How to Embrace Despair in the Age of Climate Change

How to Embrace Despair in the Age of Climate Change

In the early days of the Covid-19 pandemic, Charlie Glick, a musician in his late twenties living in California, was strolling through LA’s Atwater Village neighbourhood, thinking about work.

Africa’s Oldest DNA Is Helping Address Science’s Racial Bias

Africa’s Oldest DNA Is Helping Address Science’s Racial Bias

Now a new discovery of the oldest African DNA is pushing back against this bias, and in the process revealing how our ancestors lived and moved around the continent tens of thousands of years ago.

Why Cities Want Old Buildings Taken Down Gently

Why Cities Want Old Buildings Taken Down Gently

Christensen thinks of Good Wood, which also remills and sells the reclaimed lumber, as a kind of modern and sustainable forestry company, without the felling trees part.

Think Climate Change Is Messy? Wait Until Geoengineering

Think Climate Change Is Messy? Wait Until Geoengineering

This is the idea behind a solar geoengineering technique known as stratospheric aerosol injection, only instead of a pigment, engineers would spray a sulfate that bounces some of the sun’s radiation back into space, an attempt at cooling the planet.

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.

It’s Time to Delete Carbon From the Atmosphere. But How?

It’s Time to Delete Carbon From the Atmosphere. But How?

This week and next, government representatives are gathering in Glasgow for the United Nations Climate Change Conference, or COP26 , the latest of an increasingly frantic string of meetings as humanity runs out of time to drastically reduce our greenhouse gas emissions.

A Stanford Proposal Over AI's 'Foundations' Ignites Debate

A Stanford Proposal Over AI's 'Foundations' Ignites Debate

Thomas Dietterich, a professor at Oregon State University and former president of the Association for the Advancement of Artificial Intelligence, says he has “huge respect” for the researchers behind the new Stanford center, and he believes they are genuinely concerned about the problems these models raise.

The End of Trash Fish

The End of Trash Fish

My friend, a visiting fish biologist, was thrilled to catch species new to him, like chiselmouth, largescale sucker and northern pikeminnow.It’s time to put the term “trash fish” in the trash, where it belongs, and give these fish the respect (and management) they deserve.

Help! My Colleague Is Taking Credit for My Work

Help! My Colleague Is Taking Credit for My Work

Ask OOO at [email protected] .A small but appreciable tragedy of our remote-work age is the loss of petty workplace dramas that used to add intrigue to the sameness of the day.

Why You Stay Up So Late, Even When You Know You Shouldn’t

Why You Stay Up So Late, Even When You Know You Shouldn’t

The idea of sleep procrastination was first introduced in a 2014 study from the Netherlands, defining the act simply as “failing to go to bed at the intended time, while no external circumstances prevent a person from doing so.” Revenge was added to the title in 2020 with the onset of the pandemic, but as a concept, it has actually been around for much longer.

The Secret Auction That Set Off the Race for AI Supremacy

The Secret Auction That Set Off the Race for AI Supremacy

By the time he stepped onto a bus in downtown Toronto for the first leg of a trip to Lake Tahoe in December 2012, Geoff Hinton hadn’t taken a seat for seven years.

Klara and the Sun Imagines a Social Schism Driven by AI

Klara and the Sun Imagines a Social Schism Driven by AI

We talked about it over a number of conversations, and I think the key question here is: Can AI actually get to that empathy, by understanding human emotions, controlling them through something like a work of art.

The Rumored Apple Car Is Bad News for Elon

The Rumored Apple Car Is Bad News for Elon

A few years ago, the company reportedly pulled back on an effort to develop an autonomous vehicle, but multiple sources are now reporting that Apple has put the project back in gear.

Researchers Are Studying These Worm Blobs to Build Robots

Researchers Are Studying These Worm Blobs to Build Robots

“If you take a blob of these worms and you hold them in your hand, they behave like Silly Putty and they flow through your fingers,” says Saad Bhamla, assistant professor of chemical and biomolecular engineering at Georgia Tech.

Researchers Levitated a Small Tray Using Nothing but Light

Researchers Levitated a Small Tray Using Nothing but Light

Energy from the LEDs heats up the Mylar’s specially-coated underbelly, energizing air particles under the plastic and propelling the plates away with a tiny, but mighty, gust.

Coffee Talk Has Become a Quiet Success in a Turbulent Year

Coffee Talk Has Become a Quiet Success in a Turbulent Year

Coffee Talk—from Toge Productions, a video game developer based in Indonesia—was released on January 29 of last year, a little more than a month before the world began to go into Covid-related lockdown.

The Rise of One of the First Video Game Workers Unions

The Rise of One of the First Video Game Workers Unions

The schools, Agwaze and other programmers explained to me in a London pub, pump out “eight gazillion” games developer grads, for whom there are not necessarily enough good jobs.

