12 articles
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    A Material So Dark That It Looks Like a Black Hole

    Even when applied to a highly reflective surface like aluminum foil, Vantablack renders the entire surface, including creases, all but invisible.Surrey Nanosystems via Wikipedia Color is such a powerful and evocative sensation—one of the first that we learn to describe as children—that we don’t often think about what it really is. In a sense, color […]

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    This Iconoclast Injected Life Into Artificial Body Parts

    Laura Niklason recognized that synthetic organs can’t grow without mechanical stress.

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    Animals Bow to Their Mechanical Overlords

    Robots are infiltrating insect, fish, and bird communities—and seizing control.

  • Rolfe Horn

    Living in the Long: Art & Engineering Peers Into Our Future

    When was the last time you awoke right at the first peak of day? Or put away your work simply because night was falling? We are less and less tied to rhythms of natural time, living instead in the glow of computers and smartphone screens. Our days and nights roll by, marked as much by […]

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    The Box That Built the Modern World

    How shipping containers made distance irrelevant.

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    Clever Apes, a Busted Telescope & the Adjacent Possible

    The Kepler spacecraft had a pretty good run. Launched in 2009, it soon settled into its intended orbit around the Sun, trained its image sensors up at a patch of sky about as big as your fist held at arm’s length, and began watching, which it’s been doing ever since. Kepler’s job is to find […]

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    Joys of Noise

    The reliability of some technologies depends on just the right amount of randomness.