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Popular Science July 2015

This is the most exciting time to be alive in history. Get Popular Science digital magazine subscription today and see why. By taking an upbeat, solutions-oriented look at today's most audacious science and revolutionary technology, we forecast what tomorrow will be like. We deliver the future now.

United States
Camden Media Inc.
4 Issues

in this issue

2 min
dare to dream big

Anyone familiar with Popular Science probably recalls our vintage covers. Back in the 1920s, ’30s, and ’40s, we developed a signature style that depicted, in hand-painted detail, extraordinary machines of the future. We showed transcontinental airships, 50 mph ice-cycles, floating tractors, and any number of improbable vehicles that appeared to defy the laws of physics (most did). Some of the covers were true works of art—check out May 1946, one of my favorites—while others were downright bizarre: July 1937 featured a tanklike thing rumbling out of a swamp and heading straight for a tiger. A tiger! What unified the covers was their unabashed enthusiasm for the future. They made clear that Popular Science embraced technology and its ability to bring a brighter day, no matter how distant that day might be.…

1 min

Peter W. Singer Defense analyst Peter W. Singer doesn’t think World War III is inevitable, but that we should prepare for it. “The risk of the brewing Cold War with Russia and China turning hot is one we have to take seriously,” he says, “especially to avoid it.” Drawing from his book Ghost Fleet: A Novel of the Next World War, he assesses the world’s sea, land, air, and cyber arsenals in “The Future of War” (page 46). Judy Foreman A few years ago, health writer Judy Foreman began feeling severe neck pain. “On a scale of 1 to 10,” she says, “it was a 20.” Prior to that, she believed chronic-pain sufferers were exaggerating. “No more,” says Foreman, who tackled the topic in her book, A Nation in Pain—Healing Our Biggest Health…

1 min
the vizzies

Do you love animating data, creating science apps, or taking macro photographs? In the 2015 Visualization Challenge, sponsored by Popular Science and the National Science Foundation, your handiwork can receive its due glory. Enter atnsf.gov/news/vizziesthrough Sept. 15. HOW HISTORY HELPS US VIEW THE FUTURE It doesn’t hurt to have an archive filled with 143 years of science and technology. It was precisely that history that inspired this month’s cover featuring the hyperloop. This cover from October 1930 wowed readers with an early monorail concept. TEST SUBJECTS In the midst of producing this issue, our office hosted Take Your Child to Work Day. Lucky for us, that meant we had plenty of (tiny) helping hands to test the make-your-own smoke rings project on page 66. Q: WHAT SCI-FILOCALE DO YOU WANT TO VISIT THIS SUMMER? 1 Tatooine. I’ve…

2 min
peer review

KEEP IT ON THE DOWN-LOW I am very much in favor of faster, more-efficient elevators [“An Elevator That Will Reshape Skylines”]. But that does not mean we should build even taller structures. There are many reasons not to go higher: fire fighting, evacuation, natural disasters, and eventual demolition immediately come to mind. Just because we can do something doesn’t mean we should. John Corcoran, Clifton, VA DRONE OVERDOSE I appreciate all that you guys do to keep the average individual informed. But I don’t think I’ll be the first to say: Enough with drones! John Froese We apologize… On page 40 of the May issue, the battery capacity of the C-1 should have been listed in kilowatt-hours. And on page 70, the diode referenced was one of the germanium variety, rather than geranium. Flowers don’t…

1 min
the perfect projector for streaming

SPECS Projection size 14 to 120 inches Resolution 720p Bulb life 20,000 to 50,000 hours Battery life 2.5 hours streaming Ports HDMI, USB Price $399 on contract Setting up a backyard movie screening sounds like a great idea—until you try it. You need an outlet or extension cord, and even more cables to connect a computer or streaming box to your projector. The ZTE Spro 2 frees you from that. An update to last year’s original Spro, the portable projector has a 200-lumen bulb—double that of its predecessor. A full Android operating system makes it an all-in-one device with touchscreen navigation to load the latest movie and project it up to 120 inches. There's no need to worry about spotty Wi-Fislowing down streaming because Spro 2 creates its own hotspot for up to 10 devices using 4G LTE…

2 min

1 VAPOURLIGHT HYPER SMOCK 2.0 On long hiking trips, every ounce matters, so Berghaus has created the lightest-weight waterproof jacket yet. At a mere 85 grams for a size large, it’s roughly 30 percent lighter than its nearest competitor. $150 2 TRAINER BY GIBSON Legendary guitar maker Gibson worked with Olympian Usain Bolt to develop wireless over-ear headphones for runners. Built-in LEDs in the earpieces increase nighttime visibility. At the touch of a button, you can also lower the volume to stay alert during your run. $250 3 STOWER CANDLECHARGER With Stower’s Candle Charger system, a single Sterno canister can charge a smartphone— twice. The candle’s flame heats and purifies a pot of water, which serves as a thermoelectric generator. $99 4 MISFIT SWAROVSKI SHINE Who says you can’t count steps at a blacktie event? Misfit’s newest…