Latest Blog Posts


This Squid Gives Better Side-Eye Than You

By Elizabeth Preston | February 20, 2017 1:30 pm

Yes, this cephalopod is looking at you funny. It’s a kind of cockeyed squid—an animal that looks like some jokester misassembled a Mr. Potato Head. One of the cockeyed squid’s eyes is big, bulging and yellow. The other is flat and beady. After studying more than 25 years’ worth of undersea video footage, scientists think they know why.

The Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute (MBARI) in California has been dropping robotic submarines into the ocean for decades. The footage fro …


The Science of the Rorschach Blots

By Neuroskeptic | February 20, 2017 9:56 am

When the psychiatrist Hermann Rorschach blotted ink onto paper to produce a series of abstract patterns, could he have known that nearly 100 years later, the Rorschach test would be a household name?

Although the use of the Rorschach to diagnose mental illness is mostly a thing of the past, research on the test continues. Last week, two new papers were published on the Rorschach blots, including a fractal analysis of the images themselves and a brain scanning study using fMRI.

The  …

Seriously, Science?

Android vs. iPhone: what your phone choice says about you.

By Seriously Science | February 20, 2017 6:00 am

Given all the money spent on advertising, it’s no wonder there are stereotypes about iPhone and Android users. But are these real? Is there anything you can predict about me just from knowing whether I use an iPhone or Android (and vice versa – can you predict my phone choice from my personality)? Well, according to these researchers, there really are population differences between iPhone and Android users: if I told them I used an iPhone, they would guess that I’m younger, female, and “incr …

CATEGORIZED UNDER: reinforcing stereotypes
An F6F Hellcat fighter converted into a suicide drone sits onboard the aircraft carrier USS Boxer during the Korean War in 1952. Credit: By USN [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

Lovesick Cyborg

When US Navy Suicide Drones Went to War

By Jeremy Hsu | February 18, 2017 3:13 pm

During the Korean War, a life-or-death race took place between a U.S. Navy Hellcat fighter aircraft and a group of North Koreans on a railroad handcar. Apparently believing that the fighter was preparing to attack with its machine guns, the North Koreans frantically pumped the railroad handcar’s arm as they headed for the safety of a railroad tunnel. They made it inside just before the aircraft crashed into the hillside near the tunnel entrance.

The strange incident marked one of the  …

CATEGORIZED UNDER: technology, top posts

Out There

Gore Verbinski Diagnoses His Own "Cure for Wellness"

By Corey S. Powell | February 17, 2017 4:24 pm

If you feel like there is something deeply unhealthy about the modern world, director Gore Verbinski has just the movie for you. If you roll your eyes at New Age cures, he’s got you covered, too. And if some mornings you wake up wondering if you sleepwalked into the wrong corner of the multiverse…yes, he’s on top of that one as well. Verbinski’s new A Cure for Wellness is a rich stew of psychological themes, mythologies, medical musings, and surrealist flights of fancy. It is utterly bonke …

CATEGORIZED UNDER: cosmology, select, Top Posts, Uncategorized

Citizen Science Salon

Citizen Science in the City

By Eva Lewandowski | February 17, 2017 2:25 pm

Do you live or work in a city? Well, have we got the projects for YOU! Below, we highlight research projects in need of your help in cities.  Find more projects on SciStarter to do now or bookmark your favorites for later!

The SciStarter Team

Snow Tweets

It’s easy to report snow fall in your city with Snow Tweets! Just Tweet your snow depth and location with #snowtwee …



The Fantasy of Connecting Two Spinal Cords

By Neuroskeptic | February 17, 2017 2:03 pm

A peculiar new paper proposes the idea of “connecting two spinal cords as a way of sharing information between two brains”. The author is Portuguese psychiatrist Amílcar Silva-dos-Santos and the paper appears in Frontiers in Psychology.

Frontiers are a publisher with a troubled history of publishing dubious science. But this paper is unusual, even by Frontiers’ standards, because it contains virtually no science at all.

In a nutshell, Silva-Dos-Santos suggests that it would be interes …

CATEGORIZED UNDER: animals, papers, select, Top Posts, woo

Seriously, Science?

Flashback Friday: Facial attractiveness is predicted by parental income during childhood.

By Seriously Science | February 17, 2017 6:00 am

If you’re like most people, you probably think that looks are mostly genetic–either you’re genetically “blessed” with good looks, or you’re not. But apparently it’s not as simple as that. According to this study, facial attractiveness in high school yearbook photographs increases with paternal education and parental income, “with the latter effect being stronger for female subjects.” In other words, rich kids tend to be more attractive, and especially girls. Whether the parents themselves  …

Out There

Rebirth and Recovery in the Shadow of Chernobyl

By Corey S. Powell | February 17, 2017 2:29 am

Regular readers of this blog know that I normally focus on cosmic topics: comets, exoplanets, dark matter, the search for alien life, and the like. I don’t tangle so much with the everyday challenges of life here on the ground. I enjoy taking a break from the quotidian. But the truth is, the two sides are never very far apart. They are both–all–part of one universe, governed by one set of physical laws. The nuclear reactions that regulate the afterglow of a supernova explosion are the exac …


Even without a boost from El Niño, January 2017 was 3rd warmest such month in records dating back 137 years

By Tom Yulsman | February 16, 2017 9:01 pm

Unlike last year, January 2017 got no temperature boost from El Niño. Yet it was still remarkably warm.

In their monthly analyses, both NASA and NOAA concur that this past month was the third warmest January since record keeping began in 1880.

Last month’s temperature was 0.20 degrees Celsius cooler than the warmest January on record, which occurred just last year, according to NASA. Even so, the agency reports that January 2017 was 0.92 degrees Celsius warmer than the mean temperatu …


Discover's Newsletter

Sign up to get the latest science news delivered weekly right to your inbox!

Collapse bottom bar