Bookmarks (468)

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    Can You Treat Loneliness By Creating an Imaginary Friend?

    Tulpamancers imagine talking to the tulpa, sometimes for more than an hour a day, and eventually,...

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    Why a Universal Society Is Unattainable

    On Jan. 1, 2021, five long years after the vote for what’s become known as Brexit,...

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    Dreaming Is Like Taking LSD

    Without a doubt, the biggest questions about dreaming are all variants on this question: Why do...

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    Why Horror Films Are More Popular Than Ever

    2020 was a bad year for just about everything—except horror. Horror films were wildly popular on...

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    A Breakthrough in Measuring the Building Blocks of Nature

    An artistic rendering of the quarks and gluons that make up a proton.Illustration by D. Dominguez...

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    We Didn’t Evolve for This

    When a Weddell seal, native to Antarctica, plummets 400 meters beneath the ice on one of...

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    Humans Have Rights and So Should Nature

    Humans once lived in harmony with the natural world. Consider timekeeping. Until relatively recently, the human...

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    Humans Have Gotten Nicer and Better at Making War

    In 1991 two hikers in the Italian Alps stumbled on a mummified body buried in the...

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    We’re the Cosmic 1 Percent But Our Solar System Isn’t a Complete Weirdo

    About half of all stars seem to have “super-Earth” planets on orbits closer to their stars...

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    How to Talk Like a Physicist

    Theoretical physicist Sabine Hossenfelder, who probably is the smartest person on her block, has fun in...

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    The Man Who Saw the Pandemic Coming

    Happy Holidays. This week we are reprinting our top stories of 2020. This article first appeared...

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    You Want to See My Data? I Thought We Were Friends!

    Happy Holidays. This week we are reprinting our top stories of 2020. This article first appeared online...

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    Electrons May Very Well Be Conscious

    Happy Holidays. This week we are reprinting our top stories of 2020. This article first appeared online...

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    An Existential Crisis in Neuroscience

    Happy Holidays. This week we are reprinting our top stories of 2020. This article first appeared...

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    How a Nuclear Submarine Officer Learned to Live in Tight Quarters

    Happy Holidays. This week we are reprinting our top stories of 2020. This article first appeared...

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    Why Birds Can Fly Over Mount Everest

    Happy Holidays. This week we are reprinting our top stories of 2020. This article first appeared...

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    Vaccines Are the Safest Medical Procedure We Have. Make Your Wager Wisely

    All drugs and treatments have side effects, but vaccines in general have the fewest.Illustration by eamesBot...

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    Outwitting the Grim Reaper

    Some evolutionary biologists say that after we pass reproductive age, nature, like a cat who’s been...

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    Over Time, Buddhism and Science Agree

    I remember my grandfather commenting—wry amusement tinged with grim resignation—that what made him finally feel old...

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    Reading, That Strange and Uniquely Human Thing

    The Chinese artist Xu Bing has long experimented to stunning effect with the limits of the...

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    The Sight of Jupiter and Saturn Together Is a Beautiful Thing

    A conjunction is a good time to reflect on our cosmic heritage, and on the long...

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    How Sea Turtles Find Their Way

    The air was warm as the skies grew dark over Diego Garcia. As the nearly full...

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    Why It Pays to Play Around

    The 19th-century physicist Hermann von Helmholtz compared his progress in solving a problem to that of...

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    Playing Go with Darwin

    “I have lately been especially attending to Geograph. Distrib, & most splendid sport it is,—a grand...

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    Larry David and the Game Theory of Anonymous Donations

    What’s intriguing about anonymous giving, and other behaviors apparently designed to obscure good traits and acts,...

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    What Did the Past Smell Like?

    When people entertain transporting to the past, 19th-century Berlin, say, they don’t often imagine a dramatic...

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    Toys Are the Future of Philosophy

    I have been wanting to do this since I was 5 years old,” Apple CEO Tim...

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    How to Build Trust in Covid-19 Vaccines

    Safe, effective, and available vaccines are the best long-term solution to the coronavirus pandemic.1 So it’s...

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    Physicists Nail Down the “Magic Number” That Shapes the Universe

    Reprinted with permission from Quanta Magazine’s Abstractions blog.A team in Paris has made the most precise...

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    Person, Woman, Man, Camera, TV

    Imagine that someone asked you to come up with a sequence of five words. In any...

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    Time Flows Toward Order

    The one law of physics that virtually all scientists believe will never be found to be...

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    Five Scientists on the Heroes Who Changed Their Lives

    The Man Who Loved PhysicsBy Alan Lightman Several years ago, I attended a Buddhist retreat in...

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    The Problem with a New Study on Mentorship in Science

    Arguably the best prescription to improve the situation facing women in science is for there to...

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    Do You Know These Scientific Pioneers?

    It’s easy to name science and math geniuses. I can just flip open my old book...

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    A Supermassive Lens on the Constants of Nature

    The 2020 Nobel Prize in Physics went to three researchers who confirmed that Einstein’s general relativity...

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    A Model for a Just COVID-19 Vaccination Program

    Scientists have now produced apparently effective vaccines at sufficient scale to vaccinate most vulnerable populations in...

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    How Einstein Reconciled Religion to Science

    What Einstein said was nearly as scathing as any contemporary critique of religion you might hear...

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    Scientists Analyzed 24,000 Chess Matches to Understand Cognition

    Chess offers a unique opportunity. It could perhaps be the ultimate window through which we might...

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    When Einstein Tilted at Windmills

    When they met, Einstein wasn’t Einstein yet. He was just Albert Einstein, a kid, about 17,...

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    The Synchronicity of Wolfgang Pauli and Carl Jung

    By the end of 1930, Austrian-born theoretical physicist Wolfgang Pauli was at the height of his...

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    When Science Was the Best Show in America

    On May 29, 1810, Katherine Fritsch, a sister in the Moravian Church, boarded a coach in...

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    Why America Is Ripe for Election Conspiracy Theorizing

    Political life is increasingly sectarian, unhinged from the reality and magnitude of policy disagreements.“Foundation of the...

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    Why Your Brain’s Sense of Time Is So Elastic

    Reprinted with permission from Quanta Magazine’s Abstractions blog.New research finds that the subjective experience of time...

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    These Photos Remind Us Why Conservation Matters

    The election of Joe Biden is the best thing to happen to conservation in the past...

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    What You Can Learn from Living in Antarctica

    Joe Pettit is a person of contradictions. A lover of solitude who manages teams, an engineer...

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    Are We Wired to Be Outside?

    Hiking the Franconia Ridge Loop is an intimidating proposition. The trail, in the heart of New...

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    Why We Judge People Based on Their Relatives

    While Jimmy Carter was president of the United States, his younger brother, Billy, a brewer, endorsed...

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    The English Word That Hasn’t Changed in Sound or Meaning in 8,000 Years

    The word lox was one of the clues that eventually led linguists to discover who the...

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    New Veggies for a Warming Planet

    When you bite into an ear of fresh corn, you are eating something profoundly unnatural. A...

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    The Joys of Being a Stoic

    In September, a writer for HBO’s Watchmen series, Cord Jefferson, was awarded an Emmy. I enjoyed...