sophie ward

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Q&A: The First-Ever Expedition to Turkmenistan's "Door to Hell"

Explorer George Kourounis describes his descent into a fiery, gas-fueled crater.<p>More than four decades ago, a gaping, fiery crater opened up in the desert of northern Turkmenistan (map), likely the result of a drilling mishap.<p>The Darvaza Crater, more commonly known as the Door to Hell, still burns …

How to handle the heat (with science)

<i>This article was originally published in July 2014.</i><p>Hot out there. At least, that’s what people are saying. Weather forecasts are predicting a heatwave in the UK this weekend, and what could be more reliable than a weather forecast?<p>It’s summer in the northern hemisphere, so you’d expect it to be …

Gavrilo Princip: hero or villain?

As Balkan countries prepare to mark the start of the first world war, history books show widely different interpretations<p>"Those people were terrorists – Gavrilo Princip and the rest of them," said Salih Mehmedovic, standing at the spot by the Latin Bridge in central Sarajevo where the young Bosnian …

An Evolutionary Explanation For Why Humans Are Hard-Wired To Drink

There are endless arguments for why people drink, the simplest being that alcohol is tasty and it makes us feel good.<p>But those reasons do not address the ultimate explanation for why our brains evolved to like alcohol in the first place, at least according to Robert Dudley, a professor of biology …

Alcohol

Beyond Death: The Science of the Afterlife

This question is more than a mind-bender. For thousands of years, certain people have claimed to have actually visited the place that, Saint Paul …

This Solar-Powered Plane Can Now Fly Around The World With No Fuel

Fueled by thin solar panels that cover its 236-foot-long wings, the Solar Impulse 2 will soon make its daring round-the-world journey that no one initially thought possible.<p>Next year, the Solar Impulse 2–a newly-unveiled update to the world’s first solar-powered airplane–will attempt to fly all the …

Hunt warns against schools extremism in Birmingham

http://vod-pro-ww-live.akamaized.net/mps_h264_hi/public/news/uk/1070000/1070318_h264_1500k.mp4?__gda__=1532526643_551993a9e835ac4424a5c44bd6ea944b<p><b>Tristram Hunt, Labour's shadow education secretary, has warned against religious extremism in schools.</b><p>In a speech to the NASUWT teachers' union, Mr Hunt …

Great Britain

Brzezinski: Hope for Peace in Russia-Ukraine Conflict | The Takeaway | WNYC

Zbigniew Brzezinski, who served as National Security Advisor to President Carter and is now an advisor to the Center for Strategic and International …

New Test Could Diagnose Asthma With A Single Drop Of Blood

The test works by gauging the speed of white blood cells.<p>While some symptoms of asthma, like wheezing, are obvious, a diagnosis of asthma is not always clear cut, especially if they don't occur when patients are with their doctors, and involve trials of lung function and tests for allergies. But …

Medicine

World's Best Ecolodges

A Mathematical Proof That The Universe Could Have Formed Spontaneously From Nothing

Cosmologists assume that natural quantum fluctuations allowed the Big Bang to happen spontaneously. Now they have a mathematical proof<p>One of the …

Huge 'Super Earth' planet ten times bigger than our own could be orbiting Sun

A huge planet ten times bigger than earth could be orbiting the Sun at the edge of the solar system[GETTY]<p>Scientists today revealed the massive …

Astronomy

Nasa wants to capture an asteroid

Mechanical arms or even a big bag may be used to grab an asteroid and bring it to earth<p>The American space agency wants to work out how it can grab an asteroid or at least a large chunk of one.<p>Corralling a large piece of space rock is a key part of the agency’s <b>Asteroid Grand Challenge and the</b> …

I venture into astrophysics blogging very carefully and only to say that if you’re a layperson like me having trouble understanding today’s …

Primordial gravitational wave discovery heralds 'whole new era' in physics

Scientists have heralded a "whole new era" in physics with the detection of "primordial gravitational waves" – the first tremors of the big bang.<p>The minuscule ripples in space-time are the last prediction of Albert Einstein's 1916 general theory of relativity to be verified. Until now, there has …

Will Blood Be Shed In Crimea Before Diplomacy Can Work?

Russia continues to try to wrest control of Crimea from Ukraine and now has an estimated 20,000 troops there, Bloomberg News reports.<p>Meanwhile, Russian President Vladimir Putin has once again deflected the concerns of Western leaders. Reuters reports that, according to the Kremlin, Putin told …

Best Beach Adventures

See photos of beach adventures (including biking in Hawaii, diving in Thailand, and surfing in Micronesia) in this travel photo gallery from National Geographic.

Top 10 Ancient Highways

Travel to the Past Down These Countries’ Ancient Roads<p>From the National Geographic book <i>Journeys of a Lifetime</i><p><b>The Old North Trail, North America</b> <br>The Blackfeet Indians traveled along the Old North Trail, which originally stretched nearly 2,000 miles (3,220 kilometers) from Canada to Mexico, running …

Comet Collisions Spotted Around Distant Star

Changing Planet<p>An artist’s concept of the system around Beta Pictoris. A hypothetical giant planet (bottom left) captures comets into a dense, massive swarm (right) where frequent collisions occur. Credit: NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center/F. Reddy<p><b>Violent comet crashes are occurring around a star</b> …

Electronic Arts is exploring virtual reality

When you're the CEO of the second largest video game publisher in the world, people have a tendency to take what you say seriously. Case in point, Electronic Arts' Andrew Wilson recently revealed his company's plans for virtual reality. At a South by Southwest panel, Wilson said that his company is …

Skull discovery suggests early man was single species

A stunningly well-preserved skull from 1.8 million years ago offers new evidence that early man was a single species with a vast array of different looks.<p>With a tiny brain about a third the size of a modern human's, protruding brows and jutting jaws like an ape, the skull was found in the remains …