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A nearly full moon on July 4, 2012. Flickr.

Rocky Planet

The Moon Still Isn't the Cause of Big Earthquakes

By Erik Klemetti | January 17, 2018 2:51 pm

You know you’ve seen it before: you hear we’re going to have a “supermoon” and someone out there on the internet is claiming they know that we’ll have big earthquakes because the moon will be full and closer to Earth. Clearly, it will cause faults all over the world to start moving and it will be utter destruction.

Yet, here we are. I’ve written before about the obsession for some to try to crack the supposed code for timing of earthquakes, whether it be some believed link with the moon’s …

CATEGORIZED UNDER: Rocky Planet, Science, Science Blogs

The Crux

Cringeworthy Dental Procedures of Ancient Times

By Lauren Sigfusson | January 16, 2018 5:12 pm

Most people don’t enjoy going to the dentist. There’s just something off-putting about having your mouth wide open while someone’s scratching and scraping your precious chompers. But at least dentists can give you Novocain to make your mouth go numb for the more intense procedures.
You were born in the best of times, because for the majority of the human timeline, our ancestors didn’t have it so easy.
Cavities really started wreaking havoc when humans started farming about 12,000 yea …

CATEGORIZED UNDER: Health & Medicine, Living World


Waneta Hoyt: The Serial Killer Paper

By Neuroskeptic | January 16, 2018 12:16 pm

I just learned about a truly remarkable case in which a doctor apparently wrote a paper about a serial killer who murdered her five children – without realizing what had happened. It’s an old case, but it doesn’t seem to be widely known today.

The paper is called Prolonged apnea and the sudden infant death syndrome: clinical and laboratory observations and it was written in 1972 by Dr Alfred Steinschneider of Syracuse, New York. In this paper, Steinschneider described the case of a woman, “Mr …

MORE ABOUT: psychology

The Crux

Pulsars Could Guide Autonomous Spacecraft of the Future

By Amber Jorgenson | January 16, 2018 10:45 am

Although it’s possible for space missions to communicate data with Earth, the process is anything but fast. Voyager 1, for example, takes about 19 hours to send a signal back to Earth, and that lag only increases as the spacecraft gets further away.  For truly long-term, deep space missions, the significant amount of time it takes to send a signal isn’t going to cut it. The spacecraft will need to adjust its own trajectory without relying on ground navigation. That’s where pulsars com …

CATEGORIZED UNDER: Space & Physics, Top Posts
MORE ABOUT: space exploration
Tide pools reveal surprising influence of marine life on seawater chemistry. Photo Credit: Ethan Daniels/Shutterstock

Science Sushi

Marine Life Can Buffer Ocean Acidity, Study Finds

By Christie Wilcox | January 16, 2018 8:00 am

One of the many consequences of rising atmospheric carbon dioxide is ocean acidification—the lowering of seawater pH as CO2 chemically reacts with dissolved ions in seawater. Scientists have found that more acidic waters are dangerous to many species, especially structure-builders like corals, and thus the potential drop in pH predicted in the future would be devastating to marine habitats.

So it’s not surprising that many scientists are actively looking for ways to mitigate this for  …

CATEGORIZED UNDER: Ecology, More Science, select, Top Posts


Last year was downright biblical when it came to weather and climate disasters — particularly in the United States

By Tom Yulsman | January 15, 2018 7:09 pm

I’m a bit late to this story, but it’s significant enough that I didn’t want to let it pass by without posting something about it. The long and short of it is this: 2017 truly was a horrific year for weather and climate disasters, both in the United States and the world as a whole.

Floods, tornadoes, hurricanes, drought, fires and freezes in the United States claimed at least 362 lives and injured many more in 2017. In total, the nation experienced 16 weather and climate disasters with …

Citizen Science Salon

SciStarter's Top 10 Projects of 2017 are here!

By lshell | January 15, 2018 2:08 pm


What a year it has been! We now have more than 50,000 active members participating in over 1,700 projects on SciStarter. We can’t wait to see what 2018 brings.

From neurons to whales and everything in between, the 2017 Top 10 Projects are as varied and diverse as their participants. Thanks for making it such a successful year for citizen science.

This list, in no particular order, is based on the 10 projects with the most page views on Sc …

Vintage Space

It Took 83 Engines to Get to the Moon

By Amy Shira Teitel | January 15, 2018 1:59 pm

The first time the Saturn V launched in November of 1967, ceiling tiles in the nearby studio where Walter Cronkite was reporting from live fell to the floor. The power of the five F-1 engines was astonishing, and their combined 7.5 million pounds of thrust hasn’t yet been matched. But there were more engines than just those five biggest ones. All told, it took 83 engines to get an Apollo mission to the Moon and safely back to Earth.

Engines and Motors

First, we have to make o …

CATEGORIZED UNDER: Space & Physics, Uncategorized
MORE ABOUT: Apollo, History, NASA, Rockets, Space
Tower House, Alfred Loomis’s lab in Tuxedo Park, New York. Credit: Courtesy of The New York Public Library, Astor, Lenox and Tilden Foundations

Lovesick Cyborg

This Tycoon's Secret Radar Lab Helped Win WWII

By Jeremy Hsu | January 15, 2018 1:48 pm

Scientists and engineers who worked for MIT’s Radiation Laboratory had a saying about World War II: The atomic bomb may have ended the war, but radar won it. A new PBS documentary makes the case for that bold statement by telling the story of Alfred Lee Loomis, a founder of the Radiation Lab and a millionaire Wall Street tycoon who directed the U.S. government’s wartime effort to develop radar technologies into effective weapons. But even before the war, Loomis had built up his sc …

CATEGORIZED UNDER: technology, top posts

Dead Things

Meet Caihong Juji: The Shimmering Show-Off Feathered Dinosaur

By Gemma Tarlach | January 15, 2018 4:00 am

Ooh, shiny! The newest dinosaur on the paleoscene is more than a little eye-catching: Researchers believe the duck-sized Caihong juji was rocking iridescent feathers on its head, wings and tail. If it was indeed so fancy, it’s the earliest example in the fossil record of such shimmering finery.

Formally described today, C. juji was discovered in northeastern China, home to many feathered dinosaur finds (but not any tyrannosaurs!). Its name translates from Mandarin as “rainbow with a big cre …

CATEGORIZED UNDER: Living World, top posts

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