iD (Ideas & Discoveries)

iD (Ideas & Discoveries) January 3, 2020

iD (Ideas & Discoveries) is an intriguing science and technology magazine that delves deep to help readers discover answers to questions about science, nature, psychology, history, current events and more. With captivating photography and design and engaging editorial content, iD will have readers thinking about the world around them in a whole new way.

United States
Heinrich Bauer Publishing, L. P.
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6 Issues

in this issue

4 min.

questions@ideasanddiscoveries.com www.facebook.com/ideasanddiscoveries THE SCIENCE OF STUPID The November issue’s article on stupidity versus evolution was probably the funniest thing I’ve read in iD. But beyond the humor, it was also illuminating to read about what impels people to do the crazy, stupid stuff that can get some of them memorialized on the Internet. The biological motivation aspect makes a lot of sense, though in the absence of fierce predators and do-or-die situations, the impulse is channeled into “innovative” home repairs or feats that aspire to derring-do. And though we’d all like to think we’re better than that, I’m sure we all have our moments when we’re doing something that we know is not the best idea, but we’re doing it anyway—come what may! No one is immune. So to all the thrill-seekers and…

3 min.
a photo and its story

QUICK CHECK: FIGHTER JETS 1//THE MOST EXPENSIVE LOCKHEED MARTIN F-35 Original price: $100 million per unit, and a production cost totaling $1.5 trillion. 2//THE FASTEST LOCKHEED SR-71 BLACKBIRD In 1976 the jet set a record of 2,193.2 mph for speed and 85,069 feet for altitude. 3//THE MOST ARMED TUPOLEW TU-160 BLACKJACK Its weapons load capacity is up to 44 tons with a maximum takeoff weight of 275 tons. 4//THE STEALTHIEST SUKHOI T-50 Despite a length of 65 feet, the jet is treated with radar-absorbing materials that render it nearly invisible to radar. HOW MUCH ROOM DOES A FIGHTER JET NEED TO TAKE OFF? An Airbus A380 requires at least 9,500 feet of runway to allow for sufficient acceleration in order to take off. In contrast, a conventional fighter plane on an aircraft carrier needs 500 feet for takeoff. These jets are accelerated by a…

7 min.
what’s happening in winter woods?

REYNARD’S RESERVES In order to get through the winter, a fox not only dons a warm winter coat, it also establishes dozens of food depots all across its territory. Thanks to an extremely keen sense of smell, a fox always knows the location of the nearest fridge. It also uses its magnetic sensing ability to dive headfirst into the snow and catch prey that are hidden beneath the surface. No more berries to be found, frozen ground, and an icy wind whipping through bare branches at 25 miles per hour: Now the dainty European robin will have to fight for its survival. Winter poses the ultimate challenge to these teeny birds, which weigh in at just over half an ounce. But the bird resorts to an ingenious trick: It starts tracking a…

22 min.
the unsolved mysteries of world history

DID the Führer HAVE A SON? September 3, 1939: Unity Mitford is found in Munich’s English Garden with a bullet in her brain. Adolf Hitler did not have any descendants. At least that has been the conventional wisdom ever since his death in 1945. And yet there is some evidence of a cover-up… February 9, 1935: As she often did, 20-year-old Unity Mitford is sitting in her heartthrob’s favorite restaurant, staring longingly at him from a nearby table without his even noticing. But suddenly the owner appears before her and tells her something she had been yearning to hear: “The Führer would like to have a word with you.” During the four years that followed, the Englishwoman would meet Adolf Hitler 140 times, gaining access to the Nazi regime’s highest echelons. Mitford became…

7 min.
insect allies: the new contract killers

Superweapon against hunger—or deadly genetic Trojan horse? Like mosquitoes, aphids have a proboscis. They use it to suck the juices from plants and inject saliva to prevent the plant from repairing the damage. And in a manner similar to mosquitoes, aphids often infect their host with viruses. The Insect Allies project seeks to take advantage of this process: It’s the first scientific program to purposefully breed viruses (as well as their vectors) so that they can be disseminated to alter the genetic material of plants and animals. The technology is already being used to protect greenhouse plants from pests. Will mosquitoes someday be found to have a useful purpose as well? Anyone who rides the Underground subway system in London is likely to encounter a very sneaky predator: Culex pipiens molestus, a…

6 min.
the unpredictable life of geysers

HOW DO YOU WAKE UP A GEYSER? Nevada’s Black Rock Desert is one of the driest places in the United States, at least as far as the surface of the high sandy plateau is concerned. But a short distance beneath the desert floor lies a gigantic network of water arteries—and this is what has made farmers and entrepreneurs take an interest in the region. The first geyser in the area was discovered 100 years ago during a search for irrigation water. The problem: The water was simply too hot. About 50 years later an American geothermal energy company became interested but found that the water was too cool for its purposes. But after attempts to seal the drill holes failed, mineral-rich water has continued to shoot forth from what are effectively…