Charlize Theron and the Best Movie Never Made

Charlize Theron and the Best Movie Never Made

It all started on Saturday when a Twitter user with the handle @f_osis posted a seemingly innocent tweet with a brilliant idea: “Lesbian Christmas rom coms are all well and good but what I REALLY want is a Die Hard where Charlize Theron goes on a rampage to save her wife.” What started as a thinly-veiled jab at Happiest Season soon snowballed into a wing-and-a-prayer production pipeline.

Our Favorite Mattress Deals for Cyber Monday

Our Favorite Mattress Deals for Cyber Monday

If you're in need of a better night's sleep, almost every mattress we like is on sale for Cyber Monday.Some are only made of three to five layers of memory foam, but our favorite models are usually "hybrid" mattresses.

Our Favorite Mattress Deals for Black Friday

Our Favorite Mattress Deals for Black Friday

If you're in need of a better night's sleep, almost every mattress we like is on sale for Black Friday.Updated November 28: We've checked prices, and all our favorite mattresses are still on sale.

How to Beat Zoom Fatigue—and Set Healthy Boundaries

How to Beat Zoom Fatigue—and Set Healthy Boundaries

Now more than six months into a global pandemic, Zoom calls have quickly become the preferred alternative to in-person interactions, whether it’s a work meeting, happy hour, wedding, or birthday celebration.

‘Do Not Track’ Is Back, and This Time It Might Work

‘Do Not Track’ Is Back, and This Time It Might Work

The idea is to create a technical specification that qualifies as a universal opt-out under the CCPA, so that exercising rights under the law would flip from being hopelessly complex to extremely easy.“This would provide a key component that’s called for in the California law, which is a simple way for consumers to invoke their right without having to go to each website and find the button,” said Ashkan Soltani, a privacy researcher who helped lead the effort.

Is Dark Matter Just Black Holes Made During the Big Bang?

Is Dark Matter Just Black Holes Made During the Big Bang?

Illustration: Samuel Velasco/Quanta Magazine, Virgo/Frank Elavsky, Aaron Geller/NorthwesternAlas, the flirtation with primordial black holes soured in 2017, after a paper by Yacine Ali-Haïmoud, an astrophysicist at New York University who had previously been on the optimistic Kamionkowski team, examined how this type of black hole should affect LIGO’s detection rate.

Scientists Want to Ditch Formula for Lab-Grown Breast Milk

Scientists Want to Ditch Formula for Lab-Grown Breast Milk

For mothers like King—unable to breastfeed yet still wanting to provide their babies human milk—the options are limited.“The fact is, mothers rely on infant formula,” says Lin.

Could a Janky, Jury-Rigged Air Purifier Help Fight Covid-19?

Could a Janky, Jury-Rigged Air Purifier Help Fight Covid-19?

One study, from Singapore and looking not at aerosolized virus but the soot and smoke of Indonesian wildfires, found that a simple filter and fan mounted in a window to pull air inside reduced particulate matter between 1 to 10 microns by around 75 percent.

Hummingbirds Can See Colors We Can’t Even Imagine

Hummingbirds Can See Colors We Can’t Even Imagine

On top of each was a special light containing blue, red, green, and UV LEDs behind a diffuser, allowing the researchers to light up the feeder in a variety of nonspectral colors.

The Rocket Motor of the Future Breathes Air Like a Jet Engine

The Rocket Motor of the Future Breathes Air Like a Jet Engine

But if these staged systems could be rolled up into one engine, the huge efficiency gains would dramatically lower the cost of getting to space.When Davis founded Mountain Aerospace Research Solutions in 2018, no one had ever made a working air-breathing rocket engine before.

Who Discovered the First Vaccine?

Who Discovered the First Vaccine?

But it’s the original variolation—not Jenner’s vaccine—that first established the efficacy of the crazy, and at the time ludicrously dangerous, idea upon which nearly all vaccines rely: the intentional infection of a healthy person with a weakened pathogen to bequeath immunity.

Should We Purposely Infect Healthy Volunteers With Covid-19?

Should We Purposely Infect Healthy Volunteers With Covid-19?

Challenge studies purposely infect healthy volunteers with a pathogen in order to study a disease or test a treatment or vaccine.After contacting some friends, Morrison set up 1 Day Sooner, a group that advocates on behalf of volunteers for Covid-19 human challenge studies.

To Beat Covid-19, You Have to Know How A Virus Moves

To Beat Covid-19, You Have to Know How A Virus Moves

On the long list of changes to society and the way cities will look in a Covid-haunted world, shifting public outdoor space like streets and parking lots away from cars to other uses may be one of the most striking.