The Blog

by ZIYAD

text

What Will Bioengineered Plants Be Like In The Future?

What Will Bioengineered Plants Be Like In The Future?

As we head deeper into the GMO era, it’s fair to wonder just how far we can manipulate the biology of plants. Here are a few possibilities — from spore-spewing super-plants to delicious hamburgatoes.

Read More

text

Sriracha Factory Declared A Public Nuisance

Sriracha Factory Declared A Public Nuisance In California

Irwindale, California, home of the sriracha factory, has declared the factory where that particular bit of hot sauce-alchemy happens to be a public nuisance. No, not to other, lesser condiments (hi there, ketchup), but to the air.

After a series of complaints from residents in the area (and one country court case,) the South Coast Air Quality Management District — the agency responsible for monitoring air pollution and smog in the area around Los Angeles — was called in to take a read on the situation. After getting the results, the Irwindale City Council voted unanimously last night to declare the factory a public nuisance.

Read More

text

That Time The CIA Tried To Steal A Soviet Sub

That Time The CIA And Howard Hughes Tried To Steal A Soviet Submarine

Recently declassified documents reveal new details about Project AZORIAN: a brazen, $800-million CIA initiative to covertly salvage a Soviet nuclear submarine in plain sight of the entire world.

The story begins in March 1968, when a Soviet Golf II submarine — carrying nuclear ballistic missiles tipped with four-megaton warheads and a seventy-person crew — suffered an internal explosion while on a routine patrol mission and sank in the Pacific Ocean, some 1,900 nautical miles northwest of Hawaii. The Soviets undertook a massive, two-month search, but never found the wreckage. However, the unusual Soviet naval activity prompted the U.S. to begin its own search for the sunken vessel, which was found in August 1968.

The submarine, if recovered, would be a treasure trove for the intelligence community. Not only could U.S. officials examine the design of Soviet nuclear warheads, they could obtain cryptographic equipment that would allow them to decipher Soviet naval codes. And so began Project AZORIAN.

Read More

text

Taking this Simple “Wug Test” Reveals a Lot About Your Brain

Taking this Simple "Wug Test" Reveals a Lot About Your Brain

This is a wug. I thought it was lonely, and so I got it a cute companion. So, I had one wug, and now I have two […] Please fill in the last word of that sentence. Go ahead and say it out loud. What you just pronounced reveals a lot about how the brain deals with new words.

Read More

text

This Ancient Asteroid Strike Was More Insane Than We Realized

This Ancient Asteroid Strike Was More Insane Than We Realized

Around 3.26 billion years ago — long before the dinosaurs — a massive asteroid measuring nearly 36 miles (58 km) across smashed into the Earth. Geologists have now reconstructed this cataclysmic event, and it was far, far bigger than we thought. Here’s how things went down on that fateful day.

Thanks to geophysicists Norm Sleep and Don Lowe, here’s what we now know.

Read More

text

Driving a McLaren P1 at the limit!

What would it look like if you had 903 horsepower, active aero, and an open airfield in front of you?

This is Paul Bailey in his very own P4UL B McLaren P1. And this is him whipping his million dollar machine around Bruntingthorpe airfield. If you’re wondering why the P1 was at Bruntingthorpe with a bunch of other supercars around, it was for a big get-together by the Supercar Owners Club.

And if you’re wondering why you’re suddenly woozy in your chair, it’s just because of the turbo V8 wonderment of the P1 rubbing off on you.

text

CNN’s Coverage Of MH370 Has Become A Parody

The Daily Show Proves How CNN's Coverage Of MH370 Has Become A Parody

If there was a perfect reporter for CNN’s coverage of the search for Malaysia Airlines flight 370, it would be the sea witch “Ursula” from The Little Mermaid. She’s flamboyant, morbid, and uses the inhabitants of the sea to benefit her own objectives. She reminds me a little bit of Nancy Grace.

Jon Stewart did an excellent segment on The Daily Show pointing out how CNN has resorted to simply stating the obvious. As I write this with CNN on in the background, I just heard “There’s still so much we just don’t know” for about the hundredth time.

Read More

text

The Best Virtual Assistant for Android

The number of voice activated “virtual assistants” for Android has exploded in recent years, ranging from the gimmicky and niche to the genuinely useful and broadly applicable. None of them are perfect, but I think that if you can get it on your device, Google Now’s rolled-in simplicity and array of genuinely useful tools make it the best personal assistant your can get on an Android device. I personally use Google Now to do almost everything on my Galaxy, and absolutely love it. It’s light-years ahead of Siri.

Read More

text

When Exercise Can Offer the Same Boost as Coffee (and When It Can’t)

When Exercise Can Offer the Same Boost as Coffee (and When It Can't)

We’ve known for a while that exercise can boost your energy level and your productivity, but if you get a short, high-intensity workout first thing in the morning, it can give you the same boost as a cup of coffee—and you’ll enjoy that effect much longer. 

Over at The Daily Beast, Gregory Ferenstein explains that he subbed out his morning cup of joe for 30 seconds—just 30 seconds—of high intensity body weight exercise in the morning. Then he tested himself using a Stanford-designed cognitive performance test, and sure enough, he found that not only did his energy levels and mood improved, but his mental acuity, short-term memory, and reaction time were all improved as well—roughly the same as when he’s riding the boost that caffeine offers. 

Read More

text

How Much Water Do I Need?

How Much Spare Water You Should Store for Emergencies

Most of us take a lot of our basic infrastructure for granted, until it’s suddenly unavailable. While no one expects their cities water supply to get interrupted (or poisoned), it’s still a good idea to keep a few days—or weeks—worth of water on hand just in case.

Read More