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Chelsea Wald

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    5 Things That Sound, Move, or Smell Like a Nuclear Explosion

    The Licorne (“Unicorn”) thermonuclear test; Fangataufa, French Polynesia; 1970Photograph courtesy of Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty Organization / Flickr After most of the world’s nations signed the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty, in 1996, they set up a new commission to watch out for clandestine explosions. Since then the commission (CTBTO) has wired the world with hundreds of seismometers, […]

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    How to Be Lucky

    It pays to imagine your life is on a winning streak.

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    The Surprising Importance of Stratospheric Life

    The science of bacteria in the atmosphere is getting its moment in the sun.

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    You Need to Know About Bahrain’s Loneliest Tree

    Bahrain’s “Tree of Life” is a beauty. Low and wide, its thick, craggy branches dive under the surface of the desert before curving back up toward the hot sun. Delicate, feathery leaves flutter at its edge. It’s also profoundly alone. Diminutive shrubs dot this sandy wasteland, but there’s not another tree in sight, across miles […]

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    Is Facebook Luring You Into Being Depressed?

    Social media encourages us to follow those we envy.

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    Why Red Means Red in Almost Every Language

    The confounding consistency of color categories.

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    Why Red Means Red in Almost Every Language

    The confounding consistency of color categories.

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    Why Your Brain Hates Slowpokes

    The high speed of society has jammed your internal clock.

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    Why Your Brain Hates Slowpokes

    The high speed of society has jammed your internal clock.

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    When Does a Consciousness Test Not Test for Consciousness?

    A pigeon looks at its reflection in the mirror. It sees a blue dot on the reflection’s breast. It reaches down and pecks at the dot on its own breast. This is the classic behavior required for passing the “mirror test,” an influential experiment used to test for self-awareness in animals. Chimpanzees became the first […]