history
This Overhead Wire Electric Car Thing-a-Ma-Jig Was Way Ahead of Its Time

This “electric carriage,” which appeared in the July 27th, 1889 issue of Scientific American was way ahead of its time. How ahead of its time was it? South Dakota wasn’t even a US state yet. The article that went along with it noted that the patent for this ingenious contraption was granted to one Mr. Harvey D. Dibble of Rapid City, Dakota Territory. Read More >>

science
Does Your Name Sound More Masculine or More Feminine?

There are a lot of factors that go into choosing a baby name. My parents, for instance, did enjoy the work of Carly Simon before choosing mine, and I have a relatively normal name. It could be a fandom thing, such as with the babies named Anakin or the children named after Game of Thrones characters. Read More >>

science
The List of Zika Birth Defects Is Even Longer Than We Thought

Since the US Centers for Disease Control confirmed that the Zika virus could cause microcephaly in newborns, the list of the effects of the virus only continues to grow. Read More >>

transport
The 19th Century Hyperloop Was Going to Travel From NY to SF in 24 Hours

In 1894 the Wright Brothers’ first flight was still nearly a decade away. But people were obsessed with figuring out how to use powered flight for any number of applications. The May 5, 1894 issue of Scientific American featured one such idea—an aero-train that could zip across the country at 150 miles per hour. Read More >>

science
Why Scientific American’s Predictions from 10 Years Ago Were So Wrong

Recently, we did an experiment: we took an outdated issue of a respected popular science magazine, Scientific American, and researched exactly what happened to the highly touted breakthroughs of the era that would supposedly change everything. What we discovered is just how terrible we are at predicting the long arc of scientific discovery. Read More >>

watch this
Explaining String Theory In Just 26 Seconds

Here's your bite-sized knowledge enhancer for today -- Scientific American's George Musser has a go at explaining one of the most complex theories in modern physics: String theory in under half a minute. Read More >>

science
Mosquitoes Genetically-Engineered to Self Destruct Could Wipe Out Dengue Fever

Scientists have bred mosquitoes in Guatemala that will cause mosquito genocide when they mate with normal mosquitoes. The idea is to thwart disease spread by the insects, in this case dengue fever. Read More >>