Frank Franklin II / AP

When the Lights Go Out

Threatened by massive solar storms, terrorists, and climate change, how safe is the U.S. electrical grid, really?

NASA Goddard Spaceflight Center / Flickr

Alien Nuclear Wars Might Be Visible From Earth

With the right telescope and a lot of luck.

Erwin Zwart / The Ocean Cleanup

Could A 62-Mile Floating Wall Clean Up the Ocean?

The system would capture plastic garbage making up the Pacific Ocean’s “vortex” of trash.


GPS May Be Eroding Our Navigation Skills: Best #Cityreads of the Week

A roundup of the best stories on cities and urbanism we've come across in the past seven days.

Degenkolb Engineers

A New San Francisco Hospital Is Using Goo to Prepare for Earthquakes

It’s the first U.S. building to implement technology that Japan has been using for more than 20 years.

S. M. Usman et al.

Hunt for Nuclear Reactors in the First Global Antineutrino Map

The tiniest particles known to science are rocketing out of the earth and our energy facilities.

gpointstudio /

How Many Neighborhoods Is Too Many for One Map?

The lead cartographer for Mapbox answers the technological and philosophical questions of which ‘hoods make it onto a map.

Andre Penner / AP Images

A Glimpse of Earth in 10,000 Years

Climate change means the end of our world, but the beginning of another—one with a new set of species and ecosystems.

Callie Gesmundo

Even Fake Traffic Is Bad for Birds

A clever experiment reveals how highway noise drives songbirds out of forests and harms the ones that stay behind.

Reuters/Lucas Jackson

Mastering Computers, Mobile Phones Can Shave Years Off Seniors' Mental Age

Who says smartphones are making us dumb?

odonata98 / Flickr

Cable-Box Rentals: A Needless $19-Billion Industry

But letting customers buy their own would force cable companies to improve their equipment.

Reuters/Kim Kyung Hoon

Beijing's Newest Weapon Against Smog: A Supercomputer

IBM says its artificially intelligent machine can forecast air pollution up to 72 hours in advance.

AP Photo/Rich Pedroncell

California's 'Katrina' Could Be Coming to Sacramento

You don’t need a hurricane to have a catastrophic flood.

Eric Thayer / Reuters

A Brief History of Levees

Manmade embankments are an ancient technology, modeled from nature.

Flickr/Justin Maalihan

A New NYC Taxi App Shows There's Still Hope for Cabs

Uber has had a big head start with its ride-hailing app, but the taxi industry is finally getting serious about their own.

a katz /

The Geography of Pop Music Superstars

Three cities have dominated over time: New York, London, and L.A.

Andrey_Popov /

How Tech Helps Guide the Blind

New developments in accessible technology have made it easier than ever for the visually-impaired to connect.


What Does That Air Pollution Reading Actually Mean?

Share My Air converts air quality data into more relatable terms, like the equivalent number of cigarettes smoked.