The Future of Population Control in China

(AP Photo/Alexander F. Yuan)

When you think of the booming population of China, it is easy to focus on China’s megacities such as Shanghai, Beijing, and Guangzhou, but according to research by global consultants McKinsey, by the year 2025 it is estimated that China will have 221 cities with over one million inhabitants and an urban population of one billion. In this article we…

Art, Physics, Videos

Beautiful Flow Visualization Explains Surface Tension

Marangoni flow

Ever heard of “tears of wine” or the phrase “the wine caught legs”? It’s common when you pour wine in a glass to see  a ring of clear liquid that forms near the top the glass above the surface of wine. These drops continuously form and fall in rivulets back into the liquid and are influenced by a physical phenomenon called …

Feature Post, Other, Psychology

Your Taste in Music Might Reveal How Dumb (or Smart) You Are


Virgil Griffith, a student at Caltech, embarked on a most interesting project to seek whether there’s any connection between the music you enjoy and, uhm, your intellectual abilities.  Griffith used aggregated Facebook data about the favorite bands among students of various colleges and plotted them against the average SAT scores at those schools. This allowed him to make a very rough…

Great Pics

Slumbering lions win wildlife photography award


The magnificent picture you see above won the Wildlife Photography of the Year award. But this isn’t only an out of context image – it comes with a story. Michael “Nick” Nichols tracked the pride of big cats for six months before capturing the stunning shot which includes not only the slumbering pride, but also a magnificent African sky on the…


GeoPicture of the Week: Complete double rainbow encircles Australian town


For our GeoPicture of the Week, we’ve gotten used to pictures of minerals, fossils or geological phenomena – but today, I want to show you something different: a stunning, complete, double rainbow: The picture was taken from a helicopter flying over Cottesloe Beach in Western Australia. Rainbows appear because water droplets act like prisms, separating visible light into its constituent spectral…

Feature Post

The Bizarre History of Mad Honey

mad honey

People have developed some strange ways of catching a buzz – from licking frogs to pouring vodka in your eye (seriously, don’t try this at home) – but few things are as sweet and crazy as mad honey. Mad honey has been harvested in Turkey for millennia and it’s been used as a sweetener, a drug, and even a weapon…

Design, News

World’s First Vertical Forest is Finally Complete in Milan


In 2011, we were telling you about the planned vertical forests in Milan – you can read the entire article here. Recently, the project has finally reached fruition, and we finally get to see the world’s first vertical forest. Stefano Boeri Architects’ amazing Bosco Verticale towers rise up, adding some 2.5 acres of lush vegetation (over 100 species) to the skyline of…

Feature Post, Materials

At MIT’s self-assembly lab, materials turn to life


A highly fascinating and, surprisingly for some, practical new line of research is concerned with programmable materials; composites designed to become highly dynamic in form and function. When subjected to certain environmental ques, like temperature or pressure, these smart materials can morph and adapt to new conditions. MIT, for instance, is working with self-transforming carbon fiber, printed wood grain, custom textile…