Archive
An Austin-based software design firm has invented “smart tattoos” that can monitor health activity and authorize purchases.
’Tis the season to regift that thing you got last season! From pickles to not-weed, BTR staffers talk about the worst gifts they have ever received.
According to some futurists, we may be on the cusp of a “post-smartphone era” in which personal computing enters the next logical stage in its evolution: wearable drones.
Move over diamonds–DNA is the new forever. A new line of hyper-personalized jewelry lets you wear your lover’s fossilized genetic code like a mosquito caught in amber.
A new invention lets you watch tomorrow’s weather forecast play out inside of a magical glass case.
Researchers propose a new way to classify habitable alien worlds.
Mechanical micro-robots that imitate bees could one day pollinate crops.
A new bikini helps you clean the oceans as you swim.
BTR staffers determine whether or not intimacy can be created through staring into one another’s eyes.
The small city of Trikala, Greece, recently entered into the second phase of its trial with eco-friendly driverless buses. Developers hope to observe how the technology will respond to the presence of cars, cyclists, and stray animals.
Super Week: Super strength, super speed, super sight: you name it, and Mother Nature delivers. From invincibility to invisibility, BTR takes a closer look at the super freaks of the animal kingdom.
Super Week – BTR staffers weigh in on their favorite crime-fighting, planet-saving superheroes. Surprisingly, Batman and Superman didn’t make the list!
Google recently patented a new design for a solar-powered, communication-enabled contact lens. Google has been careful to report to the press that this does not necessarily mean that the technology will develop into a consumer product.
Synergy Week – Research reveals that Europeans and Asians received a portion of their DNA from Neanderthals. But just how much exactly, and how?
Here’s the run-down on the must-have marathon gear from the 2015 NYC Marathon Health and Wellness Expo.
Mystery Week – To the naked eye, the place looks no different than any of the other looming office buildings or retail spaces. But unlike its slumbering neighbors, there’s something quite different lurking on the second floor of 163 Varick Street in Manhattan, NYC.
Engineers at Texas A&M have prototyped a wearable motion-sensor device that translates American Sign Language into English.
Snow leopards remain one of the least-researched big cats on the planet, but with the aid of key technologies, researchers come closer than ever to understanding these elusive animals.
Mystery Week – It seems that for as much as we know, there is even more that we do not. Scientists may have discovered water on Mars, but is there life? We know there’s life on Earth, but how did it originate?
Scientists prepare for the world’s first in-womb stem cell trial. They have the unprecedented opportunity to treat pernicious conditions like brittle bone disease by restoring damaged or altogether deficient tissues.
Fear Week – Due to an incredibly rare form of brain damage, a woman known as SM is entirely immune to the feeling of fear. SM suffers from Urbach-Wiethe disease, an extremely rare condition that causes the hardening of the temporal lobes due to calcium deposits in the brain.
Bond Week – There are many ways to bond with those around you. Perhaps you share a love of TV or a love of coffee (or maybe a love of both). Here are the many ways in which BTR staffers bond with their friends and family.
Doctors save babies with first-ever 4D-printed biodegradable implants. Three infant boys who suffered from a life-threatening respiratory condition called tracheobronchomalacia are alive today.
Bond Week – Studies show that humans engage in flock behavior more often than we think. Stand on the corner of Fifth Ave and 49th Street for an hour and you’ll see thousands of people passing through Rockefeller Center, walking alone or moving in hordes.
Research confirms the existence of a feel-good hormone linked to long-term exercise.
Mobile Week – In a matter of weeks, one of the planet’s great migrations will begin as humpback whales set off from cool polar feeding grounds and swim towards tropical waters. With trajectories that can exceed 5,000 miles in a single direction, their voyage is the longest-known of any mammal’s on Earth.
The 25th First Annual Ig Nobel Prizes honors scientific achievements that “make people laugh, and then think.” While the awarded experiments may not be the most significant discoveries of the year, they serve as a reminder that science can be playful, mysterious, and surprising.
