Picture yourself on a tropical beach. You’re walking barefoot on the sand, hand-in-hand with someone you love. But trouble may be lurking underfoot, and one Canadian couple stepped right into it.
After getting back from vacation in the Dominican Republic, a couple had really itchy feet. At first, they figured they had bug bites and itched away, hoping the sensations would eventually go away. Then it got worse as each day passed. They eventually went to get their feet checked out ...read more
A new study on stone tools from a site in India offers the latest challenge to the model of human evolution and migration that has dominated paleoanthropology, particularly in the West, for decades. The artifacts, which the researchers say were produced with a sophisticated style of tool-making, are hundreds of thousands of years older than might be expected. What does it mean? Well, that part of the story is still up for debate.
At the archaeological site of Attirampa ...read more
"Hello!" says the human. "Hello!" pipes the orca right back.
It's not a children's movie, but an actual orca emitting human(ish) words. An international team of researchers has taught Wikie, a 14 year-old killer whale in France, to mimic certain simple bits of speech, a discovery that gives them insight into wild orca dialects.
Repeat After Me
In all, Wikie learned six words, in addition to five orca sounds that she didn't know before. The phrases included "hello," "ah ha," "one, two ...read more
Amazon unveiled the newest addition to its Seattle campus today — three glass and concrete domes filled with a jungle's worth of tropical plants. The Spheres, as they're called, are meant to serve as a place for meetings and collaborative work. Communal spaces, many in the shape of nests, are scattered throughout the lush interior.
The $4 billion project is a chance for Amazon to flaunt its continued success and wow potential employees, but it could also function as a test of sorts. ...read more
You hear one thing, but the computer hears another. What's going on here?
Two researchers from the University of California, Berkeley have exploited the technique computers use to decode human speech to hide messages inside snippets of audio. When translated by a speech recognition program like Mozilla's DeepSpeech, the computer ends up transcribing the hidden message instead of the sounds we hear.
Do You Hear What I Hear?
The method basically involves hiding a quiet sample of the audio ...read more
Good friends like to think they're on the same wavelength. They aren't wrong.
Besties laugh at the same jokes, like the same movies and hate the same people. And underlying all these likes and dislikes, close friends also share strikingly similar neural activity while thinking about them. Researchers at Dartmouth College analyzed brain scans of close friends and found that their brains tend to respond to the world in similar ways.
As a next step, researchers want to see if it's possibl ...read more
Maybe their moms told them nobody likes a showoff. That would explain why many species of chameleon are hiding fluorescent bone bumps on their heads that scientists only just discovered. Chameleons also have independently moving eyeballs, superlative tongues and sophisticated color-changing skills. The animals might use their glowing head bumps as signals to each other. These patterns of dots are invisible to a human eye, but may light up deep blue to the eye of ano ...read more
Perhaps you've heard that many bird species are monogamous, including swans and whooping cranes. But have you ever wondered how these long term lovers get together? Do they "date", or is it love (and breeding) at first sight? These scientists set out to answer these questions by studying the life history of the whooping crane. They found that "a substantial portion (62%) of breeding pairs started associating at least 12 months before first breeding, with 16 of 58 breeding pa ...read more
On the morning of January 31, people with clear skies across western North America will have front-row seats to the first total eclipse of the Moon since September 2015. For 76 minutes, the full moon will lie completely immersed in the darkest part of Earth’s shadow, and the only light hitting the Moon will be the reddish glow from all of our planet’s sunrises and sunsets. But don’t fret if you live farther east — residents across the eastern half of the continent will st ...read more
The Romantic Period of the early 1800s was marked by a morbid fascination with mortality and death. Poets, novelists and other artists tackled the eternal void head on, rather than whisking such dark topics under the proverbial rug.
With death in vogue, even mathematicians took a stab on the beauty of ceasing to be. In 1825, British autodidact Benjamin Gompertz found the risk of death increases exponentially with age. After the age of 30, his depressing model shows, the risk of dying on a ...read more
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