What’s the great filter?

Earlier this year, scientists announced the discovery of Kepler-186f, a planet 492 light years away. It was notable as the first planet discovered that’s almost exactly the same size as Earth, orbiting in the “habitable zone” — the distance from a star in which we might expect liquid water, and maybe comparable life. It also,…

Who was behind “Cicada 3301” and what did they want?

In January 2012 an image (pictured above) appeared on a board of 4chan, the site that’s (in)famous for being a digital playground for hackers and the birthplace the hacktivist group Anonymous. For good or for ill, though, some of the brightest digital minds are to be found loitering on this site, so this message caught…

Are intelligent solar roads a near-future reality?

In short, this is a technology that could potentially replace all roads, parking lots, sidewalks, bike paths, recreational areas and anywhere that currently uses standard tarmac. It could even create a system of sustainable energy for entire countries. In reality, it’s more likely to be used — at least for now — by private individuals…

Why was the SR-71 retired?

On July 28, 1976, flying out of Beale Air Force Base in California, a two-man crew comprising Capt. Eldon W. Joersz and Maj. George T. Morgan took off in a Lockheed SR-71 “Blackbird”. On this flight, they reached speeds of 2,194 mph (3,529.56 km/h) which to this day is still an airspeed record. But around…

Are 11,416 sharks being killed every hour?

It seems staggering, but based on the most recent figures from Marine Policy, who say 100million sharks are being killed every year, it would appear that this daily rate of slaughter is indeed the case. The recent Marine Policy report stated that the exact number of sharks killed could actually be anywhere between 63 million…

Does playing Tomb Raider really improve your IQ?

Does playing Tomb Raider really improve your IQ? It’s not as daft as it sounds. We may be in an era where we constantly bemoan the dumbing down of culture, but there is strong evidence to suggest that the huge increase in our daily exposure to technology — from using the Internet and smartphones to…