A journey to the underwater volcanoes where life may have erupted. A black smoker spews hot, mineral-laden fluid. The containers on the right collect samples of the hydrothermal fluid and any microbes present. Photograph from http://www.whoi.edu. It was nearly midnight aboard the research vessel Atlantis. The ship was about a thousand miles west of Costa Rica, where she’d sailed from, hovering over a hydrothermal vent field in the eastern Pacific. Rutgers microbiologist Costantino Vetriani, seated a few feet away from me in the dark control room, radiated energy despite the hour. He peered intently through his glasses at dozens of monitors, occasionally running a hand over his shaved head. On the live video feed from the remotely operated submersible on the bottom, we watched thick black smoke with a scorching temperature of over 350 degrees Celsius billow from a rocky tower a mile beneath us. It was a stunning sight, […]

How a woke brand is made. Convincing 100 women to show up at a warehouse and take photos of their chests is no easy feat. Convincing them through a Craigslist ad is nearly impossible. But that’s what lingerie company ThirdLove did in 2013 while developing a proprietary app that was designed to predict better bra sizes. “The app was problematic, to say the least,” said a former engineer we’ll call Ben. “It basically only worked if the photos were good.” When people tried out the at-home instructions exactly — take two pictures in front of a full-length mirror in good lighting while wearing a tight tank top, making sure the phone is at waist-height — the results were reliably accurate. But getting people to do that was difficult. “The app was problematic, to say the least” Then there was the matter of data security. Co-CEO David Spector told Inc the […]

The Inside Story of How McDonald’s Innovated the Quarter Pounder In a change that has been as seismic for McDonald’s as the drive-through window, the chain has reintroduced its signature burger with fresh—never frozen—beef. And that’s just the start. A cryptic missive went out in the spring of 2018 to all 3.6 million people who follow McDonald’s on Twitter. The tweet read, simply: “100% Fresh Beef + John Goodman = ASMR(ish)” and included a link to a video. In the split-screen clip, the Big Lebowski and Roseanne star stares into the camera and—somewhat unnervingly—whispers a carnal ode to the fast-food giant’s Quarter Pounder burger, accompanied by the sounds and visuals of an appetizing-looking patty sizzling on the grill. “Hey, you,” Goodman murmurs intently. “McDonald’s new fresh-beef Quarter Pounder is hotter and juicier. It’ll leave you speech-less. I can almost feel that juice sizzling…. Oh baby, the melted cheese is hugging […]

Netflix or Hulu? HBO or Showtime? Disney Plus or HBO Max? Here’s help LookingLooking at the apps on my Roku TV marketplace — Netflix, Amazon Prime, Hulu, HBO Now, Apple TV Plus, and Crunchyroll, just to name a few — I’m overwhelmed at the veritable avalanche of streaming services available to me. Disney Plus is under a week away, while HBO Max and NBC’s Peacock are not far behind. The streaming wars, ushered in by an era of Peak TV, are in full effect. No one can watch everything; money and time are finite resources, after all. To make it a little easier on you (and your wallet), we here at Polygon broke down nearly every streaming service — how much it costs, what to watch, and who should subscribe — from the big guys like Netflix to niche collections like Mubi. A word of advice: If you’re going to […]

How To Wipe a Computer of All Your Personal Data And also recycle it once you’re done. Whether you’re selling it, trashing it, or reusing it, that old computer of yours has a bunch of extremely private data stored inside. And there’s a good chance that tossing files in the recycling bin and hitting factory reset won’t protect you. If a hacker finds the pattern your computer used to move those 0s and 1s around, they can reverse engineer the original state of your computer and pull out the goods. This guide will take you through how to factory reset your computer or take a step beyond that by hiring a professional company to ensure your data has been destroyed (or smash up the computer yourself). What Is a Factory Reset? A factory reset will definitely make it impossible for you to practically access programs or files on your computer. […]

This mental disorder gives us a unique insight into the digital age. We start with the case of a woman who experienced unbearable tragedy. In 1899, this Parisian bride, Madame M., had her first child. Shockingly, the child was abducted and substituted with a different infant, who soon died. She then had twin girls. One grew into healthy adulthood, while the other, again, was abducted, once more replaced with a different, dying infant. She then had twin boys. One was abducted, while the other was fatally poisoned. Madame M. searched for her abducted babies; apparently, she was not the only victim of this nightmarish trauma, as she often heard the cries of large groups of abducted children rising from the cellars of Paris. As if all this pain was not enough, Madame M.’s sole surviving child was abducted and replaced with an imposter of identical appearance. And soon the same […]

When you chase empty goals you become restless. Focus on your own potential and forget external expectations. Do you sometimes feel like you’re wasting your potential? And do you also feel unsure about how you can even reach your full potential? If so, you’re like any other ambitious person who wants to make the best of his/her life. Because to me, that’s what “reaching your potential” means. We all have limited time on our hands. Some live longer than others. But you and I both know that it’s not about how long you live, it’s about what you do with the time you’re alive. It’s about leaving everything on the table and making sure you live up to your inner drive. Look, when I talk about reaching your potential, I’m not talking about what other people or society thinks we should do with our lives. When you chase empty goals […]

