RE:WIRED 2021: Neal Stephenson on Building and Fixing Worlds

RE:WIRED 2021: Neal Stephenson on Building and Fixing Worlds

“The idea that we could have a pandemic that by this point has killed going on twice as many Americans as died in World War II, and in a much shorter span of time, and yet there's still a sizable number of people in this country who don't even think it's real,” Stephenson told senior correspondent Adam Rogers today at RE:WIRED.

Biden’s FCC Picks Are a ‘Dream Team’ for Broadband Advocates

Biden’s FCC Picks Are a ‘Dream Team’ for Broadband Advocates

Biden will also fill the empty Democratic slot on the commission by nominating Gigi Sohn, a longtime consumer advocate who was an FCC official during the Obama years.

If Clouds Are Made of Water, How Do They Stay in the Air?

If Clouds Are Made of Water, How Do They Stay in the Air?

If it's near the surface of the Earth, this force has a magnitude equal to the product of the mass of air (m) and the gravitational field (g = 9.8 newtons per kilogram).The buoyancy force is actually the result of the air around the cube pushing against it in all directions.

Opening windows and doors “one of the best ways” to remove Covid-19 from classroom air

Opening windows and doors “one of the best ways” to remove Covid-19 from classroom air

One of the best ways to reduce the likelihood of Covid-19 being transmitted in Aotearoa New Zealand classrooms is simply by opening doors and windows to create natural ventilation, say NIWA air quality experts.

Microplastics May Be Cooling—and Heating—Earth’s Climate

Microplastics May Be Cooling—and Heating—Earth’s Climate

The good news is that microplastics may be reflecting a tiny bit of the sun’s energy back into space, which would actually cool the climate ever so slightly.

Carbon-Capturing Sunglasses Offer a View of Fashion's Future

Carbon-Capturing Sunglasses Offer a View of Fashion's Future

Nike, which says 70 percent of its emissions are wrapped up in its materials, is one of many large fashion brands that have committed to reducing its greenhouse gas emissions by at least 30 percent by 2030.Herrema said the idea that would eventually lead to AirCarbon came to him while he was at Princeton in the early 2000s.

Deadly Heat Is Baking Cities. Here’s How to Cool Them Down

Deadly Heat Is Baking Cities. Here’s How to Cool Them Down

“So that means less clean air coming into the city, which would tend to make pollutant concentrations higher,” says Ban-Weiss, plus the loss of the breeze that itself keeps people cool.

The (Very Slow) Race to Move Forests in Time to Save Them

The (Very Slow) Race to Move Forests in Time to Save Them

In California, where I live, climate change helped kill nearly 62 million trees in 2016 alone, and last year, 4.2 million acres of our state burned.

Oh Good, Now There's an Outbreak of Wildfire Thunderclouds

Oh Good, Now There's an Outbreak of Wildfire Thunderclouds

Last week, the US Naval Research Laboratory held a very 2021 press conference, in which scientists reported a very 2021 outbreak of “smoke thunderclouds.” Catastrophic wildfires, exacerbated by catastrophic climate change , had produced a rash of pyrocumulonimbus plumes over the western United States and Canada, known in the scientific vernacular as pyroCb.

This Software Aims to Make Your Flight Smoother—and Help the Planet

This Software Aims to Make Your Flight Smoother—and Help the Planet

That’s because airplane engines are designed to operate in the air, says Hamsa Balakrishnan, a professor of aeronautics and astronautics at MIT who studies airport operations.As a result, “there’s a lot of inefficiency that gets built in,” says Balakrishnan, the MIT professor.

Baby Poop Is Loaded With Microplastics

Baby Poop Is Loaded With Microplastics

The finding comes a year after another team of researchers calculated that preparing hot formula in plastic bottles severely erodes the material, which could dose babies with several million microplastics a day , and perhaps nearly a billion particles a year.

Why Does Asthma Get Worse at Night?

Why Does Asthma Get Worse at Night?

Hundreds of years later, scientists were finding evidence that backed him up: A study from 2005 showed that nearly 75 percent of people with asthma experience worse attacks at night.In one experiment, called the “constant routine protocol,” participants sat in bed for 38 hours without being allowed to sleep.

These Deepfake Voices Can Help Trans Gamers

These Deepfake Voices Can Help Trans Gamers

More than 100 people asked if the technology could ease the dysphoria caused by a mismatch between their voice and gender identities.“We realized many people don’t feel they can participate in online communities because their voice puts them at greater risk,” Pappas, Modulate’s CEO, says.

The ’60s-Inspired Island in 'Deathloop' Is Worth a Closer Look

The ’60s-Inspired Island in 'Deathloop' Is Worth a Closer Look

Mitton says that the art team looked to things like the photos from the book “Lair: Radical Homes and Hideouts of Movie Villains” for inspiration.

8 Cool US Mammals You Haven’t Seen

8 Cool US Mammals You Haven’t Seen

The popularity of the news coverage is also in part because most people have never seen one, although the spotted skunk has a fairly wide range across the United States and well into Central America.

