If You Were a Secret Message, Where in the Human Genome Would You Hide?
Ellie Arroway (Jodie Foster) uses the VLA (Very Large Array) to look for alien signals. But that’s not the only way. Warner Brothers When people think about SETI, the Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence, they imagine messages sent via radio—Jodie Foster tuning antennas, hoping to pick up signals from the “billions and billions” of star systems […]
Slow is good. That’s the message of more than a dozen modern slowness movements, from slow fashion to slow food to slow church, most of which have sprung up in the last 20 years, and most of which point a steady finger at modernity. This issue is full of people chasing slow. Slow living, slow […]
Will You Be Able to Read this Article in 1,000 Years?
If you ask Anthony Weiner, digital records—especially those on the Internet—can seem impossibly hard to get rid of. When a picture or document is reduced to a series of 1s and 0s, it becomes transmissible, reproducible, downloadable, and storable. You can’t burn digital books, and ideas like cloud computing make it possible to back up […]
Ingenious: Helen Fisher
Talking sex, brains, and commitment with the best-selling scientist of love.
Why Do People Have Such Strong Feelings for the Portland Airport’s Carpet?
A typical view of the Portland airport’s old carpet on social mediaMichael Morgan via Flickr “Take a pic of your feet on the carpet,” texted my sister. I had just landed in Portland, Oregon, to visit my siblings, and was walking to the airport exit. Autocorrect must have made a mistake, I thought. Yet I […]
How to Make Art That Withstands the Test of Time
A degraded frame from an old celluloid (aka nitrate) film, the same material used by Naum Gabo in some of his sculptures In the 1930s, Russian-born sculptor Naum Gabo started experimenting with a thin, plastic material called celluloid. Previously used as film for photography or to make cheap jewelry, celluloid in Gabo’s hands became […]
Can Remnants of Ancient Life Show Us How to Live Wisely Into the Future?
At long-term nuclear repositories in Finland and Sweden, waste will be ensconced in cast-iron inserts (right), which are then placed in copper canisters (left).Posiva Oy This is part 2 of Vincent Ialenti’s report on how how to think about nuclear waste in the environment over the very long term. Also see part 1, which ran […]
Looking Into the Far Future of Earth’s First Long-Term Nuclear-Waste Vault
On June 1, 1676 the Battle of Öland was raging, as the Swedish navy grappled with a Danish-Dutch fleet for control of the southern rim of the Baltic Sea. Amid bad weather, Kronan—Sweden’s naval flagship in the region and one of the largest warships of its kind at the time—made a sudden left turn. Its […]
The Fly King Speaks
Meet Fredrik Sjöberg, author of the sleeper hit, The Fly Trap.
How Slow Responses Made the Ebola Outbreak So Deadly
As a rule, huge organizations move sluggishly, bogged down in democratic decision-making processes and bureaucratic policies. Ebola, on the other hand, moves fast. People become desperately sick and contagious within a few weeks of infection. By the time international agencies effectively responded to the ongoing Ebola outbreak, it had spiraled out of control in West […]