While 2013 is not the most active year on record for wildfires in the US, millions of acres still had gone up in smoke by late August, and as usual, California was one of the most active regions. The latest big wildfire is the Rim Fire in the central part of the state, near Yosemite National Park, where more than 2,000 firefighters are now combating the blaze.
What we're talking about is an assortment of objects varying in size -- from a few feet to as wide as 25 miles in diameter -- that approach within about 28 million miles of Earth's orbit. But while the risks of a planetary collision exist, the probability is low -- at least for now.
Construction image courtesy of Sydney Opera House Trust; Vivid Sydney image by Daniel Boud; Lego Australia
Lego Sydney Opera House
On September 1, a giant, 2,989-piece Lego Sydney Opera House will join the toy company's Creator Expert lineup of the world's most incredible buildings. At 28x63.5x38 centimeters, it's going to be one of the biggest sets Lego has ever created.
Madeline A. Lancaster
Growing brains in petri dishes
Petri dishes have hosted all sorts of experiments, such as cultivating mold or breeding amoeba. But now, truly futuristic events are happening in these circular glass plates -- most notably, growing brains.
Artist Jacob Tonski has modified a 170-year-old sofa that he found in the back of a coffee shop, broken and unused, for his installation "Balance from Within," exhibited at the 2013 FILE festival in Brazil. Inside, he placed a reaction wheel, a rotating device most commonly used in spacecraft for adjusting orientation when it rotates off-center. He added a second axis so that the wheel could balance in all directions.
University of Washington
First human brain-to-brain interface
University of Washington researcher Rajesh Rao sends a brain signal to Andrea Stocco via the Internet, causing Stocco's right hand to move on a keyboard.