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The botany in Obama's official portrait represents his history

Science Artist Kehinde Wiley employed the language of flowers. President Obama's official portrait uses flowers to tell his story.

Last week in tech: President’s Day sale on fresh content


Technology HomePod has a problem, robots are adorable, and Bitcoin is just doing what it does. Take a break from cruising mattress sales to catch up on last week's biggest tech stories.

You can (and should) train yourself to sleep on your back

DIY Get back to basics. Changing your sleep position can reduce pain and help you wake up ready to tackle the day.

China's J-20 stealth fighter jet has officially entered service

Eastern Arsenal Ready to "safeguard China's sovereignty, security and territorial integrity." China's J-20 stealth fighter is ready to take to the skies, thought it's waiting for new engines.

The Little Rover That Could


Space We think you can, Opportunity. On Saturday, February 17, Opportunity will experience its 5,000th Martian sunrise.

The best ways to preserve your flowers


DIY Save your Valentine’s Day blossoms. To preserve your Valentine's Day flowers, you need to remove their moisture with a process like air-drying, pressing, or nuking them in the microwave.

Five rad and random products I found this week


Gadgets The end-of-week dispatch from PopSci's commerce editor. Vol. 37. Throughout the week I spend hours scouring the web for things that are ingenious or clever or ridiculously cheap.

Fluctuating temperatures are causing massive river ice jams

Science Fluctuating temperatures are making ice jams worse this year. Warm weather, rain, and melting snow can cause havoc on ice-covered rivers.

It took carbon fiber—and spy work—to get Paralympic skiers better gear

Technology The Paralympic Games begin in South Korea on March 9. After an IED explosion in Afghanistan in 2005, Andy Soule had both legs amputated above the knee.

The fumes from spray cleaners and perfumes are a major source of air pollution

Environment Our cars are getting cleaner, but our cleaning products? Not so much. A new study from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration finds that common household items emit a greater proportion of air pollutants than we thought.

Thrill-seeking personalities can help Olympic athletes win gold

Science Some Olympians may be hard-wired to seek out daring stunts. Some people have a personality trait that helps them focus in highly chaotic environments like the Winter Olympics: a high sensation-seeking personality.

Americans used to eat pigeon all the time—and it could be making a comeback

Animals It’s reviled by city slickers, but revered by chefs. How the pigeon went from a regular meal to a reviled bird to a foodie's dream.

Eight Samsung Galaxy tricks you can't do on any other phone

DIY Make the most of your smartphone. Samsung packs its Galaxy devices with useful little bonus features.

There's no such thing as naturally orange cheese


Science Or: how dairy farmers discovered the importance of food coloring on perceived taste. Most of us never question why particular cheese have such an unnaturally (or, as it turns out, totally natural) hue.

The origin story of domesticated rabbits may be all wrong

Animals The path from wild rabbit to fluffy bunny is much more mysterious than we thought Legend says rabbits were domesticated in 600 AD, when the Pope said fetal rabbits were fair game to eat during Lent.

The ultimate guide to making cafe-style coffee in your own home

Gadgets From pour-over brews to quality lattes at the touch of a button. With the right set of tools, it's really not hard to drink cafe-quality coffee in the quiet of your own kitchen.

Broadcast camera lenses at the Olympics can cost as much as a Lamborghini


Technology These 59-pound boxes contains lots of glass and a tons of tech. Broadcast lenses like Canon's $222,000 UHD-Digisuper 86 make all that Olympic magic look sharp and clear.

Figure skaters have to train themselves to ignore their natural reflexes


Science Brain areas that control movement have to learn new tricks. Figure skating challenges the brain as well as the body.

Is China's space laser for real?


Eastern Arsenal It's not a Death Star super laser. It's a space broom. China's space laser is for nudging away pieces of space junk, which is increasingly a problem for anyone in orbit.

What if hibernating animals formed an orchestra and performed a symphony about their winter’s sleep?


Animals Well, they did—sort of. This is the story of how animals hibernate in winter. Each character in the tale will be represented by a different instrument of the orchestra.


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