From Ice Cream to Toothpaste: Seaweed's Hidden Uses

The humble seaweed may best be known for its ability to encase morsels of sticky rice and raw fish (not to mention spa-goers) but this plant-like organism has slowly worked its way into an impressive variety of human industries over the past 15 centuries. Now one can find seaweed, or at least one of its many prized… » 10/28/14 3:53pm Tuesday 3:53pm

World's Fastest Fiber Line Can Support an Internet's Worth of Data

Currently, the fastest commercially available fiber optic line tops out at 100 Gbps. That's super fast, sure, but isn't nearly a wide enough pipeline for our increasingly interconnected systems. That's why this new, multi-modal, fiber line is so exciting—it can pack 2,550 times as much data into the same glass strand. » 10/27/14 2:01pm Monday 2:01pm

The Early Warning Radar Systems That Defended WWII Britain

In 1940, less than a year after blitzkrieging its way through Poland and the rest of Western Europe, the Nazi army set its sights on the UK and commenced a vicious bombing campaign targeting the nation's major cities. Luckily, the British Royal Air Force saw this threat coming and cleverly deployed a series of radio… » 10/27/14 11:40am Monday 11:40am

How to Use the Internet to Get (and Stay) in Shape

Even if you can't afford a swanky Equinox membership but can't stand packing in among the masses at 24 Hour Fitness, you've got no excuse for letting your body go to pot over the winter. With these websites at your disposal and a bit of sweat equity, you'll be ready for beach season. » 10/26/14 12:00pm Sunday 12:00pm

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US Special Forces' New Sniper Scope Works Like a Human Eye

Conventional sniper scopes may allow for superlatively long shots but they are far from perfect, requiring a time-consuming refocusing of the sights should the target (or shooter) have to move position. But with the new RAZAR scope from Sandia National Labs, that refocus is handled almost instantly with the push of a… » 10/24/14 11:40am 10/24/14 11:40am

"Starquakes" May Be the Reason Behind Massive Solar Eruptions 

In early 2009, NASA's Fermi Gamma-ray Space Telescope observed an unprecedented solar storm emanating from a distant neutron star with gigantic columns of magnetized flares stretching thousands of miles into space—only the third time such an eruption had been observed. Five years later, NASA boffins think they've… » 10/23/14 6:15pm 10/23/14 6:15pm

Why You Definitely Shouldn't Drink Your Own Pee

During his 127-hour ordeal under that boulder, backpacker Aaron Ralston resorted to consuming his own urine in order to stay alive before eventually hacking off his own forearm and escaping. This was an extreme survival case, and pretty much the only time you should even consider drinking from your own spigot. Here's… » 10/22/14 2:35pm 10/22/14 2:35pm

This Flying Wing Was 3D-Printed From Plastic Dust In a Day

Embraced by industry titans like Boeing and amateur R/C enthusiasts alike, 3D printing never been adopted more aggressively than in the aerospace industry. And when taken to the limits of its capabilities, 3D printing can produce more than just lightweight composite fan blades. We're talking full-blown flying wings. » 10/22/14 11:48am 10/22/14 11:48am

This Electronic Stonehenge Once Divined the Secrets of Soviet Radio

In the early days of electronic espionage, the US intelligence community didn't have the benefit of all-seeing spy satellites—it had to intercept and interpret high-frequency radio waves transmitted by the Soviet Union. To do so, the Americans relied on a network of mysterious structures whose real purpose was kept… » 10/21/14 11:40am 10/21/14 11:40am