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Cultures, nations and religions are not rocks — they’re always changing

“Africa is doomed to be poor” — that wrongheaded statement is an example of the destiny instinct, the belief that innate characteristics determine the destinies of countries or cultures, says the late global health expert Hans Rosling. Here’s why it happens and how to overcom...

Science

His 6-months-long, 5,500-mile journey will highlight the dire state of the world’s oceans.

Ben Lecomte is about to jump into the ultimate deep end. Activist and athlete, Lecomte will embark this weekend on an unprecedented athletic adventure by swimming across the Pacific Ocean — Tokyo to San Francisco. Do the math and that's 5,500 miles. Lecomte will spend the next six months swimm...

Science

That Dinosaur-Killing Asteroid? It Triggered Global Warming, Too

It took, at most, several seconds. An enormous hunk of rock, roughly the size of Manhattan, came whirling out of the vastness of space. It pierced Earth’s thin atmosphere, ignited as it fell, and slammed into the crust, opening a crater 20 miles deep in modern-day Mexico’s Yucatan Penins...

Science

The Asteroid That Smote the Dinosaurs Burned the Birds Out of Trees

Around 66 million years ago, at the end of the Cretaceous period, an asteroid the size of Mount Everest smote the Earth. It landed in Mexico’s Yucatan peninsula, punching a 20-mile deep crater into the ground. That impact, and the climatic upheaval that happened afterwards, ended the long reig...

Science

Gallery: See this fascinating apparatus that turns natural forces — like electricity and magnetism — into artists

If Bill Nye, Jackson Pollock and Rube Goldberg ever had a hack week, the end project might resemble “Nature’s Drawings,” a project from scientist/artist Fabian Oefner. Whether he’s capturing the rainbow colors of a film of oil in spectacular detail or catching oddly shap...

Science

The World Health Organization says the outbreak, which has killed 27 people, is at risk of expanding into urban areas.

Credit: Junior Kannah/AFP/Getty ImagesA deadly Ebola outbreak in the Democratic Republic of Congo has a clear "potential to expand", the World Health Organization warned Wednesday, as it reported seven more cases of the disease. "We are on the epidemiological knife edge," Peter Sala...

Science

Visiting the Mysterious Fairy Circles of the Namib Desert

One evening earlier this spring, German naturalist Norbert Jürgens strayed from his expedition in the Namib Desert. He walked away from his campsite beside Leopard Rock, a huge pile of schist slabs stacked like left-over roofing tiles, and into a vast plain ringed with red-burnished hills. He h...

Science

What advice do you wish you’d gotten when you graduated from college? 25 TED speakers answer.

Whether you put on your cap and gown last week — or last century — these honest answers can give you some insight and guidance. “If you don’t know what you want to do with the rest of your life, you’re not a failure. Give yourself time and get yourself experience to fig...

Science

Planet Nine, Show Thyself

In 2016, when astronomers made the case for a ninth planet, orbiting far beyond Neptune, that could explain a strange clustering of objects in the outer reaches of our solar system, they were hopeful it would be found in less than five years.The search is more than two years in now. “Planet Ni...

Science

Archaeologists believe thousands of bones unearthed from a Danish bog are the remains of an epic battle 2,000 years ago.

Credit: PNASThousands of bones from boys and men likely killed in a ferocious battle 2,000 years ago have been unearthed from a bog in Denmark, researchers said Monday. Without local written records to explain, or a battlefield to scour for evidence, experts are nevertheless piecing...


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