California's Rain Was a 'Cat 4' Atmospheric River. Wait, What?

California's Rain Was a 'Cat 4' Atmospheric River. Wait, What?

Most of those multiday deluges are the product of atmospheric rivers, high-altitude streams of air that originate near the equator and are packed with water vapor.

Bid Adieu to the A380, the World's Jumbo-est Passenger Jet

Bid Adieu to the A380, the World's Jumbo-est Passenger Jet

It even produced a study called “Trailer truck trajectory optimization: the transportation of components for the Airbus A380.” That’s just to build the thing—actually flying it required rejiggering airport infrastructure .

Forget People, Elroy's Self-Flying Drone Hauls Heavy Cargo

Forget People, Elroy's Self-Flying Drone Hauls Heavy Cargo

“We’re developing a big cargo drone,” says Elroy CEO Dave Merrill. As for what goes inside those pods, Merrill points to the potential for moving humanitarian supplies, like food, water, and blood.

The Howling: Why You’re Hearing Coyotes This Month

The Howling: Why You’re Hearing Coyotes This Month

Coyote researcher Brian Mitchell describes the sounds you’re likely to hear at this time of year: “Group yip-howls are produced by a mated and territorial pair of “alpha” coyotes, with the male howling while the female intersperses her yips, barks, and short howls.

Which MacBook Should You Actually Buy?

Which MacBook Should You Actually Buy?

The new Air is a lot like the new MacBook Pro models, with a sharp, 13-inch Retina display, a responsive trackpad, an improved butterfly keyboard (with a dust shield), surprisingly potent speakers, and two USB-C/Thunderbolt 3 ports for charging and hooking up peripherals.

Supposedly "Fair" Algorithms Can Perpetuate Discrimination

Supposedly "Fair" Algorithms Can Perpetuate Discrimination

Thus began the contentious career of the notion of “actuarial fairness,” an idea that would spread in time far beyond the insurance industry into policing and paroling, education, and eventually AI, igniting fierce debates along the way over the push by our increasingly market-oriented society to define fairness in statistical and individualistic terms rather than relying on the morals and community standards used historically.

Try on Your Next Pair of Glasses Using Just Your iPhone

Try on Your Next Pair of Glasses Using Just Your iPhone

Leveraging the face-mapping tech on Apple's iPhones, the Warby Parker app will now include a a "virtual try-on" feature, which lets customers preview what glasses would look like in impressive detail using augmented reality.

Māori carvers head to Antarctica

Māori carvers head to Antarctica

Poutama Hetaraka says he is not only looking forward to experiencing a completely different environment but also to seeing mātauranga Māori become more and more embedded in conversations about environmental management of the Earth and Antarctica in particular”.

The Very Vortex-y Science of Making Snow From Boiling Water

The Very Vortex-y Science of Making Snow From Boiling Water

The Very Vortex-y Science of Making Snow From Boiling Water Ismail Kaplan/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images I guess it's a mixture of boredom from staying home in the super-cold weather and access to the internet that causes this problem.

Why Your Phone (and Other Gadgets) Fail You When It’s Cold

Why Your Phone (and Other Gadgets) Fail You When It’s Cold

Why Your Phone (and Other Gadgets) Fail You When It’s Cold Denis Kozhevnikov/TASS/Getty Images Across the Midwest today, hundreds of schools and businesses are closed, dozens of flights and trains have been canceled, and the governors of Wisconsin, Illinois, and Michigan have declared states of emergency as a bone-chilling, breath-taking Polar Vortex bears down on the region.

Mercedes’ EQC SUV Makes Everyday Electric Elite

Mercedes’ EQC SUV Makes Everyday Electric Elite

Mercedes’ EQC SUV Makes Everyday Electric Elite “We wanted to create an everyday car, with a nice dynamic, comfortable driving, a fun car with torque and power, and to have a very safe car,” says engineer Bastian Schult.

And Now, the Weather: Mars-like, With a Chance of Apocalypse

And Now, the Weather: Mars-like, With a Chance of Apocalypse

In 2004, Meehl and Claudia Tebaldi predicted that climate change would lead to worse, more frequent heat waves; turns out they were right. “The cold air kind of pinches and stretches into two border vortices,” says Judah Cohen, a climatologist with Atmospheric and Environmental Research.

The Need for Carbon Fiber Could Ground the Flying Car Future

The Need for Carbon Fiber Could Ground the Flying Car Future

(Conventional carbon fiber manufacturing requires pieces to be shaped and then baked in an oven to set, a longer and more labor-intensive process.) Fixes If Icon is a cautionary tale, another new airplane manufacturer could prove to be an inspiration for the eVTOL.

Uber Wants Self-Driving Scooters and More Car News This Week

Uber Wants Self-Driving Scooters and More Car News This Week

Uber Wants Self-Driving Scooters and More Car News This Week A new analysis estimates American cities will only be able to keep up with electric vehicle charging demand if they have to build 20 percent more chargers every year between now and 2025.

The Excruciating, Impossible Science of Airport Delays

The Excruciating, Impossible Science of Airport Delays

Because of the federal government shutdown, the airport didn’t have enough Transportation Security Administration agents and air traffic controllers; things slowed to a ground stop . “They insert buffer time in their schedules and ground operations,” says Bo Zou, a transportation engineer at the University of Illinois.

Ending the Government Shutdown Won't Fix Flight Delays

Ending the Government Shutdown Won't Fix Flight Delays

“In 2013, when the government shut down for two weeks, it took the FAA nearly six months to get the school back up to a normal level of training capabilities,” says Sharon LaRue, a professor of air traffic control at the University of Alaska in Anchorage.

