A Gorgeous Short Film About a Magician Who Builds Solar Systems

With a wasteland as their canvas, a Master and his Apprentice set about turning rubble into planets and moons, asteroids and comets, spinning them in orbit around a symbolic Sun. So begins Ambition, a short film made by Academy Award-nominated director Tomek Baginksi in collaboration with the European Space Agency. » 10/24/14 2:00pm Yesterday 2:00pm

Attacks On Health-Care Workers Are Fueling The Resurgence Of Polio

The Council on Foreign Relations maintains a map of global outbreaks of diseases that are easily prevented by inexpensive vaccines. Today, on World Polio Day, the map includes updated data that dramatically illustrates how violence against health-care workers has led to a polio resurgence in Pakistan. » 10/24/14 8:30am Yesterday 8:30am

Lead Poisoning Has Become A Serious Health Threat At Shooting Ranges

Business is booming for gun ranges in the U.S., where 40 million Americans per year engage in recreational shooting. But when shooters use lead-based ammunition, they spread vapor and toxins that have made thousands of people ill. Federal and state regulators are doing little to ensure that ranges are kept clean. » 10/23/14 8:40am Thursday 8:40am

10 Bizarre Theories About The Pyramids That DON'T Involve Aliens

The ancient Egyptians built the pyramids to inspire awe, but could they have known that they would also inspire idiocy? For millennia, individuals have gazed upon these edifices, seeing them not as they are, but as projections of their own beliefs. Here are ten of the strangest theories—no aliens required. » 10/22/14 10:11am Wednesday 10:11am

The Chemistry Principle That Determines Whether Candy Is Hard Or Soft

While the variety of candies seems endless, all of them fall into two main categories: crystalline (typically soft and creamy) and non-crystalline (generally hard and brittle). The deciding factor is how the preparation process manipulates the sucrose molecules within sugar. Mmm, crystallization. » 10/22/14 9:20am Wednesday 9:20am

The First Exoplanets Were Discovered In 1917—But Nobody Realized It

When astronomers found two planets orbiting a pulsar in 1992, it was considered the first definitive detection of planets outside our solar system. But new research reveals that, nearly a century ago, a young astronomer discovered evidence of an extrasolar planetary system — he just never realized it at the time. » 10/22/14 7:40am Wednesday 7:40am

Here's How Long Each Piece Is Likely to Survive In A Game Of Chess

Nobody wants to be "used as a pawn." But, in truth, pawns have a better chance of survial than knights and queens. Based on data from more than two million master-level tournament games, this chart shows the chances for each chess piece to remain standing until the bitter end. » 10/21/14 1:40pm Tuesday 1:40pm

Satellite Images Reveal How the U.S. Oil Boom Is Creating New Cities

This image from NASA reveals a massive cluster of lights in what was — until recently — desolate prairie. This is the Bakken Shale, an oil-rich rock formation stretching across parts of North Dakota, Montana and Canada. The lights are from the illuminated derricks, local boomtowns and gas flares of the oil fields. » 10/21/14 11:40am Tuesday 11:40am

The BBC Is Teaching Kids How To Program Their Own Dalek

A Doctor Who game being released by the BBC this week requires much more than a game controller or a computer mouse. Instead, players must solve puzzles through a series of commands that teach the basics of programming and coding skills. The fate of the universe depends on your ability to help a rogue Dalek survive. » 10/21/14 6:40am Tuesday 6:40am

​Plants Know When They're Being Eaten Alive

When an insect chews on a leaf, it might not kill the plant, but that doesn't mean the plant is fine with it. In fact, the plant can deploy a variety of defenses to drive off the munching critter. But how do plants "know" they are being eaten? A new study has some intriguing answers. » 10/20/14 1:40pm Monday 1:40pm

How Young-Earth Creationism Fuels Opposition To Gay Marriage

Evolution is an affront to young-Earth creationists because it conflicts with Biblical accounts of the origins of life and suggests that humans are animals, as opposed to beings made in God's divine image. But it's increasingly clear the case against evolution has also become entwined with opposition to gay marriage. » 10/20/14 9:20am Monday 9:20am