Skip to main content

Stories by Life's Little Mysteries10 articles archived since 1845

Why Airplane Windows Don't Roll Down

Were you to open a plane window, the compressed air inside would rapidly rush out, atmospheric conditions inside and outside the plane would equalize, and everybody would die

September 25, 2012 — Life's Little Mysteries

Why Is Everyone on the Internet So Angry?

A perfect storm engenders online rudeness, including virtual anonymity and thus a lack of accountability, physical distance and the medium of writing

July 25, 2012 — Natalie Wolchover and Life's Little Mysteries

Why Gun Control Is So Contentious in the U.S.

Yelling into echo chambers, like narrow-cast web sites and cable TV, about issues such as gun control, instead of engaging in conversations with those who disagree, has led each of us to spin toward extreme views

July 23, 2012 — Natalie Wolchover and Life's Little Mysteries

Are Eyewitnesses in the Zimmerman Trial Reliable?

External input makes eyewitness testimony unreliable. Eyewitnesses are generally unaware that their memory has been altered by post-event information

May 26, 2012 — Natalie Wolchover and Life's Little Mysteries

How to Find a Meteorite in 5 Steps

To start, get permission to keep what you find, find a barren spot like the Mojave Desert or Great Plains, and track down 'dark flight trajectories' from recent fireballs

May 2, 2012 — Natalie Wolchover and Life's Little Mysteries

NASA Crushes 2012 Mayan Apocalypse Claims

The agency's Near-Earth Objects Program head points out many fallacies, including the claim that an imaginary planet will collide with Earth in December. Thousands of astronomers have not seen this

March 9, 2012 — Natalie Wolchover and Life's Little Mysteries

Why It Took So Long to Invent the Wheel

The tricky thing about the wheel is not conceiving of a cylinder rolling on its edge. It's figuring out how to connect a stable, stationary platform to that cylinder

March 6, 2012 — Natalie Wolchover and Life's Little Mysteries

What If There Were No Gravity?

The universe would be flat and featureless, says a University of Towson physicist. Harder: how about if gravity were switched off at a certain point after the universe formed?

January 10, 2012 — Natalie Wolchover and Life's Little Mysteries

How Did BART Kill Cellphone Service?

The San Francisco Bay Area Rapid Transit system initially claimed a phone service shut-down was performed by telecoms, but that's not the latest story

August 16, 2011 — Natalie Wolchover and Life's Little Mysteries