SOUTHESSEXARTSANDCULTURE

SOUTHESSEXARTSANDCULTURE

The next shipment headed to the International Space Station packs nearly three tons of research and resupply materials. You know, the typical stuff: sediment studies, a plant thermometer, a replacement hand for the giant robotic Canadarm. Oh, and also a floating robot designed as a helpmeet for astronauts—scientifically, logistically, and emotionally. The bot’s full name […]

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Anyone who travels to rocket launches regularly knows three things: Bring snacks, wear sunscreen, and don't book your flight home for the night after the scheduled takeoff. Chances are, you'll either miss the launch or your plane. A company called Rocket Lab provides no exception. The commercial space organization hopes to send up rockets just […]

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Over the course of thousands of years, dogs have evolved alongside humans to be awesome. Unlike their wild ancestors, they don't gnaw on us (usually). They stick up for us. They go to the bathroom in designated areas. They're unrivaled companions. Looking at you disappointingly, cats. Now, though, they have competition. The companion robots that […]

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Psychologists can't seem to agree on what technology is doing to our sense of well-being. Some say digital devices have become a bane of modern life; others claim they’re a balm for it. Between them lies a shadowy landscape of non-consensus: As the director the National Institutes of Health recently told Congress, research into technology's […]

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Recently I rolled into a local restaurant to try an Impossible Burger, an all-plant patty invented by the Silicon Valley startup Impossible Foods. It’s renowned for having an eerily chewy, even bloody, meatlike quality, a startling verisimilitude that has made it “perhaps the country’s most famous burger,” as New York magazine recently wrote. One bite […]

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Say this much for the “reproducibility crisis” in science: It’s poorly timed. At the same instant that a significant chunk of elected and appointed policymakers seem to disbelieve the science behind global warming, and a significant chunk of parents seem to disbelieve the science behind vaccines … a bunch of actual scientists come along and […]

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Could deep learning help paleontologists and geneticists hunt for ghosts? When modern humans first migrated out of Africa 70,000 years ago, at least two related species, now extinct, were already waiting for them on the Eurasian landmass. These were the Neanderthals and Denisovans, archaic humans who interbred with those early moderns, leaving bits of their […]

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“The first mile is free,” Colorado’s governor, John Hickenlooper, says into a microphone. He’s smiling from a stage in Denver’s air and space museum, backed by a giant American flag that hangs near the bay doors of this repurposed military hangar. His audience has gathered to celebrate the FAA’s recent approval of a new Colorado […]

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