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How It Works

How It Works

No. 134

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.

Country:
United Kingdom
Language:
English
Publisher:
Future Publishing Ltd
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19 Issues

IN THIS ISSUE

1 min.
welcome

“Teams spend millions of pounds to get the most out of their 380-horsepower cars”How to be a rally car driver, page 22 If you’ve ever driven down an old country road or a lane to a farm, you’ll have noticed how much bumpier and difficult to navigate it is, even at low speeds. To charge across this kind of off-road terrain successfully at high speed, around hairpin bends and over steep ramps, takes an exceptionally skilful team and a technologically sophisticated vehicle that costs several times your average Ferrari supercar. This issue, we take a look inside a World Rally Championship car to see how it’s capable of tearing through the countryside. We’ve also spoken to rally driver Jon Armstrong, who tells us what it takes to compete at this level.…

1 min.
meet the team…

Nikole Production Editor Would you wear a skirt that could burst into flames? Turn to page 76 to look back in time at some rather deadly fashion trends. Scott Staff Writer It’s not just plants that can turn sunlight into food: find out how some animals use photosynthesis on page 66. Baljeet Research Editor The Big Bang is the leading theory for the universe’s creation – but not the only one. Explore these odd alternate theories on page 58. Duncan Senior Art Editor Electric vehicles help in the fight against climate change, and e-scooters apply this to compact vehicles. Learn more about them on page 32. Ailsa Staff Writer Could these upcoming gadgets and inventions be the big breakthroughs of 2020? Read more on page 44.…

1 min.
lovesick spider

Leaping around the forests of Australia, peacock spiders (Maratus speciosus) are looking for a perfect stage to showcase their moves. In this pursuit, these spiders practise a colourful dance to grab the attention of a female. Boasting vibrant colours which differ between some 60 species, peacock spiders raise their rears and two legs, proceeding to wave them around in a courtship dance in the hope that a female will be impressed. Unlike their large eight-legged cousins, these Australian natives are only a mere three to five millimetres long – just a few times bigger than this full stop. What they lack in body size, peacock spiders more than make up for in jumping ability, each capable of leaping more than 20 times their body length.…

1 min.
even stones have hearts

Captured under polarised-light photomicrography, this 30-micron (millionths of a metre) thick slide of volcanic rock from Lipari, Italy, reveals a heart-shaped arrangement of crystals. Known as a glomerocryst, it’s formed when a magma chamber erupts through surrounding rock, dragging in neighbouring minerals from along the bottom and walls. As it cools, minerals such as feldspar and pyroxene group together to form a myriad of shapes and structures. This heart-shaped stone was captured by Bernardo Cesare for The Royal Photographic Society’s 2019 science photography competition. You can find out more about this year’s entries at rps.org.…

1 min.
cave’s spooky lightshow

If you go down to New Zealand’s Waitomo caves, you’re sure for a glowing surprise. As you sail along the cave’s stream, you’ll notice that the walls are illuminated by thousands of tiny glow worms (Arachnocampa Luminosa) living on the cavernous ceiling. In a breathtaking display of bioluminescence, the biological chemistry of each worm allows them to radiate blue-green. More of a maggot than a worm, these larvae are not only putting on a show for cave visitors: they’re attracting flying food into a curtain of silk threads around their bodies, called snares. People have journeyed to Waitomo to witness the spectacle of the cave’s glowing ceiling since the late 1880s.…

3 min.
scientists witness river of ice emerge

For the first time, scientists think they’re watching a fast-moving river of ice being born. These so-called ice streams are rapid, long-lasting flows of ice that form in the middle of more static ice formations known as ice sheets. They form in remote parts of the Arctic and Antarctic, and once established can last decades or even centuries. Until now, no one had ever seen one emerge. In a recent study, a team of glaciologists argues that another shorter-term event that began in 2013 in the Russian Arctic may have sparked the emergence of a long-lasting ice stream. The event, called a glacier surge, is like a frozen flood. A great deal of ice comes loose and bursts out towards the ocean in a rush. “After the initial surge in 2013,…