HowStuffWorks NOW

HowStuffWorks NOW

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Your weekly dose of some of the world’s latest and greatest science news, technological advancements, absurd curiosities, and groundbreaking research in everything from ancient history to the future of astrophysics. Join Lauren Vogelbaum and the HowStuffWorks team as they explore humanity’s newest discoveries in HowStuffWorks NOW.


Conversational Eye Contact, Presidential Housing, and Samoan Solar Energy  

Researchers may have pinpointed why it's hard to maintain eye contact while we speak. If Trump declined to live in the White House, it would be unprecedented. Plus, a Samoan island is prepared to switch entirely to solar energy.

A Hot Tub of Despair, Fast Bats, and Teen Tech Creators  

A warm, salty area deep in the Gulf of Mexico kills everything it touches. Bats can fly faster than anyone thought, beating out even the fastest birds. Plus, young women in South Africa plan to launch a satellite as part of a STEM academic program.

Whether California Could Secede, Spotify's Destructive Bug, and Ambient Music Therapy  

Increasingly, Californians are considering a campaign to secede from the union. An error in Spotify's desktop app could damage your computer -- update it! Plus, thankfully, ambient music is a proven therapy, and we've got a bit for you to listen to.

A Sweating Robot, the Best Way to Merge, and What Your Phone Battery Wants  

A new humanoid robot keeps its components cool by sweating, just like you and me. Drivers who wait until the last second to merge are scientifically correct - and safer. Plus, we bust a few myths about what will (and won't) damage your smartphone battery.

History’s Worst Coffee, Learning Without Concentrating, and Why America Votes on Tuesdays  

Demand for coffee during the American Civil War lead to a noxious innovation. Haptic feedback may let you learn certain skills without concentrating. Plus, the history behind Super Tuesday – and questions into whether weekdays work for modern voters.

Robots that Live in Your Clothes, the Life of Jack Chick, and the Smell of Water  

In the future, tiny personal-assistant robots may crawl all over your clothing. We look back at the life of the infamous evangelical cartoonist Jack Chick. Plus: Why didn’t humans evolve the ability to smell water like other animals can?

A Weird Keystone Species, Julian Assange's Internet Access, and a Vicious Facebook Cycle  

The spiny, egg-laying echidna has been identified as one of Australia's keystone species. The Ecuadorian embassy that harbors Wikileaks' founder has cut off his internet access. Plus, certain behaviors on social networking sites can make us less happy.

A Driver with Quadriplegia, A Chair to Help You Wait, and Who The Joneses Were, Anyway  

The first semi-autonomous driver's license now belongs to a man with quadriplegia. Autonomous driving tech has also brought us self-driving chairs for long lines. Plus, the phrase "keeping up with the Joneses" may have been inspired by a real family.

What Your Walk Says, How Horses Communicate, and Whether Airbag Helmets Are Safer  

The way you walk can predict your personality and behavior. Horses can be taught to communicate using symbols. Plus, the advantages (and disadvantages) of bicycle helmets equipped with airbags.

A Secret Nuclear Base, A Rosetta Retrospective, and A Petition for Saudi Women’s Rights  

Global warming may reveal a secret U.S. nuclear base buried under Greenland’s icecap. Now that the Rosetta spacecraft is offline, we take a look back at what it taught us about comets. Plus, thousands of women in Saudi Arabia have signed a petition to abolish the male guardianship system.

Outlawing Sarcasm, an Antikythera Skeleton, and a Falling Space Station  

North Korean authorities are attempting to ban some types of sarcastic speech. A set of human remains was found at the site of the Antikythera Mechanism shipwreck. Plus, China’s decommissioned Tiangong-1 space station may be out of control and heading toward Earth.

Your Cat Is Bored, Robots Will Eliminate Jobs, and China Has Ancient Superhero Myths  

Indoor cats are healthier (and less likely to be jerks) when you let them hunt. Market research predicts that robots will take 6 percent of U.S. jobs in the next 5 years. Plus, meet the mythical Chinese characters who have inspired comic book superheroes.

Cuttlefish Can Count, Catfish Catch Mice, and China Wants a Sea Lab  

It seems that cuttlefish have the number sense to rival human babies. Some catfish have added small land mammals to their diets. Plus, China is looking to build a laboratory on the ocean floor – but why?

Spiders Overshare, Women’s Autism Is Underdiagnosed, and Earth’s in a New Epoch  

Some spiders live in colonies with thousands of neighbors and share themselves to death. Autism in women is often misunderstood and undiagnosed, but new campaigns and research may help. Plus, Earth may have entered a new geological epoch due to human intervention.

A Squishy Octobot, A Legal Heroin Safe House, and MS Excel vs. Genetics  

The first completely soft-bodied robot is an octopus. Seattle plans to experiment with lowering heroin risks by providing safe drug houses. Plus, a default setting in Microsoft Excel has caused errors in a whole lot of genetics research papers.

Venus May Have Been Habitable, Chemtrail Theories Are Bunk, and Dogs Love Us More Than Food  

Just 715 million years ago, Venus might have supported life as we know it. According to atmospheric chemistry experts, fringe theories about chemtrails don’t add up. Plus, most dogs prefer their owners’ praise to food rewards.

Vigilante Humpback Whales, Parasitic Guinea Worms, and Your Musical Personality  

Humpback whales save other sea creatures from orca attacks. The parasitic Guinea worm, faced with extinction, has jumped from human hosts to a new species. Plus, your personality may shape your taste in music more than any other factor.

Geology Confirms a Myth, Private Industry Shoots for the Moon, and Ontario Plans to Give Away Money  

Geological evidence may prove that a legendary flood really happened in ancient China. A private company now has permission to land on the Moon. Plus, the government of Ontario is moving forward with their plan to test universal basic income.

Crash-Proof Humans, GMO Mosquitoes, and CEO Pay vs. Stock Performance  

Researchers created a (hypothetical) human body evolved to withstand car crashes. Genetically modified mosquitoes could save millions of lives. Plus, higher compensation for CEOs doesn’t indicate better long-term business performance: Why?

Lab-Grown Human Leather, Minesweeping Drones, and Acoustic LEGOs  

An artist proposes making human-leather fashion grown from Alexander McQueen’s DNA, raising genetic ownership questions. Drones might dismantle land mines quickly and safely. Plus, engineers designed interlocking blocks that change and encode sound.

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