Research

When Rhode Island accidentally legalized prostitution rapes and STDs dramatically fell

In the 1980s, concerned that the state statute on prostitution was too broad and could potentially infringe on First Amendment freedoms, lawmakers in Rhode Island decided to make it more explicit by cutting some articles. They went a bit too far, though, and accidentally removed the section defining the act itself as a crime. It […]

Win or flop: Taiwanese invents cat face recognition

If you’ve ever been to London, you might have noticed the city is packed with CCTV cameras even in the least crowded street crossings. Besides 24/7 monitoring, these cameras feed images to a highly complex system that automagically runs face recognition, checks the mugs of pedestrians and runs a check if there’s anything on file […]

How much is your university paying for journal access?

At the turn of the 1990s, scholarly publishers were increasingly concerned about what had become known as the serials crisis. Journal subscriptions were rising at an average of 10% per year, which in turn meant each year libraries were struggling harder to keep up and in, consequence, many would cancel. To counter, publishers would further increase […]

Dubai plans to build an entire city under a glass dome

The Simpsons Movie’s plot starts off with Homer adopting a messy piglet he names “Spider Pig”.  The pig, helped a great deal by Homer, made enough waste to fill a silo in just two days, so how does Homer decide to solve this problem? Naturally, being Homer (doh!), he throws away the silo into the […]

This author edits 10,000 Wikipedia entries a day

Sverker Johansson could encompass the definition of prolific. The 53-year-old Swede has edited so far 2.7 million articles on Wikipedia, or 8.5% of the entire collection. But there’s a catch – he did this with the help of a bot he wrote. Wait, you thought all Wikipedia articles are written by humans? A good day’s work […]

Sand-based batteries last three times longer than conventional ones

Expect the price of sand to skyrocket! Researchers at  University of California, Riverside have devised a coin-sized battery that uses silicone at its anode (negative side), instead of the over-used graphite, that lasts up to three times longer than conventional lithium-ion batteries. The key of the research is the silicon extraction method which uses quartz-rich […]

Why you feel the urge to jump off a ledge. No, you’re not suicidal

A few months ago I went hiking with some of my friends in an absolutely stunning mountain setting. We climbed a country road for half an hour or so on foot, then reached a chalet right in the middle of a pin tree clearing and had a few beers with the keeper there who was […]

Blackest material resembles a black hole. It’s so black you can’t even see it

You might have thought black is too solemn or boring, but you may just change your mind. Through careful material science manipulation, involving thousands of tightly packed carbon nanotubes, British company Surrey NanoSystems made a super black coating that absorbs almost 99.96%  of visual light – a world record. Practically only a tiny fraction of the visual […]

Hundreds of amphibian species all over the world killed by fungus infection, but there may yet be hope

Since the 1990s, biologists have witnessed a sudden demise of amphibian species. So far, hundreds of species have become extinct after becoming plagued by a wretched fungus. From mountain lakes to meadow puddles, no matter the continent, frogs are dying everywhere – a demise that might spell an ecological meltdown. There may still be hope yet, according […]

What separates the sheep from wolves in the stock market? Neuroeconomics sheds light

“Be fearful when others are greedy and be greedy only when others are fearful,” said Warren Buffet, arguably the most astute contemporary investor in the world. Research by Caltech and Virginia Tech backs this sound advice, after delving deep into the investor mind and framework by analyzing stock market behavior at the neurolevel. Apparently, wise […]

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