Is Physical Law an Alien Intelligence?

Perhaps Arthur C. Clarke was being uncharacteristically unambitious. He once pointed out that any sufficiently advanced technology is going to be indistinguishable from magic. If you dropped in on a bunch of Paleolithic farmers with your iPhone and a pair of sneakers, you’d undoubtedly seem pretty magical. But the contrast is only middling: The farmers…

Fiery Sprites Photographed Over Japan

Photographer Yasuo Takeda thought he was seeing things when strange lights shot up into the sky off the coast from Hokota, Ibaraki Prefecture, east of Tokyo, on Nov. 25. But he was actually lucky enough to witness sprites, a phenomenon that is rarely observed, let alone photographed, as the natural lights are usually obscured by…