Israeli burial place consists of a yummy surprise: Vanilla extract

Enlarge / Tel Megiddo is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Vanilla may have been used in Israel long before its domestication in Mesoamerica, according to a new find in an ancient tomb. The monumental stone tomb stands near the palace from which ancient kings once ruled the Canaanite city-state of Tel Megiddo, in modern-day northern Israel.…
NASA worried about culture of “inappropriateness” at SpaceX

NASA worried about culture of “inappropriateness” at SpaceX

Enlarge / NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine must continue to rely on Dmitry Rogozin of Roscosmos while US commercial crew vehicles remain under development. In addition to spurring problems for the car company Tesla, Elon Musk's puff of marijuana in September will also have consequences for SpaceX. On Tuesday, The Washington Post reported that NASA will…
Weird Grooves on Phobos Were Triggered By Boulders Rolling Around on its Surface Area

Weird Grooves on Phobos Were Triggered By Boulders Rolling Around on...

Back in the 1970s, NASA’s Mariner and Viking Missions were sent out to explore other planets in our Solar System. All three of them (there were two Viking missions) captured images of Mars’ moon Phobos during their travels. They were our first images of the tiny, potato-shaped moon, and the images held a mystery: strange…
Our galaxy’s supermassive great void looks incredible in virtual truth

Our galaxy’s supermassive great void looks incredible in virtual truth

If you’re anything like us, you’re awaiting the first-ever direct-observation photographs of Sagittarius A*, the supermassive black hole at the center of The Milky Way, with bated breath. But, you might want to go ahead and exhale, because it could be awhile. In the meantime, we suggest enjoying a virtual tour created by an advanced…
Insect-inspired microfluidics might assist Ant Guy and the Wasp breathe

Insect-inspired microfluidics might assist Ant Guy and the Wasp breathe

Enlarge / Scott Lang, aka Ant-Man (Paul Rudd), and Hope van Dyne, aka the Wasp (Evangeline Lilly), would need 100 times more oxygen than usual at smaller scales. Marvel Studios The ability to rapidly shrink down to bug size (and beyond) gives Ant-Man and the Wasp tremendous advantages. But it also comes with some scale-related…
Battery concept: Hydroelectric pumped storage, however with bricks

Battery concept: Hydroelectric pumped storage, however with bricks

Enlarge / A mock-up of what Energy Vault's tower looks like. Energy VaultA company called Energy Vault has proposed a new utility-scale battery that is both old and new at the same time. The "battery" is mechanical, rather than chemical, and stores energy much like pumped hydro does, but it does it with bricks. If…
Some ideas about why male Guinea baboons fondle each other’s genital areas

Some ideas about why male Guinea baboons fondle each other’s genital...

Enlarge / A baby Guinea baboon in its pre-diddling days goes for a ride. Male Guinea baboons have a curious habit. They will walk—or sometimes run—to another male baboon and say a quick hello in a very enthusiastic way: with a “mutual penis diddle”. Or sometimes it’s a quick mount from behind. Other times, they…
Big, formerly unidentified effect crater discovered underneath Greenland’s ice

Big, formerly unidentified effect crater discovered underneath Greenland’s ice

You might not think of giant impact craters as being particularly subtle or in any way capable of hiding from us. If so, you’ll be surprised by the discovery, announced this week, of a 31-kilometer- (19-mile-) wide crater we didn’t know existed. Let’s get the important questions out of the way—no, the crater isn’t home…
Enigmatic ridges on Pluto might be the remains of disappeared nitrogen glaciers

Enigmatic ridges on Pluto might be the remains of disappeared nitrogen...

Enlarge / Washboard terrain fills the basins in the right of this image. As we've gathered more details about the other planets of the Solar System, we've largely managed to explain the geography we've found by drawing analogies to things we're familiar with from Earth. Glaciers and wind-driven erosion produce similar results both here and…
A newbie’s guide to AI: Human-level device intelligence

A newbie’s guide to AI: Human-level device intelligence

Welcome to TNW’s beginner’s guide to AI. This (currently) five part feature should provide you with a very basic understanding of what AI is, what it can do, and how it works. The guide contains articles on (in order published) neural networks, computer vision, natural language processing, algorithms, and artificial general intelligence.  There are few technologies that inspire…
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