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.

The Weird Science of Loneliness and Our Brains

The Weird Science of Loneliness and Our Brains

Humans rarely experience such extreme social isolation, but studies have shown that even in normal life, increased loneliness has a negative impact on physical and mental health.What Matthews was seeing was the effect that social isolation had on the brains she was studying.

Research finds microplastics in fish muscle tissue

Research finds microplastics in fish muscle tissue

“This higher ingestion rate for flounder could be due to microplastics accumulating in marine sediments which makes up more of their diet compared to other species, or it could be because the flounder samples were all obtained from the Waitemata Harbour, which is closer to Auckland as a potential microplastic source,” she said.

People Who Text While Walking Actually Do Ruin Everything

People Who Text While Walking Actually Do Ruin Everything

In a control experiment in which no one was distracted, the researchers observed a previously described phenomenon known as lane formation: As the two groups made contact, people arranged themselves in two or three columns.

Microdosing's Feel-Good Benefits Might Just Be Placebo Effect

Microdosing's Feel-Good Benefits Might Just Be Placebo Effect

After the month-long testing period, they found that all psychological outcomes had improved since the start of the experiment for those in the microdosing group, including “in the domains of well-being, mindfulness, life satisfaction, and paranoia.” However, the same was true for the placebo group—with no significant differences between the two.

What My Dialup Youth Taught Me About Sex and the Internet

What My Dialup Youth Taught Me About Sex and the Internet

When it comes to sex, the internet underscores the gap between what young people want to know and experience, and what adults are comfortable with them knowing and experiencing.

'Fake Famous' Review: A Fun Window Into Instagram Influencers

'Fake Famous' Review: A Fun Window Into Instagram Influencers

But his debut film, Fake Famous (on HBO, starting February 2), brings slightly more apprehension—specifically to Instagram, the photo darling of social media.

New AI-Based Navigation Helps Loon’s Balloons Hover in Place

New AI-Based Navigation Helps Loon’s Balloons Hover in Place

Because winds blow in various directions at each altitude, the AI-based controller was programmed to use reinforcement learning, or RL, to search a database of historic records and current weather reports to predict the best elevation to keep the balloon in one place.

The Pandemic Is Forcing Everyone to Face the Digital Divide

The Pandemic Is Forcing Everyone to Face the Digital Divide

Attempting to teach and learn from home has put a tremendous strain on all parents, teachers, and students, but for families without access to high-speed broadband or the (proper number of) devices for kids to work off of, the upcoming school year poses the possibility that those children will fall even farther behind .

Why Do Razor Blades Get Dull So Quickly?

Why Do Razor Blades Get Dull So Quickly?

That’s the thinking behind a recent experiment by researchers at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, who tried to find out why steel razor blades go dull so quickly, especially when they are just cutting soft human hair.

A Secret Space Plane is Carrying a Solar Experiment to Orbit

A Secret Space Plane is Carrying a Solar Experiment to Orbit

But the real star of the show is a small solar panel developed by the physicists at the Naval Research Lab that will be used to conduct the first orbital experiment with space-based solar power.

Shuttered: Mathery's Technicolor Coronavirus PSAs

Shuttered: Mathery's Technicolor Coronavirus PSAs

Partners in work and life, the two have been self-isolating in their New York City apartment since the pandemic first began wrecking their native Italy.Our first project together was a blog called 01mathery that we started in 2010 to which we posted one idea a day.

The Pandemic Has Led to a Huge, Global Drop in Air Pollution

The Pandemic Has Led to a Huge, Global Drop in Air Pollution

Courtesy of European Space AgencyWhile not a greenhouse gas itself, the pollutant originates from the same activities and industrial sectors that are responsible for a large share of the world’s carbon emissions and that drive global heating.

Physicists Take Their Closest Look Yet at an Antimatter Atom

Physicists Take Their Closest Look Yet at an Antimatter Atom

Publishing in Nature today, physicists working on a CERN experiment called ALPHA have measured new properties of antihydrogen, the antimatter twin of the hydrogen atom.For the experiment, ALPHA’s physicists measured part of antihydrogen’s spectrum, the signature light that quantum particles emit.

How the Extreme Art of Dropping Stuff Could Upend Physics

How the Extreme Art of Dropping Stuff Could Upend Physics

“Once you go to space, you can throw your object, and it will be in free fall for a long time,” says physicist Aurélien Hees of the Paris Observatory, a member of the team.

Fish snack on microplastics

Fish snack on microplastics

Microplastics are being fed to snapper, New Zealand’s most popular recreational fish species, at NIWA’s aquaculture research facility near Whangarei in a bid to establish some baseline data about how fish are being affected.

Beware the Epiphany-Industrial Complex

Beware the Epiphany-Industrial Complex

The Stanford Prison Experiment has burrowed its way into the culture, inspiring an epiphany-industrial complex that deploys social science research in support of facile claims about human nature, public policy, and interpersonal relationships.

