Staff Picks

Most Popular Star Wars Characters

Poe Dameron The dashing matinee-idol flyboy in ‘The Force Awakens’, General Leia’s trusted emissary who flees the First Order, miraculously escapes death and returns to lead the X-Wing charge against Starkiller Base. Is mostly popular because he’s an old-school charmer, the rightful heir to Biggs Darklighter and Lando Calrissian – all he’s missing is a(…)

5.5 milion years lost world that evolved in a cave

Far below Romanian soil lies the Movile Cave, a chthonic environment sealed off from light and the outside world for millions of years. Jack Grove reports on a UK scientist’s descent into research heaven and arachnophobe hell Imagine a labyrinth of caves cut off from the outside world for 5 million years, crawling with spiders,(…)

2 bilion year old Nuclear Reactor in Africa

We tend to think that humans are the only possible source of complex machinery on Earth. Leaving aside the exquisite complexity of biologically evolved organisms, it does seem to be true that the Earth creates less complexity than its human inhabitants. In 1972, a worker at a nuclear fuel processing plant noticed something suspicious in(…)

Johnny Depp Best Performances

Once upon a time, Johnny Depp was synonymous with artistic integrity, a heartthrob who counterintuitively evolved into a superstar by resisting his matinee-idol looks in favor of whacked-out character-actor roles that sparked his imagination. And then Pirates of the Caribbean happened, and the rest is Bruckheimer-produced history Depp’s descent into self-parody has certainly been lucrative(…)

Best Game Storylines you must play

Games are meant to be played, but ever since Space Invaders introduced the idea of narrative scenarios, the digital medium has recognized its potential for storytelling. Over time the writing has improved, better graphics have allowed for more interesting techniques, and every now and then a game pushed the boundaries of just how mature a(…)

How video games change your brain

Parents tend to be wary of video games due to their violence-prone plot lines and media stories that they might dumb kids down. But a new study—one of the few that has looked at the physical effects of playing video games rather than the behavioral ones—indicates that the games might actually give kids a cognitive(…)

Cartagena, Colombia

Take a dash of faded colonial grandeur, then add a dose of sultry nightlife and an influx of cosmopolitan travelers seeking the next great Caribbean hot spot. Cartagena de Indias is the undisputed queen of the Caribbean coast, a fairy-tale city of romance, legends and superbly preserved beauty lying within an impressive 13km of centuries-old(…)

Hardest Video Games in the world

Games used to be harder. That’s the lament veteran players now mutter whenever encountering some modern shoot-’em-up or action adventure. It sounds like the same sort of nostalgic elitism that music snobs indulge in, criticising current bands for lacking the legendary quality of yesterday’s heroes. But with games, it’s kind of true. As the industry(…)

Best Open World Games, go anywhere, do anything

The theme of go anywhere, do anything, you know it well: that magical feeling of stepping into a new Grand Theft Auto, Assassin’s Creed, Fallout, or other open-world game. The landscape unfolds around you, filled with a million-and-one little adventures to explore. See those mountains in the distance? Chances are you can climb them. See(…)

DNA Hard Drive

If you want to get reductionist about it, a cell is just a really complex, squishy, water-logged robot. That’s the basic idea behind synthetic biology, that by understanding the parts and manufacturing of a biological organism we can use it as a tool for our own selfish purposes. Of course, the first stabs at actually(…)