Around the world, choral ensembles have formed for the express purpose of singing litanies of complaints. The result is surprisingly satisfying to listen to.
Are there really dozens of Eskimo words for snow? Maybe or maybe not, depending on how you look at it. But there are definitely at least eight English terms for “snow crust.”
The best place to buy a fresh, perfectly made baguette is Paris. And of the many fine bakeries in Paris, one with a particularly fine reputation is La Flûte Gana.
By using a technique somewhat reminiscent of a sonogram, astronomers can study not only the currents of plasma on the surface of the sun, but its interior structure as well.
Most videoconferencing designs, which put the camera above or to the side of the screen, prevent you from making eye contact with the other participants. Research is underway to give participants true eye-to-eye communication.
White LEDs, which are increasingly common in flashlights, headlamps, and even crosswalk signs, produce brilliant white light while using very little current and generating very little heat. But they’re really blue LEDs in disguise.
Artists are now using living grass as a medium for printing gigantic photographs. By carefully controlling the light that falls on various parts of the grass, they let photosynthesis do the work for them.
The excessive or injudicious use of lights at night can lead to several different forms of light pollution. Besides annoying stargazers whose view is obscured, it can cause safety hazards and even be dangerous to your health.
The most popular aperitif in France, pastis is somewhat of a cultural icon. And yet, it might never have existed if it were not for the untimely demise of its predecessor, absinthe.
A San Francisco couple invented a curious beverage consisting mainly of ground peanuts, water, and sugar. Some people think it’s not merely tasty, but a miraculous cure-all.
The QWERTY keyboard layout is weird and hard to learn. A competitor, the Dvorak layout, may be superior, but arguments on both sides are so full of hype and bias that it’s hard to determine who to believe.
For 33 years in the late 1800s and early 1900s, a postman in rural France worked to build an elaborate palace out of stones he collected during his daily rounds.
Even if you’re not expecting to die any time soon, preparing your own funeral in advance can be a lot of fun. Plus, you can arrange to have your ashes sent to Atlantis, or outer space, or made into jewelry for your kids.
That bright red color in your food, drink, or lipstick no longer comes from that scary old Red #2 dye, but very possibly from ground-up bugs. Seriously.
You’d probably recognize a Tiki bar if you walked into one, but what is Tiki exactly? This faux Polynesian culture (along with the fruity drinks) is a pure American invention.
No, it’s not wine made from ice or wine on the rocks! This delicious dessert wine is made from the concentrated juice of grapes that freeze on the vine and are pressed while still frozen.
For a month every summer, an artificial beach appears along the bank of the Seine in Paris. It has everything you’d expect from a real beach (crowds, noise, sunburn) without any of that irritating ocean view.
This legendary beverage has been praised for producing artistic insights and blamed for causing violence and insanity. After being banned in some countries for more than a century, it’s finally making a comeback.
Robots that see and hear are nothing new, but researchers are now developing machines that can distinguish and identify odors. Applications include health care, public safety, and rescue work.