Hank Ng

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WIRED Space Photo of the Day 2013 | WIRED

Jan. 19, 2014: Solar X-Flare<p>The largest sunspot group of the solar cycle unleashed a large (X1.2 class) flare just when it was facing right towards …

When Power Goes To Your Head, It May Shut Out Your Heart

Even the smallest dose of power can change a person. You've probably seen it. Someone gets a promotion or a bit of fame and then, suddenly, they're a little less friendly to the people beneath them.<p>So here's a question that may seem too simple: Why?<p>If you ask a psychologist, he or she may tell you …

TED Radio Hour: The Hackers

What if there were a way to hack into your brain and make your life better? Neurosurgeon Andres Lozano is doing just that. He told TED Radio Hour host Guy Raz how.<p>Transcript<p>CELESTE HEADLEE, HOST:<p>Time now for an idea worth spreading from the TED Radio Hour. What if there were a way to hack into your …

Newly Discovered Pink Exoplanet on the Lighter Side

Researchers imaged this planet around a sun-like star, but its origins remain a mystery.<p><b>There is a pink exoplanet circling a star very much like our own, 57 light-years away from Earth. But its origins are a mystery.</b><p>In a new study announcing the magenta gas giant, researchers were able to directly …

Photograph Your House Key With This App, Then Print A Copy Anywhere

The app's creators think of it as "lockout insurance."<p>You hear myths of old-school locksmiths who are so in tune with their trade, they're able to copy a key just from looking at a photo of it. The old-school-looking guys I talked with at one local shop said they couldn't do that, but now there's …

Why Do Stars Twinkle?

Stars appear to twinkle, planets don’t. Here's why.<p>Did you know you can distinguish between stars and planets in the sky?<p>Stars twinkle, planets don't.<p>Okay, that's not actually correct. The stars, planets, even the sun and moon twinkle, all in varying amounts. Anything outside the atmosphere is …

A new way of thinking about how the brain works

My book, <i>50 Human Brain Ideas You Really Need to Know</i>, is out now, and is available at a discount price from Amazon and the <i>Guardian</i> bookshop. (And here's a lovely review by Vaughan Bell, who calls it "a concise, solid grounding in neuroscience… remarkably lucid… balanced and entertaining".) When I …

OxyContin maker closely guards its list of suspect doctors

Over the last decade, the maker of the potent painkiller OxyContin has compiled a database of hundreds of doctors suspected of recklessly prescribing its pills to addicts and drug dealers, but has done little to alert law enforcement or medical authorities.<p>Despite its suspicions, Purdue Pharma …

Pharma

FYI: How Often Do Astronauts Do Laundry?

The European Space Agency (ESA) has gotten to the bottom of the most pertinent question we hadn't been asking. Are all astronauts floating around in dirty underoos?<p>The ESA's video team polled people in various European cities to find out what the common Earthling thinks is going on under those …

Is Kickstarter Hostile To Science?

By discouraging a promising science project, Kickstarter could be encouraging corporate monopolies, enabling sloppy legislation, and keeping cool glow-in-the-dark plants out of our houses.<p>On July 31, Kickstarter updated its guidelines to include this sentence: "Projects cannot offer genetically …

Crowdfunded cups and straws quickly detect 'invisible' date rape drugs

The odorless and tasteless nature of "date rape drugs" can make them impossible for victims to detect before it's too late. But soon your drinking glass may able to warn you if dangerous chemicals have been slipped into your cocktail. Next month, DrinkSavvy will begin shipping plastic cups and …

5 Sneaky Ways The NSA Spies On Americans

The U.S. government needs only three degrees of separation to look at Kevin Bacon's phone records.<p>The U.S. National Security Agency remains at the center of controversy this summer, nine weeks after <i>The Guardian</i> and the <i>Washington Post</i> broke the news about its PRISM online data-mining program. While …

Can 'Brain Freeze' Cause Long-Term Brain Damage?

