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The Crazy Genius Behind Solar Roadways

Here’s an idea crazy enough that it just might work: Pave the streets with solar-powered panels that have their own built-in heat and LED lights. That’s what Scott and Julie Brusaw hope to accomplish with their ongoing Solar Roadways project, which they just funded through a hugely popular …

2015 Mercier-Jones Supercraft Is The Bugatti Veyron Of Hovercraft

The Bugatti Veyron is, to say the least, a desirable car. But it can't hover.<p>The 2015 Mercier-Jones Supercraft can and--according to <i>Road & Track</i>--it …

Acura NSX Prototype Headed For Goodwood Hill During Festival Of Speed

The Acura NSX may be the most over-teased and under-delivered car of this century. For years now, we've seen concept after nearly identical …

Do Plants Sleep?

I’ve been thinking a lot about sleep lately, mostly because I wrote a story on the topic for the March issue of Popular Science. Sleep, of course, is a key part of our lives as humans. We do it every night (or at least we should). We also see other animals sleep, from our pet dogs snoozing at our …

Botany

Ten 'big facts' about India

<b>India often attracts generalisations and stereotyping, but more often it defies them. After all, it is an enormous and varied place with the genetic, linguistic, culinary and sartorial diversity which are usually found in a continent. Sam Miller, a former BBC Delhi correspondent who has spent more</b> …

India

Vertical farming explained: how cities could be food producers of the future

Growing food in population centres would increase yields, cut transport costs and overcome limited land area<p>Populations are growing and cities are booming – but could we soon see skyscrapers turned into centres for crop production? From Chicago warehouses to the south pole growth chamber in …

10 Insane Rides by Boutique Carmakers

These aren't just upgraded versions of the original<p>Today's restomodders, replica builders, and tuners take an obsessive approach to performance. These vehicles are modified to a level of detail so far beyond their original roots that they are better described as brand-new production cars and trucks …

Birds Eye Ad Features Pea-Shaped Car That Falls Apart as It Drives

This whimsical commercial for frozen food brand Birds Eye features an adorable green pea car that falls apart as it drives through the countryside …

Vegetables

Shaking the 8-Ball: Apollo 8's Alternative Mission Profiles

<i>Want to (sort of) relive Apollo 8? In honour of the 45th anniversary of this awesome flight, I’ll be live tweeting major mission events, complete with relevant images and video clips, starting with crew ingress at 4:58 am EST on December 21! Follow me, @astVintageSpace, for a</i> …

Space Exploration

FYI: Can Staying Positive Extend Your Life?

Maybe, but no one has ever proved it.<p>The belief that optimism can keep you alive—or at least stave off cancer—gained traction after the release of a study in the Lancet medical journal in 1979. The study followed six dozen recovering breast-cancer patients for five years. Researchers found that …

FYI: If I Fell Through Earth, What Would Happen In The Center?

Just getting to the center of the Earth and surviving is impossible. The Earth's core is about 9,000°F—as hot as the sun's surface—and would instantly roast anyone who found himself there. Then there's the pressure, which can reach roughly three million times that on the Earth's surface and would …

FYI: What Is The Evolutionary Purpose Of Tickling?

You probably know that you can't tickle yourself. And although you might be able to tickle a total stranger, your brain also strongly discourages you from doing something so socially awkward. These facts offer insight into tickling's evolutionary purpose, says Robert R. Provine, a neuroscientist at …

5 Things You Need to Know About the Lamborghini Huracan

Unless you live under a rock, you're probably aware that Lamborghini took the wraps off a new car last week. But even if this isn't the first you've heard about the freshest Italian supercar, we've rounded up the five most important things you need to know about the latest Lambo.<p>The youngest kid on …

This Is What It Looks Like Inside an Amazon Warehouse

What happens after you click “buy” on Amazon.com? To most people, that’s a mystery. I flew out to Phoenix earlier this month to find out by taking a …

10 Unlikely Autos That Changed Cars Forever

At first glance nothing about these cars and trucks jumps off the page. Yet they were the proving ground for car tech and car-building techniques that influence how our autos are built.

