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Time for a New Clock

A couple of weeks ago, I caught an interesting story on NPR about a phenomenally precise clock. It’s really well done — you should check it out. It hits several of the points we made in our own episode about

Image courtesy ESA/Rosetta/MPS for OSIRIS Team MPS/UPD/LAM/IAA/SSO/INTA/UPM/DASP/IDA
First Comet Landing in Human History

UPDATE (12:59 p.m. EST): Philae has returned a photo from the descent stage, about 3 kilometers (1.86 miles) from the surface! See the photo here: http://www.esa.int/spaceinimages/Images/2014/11/ROLIS_descent_image UPDATE (12:52 p.m. EST): No pictures from the surface yet. Also, according to ESA

Video screenshot courtesy of Melanie Gonick/MIT
How to Psychoanalyze a Robot

We’ve spent a lot of time on Fw:Thinking talking about how to make machines better understand our intentions. Ideally, our devices will be able to not only detect but to anticipate our needs, providing for us the things we want

A little dust just got in our eyes.
Waving Goodbye to Gravitational Waves?

On March 26, 2014, we published a Fw:Thinking video about scientists with the BICEP2 project finding evidence of gravitational waves, lending support to a particular variation of the Big Bang theory. Since that amazing find, scientists and researchers have brought

An artist's concept of OSIRIS-REx flying over the asteroid Bennu. | Image courtesy of NASA/Goddard
Send a Message to an Asteroid … and Back!

Want to send a message to the surface of an asteroid? Here’s your chance — and you’ve got until September 30th to make it happen. In 2016, NASA will launch a spacecraft called the Origins-Spectral Interpretation-Resource Identification-Security-Regolith Explorer, a.k.a. “OSIRIS-REx.”

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Targeting Malaria With Science

In the movies, scientific study flashes by in an instant. From a cinematic point of view, this makes sense — you can’t just have the camera linger on a group of researchers indefinitely as they toil over petri dishes and

Artist's depiction of ISEE-3. | Image courtesy of NASA
The Satellite and the Vacant McDonald’s

Mountain View, California is a tech-heavy place. That’s the location of the Googleplex, Google’s high-tech campus. It’s also the location of a group of engineers controlling a satellite from an old, abandoned McDonald’s restaurant. No, really! What’s better is that

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The Future of Blood

In the future, blood may be manufactured in labs — and designed to be more shelf-stable than Velveeta. Forget Tru:Blood. This stuff could be given to all patients, regardless of blood type, and stored for years without refrigeration in case

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Quantum Physics and Cheshire Cats

We’ve said it many times on Fw:Thinking – the quantum world is weird. From electron tunneling to superposition to entanglement, things happen on the quantum scale that defy common sense. And just when I think I’m starting to get the

Image courtesy of NASA/JPL-Caltech/UCLA
Andromeda vs Milky Way – The Tale of the Tape

Sometimes, my brain comes up with weird questions. Examples include “how many dinosaurs would it take to create a single barrel worth of petroleum” or “how long could I live off of Frito corn chips?” I’m comforted that other people

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