Why does it take longer to cook certain foods at higher altitudes? Reduced air pressure.… Read the rest
When you’re scoping out possible futures, it’s useful to ask a lot of “what if?” questions. For example, what if we could install solar panels on every suitable roof in the United States? How much electricity would they generate?
Plenty of research has followed this line of thought, though much of it has necessarily focused on working out the details for individual cities or regions. But now with enough of these studies in the bank, a group of researchers from the US National Renewable Energy Laboratory decided to take another whack at a national estimate.
There are a lot of things you need to know to do this: number of buildings, size of roofs, direction the roofs are facing, strength of… Read the rest
More than 100,000 of the animals have been killed since 1999.… Read the rest
The search for extraterrestrial life is fairly synonymous with the search for life as we know it. We’re just not that imaginative—when looking for other planets that could host life, we don’t know what to look for, exactly, if not Earth-like conditions. Everything we know about life comes from life on Earth.
But conditions that clearly favor life here—liquid water, surface oxygen, ozone in the stratosphere, possibly a magnetic field—may not necessarily be prerequisites for its development elsewhere. Conversely, their presence does not guarantee life, either. So what can we look for that’s an indication of life?
Skip the dwarfs
Most (about seventy percent) of the stars in our Galaxy are M dwarf stars, and many of them have associated planets.… Read the rest
The U.S. military apparently wants to get into the business of launching smaller satellites on smaller rockets. In the administration’s proposed budget for fiscal year 2019, the Air Force budget contains a new “Rocket Systems Launch Program” item for the purpose of buying “small launch services” for the timely delivery of smaller payloads into low-Earth and geostationary transfer orbit.
The new program, which must be approved by Congress, provides $47.6 million in fiscal year 2019 and a total of $192.5 million over the next five years. It deals with the delivery into space of payloads weighing up… Read the rest
Consumer products like perfume, pesticides and paint can contribute as much to city air pollution as cars. … Read the rest
Chemicals from household products rival vehicles as a key source of urban air pollution.… Read the rest
An Alphabet subsidiary is planning to build a futuristic neighborhood, not out of concrete and steel, but wood—and wood is looking good.Photograph by Daici Ano / Flickr
Last month, Dan Doctoroff, the C.E.O. of Sidewalk Labs, Google’s sibling company under Alphabet, answered a question about what his company “actually does” during a Reddit “Ask Me Anything” session, replying, “The short answer is: We want to build the first truly 21st-century city.” Quayside, a Toronto neighborhood the company is developing in partnership with a Canadian tri-government agency, is the first step toward Doctoroff’s goal. It has been in the news recently because it could inspire a Black Mirror plot: It will be built from “the Internet up,” according to a project document, a merger of … Read the rest
The Swiss Olympic delegation, which did not identify the athletes or their sport, said they were sequestered and no longer had symptoms.… Read the rest
Borneo has lost a “shocking” number of its great apes, according to a new survey of the island.… Read the rest