Popular Science2 min. leídos
What Makes Quiz Shows Timeless?
ON JANUARY 14, 2020, three Jeopardy! masterminds duked it out for a hefty cash prize and the title of Greatest of All Time. More than 13 million viewers watched Ken Jennings eke out a victory on the final clue. His response to a prompt for Shakespear
Popular Science2 min. leídos
Lane Brains
No matter how hard you try to spin the house balls at your local bowling joint, they rarely curve. That’s because they are simple spheres built for durability, not fancy moves. But a small handful of companies—among them Storm Bowling—create gear tha
Popular Science1 min. leídosPsychology
Why Did We Evolve To Goof Off?
Playful behavior can help a species survive. Adult bonobos, for example, seem to make silly faces as a way of reducing tension with potential mates. Similarly, male polar bears sometimes fake-fight, which may help them to gauge the limits of their ow
Popular Science10 min. leídos
Gamers, Start Your Engines
The track, home to the British Grand Prix and among the most famous in racing, features a tricky series of sweeping curves best approached with a delicate balance of gas and brakes. Baldwin, however, attacks them at 110 miles per hour, risky given th
Popular Science4 min. leídos
Why Do Good Folks Play Dirty?
ADMIT IT: SOON AFTER FIRING UP YOUR FIRST Sims game, you trapped them in a doorless room just to watch them starve to death. Perhaps your Barbies planned and executed a series of elaborate bank heists. Or maybe you pushed your Oregon Trail party at a
Popular Science10 min. leídos
Our Checkered Past
PEOPLE HAVE BEEN challenging their wits since at least the third millennium BCE, when ancient Sumerians carved riddles into stone tablets. (Try this one, for example: “There is a house. One enters it blind and comes out seeing. What is it?”) Over tim
Popular Science2 min. leídos
Fun In The Time Of Fear
THERE WAS A LOT WE DIDN’T know a year ago when we picked “Play” as the topic for this issue. We didn’t know that a pandemic would put much of the United States and the world on lockdown. We didn’t know the Olympics, one of the reasons we selected the
Popular Science1 min. leídos
String Theory
THE CHEAP YO-YOS OF YOUR youth spun simple physics into fun. Fling down the plastic body, then snap it back up with a gentle tug on the string. Or let it sleep and roll along the floor to “walk the dog” before calling it home. Competition-grade model
Popular Science1 min. leídos
Science Helped Us Build Better Sports Bras
BARBARA EBERSBERGER, VICE PRESIDENT OF APPAREL AT REEBOK When the first exercise bra debuted in 1977, it resembled two jockstraps sewn together, which is actually what inspired it. More than 40 years later, despite all the R&D put into shoes and othe
Popular Science2 min. leídos
Popular Science
Editor-in-Chief Corinne Iozzio Group Digital Director Amy Schellenbaum Design Director Russ Smith Features Editor Susan Murcko Articles Editor Rachel Feltman Senior Editors Purbita Saha, Chuck Squatriglia Technology Editor Stan Horaczek DIY Editor Jo
Popular Science1 min. leídosTech
Short Circuits
The 522 snap-together parts in Ubtech’s Jimu Competitive Series ChampBot Kit combine to create three different configurations, including this catapult. Once a child has one built, they can use an iOS or Android app and program actions via Google’s Bl
Popular Science1 min. leídosPsychology
Let Children Be A Little Wild
MARIANA BRUSSONI, ASSOCIATE PROFESSOR OF PUBLIC HEALTH AT THE UNIVERSITY OF BRITISH COLUMBIA Recreation works best when it’s unstructured and mostly unsupervised. Negotiating and building teamwork fosters proper higher-level thinking abilities and so
Popular Science2 min. leídos
Contributors
Spotting the common denominator in Bonnie Tsui’s life is simple: It’s water. Her parents met at a pool in Hong Kong, she was a competitive swimmer as a teenager, and now she hits the waves in the San Francisco Bay Area with her surfboard. Being aroun
Popular Science1 min. leídosTech
Digital Domination
Pro gamers demand smooth graphics rendering so there’s no fight-ruining lag between their commands and what happens onscreen. The burly multicore AMD processor inside the Alienware Aurora Ryzen stores data in an extra-large cache to avoid any hiccups
Popular Science1 min. leídos
Who’s Got The Beat?
