• Here’s How You Can ‘See’ Molecules—on a Whole ‘Nother Planet

    So maybe you heard this thing about possible signs of life on Venus. Yes, it’s Venus this time and not Mars. Scientists have detected the signature of the molecule phosphine in the atmosphere of this planet using rotational spectroscopy. As far as we understand it now, the only way to get phosphine is to make it in a lab or as a byproduct of some types of bacteria. Oh, bacteria on Venus? That would be kind of a big deal.

    Now, some pretty awesome physics are involved in the possible detection of this molecule. Let me go over some of the coolest ideas so that you can fully understand it.

    Radio Waves Are Light Waves

    The signal for phosphine is a radio wave with a wavelength of 1.123 mm. So, how you do “see” radio waves? Yes, you use a radio telescope. In this case, that telescope was the

  • Justice Department opposes TikTok’s request for injunction in new filing

    The Justice Department filed its opposition Friday to TikTok’s request for an injunction against the Trump administration’s looming ban of the app, and the agency pulled no punches. The DOJ says blocking the the ban would “infringe on the President’s authority to block business-to-business economic transactions with a foreign entity in the midst of a declared national-security emergency.”

    The DOJ also alleges that the CEO of TikTok’s parent company ByteDance, Zhang Yiming, is a “mouthpiece” for the Chinese Communist Party (CCP), and is “committed to promoting the CCP’s agenda and messaging.”

    Large chunks of the DOJ filing are redacted, including a section detailing where the DOJ claims TikTok stores US users’ data. The part that’s visible claims “US user data being stored outside of the United States presents significant risks in this case.”

    TikTok requested the injunction against the ban on its

  • Disney+’s ‘Secret Society of Second-Born Royals’ is a dull ‘X-Men’ knockoff with an identity crisis

    The narrator of Secret Society of Second-Born Royals opens with a line that so badly wants to be cool: “You know the fairytale about the princess waiting for some brave prince to come and save her? Yeah, this is not that kind of story.” But remember all the movies about a group of sparky superheroes who learn to use their powers and save the day? Yeah, it is exactly that kind of story, only this one doesn’t have the thrilling special effects, layered plots, or compelling characters of its big-budget counterparts.

    The straight-to-Disney+ release follows Sam, a modern-day European princess who wants to do something that matters and doesn’t understand why her soon-to-be-queen older sister (Ashley Liao) is so devoted to the kingdom. So naturally, Sam plays loud rock music with her best friend to a tiny group of protesters who want to tear down the monarchy for no clearly