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How To: Travel to the Center of the Earth

How To Travel to the Center of the Earth
We know shockingly little about what's going on beneath our feet. Sure, geologists and seismologists have burrowed down some—but if the Earth is a cocktail party, their work is the equivalent of nervous, pre-martini small talk. There are some pretty serious questions left unanswered. For instance, what's the center of the Earth made of—there's apparently some confusion over whether it's a uranium nuclear furnace or a slowly cooling ball of iron and nickel. Like you, we wanted answers. And, in 2003, CalTech planetary scientist David J. Stevenson proposed a way for us to get them. Published in the journal Nature, "A Modest Proposal: Mission to Earth's Core" laid out a step-by-step plan for inter-Earth travel—it was brilliant, theoretically possible, and only briefly mistaken for an April Fool's joke.

INGREDIENTS
$10 billion
1 thermonuclear device, small
1 probe, heavy duty
Molten iron to taste (100,000-to-several million tons)
Gravity

DIRECTIONS
1) Get $10 billion. Surprisingly, this is not the hardest part.
2) Find a nation willing to take one for the team, by letting you blast a 984-foot deep hole in their country. This is where the nuclear bomb comes in handy.
3) Pour in enough molten iron to fill your new crevasse. Hopefully, gravity will now kick in, pulling the heavy metal toward the center of the earth at a rate of about 16.5 feet per second. At that speed, your iron river should reach the earth's core in a week. And naysayers, never fear. According to Dr. Stevenson's calculations, high pressures below ground will reseal the earth after the iron passes by—preventing any awkward uncloseable chasms to hell.
4) Before the flow gets moving too fast, toss in a probe. For maximum effectiveness, said probe should be able to withstand temperatures up to 4000 degrees Fahrenheit and pressures 1000 times greater than the bottom of the deepest ocean long enough that it can reach the center of the Earth and transmit some data back to you. Given those manufacturing standards, this may be a time to go union. Remember, you get what you pay for. And, just in case Detroit has lost its edge, let's go with an unmanned probe. Better safe than sorry.

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A Simple Way to Charge Your iPhone in 5 Minutes
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Spotting the “low battery” notification on your phone is usually followed by a frantic search for an outlet and further stress over the fact that you may not have time for a full charge. On iPhones, plugging your device into the wall for five minutes might result in only a modest increase of about three percent or so. But this tip from Business Insider Tech may allow you to squeeze out a little more juice.

The trick? Before charging, put your phone in Airplane Mode so that you reduce the number of energy-sucking tasks (signal searching, fielding incoming communications) your device will try and perform.

Next, take the cover off if you have one (the phone might be generating extra heat as a result). Finally, try to use an iPad adapter, which has demonstrated a faster rate of charging than the adapter that comes with your iPhone.

Do that and you’ll likely double your battery boost, from about three to six percent. It may not sound like much, but that little bit of extra juice might keep you connected until you’re able to plug it in for a full charge.

[h/t Business Insider Tech]

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Trying to Save Money? Avoid Shopping on a Smartphone
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Today, Americans do most of their shopping online—but as anyone who’s indulged in late-night retail therapy likely knows, this convenience often can come with an added cost. Trying to curb expenses, but don't want to swear off the convenience of ordering groceries in your PJs? New research shows that shopping on a desktop computer instead of a mobile phone may help you avoid making foolish purchases, according to Co. Design. Ying Zhu, a marketing professor at the University of British Columbia-Okanagan, recently led a study to measure how touchscreen technology affects consumer behavior. Published in the Journal of Retailing and Consumer Services, her research found that people are more likely to make more frivolous, impulsive purchases if they’re shopping on their phones than if they’re facing a computer monitor. Zhu, along with study co-author Jeffrey Meyer of Bowling Green State University, ran a series of lab experiments on student participants to observe how different electronic devices affected shoppers’ thinking styles and intentions. Their aim was to see if subjects' purchasing goals changed when it came to buying frivolous things, like chocolate or massages, or more practical things, like food or office supplies. In one experiment, participants were randomly assigned to use a desktop or a touchscreen. Then, they were presented with an offer to purchase either a frivolous item (a $50 restaurant certificate for $30) or a useful one (a $50 grocery certificate for $30). These subjects used a three-point scale to gauge how likely they were to purchase the offer, and they also evaluated how practical or frivolous each item was. (Participants rated the restaurant certificate to be more indulgent than the grocery certificate.) Sure enough, the researchers found that participants had "significantly higher" purchase intentions for hedonic (i.e. pleasurable) products when buying on touchscreens than on desktops, according to the study. On the flip side, participants had significantly higher purchase intentions for utilitarian (i.e. practical) products while using desktops instead of touchscreens. "The playful and fun nature of the touchscreen enhances consumers' favor of hedonic products; while the logical and functional nature of a desktop endorses the consumers' preference for utilitarian products," Zhu explains in a press release. The study also found that participants using touchscreen technology scored significantly higher on "experiential thinking" than subjects using desktop computers, whereas those with desktop computers demonstrated higher scores for rational thinking. “When you’re in an experiential thinking mode, [you crave] excitement, a different experience,” Zhu explained to Co. Design. “When you’re on the desktop, with all the work emails, that interface puts you into a rational thinking style. While you’re in a rational thinking style, when you assess a product, you’ll look for something with functionality and specific uses.” Zhu’s advice for consumers looking to conserve cash? Stow away the smartphone when you’re itching to splurge on a guilty pleasure. [h/t Fast Company]

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