Annihilation is a gorgeous movie that went terribly wrong

Annihilation came with great credentials. It’s jam-packed with great actors; it’s based on a brilliant, award-winning novel by Jeff VanderMeer; and it is directed by Alex Garland, the mastermind behind indie breakout Ex Machina. And yet, despite being arguably beautiful, this movie fails on multiple levels. Incoherent, implausible… [Read More...]

8,000-year-old heads on spikes found in Swedish lake

Antiquity In east-central Sweden, workers demolishing a railway that crossed the Motala Ström River discovered something bizarre. For roughly 7,500 years, a shallow, swampy lake in the area had hidden a pile of stones that contained the skeletal remains of at least 10 people and weapons made of stone and antler… [Read More...]

Star Trek: Discovery just broke our brains

Enlarge / Do not mess with Burnham, you Klingon supremacist scum. (credit: CBS) A white-knuckle cliffhanger ended the first half of Star Trek: Discovery’s first season. Frenetic, fascinating, and sometimes shocking, “Into the Forest I Go” raised more questions than it answered. There are conspiracies wrapped in conspiracies, and we’ve… [Read More...]

Unusual experiment reveals the power of non-mainstream media

Enlarge / Social media is highly illogical. That’s why I read magazines. (credit: Paramount) Pundits and activists have long blamed the “mainstream media” for having an outsized effect on public perceptions. Whatever side of the political spectrum you’re on, some people say, it seems as if large media outlets like the… [Read More...]

New study links natural disaster with revolutions

Enlarge / This Nilometer at Cairo is an ancient device that Egyptians used to measure Nile flooding, to predict the harvest and set tax levels. Scientists used historical data from Nileometers to see how volcanic eruptions affected Nile floods (and by extension, the health of the harvest). (credit: Berthold Werner / Wikimedia… [Read More...]