Vijai Shankaar

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Future energy: The technology allowing more oil extraction

<b>Russian engineer Alex Barak has been coaxing oil out of the ground for a long time.</b><p>Seventeen years ago, he was responsible for work at a particularly troublesome oil field in Kazakhstan.<p>"That oil field, Karazhanbas, was a real dog," he recalls, explaining that the oil there was very viscous, making …

India Says The Cost of Solar Power Is Now Cheaper Than Coal

The moment we've been waiting for.<p>To anybody who's been reading the headlines on investment into clean energy production, it's clear that India has …

How cheap does solar power need to get before it takes over the world?

It's easy to get ridiculously excited about solar power these days. The panels keep getting cheaper as technology improves. Large photovoltaic arrays are sprouting up around the globe. Sure, solar still produces only 1 percent of the world's electricity, but it's growing at double-digit rates each …

Broken breakthroughs: the strange curse of Wolfgang Pauli - in pictures

Why did scientists ban pioneering quantum physicist Wolfgang Pauli from their labs? David Fathi’s photos explore his catastrophic Pauli Effect

Physics

Yes, Lets Start Tracking Misleading Press Releases About Scientific Findings

Science of Us is not a fan of press releases that misrepresent research findings. Here’s what I wrote on the subject back in August: “Every day, …

Stem Cells

There's a Forest in Poland Filled With Crooked Trees, And No One Can Explain Why

This belongs in a Grimm's fairy tale.<p>Deep in the woods of the West Pomerania region of Poland, an entire section of trees bends at sharp angles near …

Forests

Books of the year 2015 - a scientist's reading list

The twenty-three books this scientist read in 2015 in search of stimulation and amusement. For the most part, he was not disappointed<p>Here continueth a tradition I started way back in 2013, having resolved at the beginning of that year to read less internet and more books. I present a review of the …

Books

And Yet by Christopher Hitchens review – a last blast from the wayward noncomformist

His final collected essays show Christopher Hitchens in dazzling form, dampening festive spirits and eviscerating Hillary Clinton<p>I don’t know if Christopher Hitchens left written instruction, but the publication date of this sixth collection of his essays seems pointedly to have been designed to …

Literature

Live off the grid in this solar-powered pod

The ecocapsule may look like a giant ostrich egg, but it comes with enough high-tech features to support you living entirely off the grid for up to a year.<p>The ecocapsule is both solar-powered and wind-powered. It fits up to two people and comes with enough amenities to live comfortably from just …

Off-grid

Tour of the museum that houses Ukraine's nuclear past

It was one of the most feared weapons of the Cold War and was dubbed "Satan" by Nato.<p>The USSR's SS-18 missiles were over a thousand times more powerful than the bombs that destroyed Hiroshima and Nagasaki with the full arsenal capable of global destruction.<p>After the fall of the Soviet Union, …

10 of the best new museums

After an alternative to the usual museum trips? This roundup of new and improved exhibition spaces and galleries should be just the ticket<p><b>Museu do Amanhã, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil</b><p>The spectacular building designed by Santiago Calatrava is itself a draw to this science museum, a 15,000m sq area on the …

Museums

Neil deGrasse Tyson Lists 8 (Free) Books Every Intelligent Person Should Read

A Reddit.com user posed the question to Neil deGrasse Tyson: "Which books should be read by every single intelligent person on the planet?"<p>Below, you …

A Look Inside the All-New Petersen Automotive Museum

The life of Robert E. Petersen was a classic rags-to-riches story. Born into simple surroundings and raised in the small California city of Barstow, …

Los Angeles