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How It WorksHow It Works

How It Works No. 116

Welcome to How It Works, the magazine that explains everything you never knew you wanted to know about the world we live in. Loaded with fully illustrated guides and expert knowledge, and with sections dedicated to science, technology, transportation, space, history and the environment, no subject is too big or small for How It Works to explain.

United Kingdom
Future Publishing Ltd
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13 Issues


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“Pain is more than just a reflex – it helps us remember and avoid harmful activities…” The science of pain Getting lost is a nightmare at the best of times, but when you’re out in the open ocean or half way up a mountain and exposed to the unforgiving elements it can be deadly. Search and rescue teams provide a vital service to bring people back to safety, often risking their own lives in the process. Find out how these brave men and women can track you down in your hour of need on page 20. Also in this issue, we reveal the science of pain, what life is like in a wolf pack and which new smartphone could be considered an iPhone killer. The team and…

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meet the team…

Charlie G Production Editor Architects. Mathematicians. Murderers. The Maya were a brilliant and bizarre bunch, and their decline remains a mystery to this day. Baljeet Research Editor NASA launched their historic Parker Solar Probe last month on a mission that will ‘touch the Sun’. Find out more on page 68. Charlie E Staff Writer From dogs and drones to lifeboats and helicopters, the UK’s brave search and rescue teams use a range of tools to save lives. Scott Staff Writer It’s this year’s frontrunner as best smartphone, but how is the Huawei P20 Pro using AI to climb to the top? Find out more on page 52. (© Sphero; Getty) Duncan Senior Art Editor As a…

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highlights of bluedot 2018

It’s no secret that Bluedot Festival is one of the highlights of the How It Works calendar, but this year we took a bit of a different approach to it. Taking advantage of Bluedot’s free entry policy for children under the age of five, we took along our tiny photography assistant-in-training to see if this festival fusion of science, art and culture really has something to offer the entire family. We were not disappointed! The incredible amount of things to do seems even more exciting when you’re looking across a field filled with bubbles and colourful lights from the eyes of a very inquisitive three-year-old. Here are some of our favourite moments from this year’s brilliant festival… Jim Al-Khalili and Richard Dawkins One of the biggest…

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homo erectus may have gone extinct due to laziness

Dr Ceri Shipton on site at Saffaqah in central Saudi Arabia where the population was discovered An excavation of ancient human populations that inhabited the Arabian Peninsula during the Early Stone Age by the Australian National University (ANU) has unearthed evidence suggesting that, when it came to tool making and collecting resources, Homo erectus used ‘least-effort strategies’. This ‘laziness’, paired with an inability to adapt to a changing climate, likely played a role in the species going extinct according to lead researcher Dr Ceri Shipton of the ANU School of Culture, History and Language. “Rather than walk up the hill they would just use whatever bits had rolled down and were lying at the bottom,” Dr Shipton commented. “They knew it was there, but because they had…

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nasa’s launch to the sun

NASA’s Parker Solar Probe launched on 12 August at 03:31 EDT and is now hurtling towards the Sun. The United Launch Alliance Delta-IV Heavy rocket successfully released the probe just under an hour after launch. If successful, it will be the first time that a spacecraft has ever been sent into the atmosphere of the Sun. Learn all about the mission on page 68. ■…

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ai for eye diseases

Moorfields Eye Hospital in London, Google’s DeepMind and UCL have found that artificial intelligence performs just as well as human experts when detecting eye conditions from complex scans. The algorithm did not miss a single case that would require an urgent referral. ■…