Ron Gutman reviews a raft of studies about smiling, and reveals some surprising results. Did you know your smile can be a predictor of how long you’ll live — and has a measurable effect on your overall well-being? Prepare to flex a few facial muscles …
Fiorenzo Omenetto shares 20+ astonishing new uses for silk, one of nature’s most elegant materials — in transmitting light, improving sustainability, adding strength and making medical leaps and bounds. He shows a few items made of the versatile stuff.
Diving under the Antarctic ice to get close to the much-feared leopard seal, photographer Paul Nicklen found a new friend. Share his passionate stories of the polar wonderlands, illustrated by images of the animals who live on and under the ice.
Most of us will do anything to avoid being wrong. But what if we’re wrong about that? “Wrongologist” Kathryn Schulz makes a compelling case for not just admitting but embracing our fallibility.
Designer Suzanne Lee shares her experiments in growing a kombucha-based material that can be used like fabric or vegetable leather to make clothing. The process is fascinating, the results are beautiful and the potential is simply stunning.
Cosmologist Sean Carroll attacks a deceptively simple question: Why does time exist at all? The potential answers point to a surprising view of the nature of the universe, and our place in it.
Carlo Ratti makes cool things by sensing the data we create. He pulls from passive data sets — like the calls we make, the garbage we throw away — to create surprising visualizations of city life, and uses sensors to design interactive environments.
As web companies tailor their services (including news and search results) to our personal tastes, there’s a dangerous unintended consequence: We get trapped in a “filter bubble.” Eli Pariser argues this will ultimately be bad for us, and for democracy.
Arvind Gupta shares simple yet stunning plans for turning trash into seriously entertaining, well-designed toys that kids can build themselves — while learning basic principles of science and design.
Angela Belcher programs viruses to make nanoscale structures humans can use. Selecting for high-performing genes through directed evolution, she’s produced viruses that construct powerful batteries, clean hydrogen fuels and record-breaking solar cells.