S'well: A Better Reusable Water Bottle?

In the fight to reduce the estimated 50 billion plastic bottles consumed in the US every year, not all reusable bottles are created equal. Newcomer S'well promises a dramatic upgrade on a number of specs, from design to advanced insulation. The sleek stainless steel bottle preserves beverage temperature significantly longer than standard reusable bottles and offers a pleasantly ergonomic.


The only design downside: S'well lacks any hook or loop on the bottle's cap, which those of us who live and die by our reusable bottles have come to appreciate as a necessary component of portability.

In a partnership with WaterAid, a global nonprofit that for the past 30 years has been working to provide clean drinking water to the world's poorest communities, S'well donates 10% of proceeds from every sale – double the standard 5% charitable contribution similar arrangements tend to offer, though not a leap of the imagination given the $40 price tag – to programs improving access to safe water, hygiene and sanitation in the developing world.

Among S'well's winning points is their Twitter stream – a well-curated feed of environmental news and resources, a far cry from the usual navel-gazing PR deluge most startups push into Twitter.

Maria Popova is the editor of Brain Pickings, a curated inventory of miscellaneous interestingness. She writes for Wired UK, GOOD Magazine, Design Observer and Huffington Post, and spends a shameful amount of time on Twitter.

China’s artificial sun reaches fusion temperature: 100 million degrees

In a breakthrough for nuclear fusion research, scientists at China's Experimental Advanced Superconducting Tokamak (EAST) reactor have produced temperatures necessary for nuclear fusion on Earth.

Credit: EAST Team
Surprising Science
  • The EAST reactor was able to heat hydrogen to temperatures exceeding 100 million degrees Celsius.
  • Nuclear fusion could someday provide the planet with a virtually limitless supply of clean energy.
  • Still, scientists have many other obstacles to pass before fusion technology becomes a viable energy source.
Keep reading Show less

Project 100,000: The Vietnam War's cruel and deadly experiment

Military recruits are supposed to be assessed to see whether they're fit for service. What happens when they're not?

Flickr user Tommy Truong79
Politics & Current Affairs
  • During the Vietnam War, Robert McNamara began a program called Project 100,000.
  • The program brought over 300,000 men to Vietnam who failed to meet minimum criteria for military service, both physically and mentally.
  • Project 100,000 recruits were killed in disproportionate numbers and fared worse after their military service than their civilian peers, making the program one of the biggest—and possibly cruelest—mistakes of the Vietnam War.
Keep reading Show less

Here's how diverse the 116th Congress is set to become

The 116th Congress is set to break records in term of diversity among its lawmakers, though those changes are coming almost entirely from Democrats.

(Photo: MANDEL NGAN/AFP/Getty Images)
Politics & Current Affairs
  • Women and nonwhite candidates made record gains in the 2018 midterms.
  • In total, almost half of the newly elected Congressional representatives are not white men.
  • Those changes come almost entirely from Democrats; Republican members-elect are all white men except for one woman.
Keep reading Show less