Breaking the Ice on Technologies

Tag: technology

Estimate the Pulling Force of Boston Dynamics’ Robo-Dog Army

Estimate the Pulling Force of Boston Dynamics’ Robo-Dog Army

[embedded content] When Boston Dynamics shares a new robot video, my robophobia levels increase just a little bit. I don’t know why. There is something about these robots that get into the uncanny valley for me. This particular video is both fascinating and disturbing. It’s […]

Move Over, San Andreas: There’s an Ominous New Fault in Town

Move Over, San Andreas: There’s an Ominous New Fault in Town

U.S. route 395 is a geologic master class disguised as a road. It runs north from the arid outskirts of Los Angeles, carrying travelers up to Reno along the eastern flank of the Sierra Nevada. On the way, they pass the black cinder cones of […]

Climate Change Threatens Ice Roads. Satellites Could Help

Climate Change Threatens Ice Roads. Satellites Could Help

For a few months each winter, Canada’s Tibbitt to Contwoyto Winter Road is the world’s longest ice highway, a 300-plus-mile network of frozen lakes that connects lucrative diamond mines in Canada’s Northwest Territories to supplies from the nation’s not-quite-so-far north. But warmer winters and earlier […]

China Finds Phone-Wielding Tourists and Telescopes Don’t Mesh

China Finds Phone-Wielding Tourists and Telescopes Don’t Mesh

If a giant telescope observes the universe, and no one around can take a picture of it, does it really exist? The Five-hundred-meter Aperture Spherical Radio Telescope—located in Guizhou, China—will have to find out. New regulations, put into effect in early April, ban (among other […]

The Notre Dame Fire and the Future of History

The Notre Dame Fire and the Future of History

Some of the wood that burned in the cathedral of Notre Dame in Paris on Monday was put in place in the year 1160. The beams and exterior of the roof over the nave, the long main section of the building, date from between 1220 […]

Colorado Tried a New Way to Vote: Make People Pay—Quadratically

Colorado Tried a New Way to Vote: Make People Pay—Quadratically

The Democratic caucus of the Colorado State House of Representatives had a problem—but it was the good kind. The 2016 election put Democrats in charge of the House, the State Senate, and the governorship. Now it was time to decide, out of somewhere between 60 […]

The Odd Physics of Rey’s Backflip in *Star Wars: Episode IX*

The Odd Physics of Rey’s Backflip in *Star Wars: Episode IX*

[embedded content] What the heck does “The Rise of Skywalker” even mean? Some people hate trailers because they spoil the plot. For me, it’s more like an appetizer to get me ready for the show. Of course, in this case I’m talking about Star Wars […]

Offshore Wind Farms Are Spinning Up in the US—At Last

Offshore Wind Farms Are Spinning Up in the US—At Last

On June 1, the Pilgrim nuclear plant in Massachusetts will shut down, a victim of rising costs and a technology that is struggling to remain economically viable in the United States. But the electricity generated by the aging nuclear station soon will be replaced by […]

A ‘Herculean’ Study of Scott and Mark Kelly Asks: Are Humans Fit for Space?

A ‘Herculean’ Study of Scott and Mark Kelly Asks: Are Humans Fit for Space?

Here’s how you test your intracranial pressure in space. First, you collect baseline samples of your blood, saliva, and urine, and take ultrasound images of the vessels in your heart, neck, head, and eyes, lining up the scanning device on black dots tattooed on your […]

The Perplexing Physics of Imaging a Black Hole

The Perplexing Physics of Imaging a Black Hole

It’s a big day for astronomy (and all humans, really). The first image of a black hole has been released. It was created using the Event Horizon Telescope—a collaboration of radio telescopes around the world. This image shows the material around a super massive black […]