New Horizons Meets Ultimate Thule Tonight

As most of America’s East Coast counts down toward midnight tonight, ushering in a shiny new year, a group of NASA scientists and their attendant press will instead be counting down to a more spectacular event: the most distant flyby of a planetary object in history. After zipping past Pluto in 2015, snapping breathtaking photos and revolutionizing our understanding of the dwarf planet, the New Horizons probe has drifted farther and deeper into the solar system. Tonight, some billion mile

How to Livestream the Times Square New Year’s Eve Celebration

If you want to watch the ball drop tonight in New York City’s Times Square you have some options.

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Don’t Store Your Leftover Champagne in the Fridge

If you have champagne leftover from tonight’s festivities, do you yourself a favor and take it out of the fridge in the morning.

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See if You’re Using These Popular Android Apps That Overshare Info to Facebook

A recent Privacy International study found that 42.55% of the free apps in Google Play could share data with Facebook, and many popular apps share data with Facebook the second they’re opened.

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Once More, Into the Unknown

Novelists have "It was a dark and stormy night." For planetary scientists, the equivalent cliche is, "We expect to be surprised." The story of every new space mission seems to begin that way. No matter how intensely researchers study some solar-system object, no matter how they muster the best resources available on Earth, they are inevitably caught off-guard when they get to study it up close for the first time. And no matter how worn and familiar that cliche may sound, it also rings true e

Once More, Into the Unknown

Novelists have "It was a dark and stormy night." For planetary scientists, the equivalent cliche is, "We expect to be surprised." The story of every new space mission seems to begin that way. No matter how intensely researchers study some solar-system object, no matter how they muster the best resources available on Earth, they are inevitably caught off-guard when they get to study it up close for the first time. And no matter how worn and familiar that cliche may sound, it also rings true e

Say ‘Happy New Year’ to Friends in Different Time Zones

It’s New Year’s Eve, and if you’re the kind of person who likes texting all of your friends when the clock hits midnight in their time zones (in addition to yours), that means you’re in for some mental math tonight. Those who are partying hard—or playing The Jackbox Party Pack, like I probably will be—probably aren’t…

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The Best Podcast Episodes of 2018

I have 470 podcast episodes in my queue right now, after some paring down. There’s just too much good stuff to listen to: fiction, chat shows, history lessons, interviews, reported documentaries, weird semi-fiction. Of the hundreds of podcast episodes I listened to this year, these are the 15 that taught or…

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The Best Podcast Episodes of 2018

I have 470 podcast episodes in my queue right now, after some paring down. There’s just too much good stuff to listen to: fiction, chat shows, history lessons, interviews, reported documentaries, weird semi-fiction. Of the hundreds of podcast episodes I listened to this year, these are the 15 that taught or…

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Announcing the 2018 Volcanic Event of the Year!

It's that time, once again, to give out the Pliny. Since 2009, my readers have voted on what they think was the most significant volcanic event of the year. Sometimes the vote is very close and sometimes, well, you can guess what the outcome will be before the envelope is opened. Let's start off with some honorable mentions that garnered votes from some of you: Sierra Negra: Back in June of 2018, Sierra Negra in the Galápagos erupted for the first time since 2005. Lava flows poured down t

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