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San Francisco Wants You to Design Its Future Transit System

August 19, 2016 A subway station near the buffalo paddock in Golden Gate Park, a tunnel to Alcatraz Island—feasible or not, you can have San Francisco review your ideas for transit expansion, thanks to a tool that lets you design and submit your “dream” subway system. The “Subway Vision” map plots existing major...

NASA: July 2016 Was the Hottest Month in Recorded History

August 17, 2016 There might’ve been a time, back in the mists of prehistory, when the oceans boiled and the ground was hot enough to render bacon. But in the modern era, it’s safe to say we’re living in the warmest period known to humankind, with July 2016 going down as the hottest...

A Space-Station View of 2016's Perseid Meteor Shower

August 16, 2016 Consider yourself lucky if you looked up to catch this year’s extremely active Persied meteors—or luckier still, if you looked down to see them tracing fiery streaks over a darkened planet. Crew on the International Space Station could do just that last week when the shower hit its peak. This...

Seattle to Roll Out a 'Pac-Man'-Themed Pavement Maze

July 21, 2016 Rejoice, people who cosplay as the planet’s favorite insatiable mouth-orb: Seattle is planning a ‘Pac-Man’-themed “pavement maze,” where you can pretend to hunt ghosts and inhale pellets to your heart’s content. The city’s Department of Transportation, as part of its Pavement to Parks initiative, held a recent community vote about...

NOAA: The Earth Has Endured 14 Straight Months of Record-Breaking Heat

July 20, 2016 The lower part of South America, the Beijing region, and a little patch of far-east Russia: These were the landmasses that experienced abnormally cool temperatures in June. The vast majority of the Earth’s surface, however, was either warmer than usual or scalding with record-breaking heat, according to NOAA’s latest global...

A Government Satellite Captures a Spectacular 'Lunar Photobomb'

July 12, 2016 As pitiful, flightless beings that depend on stuff like oxygen to live, we rarely get to glimpse the hidden “dark” side of the moon. But a U.S. satellite recently did just that, spotting the cratered orb whizzing past Earth like a bowling ball whiffing on a civilization-ending strike. The DSCOVR...

NOAA: The World Just Sweated Through Another Record-Hot June

July 8, 2016 If last month, while excreting rivulets of moisture like a ham in the oven, you found yourself thinking, This is crazy hot—you weren’t wrong. It was the warmest June in the U.S. since records began in the late 1800s, surpassing 2015’s historically scorching June and perhaps adding to the world’s...

The U.S. Enters a Historic 10-Year 'Hurricane Drought'

June 3, 2016 Now here’s a “drought” we all can get behind: A major hurricane hasn’t made landfall in the U.S. since the record-setting storm activity of 2005. Statistically, such a pattern only comes along once every 270 years, according to NASA. This decade-long “hurricane drought” is also the longest period without major...

NOAA: The U.S. Looks Due for a Scorching Summer

May 24, 2016 Good news for surfers and picnickers, bad news for pallid folk who color like steamed crabs when exposed to the sun: Vast portions of the U.S. could get blasted with abnormal warmth this summer, including probable heat-magnets like New England, the West Coast, Hawaii, and Alaska. That’s according to NOAA’s...

Chinese Government Unveils ‘Security Robot’ to Squelch Riots

May 4, 2016 FROM NEXTGOV arrow Commit a crime in the future in China—or heck, probably just have an “unlawful” gathering—and you might find yourself pursued by what looks like a giant salt shaker waving a cattle prod at your butt. The “AnBot,” which debuted to the world recently at a tech fair in Chongqing, is...

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