Science & Technology

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ArcaMax

Yes, a Chinese space station is about to plummet to Earth. Here's why you don't need to freak out

Sometime between Thursday and the middle of next week, the Chinese space station known as Tiangong-1 is expected to fall out of the sky.

Most of the 18,740-pound space lab likely will burn up in the atmosphere, experts said.

But not all of it.

Between 10 percent and 40 percent of the station's mass probably will land somewhere on the planet. ...Read more

Mystery solved: Tiny skeleton belonged to a human girl with a combination of rare genetic defects

In the 14 years since it was found in an abandoned mining town in Chile's Atacama Desert, the bizarre 6-inch skeleton has inspired fervid speculation, including theories of unearthly origins.

It had 10 pairs of ribs -- two fewer than the normal human complement -- and an elongated skull with a pronounced point. Despite its diminutive size, the ...Read more

The Great Pacific Garbage Patch counts 1.8 trillion pieces of trash, mostly plastic

The Great Pacific Garbage Patch is getting greater. Twice the size of Texas, the floating mass is up to 16 times larger than previously thought -- carrying about 79,000 metric tons of plastic -- according to scientists who performed an aerial survey.

The discovery, published in the journal Scientific Reports, reveals that this plastic blight in...Read more

Sound Advice: Hudly Classic adds head-up display to any vehicle

Q. I purchased the VicTsing Bluetooth adapter you recently recommended and it felt great to bring my older car into the 21st century. Are there any other products you have tested that can add safety features to my car, like blind spot warning?

-- J.T., Flushing, NY

A. I have not tested any aftermarket blind spot warning systems, but I did try ...Read more

Sound Advice: Bosch dishwasher clear that rinse aid is needed

Q. Your answer to the "wetness" with Bosch dishwashers is not entirely correct. Plastics like Tupperware will almost always have some residual water droplets due to the surface of the product. It is also imperative to use a drying agent like Jet-Dry rinse aid to ensure the best results. Did you know about the importance of rinse aid?

-- J.L., ...Read more

Sound Advice: Buying a quality, long-lasting washing machine will alleviate headaches later

Q. Is it really practical to adopt the attitude you are espousing for washing machines? Having used both types for years, without a doubt I prefer the front loader because in addition to using less water, the tumble action of the front loader avoids the tugging and rubbing of top loader agitator vanes, which damages fabric.

People are being ...Read more

Sound Advice: VicTsing Bluetooth FM adapter is a winner for hands-free calls

Q. Have you ever reviewed Bluetooth hands-free car kits? With more states requiring hands-free phone use, I am looking to purchase a Bluetooth car kit where the callers not only sound great but also can hear me just as well.

-- D.W., Savage, Minn.

A. Yes, I have evaluated Bluetooth car adapters. I have an older car without Bluetooth that I ...Read more

Sound Advice: VicTsing Bluetooth FM adapter is a winner for hands-free calls

Q. Have you ever reviewed Bluetooth hands-free car kits? With more states requiring hands-free phone use, I am looking to purchase a Bluetooth car kit where the callers not only sound great but also can hear me just as well.

-- D.W., Savage, Minn.

A. Yes, I have evaluated Bluetooth car adapters. I have an older car without Bluetooth that I ...Read more

Sound Advice: Olympus Tough TG-5 is best rugged camera phone

Q. I want to buy a rugged stills camera that can take the shock of a fall when skiing. I've been taking my old iPhone 6 Plus with me as I consider it somewhat expendable, but still feel like I am courting disaster and want to get something dedicated to the task. I also imagine such a camera would be easier to operate with gloves on. Price is ...Read more

Sound Advice: JBL Flip 3 speaker sound better than Amazon Echo

Q. How does the JBL Flip 3 speaker sound compared to the Amazon Echo? Which is better?

-- P.K., Cedarburg, Wis.

A. For pure sound quality, I would say the JBL Flip 3. The Amazon speakers sound OK, but are not known for class-leading sound quality. The Alexa Voice Assistant is the reason to buy them. The $39 OontZ Angle 3 Ultra has better sound...Read more

Sound Advice: Oppo 4K Blu-ray players are the best on the market

Q. I just purchased a 55-inch LG OLED TV and I love it! I want to get a 4K Blu-ray player now. What do you recommend and will I see much of a difference with 4K Blu-rays compared to regular Blu-rays?

-- N.L., Eden Prairie, Minn.

A. Oppo makes the best disc players on the market and are well worth the investment. Oppo players are built like ...Read more

Sound Advice: More washing machine recommendations

This week I have lots of questions and comments about appliances. Readers love this topic!

Q. What model Speed Queen washer do you have? I am interested in learning more.

-- C.O. Boise, Idaho

Q. We bought a new low-water top loading washing machine after being told that in the state of California, these machines are now law. I washed most ...Read more

Sound Advice: Music Hall speaker is worth every penny

Q. I want to get a new turntable, budget $200-$400. You have several recommendations in that range, which do you think is the very best?

-- B.J., Minneapolis

A. Check out the Music Hall MMF-1.5. At $399 it is at the top of your price range, but every nickel will be well spent. Sold by audiophile manufacturer Music Hall Audio of Great Neck, N.Y...Read more