Damien

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‘My Dearest Fidel’: An ABC Journalist’s Secret Liaison With Fidel Castro

The untold story of how Lisa Howard’s intimate diplomacy with Cuba’s revolutionary leader changed the course of the Cold War.<p>Lisa Howard had been waiting for more than two hours in a suite of the Hotel Riviera, enough time to bathe, dress and apply makeup, then take it all off to get ready for bed …

Cuba

Down the Quantum Rabbit Hole

Anesthesiologist Stuart Hameroff believes tiny structures in our cells called microtubules could explain consciousness. Steve Craft<p>Fellow scientists …

Consciousness

Was There a Civilization On Earth Before Humans?

A look at the available evidence<p>It only took five minutes for Gavin Schmidt to out-speculate me.<p>Schmidt is the director of NASA’s Goddard Institute for Space Studies (a.k.a. GISS) a world-class climate-science facility. One day last year, I came to GISS with a far-out proposal. In my work as an …

Rare Earth

A new study on whales suggests Darwin didn't quite get it right

Evolution is too complicated to plot out like a family tree.<p>Gray, blue, big, bigger: baleen whales put the mega in “megafauna.” In a new study published on April 4 in the journal <i>Science Advances</i>, researchers discuss the whole-genome sequencing of several of these mammoth species, including the blue …

Evolution

Inside the Decade-Long Russian Campaign to Infiltrate the NRA and Help Elect Trump

Femme fatales, lavish Moscow parties and dark money – how Russia worked the National Rifle Association<p>In November 2013, the president of the National …

Russia

How to Enable the Optimal Audio Codec for Your Bluetooth Headphones in macOS

How good your digital music sounds often comes down to which file format it's encoded in. Be that as it may, every Mac audio setup is only as strong as it's weakest link, and if your Bluetooth connection isn't up to scratch, even the best BT headphones will fail to deliver a decent wireless …

Audiophile

Your Ridiculously Awesome Toyota Celica Wallpaper Is Here

The A20-generation Toyota Celica is one of the coolest cars Japan ever built. Styled to vaguely ape the proportions of early 1970s American pony …

Welcome to the Era of Presidents for Life

In 1813, not long before the end of his reign, Napoleon Bonaparte told the Austrian foreign minister, Count Metternich, the downside of being a strongman. “My reign will not outlast the day I have ceased to be strong and therefore to be feared,” Napoleon said. “Your sovereigns, who were born to the …

Communist Party

Engineering the immune system to kill cancer cells

In late 2015, former President Jimmy Carter announced that he was free of the metastatic melanoma that had spread to his liver and brain. In addition …

For Decades, Our Coverage Was Racist. To Rise Above Our Past, We Must Acknowledge It

We asked a preeminent historian to investigate our coverage of people of color in the U.S. and abroad. Here’s what he found.<p>It is November 2, 1930, and <i>National Geographic</i> has sent a reporter and a photographer to cover a magnificent occasion: the crowning of Haile Selassie, King of Kings of …

Travel Photography

Christopher Steele, the Man Behind the Trump Dossier

How the ex-spy tried to warn the world about Trump’s ties to Russia.<p><b>Audio:</b> Listen to this story. To hear more feature stories, download the Audm app for your iPhone.<p>In January, after a long day at his London office, Christopher Steele, the former spy turned private investigator, was stepping off a …

Russia

This Is What Happens When Bitcoin Miners Take Over Your Town

Eastern Washington had cheap power and tons of space. Then the suitcases of cash started arriving.<p><b>EAST WENATCHEE, Washington—Hands on the</b> wheel, eyes squinting against the winter sun, Lauren Miehe eases his Land Rover down the main drag and tells me how he used to spot promising sites to build a …

Bitcoin

‘Picked Apart by Vultures’: The Last Days of Stan Lee

Months after losing his wife, the 95-year-old comic book legend is surrounded by charlatans and mountebanks.<p>You might expect Stan Lee, at age 95, to …

Strange Diamonds Reveal 'Ice-VII', a Form of Frozen Water We've Never Seen

"That's what you call a discovery."<p>We’re used to volcanoes spewing up magma and ash, but sometimes they’ll gush forth <i>diamonds</i>. And sometimes, those …

