Why Don’t We Have Water Powered Cars Yet?

Hey there, welcome to Life Noggin! Hey there! Welcome to my garage-slash-workshop-slash-Olympic-sized swimming pool room. And it’s the perfect place to work on my new invention, a water-powered car! Well, ok, it’s not *technically* my invention. The idea for water-powered cars has been kicking around for ages. Jules Verne wrote that “water will be the […]

Carbon Nanotubes Might Be the Secret Boost Solar Energy Has Been Looking For

Solar panels are an incredible innovation in energy tech, but they’re way less efficient than they could be, because they have a problem: heat. Specifically, waste heat, or energy that’s lost while converting the sun’s energy into electricity. But a new technology—made possible by carbon nanotubes—may be just the thing that brings solar panels into […]

How This Rare Natural Fission Reactor Could Solve Our Nuclear Waste Problem

Two billion years ago, the earth’s geology came together to spontaneously and naturally form what was essentially a nuclear fission reactor. It operated stably for about a million years, and its radioactive waste has been safely contained–again, totally naturally–for millions of years since. Surely we can learn from this, right? And also this DEFINITELY sounds […]

How Close Are We to Fusion Energy?

Coal is dirty. Nuclear is scary. Solar and wind aren’t always reliable. Hydrothermal and hydroelectric aren’t widely accessible. And we’ll eventually deplete our oil reserves. Okay, yes, this is all a bit of hyperbole, but the bottom line is that we don’t have a perfect source of energy. But, there might be hope. Around the […]

Wireless Electricity Is Coming, Here’s Where We’re At

We’d all love to become less dependent on our phone chargers, but current wireless charging options just aren’t there yet. So, what if we could charge our phones..with WIFI?! Wireless charging devices on the market now use something called electromagnetic induction. First, a coiled wire in a charging pad turns an electric current into a […]

Why Did Microsoft Put a Data Center Underwater?

“Cloud computing” has been a buzzword for a few years now, it’s the term for when software, data storage, and processing is handled remotely in a server somewhere rather than on the local device you’re on. Despite its lofty name though, it doesn’t take place up in some mystical cloud, but rather inside a mundane […]

The Secret to Planet Formation Might Be Hiding in the ‘Fulton Gap’

Starting in 2009, the spacecraft Kepler scanned the night sky hunting for distant worlds. Over the course of its nearly decade long mission, it identified over 2,300 confirmed exoplanets, making us realize the galaxy was much fuller than we previously thought. But poring over the data, something jumps out at you: we seem to be […]

Could Black Holes Made of Light Power Our Spaceships?

There are some crazy ideas for spacecraft propulsion out there, but tops among them must be the idea to power an interstellar craft with a black hole. Wait it gets crazier. The black hole is made of light. Yes, that’s right, a black hole, which is a region in space where the gravity is so […]

German Scientists Just Tested NASA’s EM Drive… Does It Work Now?

The idea of being able to get around space as easily as we get around in our cars is a dream many have grasped at, but none have achieved so far (although not for lack of trying: Elon, I’m looking at you). We’ve covered the so-called impossible drive several times on this channel. And according […]

Why Scientists Used Graphene Nanoribbons to Engineer Bionic Mushrooms

Imagine the world…powered by mushrooms. No, I’m not on drugs, this is an actual scientific thing–we’ve now invented mushrooms that produce electricity, no fossil fuels required. Let me explain: researchers at the Stevens Institute of Technology just created what they’re calling a bionic mushroom—a fungus they’ve modified to produce electricity! It really is basically any […]