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Articles from Popular Science

Humans still rule drone racing, but NASA's AI pilot might change that

December 1, 2017 - 12:22 -- Admin

In a California warehouse in October, quadrocopter drones zoomed and buzzed, racing through an obstacle course of black-and-white checkered arches. On one team: drones guided by software and AI, the work of a team from NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory. On the other: a drone steered by a human professional—Ken Loo, a Google engineer and Drone Racing League pilot.

What Meghan Markle's engagement ring can teach us about Southern Africa's ancient continental crust

December 1, 2017 - 12:22 -- Admin

If you have a very limited media diet, you may not have heard that Prince Henry of Wales (usually referred to as Prince Harry) recently proposed to American actress, model, and humanitarian Meghan Markle. Along with his hand in marriage and a place in the British royal family, she has accepted a glittering rock from Botswana.

Different kinds of alcohol might make you feel different emotions

November 24, 2017 - 15:03 -- Admin

Humans have been buddies with booze for thousands of years. Some scientists believe this love affair goes back even further. The so-called drunken monkey hypothesis speculates that our ancestors possessed an unusual knack for consuming ethanol without keeling over dead, allowing them to access the sweet, sweet caloric payloads of rotting, fermenting fruit. But we've come a long way from merely tolerating overripe apples.

In 1964, Popular Science answered 'stupid' questions about what you eat

November 24, 2017 - 15:03 -- Admin

In November of 1964, Popular Science published "Stupid Questions About What You Eat" because "most [people] have many mistaken notions" about the digestive process. The article sought to answer "fundamental questions about what and why you eat—with digested answers." The text of the article (formatted for the web) follows below. It can also be read in its original format through the Popular Science archives, here.

Here's even more evidence that you need to spend time enjoying nature

November 24, 2017 - 15:03 -- Admin

Twentieth Century German social psychologist Erich Fromm first advanced the notion that humans hold an inborn connection to nature. Later, it was popularized by biologist E.O. Wilson as “the urge to affiliate with other forms of life.” In the ensuing years, support for the positive effects of nature has gained considerable traction, grounded in a growing body of research.

Cult leaders like Charles Manson exploit this basic psychological need

November 24, 2017 - 15:03 -- Admin

Charles Manson, who died November 19, famously attracted a coterie of men and women to do his bidding, which included committing a string of murders in the late-1960s.

Manson is undoubtedly a fascinating figure with a complicated life story. But as someone who studies human cognition, I'm more interested in the members of the Manson “family” like Susan Atkins and Patricia Krenwinkel, and how they become drawn to leaders of cult-like organizations in the first place.

Tiny license plates could help us steer clear of our space junk

November 24, 2017 - 15:03 -- Admin

Before owning a car became typical, roads and highways (the few that existed) were never crowded. It was only after everyone started purchasing and driving their own vehicles—to work, school, even the grocery store around the block—that streets grew congested, rush hour became an everyday occurrence, and car accidents became an inevitability.