The Generalist

Knuckle-cracking

SCIENTISTS FIGURE OUT WHY YOUR KNUCKLES CRACK

Whether it’s a nervous habit or done just by accident, most people crack their knuckles every once in a while. But the reason why joints crack at all (and the long-term effects of cracking) has been the subject of much debate in the scientific community. With the help of a...

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THE ORIGINS OF SATURN’S MASSIVE SUPERSTORMS SOLVED

In 2011, astronomers noticed a storm on Saturn that wrapped around the entire planet. Storms here on Earth might be devastating events that can last for days and bring cities to their knees, but that’s nothing compared to Saturn’s storms. Massive thunderstorms complete with lightning and high winds can cover...

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THE 54TH MASSACHUSETTS

From the beginning of the Civil War, President Lincoln argued that the Union forces were not fighting to end slavery but to prevent the disintegration of the United States. For abolitionists, however, ending slavery was the reason for the war, and they argued that black people should be able to...

Men Waiting Outside Al Capone Soup Kitchen

THE GREAT DEPRESSION BEGINS: THE STOCK MARKET CRASH OF 1929

The Great Depression (1929-39) was the deepest and longest-lasting economic downturn in the history of the Western industrialized world. In the United States, the Great Depression began soon after the stock market crash of October 1929, which sent Wall Street into a panic and wiped out millions of investors. Over...

Can Scientists Clone a Woolly Mammoth? Should They?

Can Scientists Clone a Woolly Mammoth? Should They?

In 2013, Russian scientists discovered the stunningly well-preserved carcass of a woolly mammoth buried in the permafrost of a remote region of Siberia. In addition to analyzing the remains to discover more about how the animal lived and died some 40,000 years ago, geneticists believe the mammoth skeleton–nicknamed Buttercup–might hold...

medium-geese

Painting Called the “Mona Lisa” of Ancient Egypt is Likely Fake

The story of the painting known as the “Meidum Geese” dates to 1871, when a man named Luigi Vassalli supposedly discovered it in a tomb near the Meidum Pyramid, built by the pharaoh Snefru around 4,500 years ago. Some scholars have compared the painting to Leonardo DaVinci’s masterpiece “La Giaconda”...

peleliu

Bodies of Japanese WWII Soldiers Found in Island Caves

The tiny nation of Palau, a remote cluster of islands located east of the Philippines, saw heavy fighting between Japanese and Allied troops during World War II. In September 1944, U.S. and Japanese forces squared off in one of the war’s toughest battles on a narrow coral island called Peleliu....

birthdaydrone

CUDDLY DRONES DESIGNED BY KIDS

Drones are an inevitable part of our future. Whether they’re used for good or evil is up for debate. With that idea in mind, Setup, a media lab in the Netherlands, created the Cuddly Drones program to teach kids about drone engineering and surveillance concerns. The kids learned all about...

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NASA’s New X-Plane Design Has 18 Engines, Pencils for Wings

Ever catch yourself sitting at 30,000 or so feet crammed knee to seatback in some metallic tube of an Airbus with 200 other humans gazing out the window at those thin airliner wings, thinking,”no, this isn’t right?” It’s not right at all even: a whole movie theater load of people...