Plastic Is Falling From the Sky. But Where’s It Coming From?

Plastic Is Falling From the Sky. But Where’s It Coming From?

But new modeling published yesterday in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences shows that 84 percent of airborne microplastics in the American West actually comes from the roads outside of major cities.

Russia May Have Found a New Way to Censor the Internet

Russia May Have Found a New Way to Censor the Internet

“Contrary to blocking, where access to the content is blocked, throttling aims to degrade the quality of service, making it nearly impossible for users to distinguish imposed/intentional throttling from nuanced reasons such as high server load or a network congestion,” researchers with Censored Planet, a censorship measurement platform that collects data in more than 200 countries, wrote in a report.

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.

Signal Adds a Payments Feature—With a Privacy-Focused Cryptocurrency

Signal Adds a Payments Feature—With a Privacy-Focused Cryptocurrency

While more established privacy-focused cryptocurrencies like Zcash and Monero have been more widely used and arguably better tested, Marlinspike says Signal chose to integrate MobileCoin because it has the most seamless user experience on mobile devices, requiring little storage space on the phone and needing only seconds for transactions to be confirmed.

Silicon Valley Revs Up for a ‘Hot Startup’ Summer

Silicon Valley Revs Up for a ‘Hot Startup’ Summer

Many VCs expect the immediate payoffs will be for startups in categories like entertainment and travel, sectors where people will want to spend their money post-vaccine.“There are huge markets to seize right now,” says Kim-Mai Cutler, a partner at Initialized Capital, an early-stage venture firm.

Narwhal Tusks Tell a Troubling Tale

Narwhal Tusks Tell a Troubling Tale

Whatever the purpose, scientists know this for certain: The Arctic region, which the narwhals call home, is warming twice as fast as the rest of the planet, and by analyzing these tusks, researchers can glean surprisingly detailed insights into how the animals are dealing with catastrophic change.

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.

Intel Wants to Revive US Chipmaking—but It Has to Catch Up First

Intel Wants to Revive US Chipmaking—but It Has to Catch Up First

But at the same time, Intel said it would outsource production of some of its most advanced chips to Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company.“It's a pretty deep hole for Intel,” says Linley Gwennap, president of the Linley Group, a chip industry analyst firm.

Announcing the WIRED Resilience Residency

Announcing the WIRED Resilience Residency

Geared toward professionals whose own careers have been upended by these forces, the Resilience Residency offers a unique opportunity for non-journalists to report powerful stories from their changing fields and start new conversations about the future.

Negligence, Not Politics, Drives Most Misinformation Sharing

Negligence, Not Politics, Drives Most Misinformation Sharing

To do the experiments, the researchers gathered a set of headlines and lead sentences from news stories that had been shared on social media.People were more likely to rate headlines that agreed with their politics, but the difference here was only 10 percentage points.

How to Teach Your Kids About Money

How to Teach Your Kids About Money

Family finances should be discussed openly, and kids should be allowed to choose how to spend their own money, even if that means they buy something you consider to be a waste.

Where Are Those Shoes You Ordered? Check the Ocean Floor

Where Are Those Shoes You Ordered? Check the Ocean Floor

“It’s a boom in import cargo beyond anything we've seen before,” says Lars Jensen, the CEO of SeaIntelligence Consulting, which advises clients in the container shipping industry.

Soothe Yourself With a Picture Book About the Internet Dying

Soothe Yourself With a Picture Book About the Internet Dying

Chris Colin, a writer who runs a pandemic-themed children’s newspaper out of the Bay Area, answers that question in his new book OFF: The Day the Internet Died (A Bedtime Fantasy).Illustrated by Rinee Shah and written in the style of Genesis (as in the Book of, not the band), OFF invites readers to imagine weeks, decades, centuries without the internet.What first got you thinking about writing this book?

Social Media Reminds Us of the Year That Wasn’t

Social Media Reminds Us of the Year That Wasn’t

There’s even a new Twitter feed devoted to this: @YearCovid, which is dedicated to “livetweeting the covid pandemic as it happened on this date in 2020.” Following the account means getting semi-frequent reminders of what the news stories and social media reactions were on any given day in 2020.

Scientists watching lake on South Island glacier survey

Scientists watching lake on South Island glacier survey

Scientists undertaking the annual glacier snowline survey over the South Island later this month are keeping a watchful eye on a lake that has been forming and disappearing at the junction of the Tasman and Hochstetter glaciers.

The Tide Is High—and Getting Higher

The Tide Is High—and Getting Higher

A new study shows that nuisance flooding is exacerbated by dredging and the construction of piers and jetties that were intended to make coastal living easier but are in fact redirecting the flow of incoming ocean water and making high tides higher than ever before.

