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surf sign
Hanging Ten

When you hear the words "technology" and "surfing" in the same sentence, you might think of the internet before you think of the ocean. But there are lots of resources online to help surfers predict when the sweet swells are headed their way. Find out just how waves are made, learn the basics of making your own surf predictions using weather data from the Internet, solve the physics mysteries of surfing, and more!


summer 2002 webcasts

You see it on TV and in the movies. Now it’s becoming a reality. Biometrics – using physical identifiers like your retina, your fingerprints, even your voice to unlock doors, access bank accounts, and ensure workplace security.

Explore retinal scans, fingerprinting, and voice verification in three webcasts, "Eye-D," "The Whirl Reports," and "Vox Unlocks," produced by a team of middle school students from the Aim High Program.


whale Underwater conflict

Humans and nature agree: Low-frequency sonar is the best way to find things underwater. The problem is that while whales are using sonar to search for food, the U.S. Navy is using it to search for submarines. Whale activists say the technology interferes with whale migration and their search for food. The U.S. administration says that in the wake of September 11th, tracking submarines is an issue of national security. Learn more.

Be sure to check out our archived webcasts about sonar and animals.

finely checked wine
DNA isn't just for fingerprinting people anymore. An Australian vintner has recently started using grape DNA in the labels of its most expensive wine. The move is a response to a rise in the number of wine swindlers switching the contents of some bottles, leaving investors duped until it comes time to uncork the wine. The technology began as a way to validate tickets for the Sydney Olympics, and might also be useful in validating a wide range of items. Learn more.
wine bottle and glass

Sculpture in Iceland Iceland: Technology trendsetters

This island in the North Sea may seem a bit medieval, but it's just the right size to support some modern technology experiments. The country is leading the way in cell phone innovations and alternative energy. And its controversial nationwide genetic database is a treasure trove for genetic researchers, its volcanoes are studied by researchers around the world, and its shifting magnetic fields play tricks on compasses. Learn more.

explaining mona lisa
For nearly 500 years, people have stared at "the lady with the mystic smile"—and been baffled by her—especially by her smile's apparent tendency to fade, even disappear, and then return. Now, Harvard neuroscientist Margaret Livingstone claims to have solved the Mona mystery.
mona lisa

 


Science wire is a collaboration between the Exploratorium and The World from Public Radio International.
It is funded by the National Science Foundation.

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