Science & Tech

As an enthusiastic academic, I can’t help but love the natural and even theoretical sciences. From astronomy to geology and even physics, there’s virtually no science I don’t enjoy, which is why I write about a lot of scientific topics that are posted here in Science & Tech.

Winter Storm Jonas

El Niño and Winter Storm Jonas, AKA Snowpocalypse 2016

Winter was running a bit late this year. If you feel the way I do about the winter season, you were probably pleased with the balmy days in the 60s that we continued to enjoy through December and even after Christmas. According to what I’ve read, we can attribute the unseasonably warm winter we’ve had to El Niño and some jet stream-related phenomenon. However, it’s not just the winter that’s been warmer than usual. In fact, NASA and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) have reported that 2015 as a whole has shattered global heat records. Breaking: 2015 was Earth's warmest year by widest margin on record, say #NOAA & @NASA — NOAA (@NOAA) January 20, 2016...
Mass extinction event global warming

Earth’s sixth mass extinction is here, study confirms

After comparing the natural rate of extinction to the rate seen today, scientists confirm that Earth is currently in its sixth mass extinction event.
Marty McFly hoverboard

Marty McFly’s Hoverboard Will Soon Be a Reality

Fans of the Back to the Future films may soon have a real-life hoverboard of your very own. A new Guinness World Record is set by a hoverboard prototype that reaches "scary heights" while a husband-and-wife team have developed a promising hoverboard that uses electromagnets.
First American migrations map

Theory of North American peopling by Europeans definitively disproven

The "ice bridge" theory—called the Solutrean hypothesis—suggested that Upper Paleolithic Europeans traveled into North America via an "ice bridge" more than 22,000 years ago. However, this alternative theory of North American settlement has now been definitively disproven.
Homo sapien and Neanderthalensis

Ancient skull confirms humans coexisted with Neanderthals

It’s accepted that anatomically modern humans originated 200,000 years ago in Africa, but scientists and scholars cannot seem to agree on the migration patterns of H. sapiens that led to the population of the planet or what role, if any, that played in the extinction of our cavemen cousins, the Neanderthals (Homo neanderthalensis). The discovery of a 55,000-year-old partial, though very well-preserved, human skull in what was Neanderthal territory at the time confirms one of the main points of contention: Homo sapiens and Neanderthals did, in fact, coexist in the same geographic area for a period of time. Scientists have been puzzled over a discrepancy in the fossil record. By the look of things, the fossil record suggests there were anatomically modern...

Eight more Exoplanets discovered, two are most Earth-like yet

As you may recall, I’ve already written somewhat extensively about exoplanets and super-Earths. In what turned into an unexpectedly long article, I explained what qualifies a cosmic body as an exoplanet and the distinctions between exoplanets and super-Earths. I’m sure we’re all pros on this stuff, but I’ll review the actual definitions of these terms in a hot second. According to a report released a couple days ago, there have been some more exoplanets discovered, all of which orbit in the ‘Goldilocks zones’ of their host stars. And cooler than that, two of those eight exoplanets are thought to be more similar to our home planet of Earth than any others that have been discovered to date. Compared to the...

Rats tell us why men find lingerie sexy, study says

In a Canadian study that got a little weird, rats told us why lingerie is sexy. And no, it didn’t involve gentlemen rats admitting their raunchy sex fantasies or lady rats explaining that the right French-cut panties will make that special boy sit up and take notice. Scientists at Concordia University in Montreal outfitted some female rats with some sexy rat jackets, the rodent equivalent of lacy lingerie. Then they gathered some virgin male rats — I guess they don’t objectify females like more experienced males do — to drop them into a cage with the lace-clad lady rats and let nature take its course. Once the boy rats became men, the researchers allowed them to mate again; however, this time...
Haptic 3D ultrasound shapes

Ultrasound used to create 3D shapes in mid-air that can even be felt

I’m sure you’ve seen secret agents and spaceship pilots of the future interact with holographic computer screens or models suspended in mid-air in front of them. Nowadays even films set in the present incorporate technologies that, until recently, we could scarcely even imagine; however, technology like you’ve seen in the movies may become science reality pretty soon. New research has developed a way of suspending 3D shapes in midair using ultrasound. Looking like a scene taken out of a blockbuster film, the shape can be seen and even felt with your bare hand. Researchers at the University of Bristol’s Department of Computer Science are working to develop this technology not just for use in entertainment and consumer electronics, but also for medical...

Thousands of relics found in ancient Mexican city Teotihuacán

Teotihuacán is the ancient pre-Columbian city in Mexico, about 30 miles northeast of present-day Mexico City, a famous site containing many early and historically significant Mesoamerican step pyramids. It’s also famous for being the city that was suddenly and inexplicably deserted, and due to lack of documentation we can’t really be sure why. Since 2003, Mexican archaeologist Serigo Gomez and his team have been excavating a tunnel in Teotihuacán that, until now, had been sealed and undisturbed for nearly 2,000 years. They made their way into the tunnel, unearthing around 50,000 artifacts and relics in almost perfect condition in the process. Given how exciting these finds are and what we stand to learn, I thought this would be a good...

Acupuncture 101: Origin and Modern Use

By definition, acupuncture is the stimulation of certain surface-level pressure points throughout the body involving methods like the application of heat, pressure, laser light, or most commonly, penetration by thin needles. Though in the United States and other westernized countries acupuncture is a form of alternative therapy in health and medicinal industries, acupuncture is actually a form of traditional Chinese medicine. Where Does Acupuncture Come From? The precise origins of acupuncture are uncertain and debated, but the first documented use of acupuncture, though not called by that name, is commonly attributed to Emperor Shennong, a hero and Chinese legend. In addition to being credited as the inventor of the weekly farmers market, the Chinese calendar, and the practice of digging...
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