I'm a guest of honor this weekend at the Dallas's Fencon this weekend, and I've just learned that some of the other speakers won't be able to talk, thanks to the government shutdown. They're government space scientists, and the 143-year-old Antideficiency Act makes it a crime (punishable by fines and imprisonment) for government employees to volunteer to do their own jobs (which, in their cases, includes talking about science to the public). The law dates back to the Lincoln administration, and was aimed at stopping fraudsters who did "government" business, then presented a bill for services that hadn't been contracted but had nevertheless been performed — a kind of Civil War era version of red-light windscreen squeegeeing.
Would it surprise you to learn that taking time off social media, even for just a week, results in "significant improvements in well-being, depression and anxiety?" [via] We randomly allocated 154 participants (mean age of 29.6 years) to either stop using SM (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and TikTok) for 1 week or continue to use SM… READ THE REST
On the impact of digital media on childhood intelligence, games and watching videos were consistent with cognitive benefits. Socializing digitally, however, had no consistent effect. Here we estimated the effect of each three types of screen time (Watching TV and online videos, Socializing via social media, text, and video chat, and Gaming) on intelligence after… READ THE REST
Last month, we learned that researchers excavating North Dakota's Tanis fossil site found an incredibly well-preserved leg of a dinosaur. The creature—and others at the site—were likely killed by the impact of the 12 kilometer-wide Chicxulub asteroid that crashed into the Gulf of Mexico 66 million years ago and eradicated 80% of Earth's animals. Turns… READ THE REST
A beautiful light can really tie together a room or even a car for that matter. And while there are some really not-so-subtle ones that can drum up conversation, you're much better off having a more subdued-looking light that lets its color do the speaking. Unfortunately, there's no shortage of tacky and attention-grabbing pieces of furniture out there,… READ THE REST
Whether it's winter or summer, there is something so inviting about a fire. It's a great way to create intimate lighting, adds to the coziness of an atmosphere, and enhances the aesthetics of any situation. We haven't even gotten to the s'mores benefits of fires yet! But the reality is that fires can be frustrating… READ THE REST
There's nothing quite like sipping on a chilled glass of wine on a hot summer day to take the edge off and wind down. This summer, instead of spending $10 to $20 per bottle, you can get an assortment of 15 good-tasting wines from Splash Wines for only $50. An amazing way to prepare and stock up… READ THE REST