Now entertain conjecture of a time
When creeping murmur and the poring dark
Fills the wide vessel of the universe
—Shakespeare, Henry V
On Jan. 12, 1998, just before leaving for his honeymoon, astronomer Adam Riess e-mailed his colleagues that the universe appeared to be completely dark and utterly repulsive. Fortunately, he was...
Using groundwater for crop irrigation or industrial purposes adds more planet-warming carbon dioxide to the atmosphere than volcanoes do, a new study suggests.
As water soaks through soil, it picks up carbon dioxide that's generated when organic matter in the soil decomposes. On average, groundwater holds from 10 to 100 times as much carbon dioxide as the water in lakes and rivers, says...
Computers can now play a flawless game of checkers. A calculation that began almost 2 decades ago shows that if both players make perfect moves, the game will be a draw every time. The achievement makes checkers the most complicated game to have been solved completely.
Computers have been able to beat people at checkers since 1994, when a program called Chinook won the checkers world...
Food for Thought
Cinnamon—it's not just for perking up the flavor of pies and applesauce anymore. A teaspoonful of the spice can have medicinal properties, at least for most people with diabetes, several trials have indicated. However, the latest study identifies one population that cinnamon doesn't seem to benefit: individuals suffering from what was once referred to as juvenile diabetes.
Cutting pie is harder than slicing cake, at least if you want to do it fairly. Bizarre as that may sound, mathematicians have proven it.
Julius B. Barbanel of Union College and political scientist Steven J. Brams of New York University have long studied the classical mathematical problem of cake cutting. The question is this: Suppose you have an...