The Apollo program was not always popular

It holds a singular place in the American imagination today, but there was a lot of opposition to the Apollo program as it was happening.

How sandstone arches form

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It's not caused by erosion. Instead, the rock, itself, forms the arch and the erosion just washes away everything else around it.

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Giving up on saving the world

Grist has an interview with activist and writer Paul Kingsnorth, a former environmentalist who has decided that the right way to deal with the end of the world is to just accept its inevitability.

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Tour schedule for XKCD "What If?" book


Randall Munroe will take his hotly anticipated book, What If?: Serious Scientific Answers to Absurd Hypothetical Questions, on the road in September: Boston, NYC, SEA, SFO, Berkeley and LA!

Video: The X-Files' Dana Scully likes science!

"She never gave up, even when the aliens put a chip in her neck," says creator Ryan English. (via Dangerous Minds)

Earth just experienced hottest June ever recorded

A map showing global temperature data for June 2014. National Climatic Data Center.


A map showing global temperature data for June 2014. National Climatic Data Center.

Writes Brian Kahn at Climate Central: "The world just experienced its hottest June on record. The heat was driven in large by part by the hottest ocean temperatures since recordkeeping began more than 130 years ago. That makes this the third-warmest start to the year." I'm sure it's nothing.

When looking at land areas only, this was the 7th-hottest June. Temperatures averaged over land were 1.7°F above average.

It’s the ocean surface temperatures that put the month over the top. Temperatures were 1.2°F above average. That’s a smaller number than the 1.7°F land averages, but oceans tend to lag behind air temperatures. And despite being a smaller number, oceans cover 70 percent of the planet, which tend to give them more weight on global temperatures.

"Driven by Ocean Heat, World Sets Mark for Hottest June" [climatecentral.org]

Metalhead visits neurologist

In a rare complication of being a metalhead, a 50-year-old Motorhead fan developed a brain bleed after combining enthusiastic headbanging with a benign cyst.

The limits of animal life on Tatooine

Maggie Koerth-Baker on why the megafauna of George Lucas’ parched desert world makes no sense. It’s not the dry heat that’s the problem; it’s the food supply.

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Even nerdier bowties


The Speicher Tie Company enhances your bowtie's nerdiness with the periodic table of elements, the oxytocin molecule, and more! (via Geekymerch)

Baby blood samples stored for research without parent permission

If you had a baby in Indiana after 1991, chances are your child's blood and DNA samples are being stored by the state. Originally meant for research, no samples have been used because consent of parents was never obtained.

After smallpox find, big questions about safety in federal research labs

Popular Science has a nice follow up to the news about the discovery of decades-old smallpox samples — including the fact that scientists found 327 vials of other forgotten disease samples in the same place.

Behind the science of stress, the hand of Big Tobacco

Stress does affect the body in numerous ways. But how we think about what stress is, what it does, and its connection to pop psychology, have all been shaped by cigarette companies.

Frightening cosplay character


Cosplayer Yuri Ros created this costume for a character called "Calne Miku," sporting insectile mouth-parts and terrifying symbiotic head-bugs.

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SciAM interview with parapsychologist Rupert Sheldrake

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Over at Scientific American, a fascinating, civil, and open-minded conversation between psi-doubter John Horgan and psi-researcher Rupert Sheldrake about morphic fields, psychic dogs, and other high weirdness.

Modern spiders related to 500-million-year-old nightmare beasts

Anomalocarids are the ancient ancestors of spiders. They look like menu items from H.P. Lovecraft's seafood restaurant.