Earth Science

'Corporations Are People' Is Built on an Incredible 19th-Century Lie

How a farcical series of events in the 1880s produced an enduring and controversial legal precedent<p>Somewhat unintuitively, American corporations today enjoy many of the same rights as American citizens. Both, for instance, are entitled to the freedom of speech and the freedom of religion. How …

19th Century

The Best Video Games To Play With Kids

If you’re into games yourself, playing video games with kids can be one of the great joys of parenthood (or aunt/unclehood, or godparenthood). It can …

Gaming

This app uses machine learning and AR to teach you how to draw

For some people drawing comes naturally. But, if you’re anything like me, your stick figures look like misshapen horrors for whom death would surely be a relief. Enter Sketch AR: the AI-powered app that aims to make you a better artist regardless of your current skill.<p>The idea is pretty simple: you …

The Wisdom of Keith Richards

I AIN’T GONNA BE around forever—not even me!”<p>Keith Richards, shrouded in an ever-present cloud of cigarette smoke, wheezes a laugh when it’s pointed out that many observers, based on evidence to date, disagree with his sense of his own mortality. “Well, yeah,” he says, “it’s between me and the …

New Albums

Steven Pinker recommends books to make you an optimist

There’s hope for the environment, human progress is dazzling – and the world, according to PG Wodehouse, is beautiful<p>The big prizes go to books on war, terror, cancer and extinction, feeding our morbid curiosity about the gruesome ways in which things can go wrong. But there is an underappreciated …

Books

Wallpaper Weekends: Gold iPhone Wallpapers

Wallpaper Weekends is a series that works to bring you stunning, high-quality wallpapers for your iPad, iPhone, iPod touch, Mac, and Apple Watch. …

The 8 Best Apple Watch Bands to Buy in 2018

Once you've laid out the money for the Apple Watch, you might find a nagging feeling that you can do far more to personalize it on your wrist. Enter …

What happens if Earth gets 2°C warmer?

And why are we trying to avoid it?<p><i>Note: Below is the script for the video, above. You may want to just watch the video instead. While we have you, why don't you subscribe to</i> Popular Science <i>on YouTube?</i><p>If the world gets warmer by two degrees Celsius, we’re screwed. To prevent that, the United Nations …

Climate Change

A Celebrity Philosopher Explains the Populist Insurgency

Peter Sloterdijk has spent decades railing against the pieties of liberal democracy. Now his ideas seem prophetic.<p><b>Audio:</b> Listen to this story. To hear more feature stories, download the Audm app for your iPhone.<p>One weekend last June, in an auditorium in the German city of Karlsruhe, the philosopher …

This Breathtaking Photo of Earth Really Puts Everything Into Perspective

This is what 40 million miles looks like.<p>It's been a conflicting few months on this blue orb of ours, but nothing puts life into perspective like a …

Russia Wanted Trump to Win. And It Wanted to Get Caught.

It’s a Hollywood cliché that’s been adopted by villains from the trickster god Loki in Marvel’s “The Avengers” to James Bond’s “Skyfall” nemesis Raoul Silva: They are captured, only for the heroes to realize — too late! — that being caught was part of the villain’s evil plan all along. With …

Government

We tested popular VPNs to see which was fastest. Here's what we found.

Every product here is independently selected by Mashable journalists. If you buy something featured, we may earn an affiliate commission which helps …

Salmon, Two Ways: One Epic, One Everyday

Recently, I have been spending time simplifying some old recipes.<p>“Not everyone has a couple of hours to spare in the kitchen on a school night,” my sister once said to me, voicing a familiar complaint about the time commitment demanded by some of my dishes.<p>“I know, I know,” I said, and offered my …

Spices

Watch a young Eric Clapton decode his masterful guitar technique in 1968

In 1968 <b>Eric Clapton</b> was just 23 years old, but he was at the top of his game. Following his late ’60s ascension with <b>The Yardbirds</b> and Cream he was …

Which true wireless earbuds are worth buying?

With so many flagship phones leaving behind the headphone jack over the past two years, the need for a good pair of Bluetooth earbuds has only intensified. While the first crop of true wireless products had their share of comfort and connection problems, the selection improved dramatically in 2017, …

Consumer Tech

How Hard Do Professors Actually Work?

A recent Twitter battle revealed that faculty members themselves can’t agree on an answer.<p>If there were a “10 Things That Piss Academics Off the Most” list, ranking near the top would be the perception that academic life is easy and relaxing. Professors get annoyed at having to explain to their …

Higher Education