Watch what happens when you wring out a washcloth in space

This is just excellent. ISS Commander Chris Hadfield was recently asked by high school students Kendra Lemke and Meredith Faulkner to demonstrate what happens when you wring out a waterlogged washcloth in space. » 4/18/13 10:40am 4/18/13 10:40am

What would 25-feet of sea-level rise look like IRL?

People talk a lot these days about rising seas. They talk figures in feet and inches. They make maps, and forecast which stretches of America's coastline will be inundated in 25, 50, or 100 years. But we're visual creatures, and visual creatures want to know: what might this projected sea level rise actually look like? » 4/10/13 4:30pm 4/10/13 4:30pm

Why Three Wheels Are Better Than Four

When it comes to automobiles, the conventional wisdom is you need four wheels or more. So why are there cars driving around with three wheels? We'll take a look at the science (and the economics) of tossing out one of your wheels. » 10/09/12 3:34pm 10/09/12 3:34pm

This Concept Art From The Shuttle Program's Early Days Is Gorgeous,…

The arrival of Endeavour in Los Angeles last week has been described by many as the final note in the coda to NASA's shuttle program. To commemorate its end, we turned to the program's beginnings, where we discovered a stunning assortment of high resolution concept art. (If you've been hunting for a new background… » 9/25/12 11:40am 9/25/12 11:40am

How To Read The Landscape From Your Airplane Window

Do you ever wonder what you're seeing when you look out of your airplane window and spot bizarre red pools or strange green circles on the ground below? You're not alone. We talked to Gregory Dicum, author of the incredible aerial landscape guide Window Seat, about the weirdest and most beautiful views from an… » 8/06/12 5:01pm 8/06/12 5:01pm

How To Rescue A Trio Of Bear Cubs Using A Ladder, A Truck, And A Couple…

Bears are smart. Like, a lot smarter than most people give them credit for. But that doesn't mean they don't still make mistakes — say, winding up trapped inside a massive trash can, for instance. Fear not, wee ursine triplets! Here come some daring humans to the rescue! » 7/26/12 4:20pm 7/26/12 4:20pm

Thomas Edison's Car Battery Is Back And Better Than Ever

In 1901, Thomas Edison developed the recharcheable nickel-iron battery, a technology he hoped to see implemented in electric cars. But a slow rate of energy output and slower charging time saw it superseded by lead-acid and lithium-ion batteries in standard and electric cars alike. » 6/28/12 12:10pm 6/28/12 12:10pm

A Motor That Can Get To The Moon On A Few Drops Of Fuel

One of the biggest challenges of space travel is the immense fuel cost of traveling even to our own planet's satellite, let alone one of our neighboring planets. But what if you could build a lightweight space craft that could get around the solar system on barely any fuel? A special motor, and a special kind of fuel,… » 3/30/12 8:30am 3/30/12 8:30am

How To Turn Caves Into Giant Batteries

How do we build a world that's less dependent on fossil fuels? One solution is right under your feet. Compressed Air Energy Storage (CAES) is a very boring name for a very awesome system that turns the Earth itself into a giant battery. Experts say it's one of the most cost-effective ways to store energy on a massive… » 3/16/12 10:45am 3/16/12 10:45am

Why Did It Take So Long To Invent The Wheel?

To most of us, wheels seem pretty intuitive. You've probably known from an early age, for example, that circular or rounded things roll more easily than boxy or angular things. Knowing this, it's hard to imagine that our earliest ancestors did not come to similar realizations on their own — and yet, the first wheels… » 3/07/12 2:30pm 3/07/12 2:30pm