Made by humans on Earth. Since 2003.
The Dvorak keyboard layout

The Dvorak Keyboard Controversy

Chasing QWERTY

The QWERTY keyboard layout is weird and hard to learn. A competitor, the Dvorak layout, may be superior, but arguments on both sides are so full of hype and bias that it's hard to determine who to believe.
A green fried egg

The Influence of Color on Taste Perception

Palette vs. palate

From green eggs and ham to purple ketchup, foods with unusual colors can be incorrectly perceived as tasting different from their normal counterparts.
Huun-Huur-Tu performing

Throat Singers

All-natural one-man bands

By careful manipulations of the vocal tract, a person can sing two, three, or even four distinct notes at once. This art form was popularized by the residents of Tuva in central Asia.
Feet of someone relaxing on the beach

Work Week and Vacation Variances

Stress, rest, and productivity

The American idea of what constitutes a normal work week (or normal vacation time) is very different from what most of the rest of the world thinks. It's also, arguably, less sane and healthy.
A martini

The Martini

Why everything you know is wrong

James Bond may have ordered his martini shaken, not stirred, because of a shaken martini's greater health benefits. That's just one of several surprising facts about this trendy drink.

The Girolle

One small step for cheese engineering

An elegant pairing of a simple yet ingenious device and a special kind of Swiss cheese adds an artistic touch to your breakfast.

Rise of the Bagel

The hole truth

There's more to a bagel than a piece of dough with a hole in the center. Bagel connoisseurs know the history of this food and the best way to bake (or buy) and eat bagels.
A simple array microphone

Array Microphones

The more (microphones) the merrier

With the help of some digital signal processing, an array of two or more microphones can pick out a speaker from background noise, and even refocus their signals as the speaker moves.
A ship using a kite sail

Kite Sails

A second wind for large ships

Using sails to propel ships is so two centuries ago. But replace the sails with special kites, and wind power turns out to be the most modern way to improve the fuel efficiency of even the largest cargo ships.
The Niantic Hotel

San Francisco’s Terra Infirma

Ship to shore

Buried beneath the streets of San Francisco are the remains of numerous ships abandoned when their passengers and crew went to the hills to seek their fortunes in gold.
A trophy cup

Origin of the Trophy Cup

Handing it to the winner

Winners of sporting events and other competitions often receive a trophy in the shape of a cup. But why a cup? What does that have to do with victory?
Children assaulting a piñata


History of a breakthrough

The piñata may be a staple of children's birthday parties in North America, but it apparently originated in China. Or maybe Africa. Ask Marco Polo.
Bread pudding

Bread Pudding

Carbohydrates and misleading marketing

It's just like French toast, but in a convenient, dessert-friendly pudding form. You can even make it without a book (or magazine subscription).
Pilot FriXion pens

FriXion Erasable Pens

How a novel ink formula turned up the heat on the competition

You've heard of using lemon juice to make "invisible" ink that appears when exposed to heat, right? My current favorite ballpoint pen works the opposite way—heat makes the writing disappear!
Père-Lachaise Cemetery

Père-Lachaise Cemetery

Final resting place of Paris’s rich and famous

The most famous cemetery in Paris rose to fame because of fictional characters supposedly buried there, and now contains the remains of legendary historical figures.

Today is…

Typewriter Day

A manual typewriter
Today we go retro, honoring the invention of the typewriter. Although this invention is seldom used today, it paved the way for modern keyboard input.

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