Why the Human Body Can't Handle Heavy Acceleration

Our bodies are surprisingly resilient in many situations, but rapid acceleration is not one of them. While the human body can withstand any constant speed—be it 20 miles per hour or 20 billion miles per hour—we can only change that rate of travel relatively slowly. Speed up or slow down too quickly and it's lights… » 10/01/14 3:53pm 10/01/14 3:53pm

Why Can't We Protect Commercial Planes From Attacks?

Last week's downing of Malaysian Airlines Flight 17 over the disputed territory of Eastern Ukraine has set off worldwide outcries against the conflict, and calls to better defend commercial airlines from missile attack. But is it even possible to defend civilian jets against military-grade weapons? » 7/24/14 12:52pm 7/24/14 12:52pm

Where the Most Important Part of Your Battery Comes From

Lithium's kind of a big deal. It powers everything from our gadgets to our cars—really our entire modern world. And that's not changing any time soon; some analysts estimate that demand could grow up to 25% over the next several years. But how does one harness the power of a metal that bursts into flame every time it… » 7/02/13 3:57pm 7/02/13 3:57pm

What Biofuel Is (And Where It Comes From)

Cars didn't always run on gasoline. Henry Ford envisioned his Model T's puttering along with tanks fully of ethanol. Early diesel engines ran on peanut oil. Of course, the discovery of massive petroleum reserves at the turn of the 20th century quickly put the brakes on that notion—why bother creating biofuel when… » 6/12/13 4:07pm 6/12/13 4:07pm