Making sense of strange new worlds—big and small, far and near.
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Shark Teeth Are Time Machines

This article was originally published by Hakai Magazine.When a real-estate development threatened the remains of a 13th-century coastal fishing site on southern Brazil’s Santa Catarina Island in 1996, archaeologists rushed to excavate. They rapidly collected what they could from the Rio do Meio site—pottery, tools, animal remains. The historical site...

Sun Feb 25, 2024 17:15
How First Contact With Whale Civilization Could Unfold

One night last winter, over drinks in downtown Los Angeles, the biologist David Gruber told me that human beings might someday talk to sperm whales. In 2020, Gruber founded Project CETI with some of the world’s leading artificial-intelligence researchers, and they have so far raised $33 million for a high-tech effort to learn the whales’ language. Gruber...

Sat Feb 24, 2024 18:11
Apollo’s Sequel Will Be a Gold Rush

For the past few days, mission control in Houston has been talking to the moon. It’s a throwback to an earlier space age, with a few tweaks. Mission control is not NASA, but a private American company called Intuitive Machines, sending instructions to an uncrewed lander about the size of a telephone booth. The spacecraft made a nail-biting descent to...

Sat Feb 24, 2024 15:11
Florida’s Experiment With Measles

The state of Florida is trying out a new approach to measles control: No one will be forced to not get sick.Joseph Ladapo, the state’s top health official, announced this week that the six cases of the disease reported among students at an elementary school in Weston, near Fort Lauderdale, do not merit emergency action to prevent unvaccinated students...

Fri Feb 23, 2024 02:38
There’s Only One Way to Fix Air Pollution Now

It feels like a sin against the sanctitude of being alive to put a dollar value on one year of a human life. A year spent living instead of dead is obviously priceless, beyond the measure of something so unprofound as money. But it gets a price tag in the world of economic models. Different agencies and organizations use different estimates—no one can...

Wed Feb 21, 2024 22:41
Anchorage Fell in Love With a White Raven

Throughout the fall, a rare white raven breakfasted at a McDonald’s and lunched at a Wendy’s in Anchorage, Alaska. Photographs confirmed word-of-mouth reports; a Facebook group that now has more than 20,000 followers is regularly updated with the raven’s whereabouts. On a gray weekend day in November, the bird showed up on a dumpster near the Wendy’s,...

Thu Feb 15, 2024 14:22

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