Virtual Reality

Concept Video: Your Next Plane Could Take Off Vertically

Private aircraft tentatively seeking stockholders<p>The ideal airplane doesn’t need a runway. Since Kitty Hawk, the standard design of a fixed-wing airplane assumes the plane will build momentum and lift by accelerating along an open stretch of land (or sometimes sea), and will need to land by …

Why two Googlers left the company's top-secret lab to create an app that aims to change how people talk to each other

One day, while he and his wife were both at work, he got a text message containing an audio file from his 20-month-old daughter's nanny.<p>When he finally downloaded the file as an MP3 and fired up his media player, he heard June, his 20-month-old daughter, say some of her first words: "I miss you, …

Apps

Scientists Find A Double Black Hole Inside A Nearby Quasar

Two holes in one!<p>The brightest objects in the universe have massive black holes at their hearts.<p>Quasars (“quasi-stellar radio sources”) can be brighter than entire galaxies, and they’re thought to be fueled by the friction and heat of stuff that’s getting swallowed up by a black hole. (Although …

Darth Punk: A Star Wars/Daft Punk Mashup Music Video

This is 'Darth Punk: The Funk Awakens', an impressively high production value music video by Infectious Designer combining the worlds of Star Wars …

Daft Punk

Future iPhones could have 7-day fuel cells

Apple may be interested in putting hydrogen-powered batteries in future iPhones, extending battery life up to 7 days per charge. Best of all? You’d charge your iPhone through the headphone jack.<p>Hydrogen-powered batteries have a big advantage over lithium-ion power cells: battery life. By mixing …

Energy

The best new tourist attractions on earth, according to Lonely Planet

If globe-trotting is on your bucket list this year, travel guide company Lonely Planet wants to tell you where to go. Its list of the world’s best travel experiences of 2015, part of its latest ebook, “New in Travel,” will take you off the beaten track from Ireland to Panama to South Africa. Here’s …

Travel

Live forever: Scientists say they’ll extend life ‘well beyond 120’

Fixing the ‘problem’ of ageing is the mission of Silicon Valley, where billions is pouring into biotech firms working to ‘hack the code’ of life – despite concerns about the social implications<p>In Palo Alto in the heart of Silicon Valley, hedge fund manager Joon Yun is doing a back-of-the-envelope …

And the best picture Oscar might just go to … Transformers: Age of Extinction

Paramount launch campaign for Michael Bay’s robot-wars movie to be nominated for best film and best director, as well as in technical categories<p>It was called “skull-splinteringly insensitive” by the Guardian and currently stands as the worst-reviewed movie in the entire franchise. But studio bosses …

‘Life on Earth is in peril. We have no future if we don’t go into space’

Experts including Stephen Hawking look at the value of human and robotic spaceflight<p>• Astronauts lift our spirits. But can we afford to send humans into space? • Artificial intelligence could spell end of human race – Stephen Hawking • New Horizons probe rouses from hibernation for Pluto …

Eat within 12-hour window to lose weight, say scientists

Simply sticking to a 12-hour eating window could be the key to losing weight without restricting calories<p>Dieters hoping to shed the pounds should watch the clock as much as their calories after scientists discovered that limiting the hours we eat stops weight gain.<p>Confining meals to a 12 hour …

Holistic Medicine

Rare ‘black seadevil’ anglerfish caught on film in Monterey Bay

The deepest reaches of the ocean contain some of earth’s most incredible creatures. They’re also some of the most bizarre.<p>On Nov. 17, Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute Senior Scientist Bruce Robison and his team filmed an elusive “black seadevil” anglerfish 1,900 feet deep in the Monterey …

The Secret Life of Passwords

When Thanksgiving Was Weird

Oddest thing: Thanksgiving in turn-of-the-20th century America used to look a heckuva lot like Halloween.<p>People — young and old — got all dressed up and staged costumed crawls through the streets. In Los Angeles, Chicago and other places around the country, newspapers ran stories of folks wearing …

Infinadeck is a 1000 Pound Omnidirectional Treadmill Built By One Man

Infinadeck is a new entrant into the omnidirectional treadmill space for VR use. The device allows a user to walk completely naturally in any …

Virtual Reality

Lytro changed photography. Now can it get anyone to care?

“Okay, can I take it out of the box now?”<p>Lytro product director Colvin Pitts wants to show me the camera he’s been working on since 2007. He cautions that it’s just an early model, then gently lifts the stark, black device out of an unmarked box. It looks like a cross between a DSLR and a …

Clue to earthquake lightning mystery

<b>Mysterious lightning flashes that appear to precede earthquakes could be sparked by movements in the ground below, US scientists say.</b><p>Unidentified glowing objects were spotted moments before major quakes in China and Italy recently.<p>These flickers could be triggered by shifting soil layers which …

Earthquakes

Great Walls of America 'could stop tornadoes'

<b>Building three "Great Walls" across Tornado Alley in the US could eliminate the disasters, a physicist says.</b><p>The barriers - 300m (980ft) high and up to 100 miles long - would act like hill ranges, softening winds before twisters can form.<p>They would cost $16bn (£9.6bn) to build but save billions of …

Weather

Death Valley Racetrack's Mystery 'Moving Rocks' Stopped in their Tracks By ... Footprints

Are you familiar with the "mystery rocks" of Death Valley, the rocks that seemingly move themselves across a long, wide playa called the …

Stop trying to make the web look 'beautiful' – I've forgotten it already

Facebook's new Paper app is all polished minimalism and white space, but a grittier reading experience can be more satisfying<p>This week, Facebook launched Paper, an app designed to transform the experience of reading Facebook's content on your iPhone. It's uncluttered, slick, minimalist, polished. …

Just four months until we can understand dogs! Dog-to-English translator to become a reality

Anxious to know what your dog is thinking? The wait could soon be over as a ‘dog-to-English’ translator is set to become a reality in just four …

Behold the bizarre wonder of a Supermarionation Christmas

Science Fiction

Yellowstone volcano would be 2,000 times the size of Mount St Helens

New study reveals that the magma chamber beneath Yellowstone National Park more than double the size previously thought and a potential supervolcano would erupt with mammoth force<p>The hot molten rock beneath Yellowstone National Park is 2 ½ times larger than previously estimated, meaning the park's …

National Parks