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Believers in the chemtrail conspiracy theory have recently received the Holy Grail of evidence: a government scientist admitting the existence of chemtrails.
Since the dawn of the aviation age, a new type of cloud has been appearing in our skies. Contrails, or condensation trails, are clouds that form in the wake of a passing aircraft at high altitude.EDITOR'S CHOICE
The annual National Cherry Blossom Festival in Washington DC is both a local rite of spring and a source of national pride. The festival is timed to coincide with the peak blooming period of Washington's 3,750 cherry...
From natural disasters to celebrity deaths to household mishaps, it seems like tragedies always happen in sets of three. Why is this? Is it a simple coincidence, or a cosmic conspiracy?
For hundreds of thousands of years humans have looked to the night sky for navigation, timekeeping, and mythology - tracing out intricate constellations from the night's brightest stars. Today, even the brightest stars...
In early 1912, an amateur archaeologist named Charles Dawson uncovered the most significant discovery of his career - the skull fragments of what appeared to be a primitive hominid, estimated to be around five hundred...
Over much of human history, the Age of the Earth was determined by myth-based timelines. The scientific revolution of the 18th and 19th centuries changed all this. As naturalists began to understand the principles of...
The thunderstorm is a fascinating and occasionally frightening display of the power of nature, able to generate torrential rain, damaging wind, and flux-capacitor powering lightning. Over human history, cultures have...EDITOR'S CHOICE
Every few decades, an idea comes along in science that revolutionizes an entire branch of study. Germ theory, evolution, relativity, quantum physics - these ideas overturned conventional thinking of their time and...
One would think that linguistics and nuclear physics have very little in common. To American linguist Dr. Morris Swadesh, however, the evolution of language, was similar to radioactive decay, with words changing over...
In September 2010, news media were eager to announce an unprecedented discovery: a habitable planet orbiting a nearby star. Astronomers had found a planet three times the size of Earth orbiting in the habitable zone...
The coin toss is often considered the epitome of randomness. The terms "flip of a coin" and "50-50 chance" are used interchangeably to describe the probability of an event with two equal outcomes. To...
According to an urban legend, NASA tasked a team of engineers in the 1960s with inventing a pen that would write in zero gravity. At a cost of several million dollars and after years of research and development, the...EDITOR'S CHOICE
The animals we have domesticated for our farms and homes are very different from their wild brethren, both physically and genetically. However, the actual process of domestication - how our ancestors tamed the wild...
The structure of the inner Earth is a mystery, a dedicated group of Hollow Earth enthusiasts and other assorted science deniers claim, because we have never actually seen it. This is, of course, a ridiculously flawed...EDITOR'S CHOICE
Our galaxy is on a collision course with the neighboring Andromeda galaxy. The inevitable collision will not only alter the night sky, but will likely fling our small Sun out to the furthest reaches of the galaxy,...
From washers and dryers to home entertainment to cooking and cleaning, our household appliances are an indispensable part of daily life. However, these modern conveniences come at a cost - both to our wallets and to the...
The hiccup is not only a persistent annoyance of human life, but one that affects other mammals as well. Though hiccups are still largely a medical mystery, they may just hold one of the keys to understanding who we are...EDITOR'S CHOICE
Since radioactive elements have a measurable half-life - the period of time needed for an amount of the substance to decrease by half - they can be used to measure the ages of rocks containing them. Over the past...
Many fans of manned space exploration have lamented the Shuttle's retirement as the end of the U.S. space program. This is not the case. Testing and construction of the next generation manned vehicle has already begun....
A highly conserved gene known as FOXP2 has been found to be responsible for much of our human language ability. The same gene also helps songbirds sing, mice squeak, and bats use echolocation, and has undergone very...
One of the more popular doomsday scenarios being discussed in the pseudoscientific corners of the Internet is the threat of an impending Polar Shift. Like all bad science fiction, this doomsday scenario is based partly...EDITOR'S CHOICE
Over the 45 million years making up the Cambrian period, animal life evolved rapidly - from simple bottom-dwelling crawlers and burrowers to very complex life forms with skeletons, shells, eyes, and body plans that...EDITOR'S CHOICE
Homeopathy was first invented in the late 18th Century by German physician Samuel Hahnemann. Two centuries later, the effectiveness of his homeopathic principles has yet to be proven.EDITOR'S CHOICE
Cardiopulmonary resuscitation is often touted as a life-saving technique. While this is true in some isolated cases, it is perhaps more accurate to describe it as a death-delaying technique - putting off permanent...
A staple food of millions of people around the world, the banana and its relative the plantain seem almost too good to be true. The banana is almost tailor-made for human consumption - seedless, easy to peel, and...
By today's standards, the Apollo Guidance Computer seems cumbersome, confusing, and ridiculously antiquated. This clunky, 70-pound technological marvel was essential to fulfilling President Kennedy's vision -- putting...
The Theory of Evolution predicts that all life descended from a single common ancestor. In the metaphor of the Tree of Life, this organism represents the trunk from which emerged the three branches of all life on Earth....EDITOR'S CHOICE
Asteroid impacts have been linked with multiple mass extinction events, including the massive impact 65 million years ago that wiped out about 70% of all species on the planet. Someday, we will find a space rock on a...
The Theory of Evolution predicts that living things will change over time, and the fossil record clearly shows that life on Earth has undergone a long history of gradual change. However, there have been some plants and...
The dawning of Age of Aquarius is more than just a lyric from a 1970s musical. It is a very real astronomical phenomenon that will occur in the not too distant future. To understand when this new age will occur requires...
Twilight, the period of time just before sunrise and just after sunset, is probably best known for the stunning visual quality it brings to travel guide photos, dramatic movie establishing shots, and romantic walks on...
Global warming has become a highly politicized topic not just in the United States but around the world. However, at the heart of all this debate and denialism is some very basic physics and chemistry - a principle...EDITOR'S CHOICE
According to the World Health Organization, air pollution contributes to more than three million premature deaths per year, many of these among children under five. The negative impacts of air pollution go well beyond...EDITOR'S CHOICE
Throughout the 3.8 billion year history of life on Earth, plant and animal species from vastly different evolutionary backgrounds have come to possess very similar traits. There are dozens of examples of convergent...
As children, we all had endless fun with playground games that made us dizzy. However, dizziness is not always a laughing matter. Dizziness is one of the most commonly-reported medical complaints, prompting 5-6% of...EDITOR'S CHOICE
In today's global society, knowing a second or third language is rapidly becoming a requirement for career advancement and social interaction. While there are many language learning products that guarantee rapid...EDITOR'S CHOICE
Contrary to popular belief, bats are not closely related to rodents, birds, or insects, and instead occupy a distinct branch of the mammalian tree. How they got their remarkable bat-powers of flight and echolocation is...EDITOR'S CHOICE
The Earth's moon always shows us the same face, no matter where it lies in its 27.3-day orbit of our planet. This orbital trait can seem mysterious at first, but there is nothing mysterious or even unusual about the...
For centuries, astronomers have been puzzled by mysterious bright flashes that can occasionally be seen on the surface of the moon. A new paper by a group of French astrophysicists provides some strong evidence that...
Stories of a populated subterranean world have been around for about as long as human beings have been recording stories, growing increasingly popular in the 19th and 20th centuries. While it is tempting to imagine...EDITOR'S CHOICE
One of the most interesting examples of evolution of a new species in recent history comes from a rather infuriating creature: The London Underground mosquito.