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Was a Star Wars Escape Pod Really Just a KFC Bucket?

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I don't know much about making movies or the special effects involved, but I can imagine a scene from the 1970s during the creation of the first Star Wars movie. In one scene, they need to show an escape pod traveling away from a rebel blockade runner with the runaway droids R2-D2 and C-3PO. Things […]

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Watch a Harlem Globetrotter Sink a Shot from a Plane

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Oh, you think you are pretty awesome with the basketball trick shots? Well, maybe you are—but can you score with a shot from an airplane as it flies by? That's what we have here with the Harlem Globetrotters (although it seems like Dude Perfect might have done this too). For me, this is a classic […]

How Plastic Straws Slip Through the Cracks of Waste Management

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Earlier this year, a three-year-old video of researchers extracting a long, twisted tube from a reptile’s bleeding nostril went viral. To date, it has accumulated more than 30 million views and set off a moral panic. The straw that broke the turtle’s beak also did a number on the camel’s back. Companies like Starbucks, Ikea, […]

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SpaceX Preps for Three Block 5 Launches in Just Two Weeks

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This weekend, SpaceX began what is slated to be its busiest week ever by successfully launching its largest payload to date: a communications satellite dubbed TelStar 19V. Perched atop the company’s Cape Canaveral launch pad, a shiny new Falcon 9 rocket roared to life at 1:50 am Eastern on Sunday morning, lighting up the predawn […]

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How and Where to Watch NASA's InSight Finally Land on Mars

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On Monday, November 26th, following a six-month journey across hundreds of millions of miles of deep space, NASA's InSight spacecraft will arrive at Mars in suitably dramatic fashion, hitting the top of the planet's atmosphere at 12,300 miles per hour—several times faster than a speeding bullet—shortly before 12:00 pm PST (3:00 pm EST). If all […]

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E.T. Hunters Join Forces to Probe the Heavens

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WIRED ICON Jill Tarter, cofounder of the SETI Institute NOMINATES Margaret Turnbull, astronomer investigating alien biology When she met Jill Tarter more than two decades ago, one of Margaret Turnbull’s first questions was, “How can somebody work with you?” Tarter was leading the Center for SETI Research at the time; Turnbull was an astronomy student. […]

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50 Years Ago, Earthrise Gave Us the View of a Lifetime

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Half a century ago, astronauts aboard NASA's Apollo 8 mission become the first humans to leave low Earth orbit, traverse the 240,000 miles separating our planet from its moon, and loop around that natural satellite to look upon its forever-hidden far side (not dark side) with their own eyes. The first crewed voyage to orbit […]

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Crispr Halted Muscular Dystrophy in Dogs. Are Humans Next?

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About ten years ago, British veterinarians discovered an unlucky family of King Charles Spaniels whose male pups sometimes came down with a mysterious set of maladies before their first birthday. They grew clumsy and weak, and they often choked on their own tongues. To blame was a mutation on their X chromosomes, in a gene […]

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A New Lab Is Brewing Microbes to Create Makeup and Medicines

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On the third floor of a back building on Verily’s South San Francisco campus, 10 white machines emit a low-pitched hum. Atop each one sits a plastic container so jammed with tubes and sensors it looks like a protein shake on life support. Inside, beige-colored broth bubbles away while tiny high-res cameras capture the frothy […]

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This Thanksgiving, Ditch the Food Psychology

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In my family, Thanksgiving this year has turned into a weeklong holiday. Not because we’re all so fanatical about celebrating the violent European colonization of North America, but because it will take us that long to figure out what on earth to put on the table. In a party of 12 we’ve got a duo […]