Facts So Romantic

The Most Popular Nautilus Blog Posts of 2013

Science Wonder Stories, October, 1929, by Frank R. Paul

Two-thirds of a year ago, we set loose a new online science magazine, and along with it, Facts So Romantic. Since then FSR has served as the bloggy alter ego to the online-magazine version of Nautilus, burrowing into the same mind-expanding monthly topics with a quicker, lighter approach. Thanks to contributions from a great group of writers, FSR has brought many new readers to the site and explored countless new ways to think about the inexhaustible subjects we take on.

Here are the blog’s most popular posts so far. They show the magazine’s big range, in terms of subject, format, style, etc. That’s a critical part of the magazine’s mission: We at Nautilus believe that science influences so much in our life, and we try to capture some of that amazing breadth here on Facts So Romantic.

Thanks for reading, and please let us know your thoughts on our first eight months.


1: The Math Trick Behind MP3s, JPEGs, and Homer Simpson’s Face
by Aatish Bhatia

“Nine years ago, I was sitting in a college math physics course and my professor spelt out an idea that kind of blew my mind. I think it isn’t a stretch to say that this is one of the most widely applicable mathematical discoveries…”


2: Chernobyl’s Hot Mess, “the Elephant’s Foot,” Is Still Lethal
by Kyle Hill

“300 seconds will produce a relatively quick death, which is better than many alternatives…”


3: We Are All Princes, Paupers, and Part of the Human Family
by Veronique Greenwood

“I recently discovered that my 10-times-great-grandfather bought a good chunk of Brooklyn from the Lenape Indians. He was one of the first Dutch landowners on this continent, a man who had traveled here to become a farmer in the New World…”


4: The Prison Guard With a Gift for Cracking Gang Codes
by Eric Jankiewicz

“As a corrections officer at a Westchester County, N.Y., prison in the 1990s, Gary Klivans was a one-man gang unit. Klivans learned quickly that to handle gang members, he needed to understand them, and that meant understanding the code they used to communicate…”


5: The Curious Case of the Exploding Pig Farms
by Sarah Zhang

“At first, the manure was just harmlessly foaming. Only later on did things get lethal…”


6: Mystery in Motion, Beauty in Battle
by Kyle Hill

“One of the most beautiful things you’ll ever see in a war zone had no name, until it was given one in honor of two soldiers who gave their lives…”


7: Humanizing Animals With the Most Human Eyes
by Rose Eveleth

“People place incredible importance on their eyes. They’re arguably our default tool for perceiving the world, and one of the primary ways we remember and describe one another…”


8: The Secret Life of Everything: Where Your Stuff Comes From
by Brandon Keim

“At this stage of the early 21st century, you might think it would be a simple matter to choose some everyday product and trace the paths taken by its parts and ingredients, from raw material extraction to assembly and their final delivery to you. I thought so, and I was wrong, though instructively so…”


9: Watching Our Every Move—From Space
by Rose Eveleth

“Should extraterrestrials be looking down at Earth from space, they would know a few things about us humans. Perhaps most of all, they would know that we move…”


10: Drug Users Are Secretive; Their Sewers Tell All
by Sarah Zhang

“The sewage doesn’t lie. People, however, are less than honest when asked about things like their illicit drug use…”


Amos Zeeberg is Nautilus’ digital editor. 

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