The Secret Hit-Making Power of the Spotify Playlist Starley Hope thought she was done with the music biz after writing “Call on Me.” The song felt like her last shot at success after spending years trying to make it as a songwriter. “I decided I was going to give it up and get a ‘real job,’” she told the website Music Love. She released the track as her debut single in July, expecting it to be her swan song. It wasn’t. “Call on Me” currently sits at No. 80 on the Billboard Hot 100. It hit number one on the Swedish charts, and went gold or platinum in nine countries. Hope wrote a certified hit single, one dwarfed only by the remix from Aussie DJ Ryan Riback. Although you hear it all over the radio now, Spotify users found themselves bouncing along to her synthy strains seven months ago. The song […]

If procrastination isn’t about laziness, then what is it about? If you’ve ever put off an important task by, say, alphabetizing your spice drawer, you know it wouldn’t be fair to describe yourself as lazy. After all, alphabetizing requires focus and effort — and hey, maybe you even went the extra mile to wipe down each bottle before putting it back. And it’s not like you’re hanging out with friends or watching Netflix. You’re cleaning — something your parents would be proud of! This isn’t laziness or bad time management. This is procrastination. If procrastination isn’t about laziness, then what is it about? Etymologically, “procrastination” is derived from the Latin verb procrastinare — to put off until tomorrow. But it’s more than just voluntarily delaying. Procrastination is also derived from the ancient Greek word akrasia — doing something against our better judgment. “It’s self-harm,” said Dr. Piers Steel, a professor […]

Have a fight in your life and you don’t know what to do? Well, you’ve come to the right place. Hello there, friend. What’s that I hear? You’re pissed off at someone? Someone is pissed off at you? You have a fight in your life and you don’t know what to do? Well, you’ve come to the right place. Whether it’s with your mom, your aunt, your best friend Stan, or maybe even the mailman, I’ve got the solution to all your relationship problems! Below is a “Choose Your Own Adventure” for resolving your conflict. Yes, my friend, your conflict is an adventure. A rage-infused shit-festering adventure full of four-letter words and smashed cell phone screens, I’m sure. But an adventure nonetheless. Simply start with the first question below and navigate yourself to the end. By the end, you’ll know exactly what to do about your conflict. But even if […]

Learn faster. Retain more. Maybe even become the smartest person in the room. Science says so. While it’s nice to think you can hack your way to success, whenever you try to accomplish a huge goal — like starting and growing a business — skills matter. Who you know is certainly important. But what you know, and what you can do, matters a whole lot more. Which means the faster you learn, the more successful you can be. So let’s jump right in. Here are ten ways, backed by science, to speed up the learning process. 1. Say out loud what you want to remember. Research shows that compared to reading or thinking silently (as if there’s another way to think), the act of speech is a “quite powerful mechanism for improving memory for selected information.” According to scientists, “Learning and memory benefit from active involvement. When we add an […]

DMX’s life and career have been a roller coaster of highs and lows. Now, after a year in prison, he’s out and ready to start living again. September 23, 2019 It’s 2 a.m. and DMX is snoring. (Imagine DMX snoring and you’ve got exactly the right picture.) We’re in an SUV, driving to a pool hall in Westchester, New York, which is where he grew up and currently lives. He’s wearing headphones and just barely holding an iPad that’s fruitlessly playing an episode of Ozark. Exodus, DMX’s three-year-old son, is in the far back seat, blasting that baby-shark song that drives parents insane. The duet of deep snores and dooo-dooo-da-dooo is the soundtrack of our 50-minute trek from Lower Manhattan. It’s easy to forget how successful DMX was. To this day, he’s the only rapper to have his first five studio albums debut at No. 1 on the Billboard 200. […]

It’s been 30 years since the public first heard about Area 51. Here’s why UFO hunters are still obsessed. Thousands of people are expected to travel to desert towns in Nevada this weekend, inspired by a viral call to “storm Area 51” in hopes of overpowering the US military and uncovering whatever government secrets might be hiding there. The desert base, which is entirely off-limits to civilians, has long been at the center of a conspiracy among alien fans and ufologists — people who hunt for UFOs. Somewhere amid Area 51’s vast desert acreage, they believe, is a heavily guarded underground lab where the government keeps and studies captured alien aircraft — and possibly even aliens themselves. This belief that Area 51’s “military base” is a cover for alien research has been fully mythologized by pop culture over the years, becoming an entrenched part of alien lore. But those who […]

Have you reached a point where life’s repetitious routine has become overwhelming? Have the best laid plans fallen through? Maybe you’re not sure the right way forward, only that the path you’re on now isn’t it. Perhaps what you need is to step out of your day-to-day for a bit of a life-changing adventure. Perhaps for a week, two or ten. Before you say you can’t afford it, there are lots of ways to pursue an adventure on a limited budget. It’s what I did. Six years ago I embarked on an open-ended adventure. Now I spend half of each year traveling, and I’ve been to six continents, 48 states, 57 countries and in the process, became a better version of myself. Here are some ideas if you’re looking to do the same. Why Are You Going? Think finding yourself is only for the young and unattached? It’s not. You […]

How to get clarity in life. Do you ever feel like you’re completely lost in a world that keeps on racing? The world moves fast. One moment you’re excited about a new opportunity, and the other moment you feel totally hopeless for no particular reason. And if that’s not bad enough, there’s so much noise in the world that we lose sight of what we’re doing. It’s not uncommon to think, “Wait, what was I supposed to do on this planet?” Look, we all get distracted. The world’s a weird place. And people ask me about how we can get clarity all the time. One reader recently sent me this email: “Love to hear you talk about how to get clarity and minimize distractions and noise around us. What techniques do you employ to find that focus?” It’s a good question that got me thinking. And if I look at […]