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The best science podcasts to make you smarter

Bite-sized science knowledge for your hungry ears.<p><i>This post has been updated, and will probably be updated again, because that's how best-of lists should work.</i><p>I love podcasts, you love podcasts, your grandma probably loves podcasts. Looking for some science you can enjoy while your eyeballs do …

Siblings Can Have Surprisingly Different DNA Ancestry. Here's Why.

When it comes to tracing your roots through your genes, biological siblings may have less in common than many people expect.<p>Last fall, siblings Kat and Eddy Abraham decided the best birthday gift for their dad involved a couple vials of spit.<p>“He’s the historian of the family,” Kat says, so the …

Genetics

Wisdom from the World's Best Marathoner

Eliud Kipchoge, the Olympic marathon champion, gave an address last November at the Oxford Union Society, a 200-year-old institution that touts itself as the “most famous debating society in the world.” Though there was no debating as such, attendees nonetheless got to hear two distinct …

Marathons

If You Can't Pass This Simple 10 Second Test, Science Says You're 5 Times More Likely to Die Sooner

And don't worry if you can't pass it today. With a little time and effort, you will.<p>Everyone wants to live a long, healthy life. No one wants their life to be cut unnecessarily short. But is it possible to predict whether you're at greater risk of mortality? According to a Brazilian physician, the …

Earth's Magnetic Poles Are Overdue For a Switch And We're Not Prepared

The magnetic field is already shifting.<p>Earth's magnetic field is pretty adept at flipping polarity. The poles have swapped, reversing north and …

How To Teach Mosquitoes To Leave You Alone

Human skin is a cornucopia of fragrances.<p>The bacteria living on our skin emit more than 200 odor chemicals.<p>"Many of these molecules smell quite pleasant," says biologist Jeff Riffell at the University of Washington. "They smell grassy or a little bit like mushrooms. Some human scents are the same …

Mosquitoes

Hong Kong ultrarunner on how he stays motivated in middle age, even while raising a young family, and his seven tips for endurance

Ultra-running by its very nature takes hours, and even days, of training. But when you are raising one-year-old twin girls, time is of the …

Running

Teach Reception children how to grip a pencil, says Ofsted

<b>Children in Reception class in England should be taught how to grip a pencil properly and how to sit correctly at a table, says the watchdog Ofsted.</b><p>Inspectors say a third of five-year-olds do not have the essential knowledge and understanding they need following their first year at school.<p>They say …

It’s shameful that our children are still so computer illiterate. Let’s give them the skills to take on the tech giants, and create a more democratic internet<p>Three years ago, before the Brexit dreams of renewed imperial glory and Vimto for all took wing, England took an uncharacteristically bold …

Financial Services

A 19-Year Study Reveals Kindergarten Students With These 2 Skills Are Twice as Likely to Obtain a College Degree (And They Have Nothing to Do With Reading) | Inc.com

It's hard to believe that what your child knows at age 5 could influence his future chances of success. But that's exactly what a 2015 study published in the <i>American Journal of Public Health</i> found.<p>But researchers discovered that the skills that predict future success had nothing to do with reading …

College & University

Physics Teacher's Simple Marble Runs Will Make You Love Science All Over Again

Take a few minutes for these totally satisfying DIY demos of basic physics.<p>You've probably seen the famous pendulum demonstration—the one where the physics professor puts a bowling ball on a rope, holds it by her head, and lets it go, knowing it won't have enough energy to come back far enough to …

Physics

Scientists Have Made a Two-Dimensional Material That's Never Been Seen in Nature

Whoa.<p>A team of researchers from RMIT University in Melbourne, Australia has reportedly made a 'once-in-a-decade discovery' that will radically change …

Pupils choose their own subjects and motivate themselves, an approach some say should be rolled out across Germany<p>Anton Oberländer is a persuasive speaker. Last year, when he and a group of friends were short of cash for a camping trip to Cornwall, he managed to talk Germany’s national rail …

Employment

Here's How Manual and Automatic Transmissions Really Work

If you've never quite understood what changing gears actually does or how different transmissions do it, this video offers a great explanation.<p>If you're looking at the difference between an automatic and a manual transmission, it's not hard to understand that one shifts gears for you, and the other …

Porsche

8 Lesser-Known, Useful Elements

9 of the Most Abundant Animals on Earth

What's Inside Blue Ballpoint Ink? Fatty Acids and Alcohol

<b>Synthetic Dyes</b><p>Patents for ballpoint pens go back to the late 1800s, but it took half a century to develop good, fast-drying inks. Bic, Pilot, and …

Text Messaging

After Watching This, You'll Probably Never Want to Eat Gummies Again

Everything is terrible.<p>It's hard to resist the lure of the sweet smell of gummies. We know they're bad for our teeth and everything, but they hit the sweet spot, and that's enough to have us drilling through a bag in about 10 minutes flat.<p>But after watching this short film by Belgian filmmaker …

Lips

Scientists Measure Smallest Ever Forces Between Atoms

Cast your mind back to high school chemistry and you might remember the van der Waals force: The weak bond between molecules, caused by the way their …

Chemistry

What does a scientist think of "right brain/left brain" tests?

<b>Maybe you've noticed the recent spate of "brain tests" making the rounds online.</b><p>There are different versions - several have been shared hundreds of thousands of times on Facebook - but most of them take the form of a quiz which purports to show how "left-brained" or "right-brained" you are. The …

Upper Body Strength Training For Run Form

Avoid neglecting your upper body for better form and improved posture when running. Photo: ShutterstockA bulky upper body haunts the dreams of …

Boston-Bound: Focus On Building Strength With 10 Weeks To Go

Photo: PhotoRun.netIn the first article in this series, you learned the ideal workouts for this early stage in the training. You were also encouraged …

We've Had 100 Years Of Progressive Education And The World's Getting Worse

It is time to stop all this talk about 21st century skills. The world has not changed as much as most of the authors out on book tour would have us believe. Don’t buy into their message; they seem fundamentally confused. Somehow, paradoxically, they’ve managed an absurd neo-conservative …

Charlie Chaplin

Who was Wilbur Scoville? The science behind what makes chillies so hot

The inventor of the Scoville test has been commemorated with a Google Doodle on his 151st birthday<p>Hot chilli peppers have been credited with helping to lose weight, inducing labour and relieving pain. But until Wilbur Scoville, there was no objective way of measuring how hot chillies really …

Bike Intervals Could Make You A Better Runner

Photo: iStockPhoto: iStock<i>Looking for a run improvement? The answer may be found on your bike.</i>Delighting bike-favouring triathletes everywhere, a new …

The 33 books every teacher should read

1. <i>How Children Succeed: grit, curiosity and the hidden power of character</i> by Paul Tough<p>Chosen by <b>Nicky Morgan, secretary of state for education and</b> …

Four elements earn permanent seats on the periodic table

The seventh row of the periodic table is officially full.<p>On December 30, the International Union of Pure and Applied Chemistry announced that a …

10 TED Talks That Will Help You Be a Better Parent

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Hand Boiler Science Toy

A classic science experiment in the palm of your hand<p>Glass hand-boiler demonstrates Charles's Law<br>• Contains ethyl alcohol, science, awesome<br>• Comes in one …

Badass Historical Chemists: The Woman Behind Antoine Lavoisier

Antoine Lavoisier is deservedly considered one of the great chemists in history. We might not know of his experiments if it weren’t for his wife. She …

Chemistry