Science and Technology

An outhouse. For pooping

At the University of Colorado, microbiologist Rob Knight is exploring a new frontier — the human microbiome.More

Kraut

Sauerkraut, kimchee, kefir, kombucha — Sandor Katz calls himself a "fermentation fetishist."More

Fermented shark meat

Take a big slab of shark meat, bury it in a pit and let it rot. Then dig it up and hang it in a windy shack for four months. No wonder the Vikings took to sea.More

stove

To The Best Of Our Knowledge producer Doug Gordon explains what it’s like to live with obsessive compulsions.More

Black Lives Matter is just one movement whose online presence took root among black Twitter users.

One person’s bubble can be another person’s safe space — a place where you don’t have to pretend and where you can feel supported and understood. For many black Americans, that place is Twitter. Media scholar Meredith Clark explains why.More

The Foo Show set, in virtual reality.

What's it like to host a talk show in virtual reality? We talk avatars with Will Smith, host of “The Foo Show.”More

Torah and jad - exhibits in Big Synagogue Museum, Wlodawa - Poland. (CC BY 2.5)

Sometimes you can take math too far. Dig too deep. And end up drowned in your own numbers. This is a story of one famous mathematician’s obsession with the ancient and mystical and numerical world of the Kabbalah.More

An egg in a nest

Frank Wilczek is a Nobel Prize-winning physicist at MIT. He's kind of obsessed, in his own way, with understanding the universe. Specifically, he’s interested in what he calls “the beautiful question." Is the universe naturally, inherently beautiful?More

Plastic crochet corals from the "Crochet Coral Reef" project by Christine and Margaret Wertheim and the Institute For Figuring.

What if the geometric structure of the universe has been hidden, for centuries, in crochet?More

scene from "Blade Runner 2049"

If you think you haven't seen any movies based on Philip K. Dick's work, you're probably wrong.  David Gill talks about Hollywood's adaptations of Dick's work.More

hall of mirrors

The central question of Philip K. Dick's fiction is "What is reality?" Literary critic Umberto Rossi explains that Dick's work often contains many possible realities.More

Clock

He’s one of the most frenetically productive, wired guys on the planet, but digital media theorist Douglas Rushkoff is backing away from the clock.More

Are we too reliant on phone apps?

Robots that clean the bathroom, cars that drive themselves, computers that diagnose disease. They may sound appealing, but technology writer Nicholas Carr warns that the new age of automation could mean we'll lose basic life skills.More

Jaquet Droz automatons

Androids may seem like a modern idea, but there were life-size androids in the 18th century — beautiful robot women who could look around and even play the harpsichord. Historian Heidi Voskuhl tells this remarkable story.More

the next great novel

Will a computer ever write a great novel? Absolutely, says the pioneering software developer Stephen Wolfram. He believes there's no limit to computer creativity.More

A light in the dark (from a phone)

Filmmaker Astra Taylor wants to reclaim the democratic potential of personal technology.More

Traveling into the phone

Doug Rushkoff believes personal technology is having an insidious effect on our relationship with time. He calls it “present shock.”More

Targeted person

Political microtargeters develop sophisticated and subterranean campaigns to win vulnerable voters. Cathy O'Neil, data scientist and author of the blog mathbabe.org, warns that politicians are perilously close to being able to tell voters only what they want to hear.More

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