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Champion's Parent Company Developing Ionizing Ignition System

As the internal-combustion engine has received more and more improvements in the past two decades—and more are coming—from direct injection and variable valve timing to advanced turbocharging and stop-start systems, one engine feature has remained the same: the spark plug. Every gas-fed engine uses …

Environment: News & features

Hangout Underwater in the Great Barrier Reef

Changing Planet<p><i>This Earth Day, National Geographic is teaming up with NASA and Catlin Seaview Survey to bring you a Google+ Hangout that explores the land, sea, and sky (Read more).</i><p><b>Explorer Profile: Richard Fitzpatrick, Catlin Seaview Survey</b><p>Along with explorers from both NASA and National …

How to Make Light Work for You

TravelTraveler Magazine<p><b>Reader Question:</b> What’s the best time of day to take pictures?<p><b>My Answer:</b> Most photographers love early morning and late afternoon. There are many good reasons for this.<p>Typically, the light is coming from a lower angle. That makes the scene have more depth and …

NASA to launch planet-hunting mission with Google-backed satellite

NASA this week announced plans to launch two new projects: a mission to search for new planets, and an International Space Station (ISS) experiment to analyze X-rays emitted from neutron stars. Both are slated to launch in 2017, under the agency's Astrophysics Explorer Program.<p>NASA's Transiting …

2015 Volvo V60

Volvo readies its slick mid-size five-door for a U.S. wagon revival.<p>In the midst of an overhaul of its U.S. lineup that Volvo describes as “the most extensive development of existing models” in its history—and rightfully so, what with updates for the XC60, the XC70, the S60, and the S80—the …

Africa’s Mysterious “Fairy Circles” Explained

Changing Planet<p><b>Fairy circles—circular patches of bare soil surrounded by a ring of grass—have long mystified scientists.</b><p>Found mainly in the grasslands of southern Africa, the oddly shaped formations can grow to more than 65 feet (20 meters) wide, but no one knew what caused them. Now, perhaps …

Why There’s No Stick in the U.S. Audi A3/S3 Sedans—But Don't Despair

“All engines are mated to the standard 6-speed S tronic transmission,” Audi buries in the press release for the new A3 and S3 sedans, before going on to plug that S tronic gearbox for its dynamism and smoothness. Reading this in the <i>Car and Driver</i> offices, hearts sunk. Torches were lit. Pitchforks …