Bookmarks (384)

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    The Environmental Headache in Your Shampoo

    As little as two centuries ago, the northern edge of the island of Borneo, home to...

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    What the Meadow Teaches Us

    Anyone who believes that life is a battlefield full of individual warriors should go out into...

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    When Plants Go to War

    Compared to the hectic rush of our bipedal world, a plant’s life may appear an oasis...

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    Dawn of the Heliocene

    I was born on the summer solstice in an age without a name.My parents were born...

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    The Dark Side of Smart

    Intelligence is associated with coming up with more convincing bullshit and with being a better liar,...

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    Believing in Monsters: David Livingstone Smith on the Subhuman

    Acting on a dehumanizing ideology does not require fully believing that ideology.WikicommonsThe Nazis called Jews rats...

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    Talking Is Throwing Fictional Worlds at One Another

    A few years ago, David Adger was in his office at Queen Mary University of London,...

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    Your Guide to the Many Meanings of Quantum Mechanics

    The question “What is real?” is inescapable if you study quantum mechanics.Photo illustration by Nikk /...

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    Take Our Virtual Trip to Mars

    There’s a surprising natural rhythm to visiting other worlds. If you sit down with pencil, paper,...

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    The Neurons That Appeared from Nowhere

    The scientists crowded around Yuanchao Xue’s petri dish. They couldn’t identify the cells that they were...

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    Why Mathematicians Should Stop Naming Things After Each Other

    Any student of modern math must know what it feels like to drown in a well...

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    An Ancient Site with Human Skulls on Display

    Above our heads, the lights are going out. Instead of thousands of stars in the heavens,...

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    How Pseudoscientists Get Away With It

    The honesty and humility of someone willing to tell you that they don’t have all the...

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    These Images Expose the Dark Side of the Solar System

    If you want to understand the flamboyant family of objects that make up our solar system—from...

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    Are You Yoda or Darth Vader?

    You might think that to become a better person, you should squelch your inner demons, suppress...

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    Schrödinger’s Cat When Nobody Is Looking

    Some of the most perplexing topics in physics revolve around quantum theory. The quandary is seen...

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    No, Animals Do Not Have Genders

    How do we know that gender is not simply a biological fact? What makes it cultural,...

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    How Rising Education for Women Is Shaping the Global Population

     We need a global debate on the best way to respond to these demographic changes.Photo illustration...

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    3-D Printed Statues in Central Park Shine a Light on Women Scientists

     A new exhibit in Central Park features six statues of women scientists—the first statues of real...

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    This Vision Experiment Resolved a Centuries-Old Philosophical Debate

    “We conclude,” the researchers wrote, “that objects have a remarkably persistent dual character: their objective shape...

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    We Don’t Have to Despair

    The Twitter feed of Eric Topol, with nearly 300,000 followers, has become one of the go-to...

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    How Life Could Continue to Evolve

    Once upon a time there was a molecule. That molecule, when it reacted with other molecules,...

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    Sex Is Driven by the Impetus to Change

    Ask any biologist—sex seems like a waste. It’s costly: Think of the enormous energy that goes...

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    The Anonymous Culture Cops of the Internet

    This sort of research can, piece by piece, help reshape the online landscape so it isn’t...

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    Sexless in the City

    Together, the data imply that the post-pandemic cityscape may be less sexy than the countryside.Photograph by...

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    Your Romantic Ideals Don’t Predict Who Your Future Partner Will Be

    Last year, I briefly ran an analogue dating service. I’ll never know what inspired me to...

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    The Hard Problem of Breakfast

    Over the past century, scientists have unlocked many of the most profound secrets of bacon, eggs,...

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    Gender Is What You Make of It

    In July 1925, Margaret Mead, a doctoral student at Columbia University, set off on a cross-country...

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    The Case for Rapid At-Home COVID Testing for Everyone

    The time it takes to ship COVID test samples to central labs and back is a...

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    The Last Love of Jonas Salk

    The first time they met, French artist Françoise Gilot seemed more interested in her salad than...

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    Show Me How to Say No to This

    In the 2004 film, Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind, a heartbroken man played by Jim...

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    Your Brain in Love

    Helen Fisher first appeared in Nautilus in 2015 with her article, “Casual Sex May Be Improving...

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    The Brave New World of Chemical Romance

    With Hamilton on my mind, I had a fanciful thought while reading the new book Love...

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    How Your Heart Influences What You Perceive and Fear

    Reprinted with permission from Quanta Magazine‘s Abstractions blog.The heartbeat and other bodily processes play a surprising...

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    The Greatest Journey of All Time

    In the summer of 1977, on a field trip in northern Patagonia, the American archaeologist Tom...

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    Horror Fans Have More Fun During a Pandemic

    People running through the streets in terror, stores being looted for supplies, and, of course, people...

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    Mars Is a Second-Rate Backup Plan

    These days, when I’ve listened in on strangers’ conversations—all properly socially distanced and discretely of course—I’ve...

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    Do We Need a Theory of Everything?

    I get constantly asked if I could please comment on other people’s theories of everything. That...

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    What I Learned from Losing $200 Million

    I’d lost almost $200 million in October. November wasn’t looking any better. It was 2008, after...

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    The Contagion Detective

    The COVID-19 pandemic was some epidemiologist’s nightmare when Adam Kucharski was writing Rules of Contagion. Released...

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    The Damage We’re Not Attending To

    World War II bomber planes returned from their missions riddled with bullet holes. The first response...

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    The Things We Can’t Control Are Beautiful

    Poker players like to brag they win with luck not skill. So do investment bankers. Scientists....

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    This Philosophical Argument Convinced People to Give More to Charity

    How much would you pay to prevent your own child becoming blind?Photograph by 1000Photography / ShutterstockLast...

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    How the Pandemic Has Tested Behavioral Science

    In the interplay between behavioral science and policy, puffs of smoke abound.Photo illustration by metamorworks /...

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    The Dr. Strange of the American Revolution

    In Rush, author Stephen Fried confirms what earlier biographical writings on the doctor had observed: that...

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    The Glassmaker Who Sparked Astrophysics

    The lights in the sky above us—the sun, the moon, and the panoply of countless stars—have...

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    Steven Pinker on the Tribal Roots of Defying Social Distancing

    Partly because people think of experts as oracles, as opposed to experimenters and exploiters of trial...

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    The Trouble with Counting Alien Civilizations

    You might imagine that in the midst of a global pandemic and all of its social...

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    The Mystery of the Dark Asteroid That Scorched Russia

    On a June morning in 1908, above a sleepy forest in the Siberian Taiga plush with...

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    Why Birds Can Fly Over Mount Everest

    Dear Bella,I’m going to imitate Rudyard Kipling and tell you a just-so story. Kipling was one...