Joshua Byrd

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Can Planet Earth Feed 10 Billion People?

Humanity has 30 years to find out.<p>All parents remember the moment when they first held their children—the tiny crumpled face, an entire new person, emerging from the hospital blanket. I extended my hands and took my daughter in my arms. I was so overwhelmed that I could hardly think.<p>Afterward I …

The Explosive Legacy of Guy Fawkes, the Man Behind the Mask

History MagazineHistory Magazine<p>A popular symbol of protest today, Guy Fawkes was first the face of treason because of his role in the murderous Gunpowder Plot of 1605.<p>Tensions were high in England in late October 1605, when an English nobleman, Lord Monteagle, received a mysterious letter. Along …

Explore Your Favorite Movie Worlds Through Beautiful, Hand-Painted Maps

See the geography and plots of Star Wars, Princess Bride, Lord of the Rings and more laid out from start to finish on these hand-painted maps.<p>Illustrating everything that happens in an action adventure movie like <i>Star Trek</i> on one page is like playing Tetris, according to artist Andrew DeGraff, who …

Why buy the cow when you can biofabricate the milk for free?

Thought to have been Lord Krishna's favorite animal, the cow has achieved a uniquely sacred status in India. Their slaughter is prohibited through most of the country, beef consumption is largely outlawed as well and woe be the unlucky soul accused of breaking those taboos. In the US, however, …

Mayonnaise, Disrupted

How did Josh Tetrick’s vegan-mayo company become a Silicon Valley darling—and what is he really selling?<p>On a recent Friday morning, Josh Tetrick, the 37-year-old CEO and co-founder of Hampton Creek, fixed his unblinking blue eyes on a job candidate. The pair was sitting at a workstation near the …

Wait a second: What came before the big bang?

The Voorhes<p>Not everyone thinks the universe had a beginning.<p>Cosmologists used to think the universe was totally timeless: no beginning, no end. That might sound mind-melting, but it’s easier on the scientific brain than figuring out what a set starting point would mean, let alone when it would be. …

Dark Matter

It From Bit: Is The Universe A Cellular Automaton?

In the early 1970s, computer programmers around the world were entranced by the strange happenings taking place on their screens. Right before their eyes, they observed digital creatures emerging from the void, crawling around, propagating, gobbling each other up, and vanishing into nothingness. It …

The massive volcano that scientists can't find

It was the biggest eruption for 700 years but scientists still can't find the volcano responsible.<p>It was 10 October 1465 – the day of the hotly anticipated wedding of King Alfonso II of Naples. He was set to marry the sophisticated Ippolita Maria Sforza, a noblewoman from Milan, in a lavish …

Geology

Frog evolution linked to dinosaur asteroid strike

<b>The huge diversity of frogs we see today is mainly a consequence of the asteroid strike that killed off the dinosaurs, a study suggests.</b><p>A new analysis shows that frog populations exploded after the extinction event 66 million years ago.<p>It would appear to contradict earlier evidence suggesting a …

On Asymmetric Systems

<i>The Strange Loops of Ideology</i><p><i>“Let me tell you why you’re here. You’re here because you know something. What you know you can’t explain, but you feel</i> …

Ancient DNA Shows How Cats Took Over The World

They even domesticated themselves.<p>Thousands of years before Hello Kitty and Grumpy Cat, some wild little felines and early farmers made a tacit deal: …

Life and death in Apple’s forbidden city

In an extract from his new book, Brian Merchant reveals how he gained access to Longhua, the vast complex where iPhones are made and where, in 2010, unhappy workers started killing themselves<p>The sprawling factory compound, all grey dormitories and weather-beaten warehouses, blends seamlessly into …

Trespassing

Oh, Lovely: The Tick That Gives People Meat Allergies Is Spreading

First comes the unscratchable itching, and the angry blossoming of hives. Then stomach cramping, and—for the unluckiest few—difficulty breathing, …

Jupiter is oldest planet in solar system, ancient meteorites show

Jupiter formed in a geologic blink. Its rocky core coalesced less than a million years after the beginning of our solar system, scientists reported Monday in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. Within another 2 million or 3 million years, that core grew to 50 times the mass of …

Pull Quote

The 99-million-year-old hatchling from the Cretaceous Period is the best preserved of its kind.<p>The remains of a baby bird from the time of the dinosaurs have been discovered in a specimen of 99-million-year-old amber, according to scientists writing in the journal <i>Gondwana Research</i>.<p>The hatchling …

The Rambling Glory of Bob Dylan’s Nobel Speech

Dylanphiles, breathe easy: our man Bob is a Nobel Laureate at last. As you’ll recall, Bob Dylan won the prize in Literature last October, but, to officially collect the title—plus the roughly nine-hundred-thousand-dollar bundle of cash that comes with it—winners must deliver a lecture within six …

Literature

Hunter S. Thompson Typed Out The Great Gatsby & A Farewell to Arms Word for Word: A Method for Learning How to Write Like the Masters

The word <i>quixotic</i> derives, of course, from Miguel Cervantes’ irreverent early 17th century satire, <i>Don Quixote</i>. From the novel’s eponymous character it …

Scientists Can Finally Explain Why The Boomerang Nebula Is Colder Than Space Itself

The coldest object in the known Universe.<p>Some 5,000 light-years from Earth, there's a bizarre and mysterious nebula that clocks an average …

The Great A.I. Awakening

<b>Prologue: You Are What You Have Read</b><p>Late one Friday night in early November, Jun Rekimoto, a distinguished professor of human-computer interaction at the University of Tokyo, was online preparing for a lecture when he began to notice some peculiar posts rolling in on social media. Apparently Google …

Artificial Intelligence

The Aztecs foresaw the end of the world

But then it didn't happen.<p>The world was supposed to have ended in 2012, as foretold by a Mayan prophecy that, in the end, only prophesied that the …

10 most exquisite new species for 2017

<b>From brilliant pink lady katydids to devil-faced orchids, this year's list of new-to-science wonders proves Mother Nature is full of surprises.</b><p>Each …

A Theory of Consciousness Can Help Build a Theory of Everything - Issue 47: Consciousness

For an empirical science, physics can be remarkably dismissive of some of our most basic observations. We see objects existing in definite locations, …

Consciousness

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Earth - There are diseases hidden in ice, and they are waking up

Throughout history, humans have existed side-by-side with bacteria and viruses. From the bubonic plague to smallpox, we have evolved to resist them, and in response they have developed new ways of infecting us.<p>We have had antibiotics for almost a century, ever since Alexander Fleming discovered …

Microbiology

Scientists Uncover a Higher State of Consciousness

Neuroscientists from the University of Sussex made a pretty neat discovery as they claim to have just found evidence of a higher state of …

Consciousness

Facebook is turning into a confusing social nightmare

Facebook! It's a confusing mess these days.<p>The network, in its efforts to become a bit more socialagain, has drowned users in new features, tests and …

Is Consciousness Fractal? - Issue 47: Consciousness

In one way, Jackson Pollock’s mathematics was ahead of its time.When the reclusive artist poured paint from cans onto vast canvases laid out across …

Art

Quantum Thermodynamics Could Revolutionize Energy and Information Technology | WIRED

Author: Natalie Wolchover. Natalie Wolchover Science<p>Date of Publication: 05.06.17.<p>Time of Publication: 7:00 am. 7:00 am<p>What Happens When You Mix …