Quantum Darwinism Could Explain What Makes Reality Real

Quantum Darwinism Could Explain What Makes Reality Real

One of the most remarkable ideas in this theoretical framework is that the definite properties of objects that we associate with classical physics—position and speed, say—are selected from a menu of quantum possibilities in a process loosely analogous to natural selection in evolution: The properties that survive are in some sense the “fittest.” As in natural selection, the survivors are those that make the most copies of themselves.

Amazon's Revolutionary Retail Strategy? Recycling Old Ideas

Amazon's Revolutionary Retail Strategy? Recycling Old Ideas

Amazon is so new, and so dramatic in its speed and scale and aggression, that we can easily forget how many of the things it’s doing are actually very old. Amazon is systematically going through every branch of the idea tree around what retail is, and doing it without any pride.

The Simple Way Apple and Google Let Domestic Abusers Stalk Victims

The Simple Way Apple and Google Let Domestic Abusers Stalk Victims

With a few seconds of physical access to a phone, even apps as common as Google Maps and Apple's Find My Friends can be tweaked to persistently share a user's location with another contact while offering the phone's owner no notification or warning, the researchers told me.

Zuckerberg Defends Free Speech, Even When the Speech is False

Zuckerberg Defends Free Speech, Even When the Speech is False

“We exist in a society where people value and cherish free expression, and the ability to say things including satire,” Mark Zuckerberg said Wednesday. It wasn’t long after Mark Zuckerberg took the stage at the Aspen Ideas Festival Wednesday that he was heckled by the audience.

JD Power Says Korean Cars Beat US and Europe in Quality

JD Power Says Korean Cars Beat US and Europe in Quality

The change in fortunes rides largely on how automakers have handled two big technological trends: proliferating infotainment screens and advanced driver assistance features .Alex Davies covers autonomous vehicles and other transportation machines for WIRED.The ranking, based on the number of problems owners of new vehicles report in the first three months, puts Genesis, Hyundai’s luxury brand, in the number one spot, with 63 problems per 100 vehicles.

Emma Thompson Tried to Be in Star Wars

Emma Thompson Tried to Be in Star Wars

Emma Thompson Tried to Be in Star Wars. Emma Thompson is a lot of things: an actress, a dame, a lifeforce bequeathed to humanity by the gods. At one point Thompson's agent inquired about the actress getting a part in the current Star Wars saga, but they were rebuffed.

Alphabet-Owned Jigsaw Bought a Russian Troll Campaign as an Experiment

Alphabet-Owned Jigsaw Bought a Russian Troll Campaign as an Experiment

"Let's say I want to wage a disinformation campaign to attack a political opponent or a company, but I don’t have the infrastructure to create my own Internet Research Agency," Gully told WIRED in an interview, speaking publicly about Jigsaw's year-old disinformation experiment for the first time.

How a Google Cloud Catch-22 Broke the Internet

How a Google Cloud Catch-22 Broke the Internet

In those moments, Google has to triage among not just user traffic but also the network’s control plane, which tells the network where to route traffic, and management traffic, which encompasses the sort of administrative tools that Google engineers would need to correct, say, a configuration problem that knocks a bunch of the internet offline.

The Open World of 'Rage 2' Is More Barren Than It Should Be

The Open World of 'Rage 2' Is More Barren Than It Should Be

It's also easy, seeing the structures of an open world in place, to assume that following the story missions will grant more power and variety as the game goes on, and to rush through the entire narrative in a matter of hours.

How the Brain Links Gestures, Perception, and Meaning

How the Brain Links Gestures, Perception, and Meaning

More than a century ago, the psychologist Walter Pillsbury wrote: “There is nothing in the mind that has not been explained in terms of movement.” This concept has its modern incarnation in the mirror neuron theory, which posits that the ability to glean meaning from gesture and speech can be explained by the activation of single cells in key brain regions.

In Pursuit of the Perfect Snooze, Casper Shifts to Gadgets

In Pursuit of the Perfect Snooze, Casper Shifts to Gadgets

It projects a warm, soft glow that gradually dims as you fall asleep, and then brightens like a sunrise when it's time to wake up. For Casper, the Glow is just the beginning of a new kind of multi-sensory sleep experience.

It’s Time to Rethink Who’s Best Suited for Space Travel

It’s Time to Rethink Who’s Best Suited for Space Travel

Nelson also points out that most astronauts have no prior experience relying on technology for their movement and lives, whereas people with disabilities do so every day.

The Rise of the Swiss Army Gadget

The Rise of the Swiss Army Gadget

“We already know that 80 percent of consumers are bringing a phone or a tablet into the bathroom to do something,” says Kohler project lead Jonathan Bradley.