Category: Science

Life Without Guts

In February 1977, the Alvin—a submersible big enough for three people, provided none of them stretched out their arms—dove to the bottom of the ocean, just north of the Galapagos Islands. The scientists who had crammed themselves into the sub were expecting to find hydrothermal vents—hypothetical sites where superheated water belched forth from the Earth’s interior. And they succeeded. But…

Conservatives Destroying Keurigs Are Inadvertently Joining an Environmentalist Movement

Over the last 24 hours, fans of the talk-show host Sean Hannity have taken to destroying Keurig coffee-pod machines. In what’s being called the “Keurig Smash Challenge,” many people have posted videos online of aggressive destruction. At least one person did so with a golf club. The challenge is metaphorical, as the coffee makers are small and fragile. And the…

The Great Ginkgo Leaf Dump Is Here

The day is finally here. From the northern reaches of New England to the southernmost stretch of the Chesapeake Bay, one of autumn’s most famous performances will take place this weekend. On Friday or Saturday night, the first hard frost will likely sweep down the coast. Ginkgo trees—known for their fractured, twisted branches and broad, fan-shaped leaves—will react like a…

Puerto Rico’s Massive Telescope Is Still Running on Generators

Nearly two months after Hurricane Maria struck Puerto Rico, many residents are still without power and struggling to get access to water, food, and basic services. This week, a failed transmission line knocked out what little of the island’s electrical grid had been restored, temporarily leaving thousands of people in the dark once again. The recovery from the devastating Category…