This issue tackles something we don’t like to think about. But not only is waste everywhere on our land, in our oceans, and even in space—it is also useful. It drives innovation, creates wealth, teaches us about the past, and is a kind of currency in systems from biology to physics.
Chernobyl’s Hot Mess, “the Elephant’s Foot,” Is Still Lethal
300 seconds will produce a relatively quick death, which is better than many alternatives. After just 30 seconds of exposure, dizziness and fatigue will find you a week later. Two minutes of exposure and your cells will soon begin to hemorrhage; four minutes: vomiting, diarrhea, and fever. 300 seconds and you have two days to live. […]
A Formula That Shows How to Cheat & Triumph at Tournaments
Gryffindor and Slytherin are about to play their annual badminton match. The best players from each house are supposed to face off on court one, the second best on court two, and so on. Slytherin’s coach knows that Gryffindor will put their players on the right courts, in order of their skill, because Gryffindors are […]
The Curious Case of the Exploding Pig Farms
This pig farm was devastated by an explosion due to foaming. Ross Muhlbauer, Iowa State University At first, the manure was just harmlessly foaming. Only later on did things get lethal. Hog farms in the Midwest are great big barns sitting on top of great big pits filled with a great deal of awful-smelling manure. […]
The Mental Glitch That Makes Us Throw Good Money After Bad
Luca Cerabona via Flickr You’ve been waiting for today for weeks. You paid more than you could really afford for tickets to a football game, and the day is finally here. But when you look outside your window early Sunday morning, you realize you’d rather not go. It’s snowing, it’s 20 degrees below zero, and […]
Up, Up, and Away With Science
Richard Holmes gets high on ballooning.
Education Is a Waste of Effort—But It Doesn’t Have to Be
In the nearly 25 years that I spent in school, I produced countless term papers, exams, and presentations, nearly all of which of no value to anyone else. And that goes for most of the 20 million or so college and graduate students currently pursuing higher education in the United States. They produce thousands of […]
The Science of Gratitude
New research suggests saying thanks regularly can benefit your health.
Curl Up With Nautilus
The Winter 2014 Quarterly has landed.
Einstein’s Lost Hypothesis
Is a third-act twist to nuclear energy at hand?