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Take control of your computer's annoying pop-up notifications

DIY Save your productivity. And your sanity. The constant barrage of pop-up notifications on your computer can wreak havoc on your concentration.

Listen to the first-ever recordings of volcanic thunder

Science The sounds of science. It’s an explosion that starts within the earth, a release of pressurized gases and bits of rock, either sharp shards or molten fragments or both.

Your Weekly Attenborough: Blakea attenboroughii

Plants, they're just like us. We begin our lives as, really, parasites. A baby may bring some joy into the world, but it's not contributing much beyond that.

Stop shouting at your smart home so much and set up multi-step routines

Technology This week, Google pushed out its multi-step smart home actions you can start with a simple voice command.

The First SpaceX BFR Should Make Orbital Launches by 2020


Elon Musk has a reputation for pushing the envelop and making bold declarations. In 2002, he founded SpaceX with the intention of making spaceflight affordable through entirely reusable rockets.

NASA almost never came to be. Its creation is a lesson in political power.

Nexus Media News The battle over America’s space program shows how to turn science into a winning issue.

Here's where we're actually looking for intelligent life

Science Because it sure isn't here. Scientists at SETI send out signals in hopes of hailing alien life—and put out all sorts of telescopes and sensors in case one of them tries to flag us down.

Five rad and random music products I found this week

Gadgets The end-of-week dispatch from PopSci's commerce editor. Vol. 42. Throughout the week I spend hours scouring the web for things that are ingenious or clever or ridiculously cheap.

For millions of years these tiny beetles have chewed their way out of sight


The light colored flea beetle “Pyrrhalta” sp. in close proximity to the damage it has caused to a leaf of the plant “Viburnum japonicum” in Japan.

Watching baby brains get wrinkly could flag future disorders


A new method could lead to diagnostic tools that precisely measure the third-trimester growth and folding patterns of a baby’s brain in 3D.

They don’t make baby poop like they did in 1926, that’s for sure. Here’s why scientists care.

Health Our stool is a window into the health of our guts. It turns out, stool has a lot more power than we tend to think—and not just in terms of its pungent smell.

Who’ll get the Zika vaccine? Depends on these factors

People’s willingness to use a Zika vaccine when it’s available will be influenced by how they weigh the risks associated with the disease and the vaccine—but also by their misconceptions about  vaccines for other diseases, researchers say.

Add a dash of chemistry for the best microwave mug cake of your life

DIY This single-serving dessert takes 60 seconds—and some science. A microwave can transform a mug of batter into a single-serving dessert in 60 seconds.

Tree rings shed light on past—and future—droughts


Researchers have developed a climate record stretching 2,060 years into Mongolia’s past by using the natural archive of weather conditions stored in the rings of Siberian pines.

These animals have nipples on their butts and that is not the most fascinating thing about them

Animals The tiny, venomous mammal outlived the dinosaurs, but might go extinct due to extreme clumsiness.

Even decades later, cancer survivors get tired faster

Patients who beat cancer years or even decades ago still become fatigued more quickly than people without cancer histories, a new study shows.

This color-changing fish can ‘see’ with its skin


Genetic analysis reveals new evidence to explain how the hogfish uses its skin to “see.” The hogfish is a pointy-snouted reef fish that can go from pearly white to mottled brown to reddish in a matter of milliseconds as it adjusts to shifting conditions on the ocean floor.

Machine learning to estimate when bus and bike lanes blocked


Frustrated with vehicles blocking bus and bike lanes, Alex Bell applied some statistical methods to estimate the extent.

Birds that can open sugar packets hint at evolution of intelligence


Wild birds that are cleverer than others at foraging for food have different levels of a neurotransmitter receptor that has links to intelligence in humans, according to a study.

Bacteria may survive antibiotic attack by chance

Small populations of pathogenic bacteria may be harder to kill off than larger populations because they respond differently to antibiotics, a new study indicates.


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