In May of 2014, I wore my first costume to a convention. It was a simple Doctor Krieger from Archer. Stepping into the shoes of a character I liked just seemed like a fun way to spend the weekend. Instead, it turned into an exploration of what it means to be confident.
In Dungeons & Dragons, every character has certain strengths and weaknesses, determined by their ability scores: Strength, Dexterity, Constitution, Intelligence, Wisdom, and Charisma. Your real-life self is made up of those abilities too, and you can level them up just like you do in-game.
So you want to send a message in a bottle, and you're hoping that someone, somewhere, will find your missive and still be able to read what you've written. There's a strategy involved, and while some of it's obvious (choose a dark bottle), other aspects require a little more forethought.
Humpback whales are renowned for their ability to produce songs of remarkable beauty, complexity, and duration. But despite decades of research, scientists still aren't sure why these whales engage in such elaborate acoustic displays. Here's what we know — and have yet to learn — about the humpback whale's song.
How much better at explaining your research would you be after learning improv from Alan Alda? The New York Times has a profile of one of the classes at Stony Brook's Center for Communicating Science, and how improv has gone from being a quirk to an essential class.
Younger kids don't always have the vocabulary to express their feelings. That's why a temper-tantrum is the preferred communication of upset children. Using a thermometer might provide them an alternative.
In what will come as a surprise to virtually nobody, a new brain study shows that dogs don't just respond to our words, they also respond to how we say them. It's a finding that suggests dogs evolved their keen listening skills as a result of domestication.
In an effort to find and train promising science communicators—perhaps even find the "Carl Sagan of chemistry"—the American Chemical Society is launching the Chemistry Champions contest. The first round of the contest asks scientists to explain their research to the general public in a fun, two- to three-minute video.
If you believed the internet, you'd think there's huge debate over whether eggs, coffee, or salt are good or bad for you. In reality, there's significant agreement on diet and health issues among experts, but the general public is conflicted. So why are we so confused when experts agree? Let's clear the air.
The Deep Space Network is a collection of antennas distributed around the world that allow us to keep in touch with our herd of extraterrestrial explorers. The complexes contain a mixture of 26-meter, 34-meter, and 70-meter antennas, all serving different functions.
From the invention of the telephone approximately 150 years ago to tapping out little messages on devices that also simultaneously edit our photos, store our grocery lists, and help us locate ourselves, the way we communicate has changed. Today, we want to know what you think the next century will bring for…
If you're ever beset by a strange and distinct feeling that you can't quite name, you're not alone. Just as the English language has pulled in loanwords like "schadenfreude" to name emotions with no English equivalent, there are a number of words other languages use to describe emotions still unnamed in English. …
Bed bugs are a major cause of paranoia, and the mere suggestion of an infestation can lead to mass panic. But with all the scientific tools at our disposal, we ought to be able to figure out how these things work, and stop them from infesting our homes and us miserable. Right? And now, luckily, there's been a major…
Where does the elephant get its distinctive voice? These massive creatures are capable of communicating with one another at frequencies outside the limits of human perception over distances of several miles, but how they do it has long been a mystery. Now, a team of biologists has demonstrated that they likely employ…
We have identified well over a hundred different gestures used by chimpanzees, more than enough to reveal the primates use nonverbal communication much like we do. But it's what the chimps are saying with their hands that's truly fascinating.
Dolphins are highly intelligent mammals, with an amazing ability to learn to understand our language. But as we gain more insights into their behaviour, we're also coming to suspect that they might have their very own language — or at the very least a complex system for communicating with one another.
I'm not sure if this man has his cat well trained or this cat has its man well trained. Either way, this has learned an impressive trick: how to sign for its supper.
Metaphors and other figurative language are deeply woven into the fabric of human communication, as this very sentence actually demonstrates. But how do our brains translate these metaphors into something they can understand?
Dogs make great companions – they're affectionate, adorable, and excellent listeners. But do they really know when we're talking to them? A Hungarian study tracked dogs' eye movements in order to monitor their focus of attention, concluding that the animals pay more attention to humans after being addressed directly.
Most species will raise the alarm instinctively if they see a deadly threat. Chimpanzees, however, are way too sophisticated for all that. They actually figure out if the other chimps are aware of the threat, before bothering to say anything.