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- Jun 1 20162 minutes
How Real Brilliance Is Measured
Rather than looking at typical benchmarks, we focus on the ideas, almost all fueled by passion and implemented by strong leaders.
- Feb 2 20177 minutes
Why You Didn’t See It Coming: When scale confounds our perceptions, stories can clarify them.
You don’t see it coming. You probably couldn’t if you tried. The effects of large changes in scale are frequently beyond our powers of perception, even our imagination. They seem to emerge out of nowhere: the cumulative effects of climate change, the
- Jan 17 20178 minutes
The OA And The Dark Side Of Science
Brit Marling discusses the folklore and real-life research that went into her trippy Netflix series.
- Sep 19 20161 minute
We Shouldn’t Dismiss People Who Deny Facts
IT’S EASY TO DISMISS PEOPLE WHO believe things that are factually incorrect—that vaccines cause autism, for example, or that climate change isn’t real. But if we really want to change how they think, we need to take an honest look at what’s driving t
- Jan 22 20171 minute
Obama Lit 101: Further Reading
The Love Affairs of Nathaniel P 2013 In the Brooklyn milieu of Ivy League and Oberlinish grads, the question is whether a durable relationship in a free romantic market can be made strictly on the basis of intellectual résumés. Adelle Waldman’s meri
- Sep 15 201611 minutes
How I Rewired My Brain to Become Fluent in Math: The building blocks of understanding are memorization and repetition.
I was a wayward kid who grew up on the literary side of life, treating math and science as if they were pustules from the plague. So it’s a little strange how I’ve ended up now—someone who dances daily with triple integrals, Fourier transforms, and t
- Jan 17 20177 minutes
The Limits of Sugar Guidelines
Is there a danger in governments offering too-specific advice on sugar consumption?
- Dec 18 201627 minutes
The 50 Best Podcasts of 2016
From politics shows to horror series, highlights from a year of listening
- Feb 17 20176 minutes
How to Understand Extreme Numbers
The late statistics wizard Hans Rosling, who died this month at age 68, brought at least 10 toilet paper rolls to some of his beloved presentations. He would stack them into a tower on a table, each roll representing one billion people. In a 2012 t
- Aug 21 20161 minute
How Much Does It Matter, Anyway?
FOR 60-PLUS YEARS, the Paris Review has asked writers just what they do every day. Judging from the excerpts below, a whole lot of them spend their time thinking—and arguing—about plot.
- Aug 15 20163 minutes
Just Imagining a Workout Can Make You Stronger
I bet when you woke up this morning, even before you opened your eyes, you knew where all of your limbs were. You didn’t have to look at, or try moving them, to feel their presence. This is because you have the power of proprioception (it’s also some
- Feb 3 20176 minutes
Is AI a Threat to Christianity?
Are you there, God? It’s I, robot.
- May 5 20168 minutes
What a 9,000-Year-Old Spruce Tree Taught Me : How photographing the world’s oldest living things pushed me outside the boundaries of science.
I had little idea of what I would discover when I set out to find and photograph the oldest living things in the world. I expected that researching, traveling, and photographing would stretch my perspective, and force me to learn a lot of science: bi
- Jan 4 20176 minutes
Earth's Oceans Are Steadily Warming
Another study argues there was no sea-surface slowdown in warming.
- Feb 10 20175 minutes
The Universe Is as Spooky as Einstein Thought
In a brilliant new experiment, physicists have confirmed one of the most mysterious laws of the cosmos.
- Dec 21 201610 minutes
A Brief Economic History of Time
Capitalism changed how humans perceive the passage of hours, days, and weeks. This made people more productive, but did it make them any happier?
- Jun 13 201312 minutes
The Coin Toss and the Love Triangle: Information Theory:There are two flavors of uncertainty in our lives. Math helps with both.
Chance appears to name a single, unitary thing. But its genealogy, its family history, turns out to be a tangled one. One way to understand its branching origins is to turn to literature: We may look, in turn, to two very different novels.Anton Chigu
- Oct 22 201510 minutes
How To Build A Search Engine For Mathematics: The surprising power of Neil Sloane’s Encyclopedia of Integer Sequences.
On the average summer Saturday, the mathematician Neil Sloane woke up to a crisis. “There are always crises,” he said— albeit crises of the teapot tempest variety. One Saturday over breakfast, he faced an inbox message titled “edits from outer space.
- Dec 7 20163 minutes
Testosterone Can Make Men Feel Generous
Testosterone gets a pretty bad reputation. It’s been long known as the hormone of aggression. In his 1998 book, The Trouble With Testosterone: And Other Essays on the Biology of the Human Predicament, the neuroscientist Robert Sapolsky writes, “What
- Jul 3 201416 minutes
The Scientific Problem That Must Be Experienced: To understand turbulence we need the intuitive perspective of art.
When the German physicist Arnold Sommerfeld assigned his most brilliant student a subject for his doctoral thesis in 1923, he admitted that “I would not have proposed a topic of this difficulty to any of my other pupils.” Those others included such g
- Oct 8 20156 minutes
The Cello Music of the Spheres: Experience mathematical beauty and symmetry in a multimedia work.
