Kilogram Redefined. The Metric System Overhaul Is Complete

On the morning of Friday, November 16, scientists and diplomats crammed into an auditorium in Versailles, a stone’s throw from the Sun King’s gilded chateau. Patrick Abbott, an American physicist, had flown into France for the long weekend. Forehead gleaming and blue...

A 1970s Essay Predicted Silicon Valley’s High-Minded Tyranny

Jo Freeman is one of those people whom Kipling would praise for keeping her head while those all around are losing theirs. The women’s liberation movement of the late 1960s was rebuilding the world in a consciously different way: no designated leaders and no rules on...

AmazonBasics Microwave Review: It’s a Little Undercooked

Moments after plugging in Amazon's new Alexa-connected microwave I was about to review, the first thing I noticed was the word that popped up on its screen: FAIL. It hadn't—it had just jumped the gun a bit in the connection process, but that word hung over the testing...

Amazon’s HQ2 Hunger Games Are Over, and Jeff Bezos Won

After a 14-month search, Amazon announced Tuesday that it will open a pair of regional offices in two major metropolitan areas where it already has a presence: the Long Island City neighborhood of Queens, a borough of New York, and Arlington, Virginia, just outside...

From QAnon to Pizzagate, When Online Conspiracies Form Cults

In recent months there’s been an increase in stories in which a follower of radical conspiracies shifts their actions from the web and into the world. In June, a QAnon conspiracy follower kicked off a one-man standoff at the Hoover Dam. Another QAnon supporter was...

Ableton Loop Is More of a EDM Networking Event Than a Rave

Halfway into her 90-minute live set at Loop, Ableton's electronic music conference in Los Angeles, Juana Molina put down her Gibson SG guitar, stepped back from her synthesizer, and started dancing. The Argentine songwriter—who clothes herself in music woven from...

The Flu Shot Needs Fewer Stats and More Stories

Two weeks ago, the CDC disclosed that more Americans were killed by the flu last year than at any time in 40 years—more than 79,000—and hospitalizations and illnesses hit record highs. The CDC pinpointed one possible reason for the high death rate: The number of...

Space Photos of the Week: The 6 Splendid Tails of Comet McNaught

We’re all about marveling at the spectacle of space, so when a comet swings around our corner of the solar system at 60 miles per second, it’s time to grab popcorn. In early 2007, Comet McNaught—otherwise known as the Great Comet of 1744—shot across our atmospheric...