Elizabeth Landau

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    Are All Brains Good at Math?

    Math provokes dread in so many people—yet we are all born with a sense for numbers.

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    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 talk at the Skoll World Forum, he used the rolls […]

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    The Rituals That Ward Off Bad Luck Aren’t Arbitrary

    Launch Ritual: NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory has a tradition of eating peanuts during big, risky spacecraft events, such as Mars rover landings. Photograph by Kevin Baird / Flickr For the last two years of his baseball career, George Gmelch didn’t eat pancakes. Playing in the Detroit Tigers minor league system in the 1960s, two disappointing […]