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The drone delivery startup Flirtey conducted a flight test for Domino's Pizza on Aug. 25, 2016. Credit: Flirtey

Lovesick Cyborg

The 'Uber of Drone Delivery' Flies a Domino's Pizza

By Jeremy Hsu | August 26, 2016 6:06 pm

Domino’s pizza deliveries may literally fly to your door in the coming years. The pizza giant partnered with a drone delivery startup on a pizza delivery flight test that could pave the way for commercial drone pizza deliveries in New Zealand before the end of the year. If the futuristic scheme takes flight, it could help change the way that people order delivery from huge chain stores such as Domino’s and 7-Eleven.

The startup at the heart of the plan is Flirtey, a Nevada-based comp …

CATEGORIZED UNDER: technology, top posts

Seriously, Science?

Flashback Friday: Why do some people like rare hamburgers while others prefer well-done?

By Seriously Science | August 26, 2016 6:00 am

Do you like your steak black and blue or just blackened? According to this study, your preference may depend on the emotions you feel when looking at raw meat. Here, researchers first showed 1046 Norwegian subjects pictures of either a rare or a well-done hamburger and asked them to indicate whether the image elicited “fear, disgust, surprise, interest, pleasure, or none of these.” The subjects were then told to rate their likelihood of eating burgers done to different levels (see figure bel …



From :-D to =8-0 - Effects of Emoticons on the Brain

By Neuroskeptic | August 26, 2016 5:49 am

An unusual study reports the effects of emoticons on human brain activity: Neural correlates of text-based emoticons

South Korean neuroscientists Ko Woon Kim et al. used fMRI to record brain activation in 18 volunteers who were shown various expressive text symbols, in both the Asian ‘vertical’ and Western ‘horizontal’ styles:

However, it turned out that the brain doesn’t really respond to emoticons at all: there was no significant difference in the brain response to the real emoticons …

CATEGORIZED UNDER: faces, fMRI, funny, papers, select, Top Posts

Science Sushi

Obama Goes Big: Expansion of Papahānaumokuākea Marine National Monument Makes It The World's Largest Marine Protected Area

By Christie Wilcox | August 25, 2016 11:43 pm


Hawaiʻi is now home to the largest marine protected area on the planet. Again.

Today, White House officials announced that President is acting upon the proposed expansion to the Papahānaumokuākea Marine National Monument. The expansion has been a hot button issue in the islands since its proposal in January. As Governor David Ige noted, it has been the source of “tremendous” debate, especially due to the exclusion of fishing from the expanded waters. The fishing ind …

CATEGORIZED UNDER: Ecology, select, Technology, Top Posts


Jellyfish Serve as Lobster Taxis — and Dinner

By Nathaniel Scharping | August 25, 2016 4:11 pm

Life as a young smooth fan lobster is pretty easy.

As a phyllosoma, another word for lobster larvae, the crustaceans like to kick back and relax, hitching rides on Moon jellyfish instead of using their own legs to get around. What’s more, they never really have to get off because they also eat the jellyfish. It’s like taking an Uber everywhere, only the car is made out of chocolate. But how do lobsters survive on their deadly hosts?

The answer could help make it easier to keep lobster …



Polar Bears Stubbornly Stick to Habitats, Even as Ice Melts

By Elizabeth Preston | August 25, 2016 2:48 pm

“I don’t know what you’re talking about,” said the polar bear. “Everything seems normal to me! Watch out for that puddle.”

Up in the Arctic, things are getting slushy. But some polar bears are refusing to change their ways. Instead of compromising on where they spend their time, they’re clinging to the icy habitats they’ve always loved. As those habitats keep shrinking, though, the bears will eventually find things too crowded and uncomfortable to ignore. 

Researchers divide polar  …

The Crux

Taking Pangolin Off the Menu

By Steven Bedard | August 25, 2016 2:14 pm

When acclaimed conservation photographer Suzi Eszterhas settled in for the evening, she didn’t know what to expect. She seldom does when trying to photograph elusive, nocturnal creatures. But circumstances on this particular night were unusual. She was sitting in an enclosure—albeit a naturalistic one—and although she knew her photographic subjects couldn’t flee, she thought it was quite possible she might spend the entire night being riddled by biting ants without capturing a single …

CATEGORIZED UNDER: Living World, Top Posts


This 'Ghost Galaxy' Is 99.99% Dark Matter

By Ryan F. Mandelbaum | August 25, 2016 1:42 pm

The hazy oval isn’t glare on your screen; it’s an entire galaxy. Dragonfly 44 weighs about the same as our Milky Way, except it’s 99.99 percent dark matter and has less than a hundredth the number of stars. Dark matter is stuff that can’t interact with the electromagnetic force (how we mostly experience the world) so we can’t see or touch it.

Scientists can observe its gravitational effects, though, which keep Dragonfly 44’s paltry collection of visible stars from flying apart …

CATEGORIZED UNDER: Space & Physics, top posts
MORE ABOUT: dark matter

The Crux

Is It Neander-TAL or Neander-THAL?

By Bridget Alex | August 25, 2016 12:40 pm

Here’s the deal: you can write or say Neanderthal or Neandertal, but you should only write Homo neanderthalensis and say “Homo neander-TAL-ensis”.

I promise that will make sense by the end of this.

The name comes from Neander Valley, Germany, where the first recognized Neanderthal fossil was found in 1856 (other Neanderthal bones had been discovered earlier, but people didn’t know what to make of them).

Based on this fossil, geologist William King defined the species Homo ne …

CATEGORIZED UNDER: Living World, Top Posts

Citizen Science Salon

Your Dog Can Contribute to Scientific Research!

By Eva Lewandowski | August 25, 2016 10:54 am

August 26th is National Dog Day!

Get Fido to help advance scientific research. In the process, you’ll learn more about canine behavior and communication and help figure out whether dog poop can be turned into biofuel. Below, you’ll find five of our favorite dog projects. Find 1600 more on the SciStarter Global Project Finder.

The SciStarter Team


Complete a short questionnaire to evaluate yo …

CATEGORIZED UNDER: Citizen Science, Living World
MORE ABOUT: national dog day

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