The Blog

by ZIYAD

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Creating A “Street Fighter” Hadouken Fireball

Physics Students Try To Create A "Street Fighter" Hadouken Fireball

Anybody who has played Street Fighter is familiar with the awesome power of the “Surge Fist” attack, otherwise known as the Hadouken Fireball. While some of us might be intimidated by the thought of tapping into this primal energy, a group of students are determined to recreate it — by setting a dodgeball on fire.

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Should We Try To Resurrect Extinct Species?

Genetic tech is getting better and better. Should we be using it to bring back extinct species?

KQED took a look at some of the different attempts all around the world to bring back species that have gone extinct — some of them from long ago, like the wooly mammoth, and some of them from much more recently, like the passenger pigeon that was hunted to extinction.

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Why Do We Socialize?

Why Do We Socialize? The Evolutionary Truth May Disgust You.

Though there are many social animals who live in groups, or protect their growing children, we still aren’t sure how social behavior really began. Now we may have a clue — and it comes from observing the way a humble earwig shares food with its brothers and sisters.

Photo via Mathias Kölliker

What is it that drives humans to make great movies together, or to collaborate across great distances to discover a new planet in a distant star system? And what evolutionary process caused crows to come together in small groups, to help each other find food? It all has to do with being social animals, creatures whose lives depend (at least some of the time) on other members of the same species for survival.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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