The Case for Eating Jellyfish
A few summers ago, Stefano Piraino was walking along the rocky shoreline on a small island off the coast of Sicily when he spotted a washed up jellyfish. Naturally, he tore a piece off and popped it into his mouth. “After a few days in that state they lose their stinging cells, and the UV […]
Presenting the Scrabble Luck Calculator
Are you as good at Scrabble as you think?
When We Were the Cosmos
The director of the Griffith Observatory revisits the dawn of astronomy.
The Spirit of the Inquisition Lives in Science
What a 16th-century scientist can tell us about the fate of a physicist like David Bohm.
A Close Look at Newborn Planets Reveals Hints of Infant Moons
Reprinted with permission from Quanta Magazine’s Abstractions blog. Astronomers have spent decades, if not centuries, hoping to see embryonic planets. As of a year ago, the closest they had come was the discovery of gaps, thought to be caused by budding planets, in the spinning disks of gas and dust that surround young stars. But they […]
WeChat Is Watching
Living in China with the app that knows everything about me.
The Math Trick Behind MP3s, JPEGs, and Homer Simpson’s Face
Over a decade 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, with applications ranging from optics to quantum physics, radio astronomy, […]
Why It Pays to Play Around
Play is so important that nature invented it long before it invented us.
Raising the American Weakling
There are two very different interpretations of our dwindling grip strength.
The Unique Neurology of the Sports Fan’s Brain
Why we get off on the game—and are better off for it.