And is it already too late?!<p>We've all sucked down a milkshake so quickly that it causes a sudden headache—the dreaded brain freeze. But . . . milkshake. Tasty. Must. Drink. Could chugging the rest of that shake cause lasting brain damage?<p>First, let's get one thing straight. "This condition is …

EarthSky’s 2018 meteor shower guide

Plan ahead now for an awesome year of meteor-watching. Good news! In 2018, the year’s 2 most reliable showers – August Perseids and December Geminids …

President Obama accused by senior Republican of 'weak' stance on Russia

President Barack Obama faced calls Sunday to pursue a more hawkish line on Russia, with an influential Republican foreign policy voice suggesting the US leader lacked sufficient insight over Vladimir Putin's intentions.<p>Arizona senator and former White House candidate John McCain suggested that …

Obama's Approval Rating Has Plunged To Near All-Time Lows

Obama's approval rating fell to just 41%, its lowest point since Dec. 26-28, 2011. It has dropped as low as 38% in the first term of his presidency. Meanwhile, Obama's disapproval rating was up to 50%. Overall, it was a 7-point swing from the previous day.<p>In the Real Clear Politics average of nine …

Top 10 US travel destinations for 2013

Every year our US-based editors team up with Lonely Planet’s expert authors to compile a list of US destinations that are prime for the next year. <i>Best in Travel 2013</i> already covered two places we think the world should be looking at – San Francisco and the Gulf Coast – but here we wanted to dig …

New Iceland Attraction Promises Northern Lights Sightings - Vagabondish

Many natural attractions around the world are known to be elusive. But one is about to become a bit easier to see, thanks to a new innovation.<p>In …

A dream realized on Lady Elliot Island [pics]

As a boy, on holidays at my grandmother’s house there was a cherished hardback book I would pore over, losing myself for hours in pictures and …

Ecuador’s 5 Best High-End Haciendas

Ecuador’s colonial-era haciendas present a glimpse of the country’s dramatic Andean highlands. And high-altitude meets high-end at some of the …

Hungry Ghosts Are Sated and Stimulated in Penang

The Gates of Hell are open and peckish spirits from the Underworld are wandering about. This can only mean one thing: it's time for the Hungry Ghost Festival.<p>Hungry Ghosts is a traditional Chinese month-long event, and the Straits Chinese who came to the Nanyang hundreds of years ago continue to …

Best Bars for Your European Buzz

Alcohol in Europe is not simply a means to an end (as it is for many college students in the United States). Whether beer, wine, vodka, or whisky it's about savoring the drink and the company you're with as much as it's about riding the buzz - even among young people. Grabbing a beer with a friend …

10 of the world's best learn-to-dive destinations

Dreaming of getting your dive ticket? With a combination of idyllic conditions and reputable dive outfits, we’ve narrowed down the top spots to get certified – from the Caribbean to the Maldives, and everywhere in between.<p>Gili Trawangan, Gili Islands, Indonesia<p><b>The diving:</b> Indonesia boasts an …

24 hours in Edinburgh

Edinburgh is a walking city – one that repays those who tramp its cobbles with stately Georgian grandeur. So with 24 hours up your sleeve, where would you go and what can you see?<p>Morning<p>Head over to Valvona & Crolla for breakfast. This Italian delicatessen is an Edinburgh institution. Counter staff …

California's other wine countries

Everybody knows the justifiably famous Napa and Sonoma Valleys. If you're looking to take the next step, venture into California’s less-famous wine regions, where family-owned wineries welcome novices and experts alike, and tasting fees are low to non-existent. Most of these well-hidden wine …

How I Lasted Five Months In South America On $14 A Day

We were just beginning to feel the heat of the Great Recession, and journalism jobs were few and far between. The flagship paper in my home state just laid off half its staff, and the entire business looked like one big dead-end.<p>Somehow, I wound up with an offer from a local newspaper anyway. It …

First time Ireland: unmissable Emerald Isle experiences

Ireland’s reputation precedes itself, so first-time visitors might think they know what to expect – rolling green fields, chatty locals and a pint for each hand – but there’s so much more to Ireland than its stereotypical charms. Skip the bus tours stopping at leprechaun-filled souvenir shops and …