Wild Theory Suggests Heavy Metals Came From Black Holes

If you were to rank the wildest things in the universe, there are a few obvious contenders: gamma rays, fast radio bursts, and quasars, for example. But no list would be complete without black holes and the black hole’s less-dense cousins, the neutron star. These hyper-compressed things can do some mind-boggling warping to the shape of space itself. So, what happens if one were to eat the other?

Continue reading Wild Theory Suggests Heavy Metals Came From Black Holes

Tourbillons: Why Settle For One?

Why do brands include more than one tourbillon to a watch movement? The primary answer to that question is because it makes the watch more accurate. Originally developed to limit/eliminate the influence of gravity, the tourbillon is still the most efficient in a pocket watch, because that remains mostly in the same position. Their effectiveness in wrist watches is limited, but two (or more) is always better, as a differential can take the average rate of the tourbillons and combine them into a single output, which will, by the law of averages be more precise. These are some of our favorite watches with double tourbillons!

Continue reading Tourbillons: Why Settle For One?

Beauty standards are literally toxic for women of color

“Dry, lifeless hair can take the fun out of your life,” intones an announcer in a 1950s ad for the haircare product Brylcreem, “but you can put it back with Brylcreem—with Brylcream, a little dab will do you.” The ad might seem a little rough by 2017 sensibilities, but some 60 years later we’re still attracted to the shine promised by cosmetics and personal care products. Toothpaste companies pledge that they’ll give us blindingly white smiles, while deodorant manufacturers dangle the hope of a life without stink. The advertisements that we see and the products we buy help determine and reinforce what we view as normal.

Continue reading Beauty standards are literally toxic for women of color

How Solar Eclipses Illuminate the Marvel of Science

On Monday, August 21, 2017, the world will go under, or so it might well feel like if you position yourself along a 70-mile-wide swath of the US from South Carolina to Oregon. From here you can witness the moon move in front of the sun in the middle of the day and darken the skies above you. A total solar eclipse is a spectacular event that has struck fear into people throughout history, and at the same time has enlightened us in our quest to understand the cosmos. Our ability to predict this year’s event with such specificity is thanks to scientific inquiries dating back thousands of years.

Continue reading How Solar Eclipses Illuminate the Marvel of Science