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National Geographic


Nano needles. Facial recognition. Air travel adapts to make travel safer

National Geographic

Health screenings might become part of the touchless airport experience, too. Most people have seen images of passengers getting their temps taken with handheld thermometer wands at gates or security checkpoints. But increasingly, airports are opting for (or testing out) walk-through thermal-screening cameras, which operate by detecting heat emanating from a person's body and then estimating its core temperature. The idea with both devices is to detect people with fevers who might be infected with COVID-19. Airlines have asked the U.S. government for temperature screenings at airports to keep passengers safer and make them more confident about flying.


Dogs understand praise the same way we do. Here's why that matters.

National Geographic

Dogs, which evolved alongside humans for 10,000 years, are especially attuned to our emotions. Every dog owner knows that saying Good dog! in a happy, high-pitched voice will evoke a flurry of joyful tail wagging in their pet. That made scientists curious: What exactly happens in your dog's brain when it hears praise, and is it similar to the hierarchical way our own brain processes such acoustic information? When a person gets a compliment, the more primitive, subcortical auditory regions first reacts to the intonation--the emotional force of spoken words. Next, the brain taps the more recently evolved auditory cortex to figure out the meaning of the words, which is learned.


Why are we afraid of sharks? There's a scientific explanation.

National Geographic

Sharks, especially great whites, were catapulted into the public eye with the release of the film Jaws in the summer of 1975. The film is the story of a massive great white that terrorizes a seaside community, and the image of the cover alone--the exposed jaws of a massive shark rising upward in murky water--is enough to inject fear into the hearts of would-be swimmers. Other thrillers have perpetuated the theme of sharks as villans. But where did our fear of sharks come from, and how far back does it go? We're going to need a bigger boat: Take a look at the design history of Jaws and its iconic cover https://t.co/dRdRPILF7L


How 'Hamilton' and other movies can spark a learning revolution

National Geographic

Mayra Leiva of Reseda, California, knew her eight-year-old son was a little interested in history. But she was surprised when all at once he became a walking encyclopedia, spouting dates and pretending every tire swing was a time machine. "It happened after he saw Night at the Museum," she says. I've had to do a lot of Googling to keep up!" Not many children will tell you that their favorite school subject is history. Memorizing dates and learning long-ago facts that don't seem relevant isn't exactly high on their fun list. Perhaps that's why pop culture--movies, music, television, and even video games and comic books--can be such useful teaching tools. "Teaching through pop culture helps students relate history to their own background and experiences," says Gail Hudson, a fifth-grade teacher and 2020 Nevada Teacher of the Year. "It's tying into something that's already caught their interest." Take the movie version of the Broadway show Hamilton, which releases on Disney July 3.


How close are we to flying cars?

National Geographic

Could flying cars be the answer to avoiding bumper-to-bumper traffic? Inventors have been trying for decades to create flying cars, though it seems the idea of self-driving cars may soon be closer to science reality. You're stuck on the highway. A commute that should have taken a few minutes has now somehow become an hour-long endeavor. When this happens, we all have one of two thoughts… One, Monster truck… Or two, I wish I could just fly over this mess.


When cities were cesspools of disease

National Geographic

Cities have historically been centers of commerce, industry, and...disease. In the early 1800s, cities became so populated and densely packed that diseases began to spread at an unprecedented rate. All hope seemed lost until a series of critical scientific discoveries, which triggered a revolution in urban sanitation and health. You can't see a thing, but you can hear and smell everything. Every breath, sneeze, cough that hits your face.


Explore otherworldly realms in these 13 fantastical tales

National Geographic

Superfans love to argue about the difference between sci-fi and fantasy. Purists say sci-fi must rely on, well, science, and extrapolate from elements of real life; fantasy veers toward supernatural beings and surreal settings. But the line can be hard to draw, and both genres are often grouped under the umbrella of speculative fiction. Whatever the label, these stories allow us to imagine other places, other times, and take trips that go beyond our wildest dreams. As the late, great sci-fi writer Ray Bradbury said: "Science fiction is the most important literature in the history of the world, because it's the history of ideas, the history of our civilization birthing itself."


Will Titanic's iconic telegraph be recovered by deep-ocean robots?

National Geographic

The decision, handed down Monday by Rebecca Beach Smith of the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia, modifies a ruling in 2000 by a previous judge that prohibits the salvage firm, RMS Titanic, Inc. (RMST), from cutting into or detaching pieces from the wreck. Removal of the telegraph machine, located inside the ship's officers' quarters, may require cutting or widening holes in the hull and detaching equipment from interior walls.


The video chat that existed in the 1870s

National Geographic

Since the invention of the telephone and even before we had it in real life, video chatting has appeared in science fiction. See how this once elusive technology was commonplace in illustrations, television, and movies for over a century. You hear your phone ring. You look down, and what do you see? Ah. After you hit decline, think about how commonplace video chat's become.


How fear and anxiety drove human evolution

National Geographic

Experiencing fear and anxiety may not be pleasant, but both are important emotions that drive human evolution. Our brains react to threats, preparing our bodies for what might lay ahead, in a way we learned how to thousands of years ago. But what's the science behind this inherent reaction and are there consequences? Deep breaths are hard to find. Blood rushes through the body.