Facebook’s New Camera Glasses Are Dangerously Easy to Use

Facebook’s New Camera Glasses Are Dangerously Easy to Use

(Giaia Rener, Ray-Ban's global brand director, even describes them as "the first smart glasses you're going to want to wear.")If you ignore the fact that they have cameras and wireless connectivity, Ray-Ban Stories are just a pair of Wayfarers.

New York City Wasn’t Built for 21st Century Storms

New York City Wasn’t Built for 21st Century Storms

Wildfire thunderclouds in the West, blackouts in Texas , hurricanes in the South , torrential downpours in the East: “It's all the stuff we said would happen 20 years ago,” says Zeke Hausfather, a climate scientist and the director of climate and energy at the Breakthrough Institute.

New Orleans Was Already a 'Heat Island.' Then Ida Cut the Power

New Orleans Was Already a 'Heat Island.' Then Ida Cut the Power

“So you get kind of this baking-in factor over the course of multiple days of heat,” says Portland State University climate adaptation scientist Vivek Shandas, who has studied the heat island effect in Portland, New Orleans, and dozens of other cities.

Social Media Helped These Chefs Branch Out of the Kitchen

Social Media Helped These Chefs Branch Out of the Kitchen

In the face of those layoffs and restaurant closures, these chefs opted to embrace TikTok, Twitter, Instagram, and other social platforms to bring their skills out of restaurant kitchens to an audience of viewers eager to learn from their experience and pick up new recipes.

Record warmth so far this winter

Record warmth so far this winter

Sea temperatures around the coast have also been warmer than average, modifying colder air masses tracking towards New Zealand.Mr Noll said with the June and July temperatures tracking so far above average, this winter had a firm lead on last year’s figures.

June blows hot and cold – and possibly hottest of all

June blows hot and cold – and possibly hottest of all

Mr Noll says the last few weeks have been substantially warmer than average across the country prompted by warm sea temperatures in the western Pacific fuelling northerly low pressure systems bringing warm air to New Zealand.

Why Do House Finches Love Your Hanging Plants?

Why Do House Finches Love Your Hanging Plants?

Why does it seem like house finches as well as other birds favor these peculiar places to nest, particularly hanging plants like ferns?

AI Comes to Car Repair, and Body Shop Owners Aren’t Happy

AI Comes to Car Repair, and Body Shop Owners Aren’t Happy

From his perspective, appraisers and claims adjusters, paid by insurance companies, generally want to pay less for repairs than he thinks his shop deserves.“I'd say 99.9 percent of the estimates are incorrect,” says Jeff McDowell, who owns Leslie's Auto Body in Fords, New Jersey.

Pandemic Lockdowns Did Cut Air Pollution—but With a Catch

Pandemic Lockdowns Did Cut Air Pollution—but With a Catch

Gupta studies air pollution in India, and like many other scientists, he’s been studying how the lockdowns have decreased emissions above urban areas.In Santiago, Chile, researchers studied urban air pollution during those same three months and compared them to the same period during the previous three years.

How to Survive a Killer Asteroid

How to Survive a Killer Asteroid

Then, in the early 1900s, astronomers like Russia’s Nikolai Morozov* began observing newly developed high explosives and made a rather startling discovery: Large explosions differ from thrown rocks in a number of ways, but most ominously—at least for our species’ continued existence—they leave circular craters regardless of their angle of impact.

Facebook Had Years to Fix the Flaw That Leaked 500M Users’ Data

Facebook Had Years to Fix the Flaw That Leaked 500M Users’ Data

That incident differs from the more recent Facebook controversy, in which attackers were able to "scrape” Facebook by enumerating batches of possible phone numbers from more than 100 countries, submitting them to the contact import tool, and manipulating it to return the names, Facebook IDs, and other data users had posted on their profiles.

More Lightning in the Arctic Is Bad News for the Planet

More Lightning in the Arctic Is Bad News for the Planet

“The 2020 heat wave in the Russian Arctic shows how—even at high latitudes—really warm weather conditions can develop that can lead to fires that burn intensely and can grow to be very large,” says Isla Myers-Smith, an ecologist at the University of Edinburgh who studies the region but wasn’t involved in this new work.

AI Could Enable 'Swarm Warfare' for Tomorrow's Fighter Jets

AI Could Enable 'Swarm Warfare' for Tomorrow's Fighter Jets

AI could allow multiple aircraft to “swarm” together in ways that could change the dynamics of air combat.“One of the things that really stands out is the ability to enable what you would call swarm warfare—rapidly overwhelming opponents,” says Chris Gentile, an ex–Air Force fighter pilot who is a program manager at EpiSci, a military contractor that is developing the technology for the contest, dubbed Air Combat Evolution.

A SpaceX Engineer's Dark Web Insider Trading Sparks an SEC First

A SpaceX Engineer's Dark Web Insider Trading Sparks an SEC First

The SEC says that while Jones claims he didn’t get any useful info from the group, it did spark a revelation: There was a market for insider tips, but most people couldn’t get into exclusive dark web forums.

Indoor-Grown Weed Is Spewing Carbon Into the Atmosphere

Indoor-Grown Weed Is Spewing Carbon Into the Atmosphere

Based on their calculations, cannabis production results in over 2,000 kilograms of carbon dioxide emitted for every kilogram of product (defined as dried flowers), and its legalization has had a measurable effect on Colorado's greenhouse gas output.