5 Languages That Could Change the Way You See the World
I went to my neighbor’s house for something to eat yesterday. Think about this sentence. It’s pretty simple—English speakers would know precisely what it means. But what does it actually tell you—or, more to the point, what does it not tell you? It doesn’t specify facts like the subject’s gender or the neighbor’s, or what […]
Love Can Make You Smarter
Love is supposed to make you stupid. We’re used to seeing the lover as a mooning fool, blind to his lover’s faults and the goings-on of the outside world, or even as a person who has lost all sense of rationality or propriety, driven to a kind of madness. There’s science to back this up: […]
How a Genius Is Different from a Really Smart Person
The most intelligent two percent of people in the world. These are the people who qualify for membership in Mensa, an exclusive international society open only to people who score at or above the 98th percentile on an IQ or other standardized intelligence test. Mensa’s mission remains the same as when it was founded in […]
How This Revolutionary Old Zoo Was Redesigned for the 21st Century
At the height of his powers in 15th century Florence, Lorenzo de Medici managed to secure a magnificent giraffe for his menagerie. The animal was such a marvel that several works of art depicted its arrival. (Just how grueling and gruesome the transit must have been to the giraffe is lost to history.) For ages, […]
Love Can Make You Smarter
Love is supposed to make you stupid. We’re used to seeing the lover as a mooning fool, blind to his lover’s faults and the goings-on of the outside world, or even as a person who has lost all sense of rationality or propriety, driven to a kind of madness. There’s science to back this […]
5 Ways NASA Enabled Today’s Super Bowl
The shiny silver cloaks athletes now don to keep warm on the sidelines are actually aluminized mylar, which NASA’s Echo I, the agency’s first communications satellite, sported.NASA/Goddard Space Flight Center Getting us into space is NASA’s raison d’etre. But the agency’s innovations don’t always stay inside NASA. They have a tendency to affect fields like […]
Personal Space Is a Fear Response
Rommel Canlas/Shutterstock Edward Hall, an American anthropologist, first defined “personal space” in the mid-1900s, when he noticed that its size varied widely from culture to culture: Southern Europeans and Latin Americans, for example, were “closer talkers”, while Northern Europeans and North Americans were more stand-offish. Personal space, Hall surmised, was a form of social communication, […]
Can We Trace the History of Human Migration Through Our Guts?
Eduard Egarter-Vigl (L) and Albert Zink (R) taking a sample from the Iceman in November 2010.EURAC/Marion Lafogler In 1991, two German tourists walking an Alpine ridge, between Austria and Italy, stumbled across something shocking: a yellowed but well preserved human body, partially frozen embedded in a glacier. Initially, they believed it to be the remains […]
Inside the Mind of a Caricaturist
The “Caricature Generator” is a computer program that takes an image of a person’s face, finds its differences as compared to the “average” male face, and then exaggerates them in a novel rendering of the original portrait. Each face is broken up into 37 lines and 169 points—the differences come when the subject’s points don’t […]
What Happens When You Can’t Talk to Yourself?
How a missing inner monologue affects the sense of self.