The new year is going to be better. It has to be better. Maybe you’re one of the 74 percent of Americans in one survey who said they planned on hitting the reset button on January 1 and resolving to improve. Those New Year’s resolutions most commonly focus on eating healthier, exercising, losing weight and
A stroll in the city is no walk in the park. A small psychology study suggests urban environments can slow your step and possibly increase your mental load. An amble through nature, on the other hand, appears to ease your mind and quicken your pace. The findings support the idea that natural settings are mentally
The stretch of Arctic ice between Greenland and the Canadian Arctic Archipelago is known as ‘the Last Ice Area’, thought by scientists to have the best chance of surviving the climate crisis – but new research suggests it could be more vulnerable to disappearing than previously thought. It’s the oldest and the thickest stretch
Seeing our world through the eyes of a migratory bird would be a rather spooky experience. Something about their visual system allows them to ‘see’ our planet’s magnetic field, a clever trick of quantum physics and biochemistry that helps them navigate vast distances. Now, for the first time ever, scientists from the University of
Bitcoin continues to trade close to its all-time high reached this month. Its price is at the time of writing around US$34,000 – up about 77 percent over the past month and 305 percent over the past year. First launched in 2009 as a digital currency, Bitcoin was for a while used as digital
The first complete map of a platypus genome has just been released, and it’s every bit as strange as you’d expect from a creature with 10 sex chromosomes, a pair of venomous spurs, a coat of fluorescent fur, and skin that ‘sweats’ milk. The duck-billed platypus is truly one of the oddest creatures on
The audio on the otherwise shaky body camera footage is unusually clear. As police officers search a handcuffed man who moments before had fired a shot inside a pizza parlor, an officer asks him why he was there. The man says to investigate a pedophile ring. Incredulous, the officer asks again. Another officer chimes
Physicists have identified a new state of matter, hidden inside the mysterious transformations that take place between liquid and solid states of glass. The glass transition holds a lot of fascination for scientists, and the new state of matter – called ‘liquid glass’ – exhibits behaviour at the microscopic level that hasn’t been seen before,
Every winter in the Northern Hemisphere, a cold wind circles the North Pole like water around a drain. It’s an annual weather pattern meteorologists keep an anxious eye on – any significant changes could suggest Europe is in for a serious cold snap. Right now, that wind is ripping in two. Researchers from the Universities
As if spiders weren’t already crafty enough, on the island of Madagascar, biologists have now found what appear to be frog traps crafted by huntsman spiders (Damastes sp.). The so-called traps were made from leaves stitched together with silk, and potentially offered shady spots for amphibians to rest, resulting in them getting trapped in the
Archaeologists claim that they have identified the deadly dance floor where John the Baptist – a preacher who foretold the coming of Jesus – was sentenced to death around CE 29. The Bible and the ancient writer Flavius Josephus (CE 37-100) both describe how King Herod Antipas, a son of King Herod, had John the Baptist executed.
The power to be unseen has long captured our imaginations – from ancient myths to modern fantasies of rings and cloaks that can bestow such a gift. One way to achieve a type of invisibility is to let light pass straight through you – to become transparent. This requires a body composed of tissues that
While we’ve all lived through the same pandemic the past few months, not all of us have responded to the fallout in the same way. A recent small study suggests that there are some distinct differences in the way people with ‘dark’ personality traits have reacted to COVID-19 . These dark personality traits include
The bleak history of whaling pushed many species to the brink of extinction, even in the remote waters of the North and South Poles. Over 1.3 million whales were killed in just 70 years around Antarctica alone. The scale of this industrial harvest completely decimated many populations of large whales in the Southern Ocean.
When falling asleep, it’s not unusual to imagine a calm, provincial scene, like a flock of sheep jumping over a fence. Some people with a rare and poorly understood condition find that task nearly impossible. While they can describe what a sheep is and remember what it looks like, they cannot visualise something in
Residents of St. Vincent and the Grenadines have been told to remain alert after a Caribbean volcano came back to life. La Soufrière is the highest point in St. Vincent and is located near the northern tip of the country but remained dormant for decades before beginning to spew ash on Tuesday this week, AP reported.
From daily tooth-brushing to the 11 am coffee, we all have dozens of habits that get us through our daily routine. Some are great – weekly gym visits are often encouraged – others not so much, like smoking a pack a day, or dialling the number of the pizza place way too often. Because we
For a few moments in late April of 2020, oil – normally the lifeblood of the world economy – became more expensive to store than to pay someone to take it away. Crude oil’s wildly fluctuating futures prices reflected the impact of the coronavirus pandemic, with record falls in greenhouse gas emissions and fossil fuel
The way a person talks or types might reveal little clues about their personality. A meta-analysis of psychological research involving more than 80,000 people has found a small but noticeable link between certain word choices and extraversion, one of the big five personality traits. When talking in person or online, the study found extraverts
Melting permafrost in the icy north of Siberia is revealing a veritable graveyard of frozen prehistoric animals. In recent decades, locals and scientists in the Russian Republic of Yakutia have uncovered the ancient carcasses of two cave lion cubs, a bison, a horse, a baby woolly rhinoceros, and the most intact woolly mammoth ever found.
Let’s admit it: It’s been a pretty rough year for our neck of the Solar System. But it’s been a great year for scientists studying more distant reaches of the Universe. From a colossal explosion to mystery burps deciphered, here were some of the top stories in physics in 2020. 10. Boom! What might
Caught between rapidly expanding resource use and climate change-fuelled fires, the future of the Amazon rainforest and the stunning array of life teeming within it just keeps growing bleaker. In a new report for Environment: Science and Policy for Sustainable Development geologist Robert Toovey Walker from University of Florida reviews recent research on the
By now, we’re all abundantly aware that 2020 has been a tough year. Many of us have been indulging in little acts of self-care just to get through it all – whether it’s a scented candle or a nice face mask. But with all the noise and advertising out there, it can be challenging to
Wind power accounted for more than half of Great Britain’s daily generated electricity on Saturday in the wake of Storm Bella, according to energy giant Drax. The percentage of wind power in the country’s energy mix hit a record 50.67 percent on Saturday, the company said over the weekend, beating the previous record of 50
How life originated on Earth continues to fascinate scientists, but it’s not easy peering back billions of years into the past. Now, evidence is growing for a relatively new hypothesis of how life began: with a very precise mix of RNA and DNA. RNA and DNA both determine the genetic make-up of all biological life,