The Mars Curiosity Rover

The Meaning of Methane on Mars

Curiosity rover's recent report of methane on Mars isn't the first time the gas has been indicated. Does it necessarily mean that Mars harbors life?
Joseph Rock

Meet the Man Behind the Peony

In China, gramophone and camera in tow, botanist and explorer Joseph Rock collected seeds from the tree peony that bears his name.
A person holding a newspaper on fire

How Language and Climate Connect

While we’re losing biological diversity, we’re also losing linguistic and cultural diversity at the same time. This is no coincidence.
Buzz Aldrin and the U.S. Flag on the Moon

Should the Moon Landing Site Be a National Historic Landmark?

Some archaeologists argue it’s essential to preserve the history of lunar exploration. But would it represent a claim of U.S. sovereignty over the moon?
The shadow of an airplane on a field

Will You Ever Fly in a Plane Propelled by Plants and Seeds?

Airlines have already flown planes fueled with biofuel-petroleum mixes, and more are coming.
A bark scorpion in Arizona

How Does a Scorpion Decide When to Sting?

There are actually two decisions to make: whether to sting at all and whether to use prevenom or full venom.
Climbers ascending Mount Everest

Mount Everest’s Death Zone

The zone above 8,000 meters is known among mountaineers as the “Death Zone.” Why do most deaths in the high mountains occur at these extreme heights?
A wall of security cameras in Toronto, Canada

Are Smart Cities a Wise Idea?

When Google runs a smart city, who owns the data?
Courtesy SeaDream

A Century After They First Appeared, Electric Boats Are Making a Comeback

In the late 1800s, electric boats were a promising new technology. They are now enjoying a revival.
A carnival cruise ship

The High Environmental Costs of Cruise Ships

Cruise ships pose many environmental concerns, from waste disposal to toxic paint to the creation of noise that can harm marine life.