JESSICA PHILLIPS-SILVER, ASSOCIATE RESEARCHER IN MUSIC NEUROSCIENCE AT GEORGETOWN UNIVERSITY MEDICAL CENTER Moving to rhythmic music is a universal human behavior. Even babies can bounce along to a song’s beat. But some people simply can’t synchroniz
Popular Science2 min. leídos
The Most Dangerous Game
PLAYING SPORTS CAN TEACH teamwork, boost self-esteem, and improve health, but they’re not all fun and games. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates there are about 8.6 million recreation-related injuries each year, ranging from hand
Popular Science1 min. leídos
Hard Hitter
PRO BASEBALL PLAYERS OBSESS ABOUT WOOD.That’s because, the logic goes, the harder the bat, the faster a ball will fly after contact. The AP5 Pro Model from Marucci, a Louisiana company that rivals Louisville Slugger for the title of most-swung brand
Popular Science1 min. leídos
Play Meets Work
JES WOODS, NIKE RUNNING COACH While working as an engineer, I started running ultramarathons for fun. I quickly realized that I was never going to be the fastest runner. So instead I took a scientific approach to training, which ultimately led to my
Popular Science1 min. leídosTech
Computers For The Win
HUMANS HAVE BEEN PLAYING games for centuries, but we’re still not perfect at them: We make mistakes, underestimate opponents, and can think only a few moves ahead. Computers have no such shortcomings. An artificial intelligence can master most of the
Popular Science1 min. leídos
Wow-abunga
The Revolution Core 32 helps hone your balancing skills. Perching on the 32-inch board atop the weighted roller is a challenge, but you can work your way up to rocking back and forth or even nailing rad kickflips. The electric Onewheel Pint can hit 1
Popular Science1 min. leídos
Making Baby Toys Less Busy
JESSICA ROLPH, CEO AND CO-FOUNDER OF LOVEVERY When my son was 6 months old, he had a toy that always caught my attention: When you pressed a button, a purple cow would pop out, music would play, and lights would flash. It mesmerized him, but I wasn’t
Popular Science1 min. leídosPsychology
Horseplay—or Not?
HUMANS DON’T HAVE A MONOPOLY ON horsing around. Animals of all sorts use play to prepare for real-world situations—but their shenanigans can look pretty different from ours. You might catch baby rats mischievously battling to figure out how to fight,
Popular Science1 min. leídos
Dune Buddy
Electronic monitors in places like the front wheels and gearbox keep tabs on traction in real time. The driver selects one of four terrain modes—such as mud, rock, or trail—and the computer doles out just the right amount of power to each 30-inch tir
Popular Science1 min. leídos
How To Create A True Game Of Chance
LINDA SOHM, CO-OWNER OF MIDWEST GAME SUPPLY COMPANY The dice in your Monopoly set aren’t as random as you think. The black dots that number each side are hollow, so faces with more spots weigh less. When you roll, it’s more likely that a heavier side
Popular Science2 min. leídos
One Chair, Five Ways
THE PARALYMPICS—SO CALLED for the Greek prefix para, meaning “alongside”—give elite disabled athletes the chance to compete at the highest level. Not all contenders in the games, which typically run after the Olympics, use wheelchairs, but those who
Popular Science1 min. leídos
Turf Wars
Arrange the rubberwood pieces from the Kubb Empire standard size set into two rows, 26 feet apart. Players hurl six batons at their opponent’s formation until they’ve knocked over all the blocks. Then they can fire at the king in the middle of the pi
Popular Science1 min. leídos
We Are (all) The Champions
MICHELLE CLEERE, ELITE PERFORMANCE EXPERT I specialize in helping athletes develop mental skills to face challenges both in their sports and in life. I try to emphasize to my clients, most of whom are between the ages of 11 and 15, that they have to
Popular Science1 min. leídosPsychology
There’s No Place Like Home
ATHLETES TEND TO DO BETTER on their own turf. But the factors that create the mythical home-field advantage are still somewhat mysterious. Referee bias, lack of travel-related fatigue, and the morale boost of fan attendance may contribute, yet expert
Popular Science1 min. leídos
Baby Driver Grows Up
Attached to a metal shaft, the forged steel head was about the same size and weight as its contemporary wooden cousins, but differed in one key way: It was hollow. That configuration kept the mass at the perimeter, making the club slightly more forgi
Popular Science1 min. leídos
Making Fetch Happen
KATIE LIM, DIRECTOR OF TOY DESIGN FOR SUPER CHEWER Appealing to a dog’s natural instinct to hunt is a great way to get them to have fun. We test all the contents we send to our BarkBox subscribers by observing pups in play sessions. We look for a lot
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