How To Forge Bilbo's Sword Sting Into A Glowing Wi-Fi Detector

The tech heads at Spark might not have the blacksmithing skills of the elves of Gondolin, but they're still capable of their own Middle Earth-inspired wizardry. On their blog, they've published a step-by-step guide to transforming a toy Hobbit sword into a blade that glows when unsecured networks are near. » 12/30/14 12:40pm 12/30/14 12:40pm

Meet The Pediatricians Who Assist Anti-Vaxxers

Last month, a school in Michigan temporarily closed as whooping cough began spreading among the 1,200 students. It's the latest example of the public health risks caused by low vaccination rates — a growing national problem made worse by anti-vaxxer parents who are able to get help from sympathetic pediatricians. » 12/30/14 7:40am 12/30/14 7:40am

Here's Your Chance To Name A Crater On Mercury

It's been nearly four years since the Messenger spacecraft arrived at Mercury, and during that time it's exceeded its mission goals, sending more than 250,000 images back to Earth. Faced with an unexpected surplus of real estate, the International Astronomical Union wants your help naming the planet's craters. » 12/30/14 6:20am 12/30/14 6:20am

Argentinian Presidential Ceremony Protects Suspected Werewolves [UPDATE]

Argentinian President Christina Fernández de Kirchner has just adopted a 21-year-old man as her godson. This is a tradition that dates back more than a century, and it's to prevent the stigmatization of a family's seventh son — who, according to legend, turns into a werewolf-like demon. Update: This has been debunked. » 12/29/14 2:30pm 12/29/14 2:30pm

Reconstruction In Afghanistan Cost Nearly As Much As Apollo Program

The U.S.-led coalition in Afghanistan formally ended its combat mission yesterday, handing responsibility to the country's own military. The U.S. will keep 10,000 personnel there in support roles. Reconstruction efforts in the war-torn nation will also continue — but they've already cost $104 billion. » 12/29/14 12:23pm 12/29/14 12:23pm

Kim Jong Il Had A Fan Club And They Really, Really Hated Team America

The official website of the Democratic People's Republic of Korea has a forum where Hermit Kingdom groupies from around the world can share their admiration for the Pyongyang regime. When Team America was released, the wrath of fandom was on full display, with one declaring, "Kim Jong Il is really NOT a lonely man." » 12/29/14 9:20am 12/29/14 9:20am

The Pope Plans To Rally The Faithful Against Climate Change

Pope Francis has made an ambitious New Year's resolution for 2015: the Vatican has announced his intention to push for decisive action against climate change. The Pontiff will issue an encyclical to the world's 1.2 billion Catholics, address the UN general assembly and convene an interfaith summit. » 12/29/14 7:20am 12/29/14 7:20am

A Guide To The Most Nutritious Post-Apocalypse Cuisine

If a global catastrophe strikes, chances are that efforts to store food will keep most people fed for only a year. But, before everyone loses their heads and begins reenacting the Donner Party, here are some tips from two researchers who have come up with ways to live off what's left of the land. » 12/26/14 11:10am 12/26/14 11:10am

If You're Planning To Invade The US, 2028 Will Be The Optimum Year

Timing is everything in warfare, so here's a helpful tip for any up-and-coming global superpowers, evil masterminds or future corporate nation-states. The best year to stage your very own version of Red Dawn could be in 2028, when the U.S. Navy, the main protector of America's sovereignty, will be at its weakest. » 12/26/14 7:40am 12/26/14 7:40am

Chinese Food On Christmas Is No Longer Solely A Jewish Tradition

This is the time of year when, for American Jews such as myself, visions of Chinese plum sauce dance in my head. It's a trend that dates back decades—the Chinese food Christmas meal has been whimsically described as a sacred Jewish tradition. But, recent research reveals that it's become popular among non-Jews as well. » 12/24/14 8:30am 12/24/14 8:30am

Spectacular New Space Station Video Is The Ultimate Holiday Lighting

The ESA has just released this stunning ultra high definition timelapse video, combining 12,500 images taken by astronaut Alexander Gerst during his six-month mission aboard the International Space Station. The views of sparkling cities, glowing aurorae and flashes of lightning are breathtaking. Watch it. Now. » 12/24/14 6:30am 12/24/14 6:30am

Why 19th Century Scientists Believed That Life Originated In Space

The Panspermia Hypothesis holds that life on our planet traces its origins to space—say, a microbe-laden meteorite landing on primordial Earth. The theory, conceived before humans even went into space, was actually born out of criticism of Charles Darwin and his perceived failure to explain how life began. » 12/23/14 8:00am 12/23/14 8:00am

Amazing Footage Of A Hawk Flying Effortlessly Through A Dense Forest

The speeder bike chase in Return of the Jedi? Amateurs, compared to this footage taken by a camera mounted on a Northern Goshawk as it hunts for prey, flying at high speed through thick woodland, avoiding obstacles. The video was posted by DARPA to show what it hopes to accomplish with a new class of autonomous UAVs. » 12/23/14 6:20am 12/23/14 6:20am

Will Climate Change Make Us More Religious?

Secularism is on the rise worldwide. Some attribute this to enhanced feelings of political and economic well-being: We yearn less for the sense of security that religion has traditionally offered us in an uncertain world. But some people speculate that we could see a global religious revival if climate change's worse… » 12/19/14 2:20pm 12/19/14 2:20pm