2014 Cadillac ELR: When a Volt Gets All Dressed Up

The Cadillac ELR transforms the Chevy Volt into a plush luxury cruiser, but can this $76,000 range extender find an audience?<p><b>On-Sale Date:</b> January 2014<p><b>Price:</b> $75,995 (minus up to $7500 in federal tax credit)<p><b>Competitors:</b> BMW 640i, Mercedes-Benz E-Class Coupe, Tesla Model S<p><b>Powertrain:</b> 1.4-liter I-4 …

Motorola Moto G Review: A Budget Phone with a Premium Experience

The new Moto G exhibits last year's specs, but it's a low-end gadget with a high-end personality.<p><b>On Sale Date:</b> Now<p><b>Price:</b> $179 for 8GB; $199 for 16GB<p><b>When Motorola revealed the Moto G</b>, the company wanted a cheaper alternative to its high-priced flagship, the Moto X. The Google-owned handset maker had …

10 of the Biggest, Boldest Builds of 2013

Soaring bridges, rising towers, stunning stadiums, and simply gargantuan buildings highlight the past year.<p>Soaring bridges, rising towers, stunning stadiums, and simply gargantuan buildings highlight the past year.

Skyscrapers

This Is It: The 2015 Ford Mustang

Redesigned for the first time in a decade, the Mustang looks leaner and meaner for its sixth generation. This pony car is ready to tackle the curves.<p><b>For nearly 50 years, the Ford Mustang has</b> stood for accessible and affordable American speed. Numerous challengers have come and gone through those …

Aston Martin V12 Vantage S: It's the Packaging, Baby

When a manufacturer stuffs the biggest engine they make into the smallest body they offer, speed freaks take notice. When that model only comes with a manual gearbox, die-hard driving aficionados rejoice. And when said setup becomes discontinued and replaced with an automated, two-pedal gearbox-- …

How Scientists Drill at the Bottom of the Sea

A group of scientists just set the record for the deepest ocean drilling. Here's how they did it.<p><b>Imagine trying to hit a 20-inch hole in the</b> ground while flying in an airplane and you might have some idea of what the scientists and engineers on the Japan Trench Fast Drilling Project (JFAST) had to …

Leonardo DiCaprio Lends a Hand to French Formula E Team

Actor and environmental activist Leonardo DiCaprio has been a famously early adaptor of alt-fuel vehicles like the Tesla Roadster and Fisker Karma, but he's putting even more money where his mouth is by sponsoring an upstart team which will compete in next year's all-electric Formula E series.<p>Leo's …

How to Start a Snowblower

If you recently pulled your old snowblower out of storage only to find that it wouldn't start up again, here's what might be going on.<p>It's a good idea to start your snowblower before the first storm hits, so you know you are prepared to start clearing snow immediately. Here's some great advice for …

Infiniti's Steer-By-Wire Recall is a Cautionary Reminder on the Road to Autonomy

Nissan is recalling 23 of its 2014 Infiniti Q50 luxury sedans because the steer-by-wire system could fail if the temperature in the engine compartment drops below freezing, according to a recall report filed with NHTSA. (This is a preventative measure by Nissan—the failure has not happened in the …

Bentley Battles AMGs, Ferraris, McLarens, Scores Strong Racing Debut

From hints dropped at Le Mans to the official unveiling of their GT3 race car, I've been following Bentley's return to racing with curious fascination. And so it was nothing short of surreal to find myself halfway around the world at last weekend's Gulf 12 Hours endurance race at Yas Marina Circuit …

The Robot Olympics and the Future of Disaster Response

If we ever see robots strolling down the street one day, this weekend's DARPA Robotics Challenge will be the event that started it. The Challenge starts this Friday near Miami, and PopMech will be there. (In the meantime, check out some of the contenders.)<p><i>Update, Fri., Dec. 20: PopMech is here in</i> …

Robotics

4 Radically Advanced Robots Competing in the Darpa Challenge

Starting this Friday, Dec. 20, PopMech will be in South Florida to cover the DARPA Robotics Challenge, a competition of sophisticated humanoid robots trying to complete tasks such as driving cars and climbing ladders. Meet a few of the top contenders.

The 30 Best iPhone Apps to Download Now

Just pick up a new phone? Or simply have an afternoon to burn and want to download some toys? These are our must-have iPhone apps.<p>Whether you just picked up a new iPhone or you're looking for an app revamp, these 24 apps belong on your home screen. Including everything from music, navigation, …

Apps