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An inspiring story of aviation success

Wilbur Wright watches as his brother, Orville Wright, makes the first powered controlled flight in history (1903) (John T. Daniels. Wikimedia Commons).

In 1878, Milton Wright, father of Orville and Wilbur Wright, purchased a cork, paper, and bamboo model helicopter powered by rubber bands for his boys. Inspired by the toy, Orville and Wilbur would go on to pursue a lifelong interest in flying. In 1889, the brothers started their own newspaper, and in 1892 they started their own bicycle shop, the Wright Cycle Exchange (later renamed to Wright Cycle Company), where they repaired and sold bicycles of their own design (history.com).

Always interested in pushing their ingenuity further, the brothers dove deep into aviation research, specifically human flight, by 1899. At…


Responding to a common argument in favor of aliens

Image from “GIMBAL.WMV,” released by the the Department of Defense. The appearance of U.S. Department of Defense (DoD) visual information does not imply or constitute DoD endorsement. Public domain.

I recently published an article titled “The Distance Problem”, in which I discussed the issues that make it especially difficult to travel from place to place in the vastness of space. The article has seen some small success, getting published in ILLUMINATION and boosting me to “top writer” status on the topics of space and science. It’s my most read article by far.

However, one person who responded to my article brought up a common argument that I think I should formally address in more detail.


The difficulties with alien contact

Image by KELLEPICS (Pixabay).

When it comes to space travel, there are many scientific hurdles that need to be overcome. Two of the biggest hurdles are that space is absolutely enormous and there is a universal speed limit. Because of these two factors, connecting two remote points in space will always be physically challenging, not just for us, but for any extra-terrestrial intelligence* that may exist as well.

[*] For the purposes of this article, intelligence is defined as life which has the capability of communication across vast distances, which requires the development and use of communications technology, or the ability to send and…


I thought peer-reviewed journals were the highest form of credibility, and then I got published in one.

Image by jestemrobert (Pixabay)

After years of pursuing a career in music production and mixing and mastering that would end up going nowhere, I fell under a deep depressive spell. Thinking that I had been wasting my life working at a job I didn’t enjoy and understanding that I wasn’t going to be able to make an actual living from music I turned to learning. It seemed like the only thing that made me feel better. At first I learned on my own, watching videos and reading…


My immediate thought after reading that people had success following your fictitious diet is that it may have actually worked in a roundabout way.

Many unhealthy foods are found packaged in stores using the very materials you told readers to refrain from in your dietary guidelines, so by avoiding those packaging materials they have inadvertently been choosing healthier alternatives like fresh fruits and vegetables that aren't packaged more often. This would lead to a diet that is genuinely healthier than the average diet.

So while the diet isn't healthy for the reasons you posed in your satirical guidelines, it might actually be a healthier choice for other reasons. In an effort to come up with something absolutely absurd, you may have accidentally came up with a diet that works to some degree, pushing people to make overall healthier choices.


One paper suggests “shedding” its wheels may save the rover’s ability to move around as intended.

One of Curiosity’s damaged wheels. (NASA/JPL-Caltech/MSSS).

Curiosity is NASA’s fifth rover to roam the red planet, landing on Mars in August of 2012. But within just a year of driving around there were reports of damage to its wheels. As time goes on, the wheels tear due to repeated bending of the metal as they traverse hard rocky surfaces and are punctured by driving over sharp pointed rocks, according to solar system specialist and science communicator Emily Lakdawalla writing for the Planetary Society in 2014.

The pointed rocks weren’t thought…


Tips for a successful transition

Image by Bru-nO (Pixabay).

When I called the owner of a local sandwich shop to determine the amount of sodium in their bread, I was shocked to find out that they couldn’t give me an answer. When I asked them to disclose the ingredients they used to bake their bread I did the math myself and found out that six inches of it accounted for more than 80% of the sodium I had allotted per day, and that’s just the bread alone. Unfortunately, I had to give up eating at one of my previously favorite lunch spots.

As a…


Information about durum wheat and whether it’s considered part of a clean diet.

Image by Candiix (Pixabay).

What is Clean Eating?

The first step to answering this question is defining the terms “clean eating” or “clean diet.”

According to Emily Brown, writing for mayoclinic.org, the point behind clean eating is to consume more whole foods while limiting highly processed ones.

The American Heart Association uses the terms “eating clean” and “healthy eating” interchangeably on heart.org, and appears to take a broader stance on the definition of these terms. Instead of limiting processed foods across the board, they recommend comparing food labels and choosing foods based on nutritional content…


Excellent article! It features a great discussion on Enrico Fermi's paradox.

My thoughts have always been those echoed in the final paragraphs, that the universe is simply so big that we haven't had the time and resources devoted to properly searching enough to find the life that may be hiding out there.

Radio communication has existed for just over 100 years and we've only actively explored space for less than 70 years, rarely leaving our own backyard in the process. Cosmologically speaking, we've barely been searching for the blink of an eye and we've covered only the tiniest fraction of available space. It would be foolish to assert that other forms of life don't exist in the universe after analyzing such a tiny fraction of it. It's like taking a glass of water from the ocean and declaring the ocean has no fish. We must continue our search.

Devan Taylor

Physics student and cook. Owner of the publication Newtonian Curiosity.

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