Imaginary Numbers May Be Essential for Describing Reality

Imaginary Numbers May Be Essential for Describing Reality

Provided that quantum mechanics is correct—an assumption few would quibble with—the team’s argument essentially guarantees that complex numbers are an unavoidable part of our description of the physical universe.“These complex numbers, usually they’re just a convenient tool, but here it turns out that they really have some physical meaning,” said Tamás Vértesi, a physicist at the Institute for Nuclear Research at the Hungarian Academy of Sciences who, years ago, argued the opposite.

The ‘Lamborghini’ of Chariots Was Just Unearthed Near Pompeii

The ‘Lamborghini’ of Chariots Was Just Unearthed Near Pompeii

Archaeologists in Italy have unearthed an elaborately decorated, intact four-wheeled ceremonial chariot near the ruins of the Roman city of Pompeii, famously destroyed when Mount Vesuvius catastrophically erupted in 79 CE, BBC News reports.

The Pandemic Nearly Shuttered My Church. Technology Saved It

The Pandemic Nearly Shuttered My Church. Technology Saved It

Long before the pandemic struck, Science Hill Friends Meeting in southwestern Randolph County, North Carolina, was slowly bleeding to death, like many small churches in rural America.Science Hill had to accept that our beloved meeting house, built by the original Friends in 1894, wasn’t the only place where members could gather.

Warnings From the Queer History of Modern Internet Regulation

Warnings From the Queer History of Modern Internet Regulation

Whether it is the “indecent” provision of the CDA or the sex work crackdown in the later Fosta-Sesta law, the brunt of laws that make internet service providers liable for certain categories of posts has inevitably fallen on marginalized users.

Period Underwear Changed My Life—and I'm Never Going Back

Period Underwear Changed My Life—and I'm Never Going Back

Photograph: Knix I got my period for the first time when I was young and for many years it was horrendous, for lack of a better word.I can’t help but think how much different those years would have been if I had period underwear all along.

6 Clever Ways to Use the Windows Command Prompt

6 Clever Ways to Use the Windows Command Prompt

Open a command prompt and use the cd command to navigate to the folder where those files are stored, like so:.From there, you can run something like the below to rename all the files in the folder:

The UK Is the Latest Country to Tighten the Screws on Uber

The UK Is the Latest Country to Tighten the Screws on Uber

Lawmakers, jurists, labor unions, and organizers want the companies to treat their workers better, even as the companies remain unprofitable.“Over the past 12 months, there’s been a pendulum swing by the courts towards protecting worker rights in the gig economy,” says Ruwan Subasinghe, the legal director of the International Transport Workers’ Federation, which represents nearly 20 million workers in 150 countries.

Carolina Wrens Will Nest in Just About Anything

Carolina Wrens Will Nest in Just About Anything

Sometimes, we might even wonder if our efforts to provide nest boxes and brush piles somehow fail to meet the Carolina wren’s creative standards.Along with nest boxes, wrens seem to favor what brush piles have to offer.

How to Keep Kids Engaged in School—With Games

How to Keep Kids Engaged in School—With Games

I create scavenger hunts for my classes, where I put the teens into teams via Zoom breakout rooms and give them a time frame (10 to 15 minutes) to search online for sources like research or experts to use for their assignments to write articles and op-eds.

Bliss Is the Worst Kind of Open-Ended Sci-Fi Movie

Bliss Is the Worst Kind of Open-Ended Sci-Fi Movie

Released in 2014, it’s about vision scientists searching for the origin of the human eye—look, a pun—which, if you didn’t know, is “the window,” as one character literally says, “to the soul.” They find it in the genes of a sightless worm, but not before Karen, played by Brit Marling, warns her lab partner that she, at least, has no interest in getting famous, in being seen: “Recognition makes me nauseous,” she says.

Why Insider Job ‘Zoom Bombs’ Are So Hard to Stop

Why Insider Job ‘Zoom Bombs’ Are So Hard to Stop

Stringhini and his fellow researchers, who specialize in how online communities coordinate malicious activity, monitored the organization of mass Zoom-bombing actions on both Twitter and 4chan over the course of 2020.Their findings point to a surprising conclusion: The majority of Zoom-bombing cases the researchers observed began with a participant in the call posting the link publicly and inviting trolls and miscreants to attack it.

Biden Wants the Government to Run on EVs. It Won’t Be Easy

Biden Wants the Government to Run on EVs. It Won’t Be Easy

“If people see that their mail delivery people are driving electric vehicles, they’ll get the confidence they’ll need,” says Doug Kettles, director of the Central Florida Clean Cities Coalition, a Department of Energy-supported group that promotes advanced vehicle technologies.

Two Paths for the Extremely Online Novel

Two Paths for the Extremely Online Novel

“Why would I want to make my book like Twitter?” the narrator of Lauren Oyler’s new novel, Fake Accounts, wonders.

How Universes Might Bubble Up and Collide

How Universes Might Bubble Up and Collide

When space is as empty as possible and can’t possibly lose more energy, it exists in what physicists call a “true” vacuum state.Since they can’t prod actual vacuum bubbles in the multiverse, physicists have sought digital and physical analogs of them.