Distillations Blog

The Distillations Blog is the place for regular updates from the intersections of science, culture, and history.

Omar Syed invented the strategy board game Arimaa in 2003. The game was designed to be easy for humans to learn, but difficult for computers to play. (Arimaa.com)
July 24, 2016

Artificially intelligent programs are playing board games better than humans ever could. Is it possible to design a board game that can stump even the smartest computer?

A leaf illuminated by sunlight.
July 15, 2016

Around 2.5 billion years ago, cyanobacteria spewed an element into the atmosphere that was toxic to many of Earth’s early life-forms: oxygen.

Science adviser Donna J. Nelson poses with Bryan Cranston and Aaron Paul.
July 01, 2016

Breaking Bad showcased the chemistry of everything from making methamphetamine to building thermite explosives, but who made sure the science on the show was accurate?