In the Moment

How Video Games Might Actually Help Our Brains

In October, 29,000 neuroscientists gathered in Chicago to discuss new research in their sprawling field at the Society for Neuroscience’s annual meeting. Amid mountains of abstracts on every conceivable aspect of brain science, there were a surprising number of studies about an unlikely subject: video games.

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In the Moment

The Quest to Build a Satellite That Can Destroy Itself When the Mission Ends

Satellites are built to endure decades in the most inhospitable conditions in the known universe. Paradoxically, engineers are now trying to figure out how to design them so that they do melt—planned obsolescence at 200 miles above the Earth.

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In the Moment

Three Surprising Parts of the World Where Air Pollution Decreased

Thanks to a super-sensitive new tool, NASA can now see exactly where air pollution is increasing and decreasing–down to the level of neighborhoods–and in some cases, the results are surprising.

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In the Moment

Japan’s Olympic Stadium Nightmare May Change the Way Cities Build Sports Venues 

Japan's Olympic Stadium Nightmare May Change the Way Cities Build Sports Venues 

After years of controversy, Japan’s Sport Council has chosen a new design for an Olympic stadium in Tokyo. It will be be smaller, more sensitive to its surroundings, and (relatively) inexpensive—and it could be a model for other host cities.

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In the Moment

The Ancient Material That’s Being Used To Develop Earthquake-Proof Skyscrapers? Wood. 

Some of the fastest-growing cities in the world sit in high-risk earthquake zones. That’s why researchers are trying to figure out how to build tall buildings using a material that’s not only plentiful and renewable, but even more resistant to earthquakes than conventional building materials.

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In the Moment

What the Computer Chip of the Future Shares With Skyscrapers of 100 Years Ago

Tall buildings were the vanguards of the modern world. They completely changed how cities functioned, bringing forth totally new social and urban systems. The reasons they changed cities are surprisingly similar to the reasons they may change the way computer memory is built.

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In the Moment

A Cemetery In a Warehouse Solves a Serious Problem In Cities: Where to Put the Dead 

In Hong Kong, finding the space to bury the dead is a huge ongoing problem. New, unconventional projects are springing up to meet demand–giving us a glimpse at the future of burial in the hyper-dense cities.

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In the Moment

The Project To Monitor Bridges and Infrastructure From Space Is Growing 

A few months ago, the European Space Agency and the University of Nottingham described a new project
that would use satellites to monitor aging, at-risk piece of infrastructure was at a given moment, right down to the centimeter. Now, more countries want in.

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In the Moment

Why Climate Scientists Are So Intrigued By the Brutal Sea Voyages of the 19th Century

Life aboard a ship in the 18th or 19th century—especially in the far north or south—was treacherous. Now, the records of these brutal voyages are playing a surprising role in scientists’ efforts to understand the future of the planet.

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