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The Week In Numbers: Humanity's Last Common Ancestor, The Birth Of NASA, And More

<b>180,000-200,000 years ago</b>: the time when humanity's last common male ancestor likely walked Earth<p><b>28.3 mph</b>: the speed at which Boston Dynamics' Cheetah Robot can sprint (it is one of our 10 favorite athletic robots)<p><b>$300-$2,000</b>: the money a 3-D printer could save you per year by printing household …

Herpes Virus Shoots DNA Into Human Cells With Crazy High Internal Pressure

Herpes, having a blast.<p>Scientists have long theorized that herpes viruses are so stuffed with genetic material that infecting a host cell is as easy as popping a balloon. Or exploding a powder keg. The internal pressure within the virus is so great, it explodes its genetic material straight out of …

Spiders May Have Personalities, and Some Are Bolder Than Others

Armed with branch cutters, pillowcases, and a vibrator, a team of scientists has discovered how social spiders in India assign chores within their …

The 25 Best Nerd Road Trips

Twenty-five curious, mysterious, or otherwise beguiling destinations to satisfy your inner science-history geek<p>In the past 16 months, writers Geoff Manaugh and Nicola Twilley have toured 150 of the built, natural, and virtual landscapes of the United States, collecting images and interviews. They …

Hair Analysis Indicates Inca Child Sacrifice Given Drugs and Alcohol Before Death

Researchers from the University of Bradford conducted hair analysis on the Llullaillaco Maiden, a 13-year-old girl whose frozen body was found near …

Orion the Hunter returns before dawn

In late July and early August, if you’re up early and have an unobstructed view to the east, be sure to look in that direction in the hour before …

This date in science: First U.S. patent issued

The first U.S. patent was for a new method of making potash, an early industrial chemical, used to make soap and other products.<p><b>July 31, 1790.</b> On …

Did monogamy evolve in primates due to threat of male infanticide?

Among competing hypotheses: a paired male protects his offspring from other males, who may kill an unrelated infant to improve chances of reproducing …

These Are the Most Exquisitely Weird Spiders You Will Ever See | WIRED

Spiders are among the craftiest and most beautiful of arthropods, entirely undeserving of their maligned reputation. Some signal their presence with …

Watch as this water bug gobbles up an entire fish, from the inside out

Another day, another gruesome example of Mother Nature's cruelty. And this one was caught on camera.<p>In a video clip as horrid as it is hypnotizing, researchers tracking the water bug <i>Lethocerus patruelis</i> put the eating habits of this enormous insect — adults measure around 3 inches long — on …

How to see a green flash

It’s said that once you’ve seen a green flash, you’ll never go wrong in matters of the heart. Here’s all you need to know … plus great pics!<p><b>People</b> …

What Would Happen If Everyone Peed In The Ocean At The Same Time?

A thought experiment<p>Lauren Wolf, an associate editor at Chemical & Engineering News and self-described ocean-urinator, recently took it upon herself to find out the scientific truth about what really happens when humans pee in the ocean.<p>She first turned to the internet, of course. As she …

The Case for Alien Life

Only one planet has been proven to support life: our own. But with at least 11 billion Earth-sized worlds in our galaxy orbiting in their stars' habitable zones, the odds that we are not alone are improving.<p>On Feb. 9, 2013, NASA's Curiosity rover found something on Mars that set a milestone in the …

Astronomy

Shooting stars: Can astronaut Karen L Nyberg become the next Chris Hadfield? - Telegraph

Space Exploration

31 Stunning Pictures Of American National Parks

The National Park Service oversees 401 areas throughout the U.S. and U.S. territories and has nearly 300 million visitors each year.<p>You don't have to be a hiking fanatic to enjoy these places. You can swim, kayak, bird watch, walk, bike, drive, camp, or just relax in the country's national parks.<p>We …

10 Startup Tips From Hip-Hop Lyrics

“I’m not a businessman, I’m a business, man,” declared Jay Z, worth $475 million at Forbes’ last count. Rappers have long mused on wealth in their verses, and some of those lyrics can provide invaluable advice to founders.<p>The Phat Startup is dedicated to teaching entrepreneurship through hip-hop, …

What an eyeful: the world's most beautiful buildings

Straight away we'll say that this isn't a top 10 list. There are just far too many styles of buildings, each worthy of a top 50: sacred buildings, homes, skyscrapers, theatres...<p>Instead, this is a list showing the variety of architectural beauty across the globe - and pointing you in the direction …

APOD: The Eskimo Nebula from Hubble and Chandra (2013 Jul 30) Image Credit: X-ray: NASA/CXC/IAA-CSIC/N. Ruiz et al.; Optical: NASA/STScI http://apod.nasa.gov/apod/ap130730.html Explanation: In 1787, astronomer William Herschel discovered the Eskimo Nebula. From the ground, NGC 2392 resembles a person's head surrounded by a parka hood. In 2000, the Hubble Space Telescope imaged the Eskimo Nebula in visible light, while the nebula was imaged in X-rays by the Chandra X-ray Observatory in 2007. The above combined visible-X ray image, with X-rays emitted by central hot gas and shown in pink, was released last week. From space, the nebula displays gas clouds so complex they are not fully understood. The Eskimo Nebula is clearly a planetary nebula, and the gas seen above composed the outer layers of a Sun-like star only 10,000 years ago. The inner filaments visible above are being ejected by strong wind of particles from the central star. The outer disk contains unusual light-year long orange filaments. The Eskimo Nebula spans about 1/3 of a light year and lies in our Milky Way Galaxy, about 3,000 light years distant, toward the constellation of the Twins (Gemini). http://chandra.harvard.edu/photo/2013/ngc2392/ Starship Asterisk* • APOD Discussion Page http://asterisk.apod.com/discuss_apod.php?date=130730 #APOD

The Trippiest Time Lapse Video We've Ever Seen

The night sky + weird dragon sculptures = total mind screw<p>Just in case the cosmos are not fantastic enough for you: This new video shows time lapses of the night sky over enormous metal dragons, dinosaurs and other creatures in Galleta Meadows in the desert town of Borrego Springs, California.<p>The …

America's legendary drives

With over four million miles of highway, the USA offers more road trips than anyone could tackle in one lifetime. Whether you’re itching to peek into Wild West history, or just longing for a big ol’ soulful dose of nature’s vistas, you’ll find them along America’s backroads and byways. Here are our …

11 All-Natural, Instant Energy Boosters

Mysterious Dancing Lights In Afghanistan

This isn't a painting. It's not from a movie. It's not a strange astronomical event. This is real — what you can see when certain helicopters in Afghanistan touch down on sandy ground, raising dust, causing mysterious arcs of light to loop and dance through the air.<p>This doesn't always happen. "The …