Pop Week – In the Oku volcanic plain, 200 miles northwest of Yaounde, Cameroon, lies a body of water known to local villagers as “the Bad Lake.” On the night of Aug 21, 1986, its surface suddenly erupted in a 300-foot-tall toxic spray that sent a lethal mist roiling through the countryside.
The highly anticipated video game allows users to explore 18 quintillion fully developed planets. The creators write that the game was inspired by chief architect Sean Murray’s experience growing up in the remote wilds of the Australian Outback.
Pop Week – Many figures in pop culture are incredibly popular for a reason. That said, we at BTR will unveil the reasons we admire our particular favorites so dearly.
Stress Week – Many people perceive stress as a subjective experience that takes place within the privacy of their own internal landscape. But research indicates that stress can actually be transmitted from one person to another in a phenomenon called “empathetic stress.”
Located on the site of an ancient monastery in London, Alcoholic Architecture invites guests to walk through a cloud of breathable spirits that will gently intoxicate them with a one-to-three ratio of alcohol to mixer.
Fall Week – On the morning of Oct 14, 2012, millions of people around the world watched as Austrian daredevil Felix Baumgartner strapped himself into a capsule towed beneath a 55-story polyethylene balloon and ascended Spaceward from a dusty launch site on the outskirts of Roswell, New Mexico.
Through the process of chip grafting, artist Sam Van Aken has created a “Franken-tree” that can bear up to 40 different types of fruit. As its name suggests, the tree is capable of bearing up to 40 different types of “stone fruit,” or fruit with large, hard seeds, of the genus Prunus.
Surface Week – The Cappadocia region of Turkey’s Central Anatolian highlands has long been treasured for its gorgeously alien geological formations and sinuous underground dwellings, but a new discovery in the Nevsehir Province may prove to be the crown jewel of the area’s archeological riches.
Surface Week – Marine archaeologists prepare to renew excavation efforts of a 2,000-year-old Greek shipwreck. Researchers believe that the ship, which likely sank between 70 BC and 60 BC, was traveling along a major luxury trade route from Asia Minor to Rome.
School Week – Princeton Review dropped its book ‘The Best 380 Colleges’ yet again for 2016. BTR staffers take a look at their alma maters’ rankings, both good and bad, and take a walk down memory lane.
Excess Week – BTR examines the phenomenon of bioluminescent tides, which cause the oceans to glow like starry skies. In reality, the mystical blue scintillae scattered like stars across the ocean’s surface are a type of microbial, single-celled phytoplankton called dinoflagellates.
Buzz Week – Of the many issues that exert negative impacts on honey bees, perhaps the greatest scourge to global population is one of the smallest: a parasitic mite. However, American honey bees’ African ancestors may be immune to the pollinators’ greatest adversary.
Roots Week – On the wet slopes of Borneo’s montane cloud forests, beneath a labyrinthine canopy of prehistoric tree ferns and dripping sphagnum mosses, grows one of the planet’s strangest evolutionary treasures: the plant with an appetite for flesh.
Reality Week – On June 17, software engineers Alexander Mordvintsev and Mike Tyka, with software engineering intern Christopher Olah, sent shockwaves across the internet when they released the first images of the AI’s psychedelic dreams. The name of their project? “Inceptionism.”
Relationship Week – BTR peers into the strange world of objectum sexuality, where people fall in love with inanimate objects. Erika La Tour Eiffel belongs to an extremely rare minority of the population who self-identify as “objectum-sexual”.
Rain Week – Beaches naturally fluctuate between periods of growth and decay, however, the US coasts are vulnerable to erosion due to climate change. Can we save America’s coasts from vanishing under these forces?
Throwback Week – For as long as humans have lived beneath the mysterious cloak of the cosmos, we have gazed upward and wondered: how did it all begin? A new model eliminates the beginning of time as we know it.
How a band of NYC guerrilla artists resisted the city’s censorship of an illicit tribute to Edward Snowden. BTR examines different reactions in the US and in Europe.

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