If there really is a music of the spheres, the sound of a fundamental harmony in the universe, it has to be Just Ancient Loops, a 2012 work by composer Michael Harrison. Played on the cello, and complemented by a film created from archival clips and
- Feb 6 20176 minutes
Minority Groups Lose When They Collaborate with Power
Cailin O’Connor—a philosopher, scientist, and mathematician—may not enjoy tense situations, but they fascinate her. Last year, in a Huffington Post article titled “Game Theory and The Walking Dead,” she wrote that the zombie show’s “plot lines are ri
- Feb 1 20174 minutes
The Key to Good Luck Is an Open Mind
Luck can seem synonymous with randomness. To call someone lucky is usually to deny the relevance of their hard work or talent. As Richard Wiseman, the Professor of Public Understanding of Psychology at the University of Hertfordshire, in the United K
- Jan 7 20177 minutes
The Atlantic Ocean and an Actual Debate in Climate Science
Scientists have recently begun to re-examine a scary question: Will a crucial ocean current shut down?
- Jan 29 20177 minutes
Trump’s Immigration Ban Is Already Harming American Science
Iranian scientists have been a major boon to everything from Mars exploration to Ebola-fighting to advanced mathematics.
- Jan 12 20177 minutes
The Hermit Who Inadvertently Shaped Climate-Change Science
Billy Barr moved to the Rocky Mountains four decades ago, got bored one winter, and decided to keep a notebook that has become the stuff of legend.
- Aug 22 20137 minutes
Explaining the Unexplainable: When logic fails, stories and superstitions prevail.
During the Enlightenment, the French philosopher Voltaire called superstition a “mad daughter” and likened it to astrology. The leading thinkers of the time espoused reason and sought to explain the world through the scientific method. Today, we take
- Apr 7 201611 minutes
Why Do Taxonomists Write the Meanest Obituaries?: The open nature of the science of classification virtually guarantees fights.
Constantine Rafinesque had only been dead a few months when Asa Gray sat down to eulogize him for the American Journal of Science. The year was 1841, and Gray, soon to join both the American Academy and the Harvard faculty, was well on his way to bec
- Jan 3 20175 minutes
Why the Technology in Rogue One Is So Old-Fashioned
There is a reason the film’s machines seem stuck in the 20th century.
- Nov 6 20143 minutes
These Males Are Cheating Animals: The tricks they play would make Darwin blush.
A chart’s purpose is usually to help you properly interpret data. But sometimes, it does just the opposite. In the right (or wrong) hands, bar graphs and pie charts can become powerful agents of deception, tricking you into inferring trends that don’
- Generation S.L.U.T.
- The Secret Book of Frida Kahlo
- The History of Us
- The Gin Closet
- Lost Luggage
- The Killing Jar
- The Daughters of Mars
- The Christmas List
- The Comfort of Lies
- The Hundred-Foot Journey
- Children of the Jacaranda Tree
- The Kitchen House
- Children Playing Before a Statue of Hercules
- Certain Girls
- Vanishing Acts
- Handle with Care
- Schindler's List
- She's Come Undone
- The Debutante
- Flowers for Algernon
- Thin Air
- Life of Pi
- The Cost of Lunch, Etc.
- The Innocents
- The Kindness of Strangers
- The Promise of Stardust
- War Factory
- Armageddon's Arrow
- The Promise of the Child
- Orbs III
- Lies, Damned Lies, and History
- A Darkling Sea
- The Country of Ice Cream Star
- Welcome to Night Vale
- Carbide Tipped Pens
- The Revolutions
- The Choosing
- The Diabolical Miss Hyde
- The Clockwork Crown
- Danse Macabre
- Lost Dorsai
- Soldier, Ask Not
- Fritz Leiber
- Fahrenheit 451
- Jonathan Strange and Mr Norrell
- Yesterday's Kin
- Fountain of Age
- Shoggoths in Bloom
- After the Fall, Before the Fall, During the Fall
- The Yiddish Policemen's Union
- The Graveyard Book
- Rainbows End
- For Want of a Nail
- Stable Strategies and Others
- I Live with You
- Among Others
- Sister Emily's Lightship
- Parable of the Talents
- What I Didn't See
- The Empire of Ice Cream
- Last Summer at Mars Hill
- Daddy's World
- Howl's Moving Castle
- Millennium Babies
- The Wasp Factory
- Great Expectations
- Darkness at Noon
- Fall On Your Knees
- Full Dark, No Stars
- Just After Sunset
- Petals on the Wind
- Great Expectations
- All Around The Town
- The End Of Alice
- The Girl Who Loved Tom Gordon
- The Metamorphosis, in the Penal Colony and Other Stori
- Quiet Chaos
- We Need to Talk About Kevin
- The Hour I First Believed
- Under the Volcano
- The Awakening
- The Truth and Other Lies
- The First Fifteen Lives of Harry August
- The Impossible Lives of Greta Wells
- Station Eleven
- The Regional Office Is Under Attack!
- The Last One
- Gold Fame Citrus
- Act of God
- The Age of Miracles
- The Heart Goes Last
- The Buried Giant
- A Wild Sheep Chase
- Fifty Mice
- The Last Werewolf
- Magic for Beginners
- The Girl in the Road
- Made to Kill
- Never Let Me Go
- On Such a Full Sea