Last week the world mourned for the 1986 explosion of the Challenger space shuttle that claimed seven lives. Today, we mark the 13th anniversary of Space Shuttle Orbiter Columbia’s breakup upon reentry into Earth’s atmosphere.
Stelarc has made a career of blending his body with technology. In his latest work, the Australian performance artist strapped himself to an industrial robotic arm and went for a spin.
European languages often use the same word for “story” and “history,” but many English speakers regard these words as antonyms. But how different are they really? At The Last Word on Nothing, Ann Finkbeiner asked some practicing PhD historians for their opinions.
Imagine the day when we finally receive a signal from an extraterrestrial intelligence, only to find that there’s a message embedded within. Given that we don’t speak the same language, how could we ever hope to make sense of it? We spoke to the experts to find out.
When moral philosopher Gary Steiner first adopted his cat Pindar, the vet advised him to put the cat to sleep. A rescue animal, Pindar had tested positive for FIV (feline AIDS) and feline leukemia, and has since developed other chronic health issues, including kidney disease. Steiner decided to keep Pindar, triggering…
Despite the weirdness of existence, most of us are able to get on with our lives and avoid debilitating feelings of despair, personal failure, and cosmic meaninglessness. But every once in a while we’re tugged out of our complacency and forced to re-evaluate our lives. Here’s what you need to know about existential…
How rational are you, really? This comprehensive online quiz by ClearerThinking.org will not only provide you with the answer, it’ll also tell you which of 16 reasoning styles you belong to, where your strengths lie, and how to improve your thinking skills.
In April, NASA Chief scientist Ellen Stofan predicted we would “have strong indications of life beyond Earth within a decade,” and “definitive evidence within 20 to 30 years.” Assuming this timeline is correct, how do we ensure the life we encounter—which astrobiologists predict will be non-sentient—will be respected?
In Part I of Kurz Gesagt’s animated explainer of the Fermi Paradox we learned about the vexing problem that is the Great Silence. This follow-up video presents some intriguing solutions that may explain the disturbing absence of intelligent alien life.
There are debates about the basic nature of humanity that have been raging for millennia. Are we decent? Are we nasty and brutish? These ontological questions can never be settled — unless you have hidden cameras and access to Youtube, that is. Then those questions can be settled easily, with video pranks. And the…
The Great Silence is a vexing problem we all love to speculate and argue about, but it’s not the most intuitive concept. This wonderful animated video by Kurz Gesagt explains the problem that is the Fermi Paradox and why our apparent isolation in the galaxy is so damned weird.
Do your charitable donations suck? Are you failing to save lives due to greed you don't even realize you have? Do poor people have the right to take all of our stuff? One of the world's most famous philosophers talked about these very topics with us.
Katie Silver has penned an article for BBC Earth in which she explores the idea of finding a single theory that describes the entire Universe. But as her article aptly points out, it's a challenge that appears to be getting increasingly difficult.
According to the Many Worlds Interpretation of quantum physics, we live in an infinite web of alternate timelines. It's a serious claim that carries some rather serious scientific, philosophical, and existential baggage. And here are the nine weirdest possible implications.
Bill Watterson's Calvin and Hobbes is one of the most widely revered comic strips of all time. Why?
Normally, the things around us become damaged after experiencing an unexpected disruption or shock. But there are aspects to our world that actually get better after a setback. Here's why things that don't kill us can sometimes make us stronger.
I didn't mean to kill him. I didn't mean to kill him. I didn't mean to kill him. I didn't mean to kill him. I didn't mean to kill him. Which one of these did I mean?
Each year, Edge Foundation founder John Brockman poses an interesting question to thinkers in a wide range of fields: psychology, theoretical physics, evolution, cognitive science, and more. This year's question was "What scientific idea is ready for retirement?" And here are some of the answers.
It's no accident that Sarah Connor's famous dictum that there is "No fate but what we make" closely resembles Jean-Paul Sartre's first principle of existentialism, that "Man is nothing else but that which he makes of himself." As philosophy grad student Ro Smith explains in the above video (and accompanying essay),…