How Extinction Rebellion put the world on red alert

The radical group has galvanised young and old. But in the year since it formed, what has life been like inside the movement? In the last week alone, members of Extinction Rebellion have been described as ecoradicals ignoring our economic doom (Times), a bloody mess (Daily Telegraph). They have been accused of tried to paint the Treasury red using 1,800 litres of fake blood and an old fire engine with a sign reading stop funding climate death. While its actions may seem controversial in some quarters, Extinction Rebellions rise and influence have undoubtedly been extraordinary, galvanising young and old across party lines. Last October, the journalist and activist George Monbiot introduced the group in the national press, a homegrown movement …

That Viral ‘Gyro Drop’ Ride Was Fake. Here’s How You Can Tell

As this very popular video was making the rounds on social media, the average comment was something like this: WHAT!? That amusement park ride is CRAZY! I would never ride on that. Wait! On the way down, the humans travel at a speed of about 18 m/s. Then, at the end of the line, they get pulled back up with a speed of 16 m/s (about the same as down). This change in speed (from down to up) happens over a time interval of about 0.2 seconds or less. That would put the stopping acceleration at 170 m/s2, or about 17.3 g's. Note: Fighter jets pull about 9 g's for very short periods of time. OK, now for the next …

The WIRED Guide to Aliens

It’s late on a clear night. You’re driving down a winding county highway—no headlights for miles—and you steer the car over to the shoulder. You get out, wait for the dome light to blink off, and actually look up at that sky for the first time in a while. The stars shine down in patterns humans have tried to make sense of for millennia. There are so many of them, each a slightly or much bigger or smaller version of the sun, burning very far away. Whoa, you think. Around most of them, planets orbit, slightly or much bigger or smaller versions of those in our solar system. Also whoa, you think. You’re being ridiculous: Nobody’s going to answer you …

A cold-water cure? My weekend with the Ice Man

Wim Hof claims cold-water immersion can help fight modern diseases. As outdoor swimming becomes ever more popular in the UK, photojournalist Jonny Weeks joined him for a weekend to experience it firsthand Look at this beautiful tree. An oak, Quercus robur. Its yelling at us, Helloooo! says Wim Hof, the doyen of cold endurance stunts, as we head across Hampstead Heath, north London, for a swim in one of the ponds. Soon hes catapulting himself into a gaping hole in its trunk, peeping out excitedly like a child. Here I am, talking to the tree, he beams. I see the tree has personality. I go in. We are one. Its alive. We are alive. Is that crazy? Bloody crazy! Yes …

Physicists Are Bewitched by Twisted Graphene’s ‘Magic Angle’

Pablo Jarillo-Herrero is channeling some of his copious energy into a morning run, dodging startled pedestrians as he zips along, gradually disappearing into the distance. He’d doubtlessly be moving even faster if he weren’t dressed in a sports coat, slacks, and dress shoes, and confined to one of the many weirdly long corridors that crisscross the campus of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. But what he lacks in gear and roadway he makes up for in determination, driven by the knowledge that a packed auditorium is waiting for him to take the podium. Jarillo-Herrero has never been a slacker, but his activity has jumped several levels since his dramatic announcement in March 2018 that his lab at MIT had found …