What an underground nuclear explosion looks like

Recent aerial photo of the crater made in the wake of the nuclear blast.

One this day, 53 years ago, the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory detonated a thermonuclear device 194 meters below the Nevada desert. Why? Well, the government at the time thought blowing up a nuclear bomb underground sounded like a good idea if you want to excavate a mine. It’s a lot quicker than drilling with a lot machines. After all, mines are made using thousands of tonnes of dynamite. Why not take a shortcut and nuke the damn thing. The problem, of course is radiation. But how can you have people work in a mine if it’s contaminated with radiation, right? The logic escapes me as well.

News, Psychology

Sweeping hormones makes stock brokers take riskier decisions

stressed brokers

It’s not just teenagers who let hormones get the best of them, stock brokers do it all the time, according to a new study. Only, in this case, the consequences might be far worse than a family meltdown: we’re talking about global markets crashes.

Materials, News

No more ketchup stuck on the bottle – new technology slides onto the shelves

Ketchup slides out of a bottle that's been coated with LiquiGlide.Courtesy of the Varanasi Research Group

The days of wasting condiments, toothpaste and other products that stubbornly stick to the sides of the bottle or package are coming to an end thanks to a new coating  developed by MIT researchers. The LiquiGlide spinoff has signed a deal with Orkla (a Norwegian company) that will allow them to use the new coating in mayonnaise bottles. If everything

Mathematics, News, Psychology

Is there really a mathematical formula that predicts happy relationships?

Love equation

In a recent TED talk, Hannah Fry outlines a mathematical formula that predicts long-lasting relationships. In her recent book, The Mathematics of Love, she discusses the findings of psychologist John Gottman who studied hundreds of couples over many years to find out what sets apart the happy couples from the miserable. Gottman than enlisted the help of a mathematician who correlated all the data the psychologists gathered and came up with an empirical formula that seems to predict if a couple will be happy together.

Health & Medicine, Mind & Brain, News

No laughing matter: scientists study the effects of laughing gas

Image: Jose-Luis Olivares/MIT

Nitrous oxide, commonly known as laughing gas, is a simple chemical composed of two nitrogen atoms and one oxygen atom (N2O). Despite being used as an anesthetic since the 1800s, the effects it has on the brain are not well understood. In a new study published in this week in Clinical Neurophysiology, MIT researchers reveal some key brainwave changes caused by the gas.

News, Renewable Energy

You can now calculate your Renewable Energy potential with this mobile App

renewable energy app

A simple smartphone app combines the most reliable data and maps on global renewable energy potential, so you can get a better idea what’s the right kind of equipment you need or if the investment is warranted in the first place. And it’s all for free, too.

Great Pics, Offbeat

Picture of the day: A Pinksect


Reddit user Wolfhole took a spectacular picture of a pink katydid, also known as a bush cricket. I’m not sure exactly what species this is, but according to Twisted Sifter, it’s an Oblong-winged katydid or Amblycorypha oblongifolia. While green is by far the most common color; pink, yellow and orange colorings can occur but are far more rare. While they are not truly dangerous,

Health & Medicine

A simple sniff test might diagnose autism in toddlers

autism sniff test

Children with autism spectrum disorder do not react as well to pleasant or foul smells compared to non-ASD children. Previously, autistic toddlers were found to have a dampened response to sight, sound and touch. For their study, the researchers at the Weizmann Institute of Science in Israel used a novel technique to gauge the smell response in both ASD and control groups, with 81% accuracy. The test is unobtrusive and doesn’t require a personal account from behalf of the children – something that can be difficult to do with autistic children, who more often than not are highly uncommunicative. If the test can survive the test of time and other trials, it could very well be used to diagnose autism.

Biology, News, Oceanography

Everything you should know about the Portuguese Man of War


The media seems to panic about recent Portuguese Man of War sightings along the Jersey shore in the US, without providing much information about the situation or this creature. Here, we’ll take a look at the Man of War and see what you should do to stay safe on the beach.

Astronomy, News, Observations

Lucky shot: Photographer catches space station racing past the moon

Astronomy Photography

Dylan O’Donnell, an amateur photographer, took one of the luckiest shots ever: the International Space Station past the moon. Any astro buff would be envious.