Boeing’s Flying Taxi Prototype Takes to the Air (Briefly)

Boeing’s Flying Taxi Prototype Takes to the Air (Briefly)

Replace the wheels with heavy-duty helicopter skids, add four buzzing dronelike electric fans to each one, and you’ll have something like Boeing’s prototype flying taxi.

Hitting the Slopes? Here's Our Favorite Snow Gear

Hitting the Slopes? Here's Our Favorite Snow Gear

Buy Saxx Thermoflyte for $75 , Merino 250 Base Layers for $95 , and Terramar for $35+ Burton Burton Gore-Tex Gloves I’m not going to lie, I’ve never found a pair of gloves that I was 100 percent in love with.

10 Years Later, Retrace the 'Miracle on the Hudson' Flight

10 Years Later, Retrace the 'Miracle on the Hudson' Flight

10 Years Later, Retrace the 'Miracle on the Hudson' Flight The Airbus jet was just 2,800 feet up and nowhere near its cruising speed when the engines failed, giving pilots Chesley “Sully” Sullenberger and Jeffrey Skiles just a few minutes to find a safe path to the ground.

Nike's New Self-Lacing Basketball Shoe Is Actually Smart

Nike's New Self-Lacing Basketball Shoe Is Actually Smart

I can hold down a button in the shoe's midsole, or I can use a new Nike app called Adapt, which pairs with the lacing engine via Bluetooth and lets you adjust the left and right sneakers independently.

Snow Can't Stop the Edward Scissorhands of Flying Cars

Snow Can't Stop the Edward Scissorhands of Flying Cars

On the Ava's planned cross-country flight, the Beta team will follow along in their mobile charging vehicle, a converted tour bus outfitted with generators, solar panels, and an expanding landing pad on the roof.

One Square Meter of Prairie

One Square Meter of Prairie

Photo © Chris Helzer / TNC I was thrilled to photograph two different monarch butterflies inside the plot, the more so because of their current population declines.

Bell Reveals a Surprisingly Down-to-Earth Air Taxi

Bell Reveals a Surprisingly Down-to-Earth Air Taxi

That industry is based on the idea that quiet, efficient, and safe air taxis (aka flying cars) with electric power and high-tech control systems will allow safe operation by either computers or human pilots with minimal specialized training.

Photo Gallery: Capturing the Everyday Horror of Dairy Farming in Germany

Photo Gallery: Capturing the Everyday Horror of Dairy Farming in Germany

“I wanted to update the old-fashioned image of a cow in a green meadow that we know from ads and milk packages,” Teryoshin says, “to show the dystopian side of the milk production.” Germany’s $14 billion dairy farming industry rests squarely on the backs of 4.2 million cows—the majority Holsteins, a sturdy piebald favored around the world for its high milk yield.

The Heir to the V-22 Osprey Flies Through a Year of Testing

The Heir to the V-22 Osprey Flies Through a Year of Testing

The two aircraft don’t share any hardware, but they both use swiveling rotors to switch between flying vertically (to take off and land like a helicopter) and horizontally (to cruise like a plane).That connection has concentrated extra attention on the aircraft’s testing phase, and Bell and partner Lockheed Martin, which is in charge of the avionics and weapons systems, have done just about everything they can to smooth out its adolescence.“The whole idea from the beginning has been to find simple solutions for complex designs,” says Jeff Josselyn, manager of V-280 flight maintenance at Bell’s Arlington, Texas, headquarters.

Robocars, Elon, and More This Year in the Future of Cars

Robocars, Elon, and More This Year in the Future of Cars

Robocars, Elon, and More This Year in the Future of Cars Our review of 2018 includes usual suspects like Elon Musk, along with mathematicians willing to chat airplane peeing, clock-watching RAF pilots, and a whole lot of transportation planners.

Super-Fast Airport Scanners Are Coming—Eventually

Super-Fast Airport Scanners Are Coming—Eventually

It has installed a system at the Oakland Airport in California, not for passengers, but to screen employees as they come to work on the sensitive “air side” of operations, or as they move backward and forward several times a day from "land side." Evolv’s millimeter-wave scanners look like bulked-up versions of the beepy theft-prevention gates near the doors of some stores, and they can grab an image in a fraction of a second, as opposed to a more typical two seconds.

Space Photos of the Week: It’s Love vs. Hate in Star vs. Star

Space Photos of the Week: It’s Love vs. Hate in Star vs. Star

Clusters like these, dating back to just a few billion years after the Big Bang, are the source material for scientists looking to understand star formation, and by combining data from several telescopes they gain a better understanding on the goings-on at these nurseries.Two’s the charm: You’re looking at a white dwarf and a red giant, a binary star called R Aquarii.

What the California Wildfires Can Teach Us About Data Sharing

What the California Wildfires Can Teach Us About Data Sharing

I was part of a small group of volunteers who came together to start a nonprofit organization, Safecast, to design, build, and deploy Geiger counters and a website that would eventually make more than 100 million measurements of radiation levels available to the public.We started in Japan, of course, but eventually people around the world joined the movement, creating an open global data set.

How Would NYC's Anti-AirDrop Dick Pic Law Even Work?

How Would NYC's Anti-AirDrop Dick Pic Law Even Work?

"Cyber flashing," a type of digital harassment where creeps use Apple's AirDrop feature to send dick pics and other lewd images straight to the home screens of unsuspecting strangers via Bluetooth and Wi-Fi.The bill’s co-sponsors, council members Joseph Borelli and Donovan Richards, say it's about time cyber flashers faced the same consequences as their offline counterparts.

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