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In Transit

  • In Transit

    This issue is all about life in motion, from electrons in microchips to proteins in cells to ocean tankers to planets wandering the cosmos. Over and over we are surprised to find that “just getting there” is an integral part of our world, and something that defines it. 

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    Depth Perception & Death Prevention: Babies’ Visual Instinct

    We humans take a lot for granted. Pizza delivery, email, smartphones, dishwashers. All of this occurs in the background, making our lives simpler. None of it requires any explicit effort. Our minds also do a lot of subconscious work that we take for granted. Have you ever seriously thought about how you know that the […]

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    Far From Home Is Where the Heart Is

    Travels Looking at Mt. Fuji, by Kitagawa Utamaro (1753-1806) It doesn’t take advanced technology to prove that we live relatively circumscribed lives. Like tiny planets, we process along a certain orbit, from home, the office, the grocery store, the kids’ school, and back home again, except for the occasional vacation. But thanks to the numerous […]

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    An Eel Swims in the Bronx

    George Jackman scales the Bronx River’s 182nd Street dam while working with the eel ladder (at top-right).John Waldman In the annals of natural history, there is perhaps no fish so singularly unusual, even mysterious, as Anguilla, the eels. Unlike every other migratory fish on Earth, they spawn in the open ocean and mature inland, in […]

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    Watching Our Every Move—From Space

    Should extraterrestrials be looking down at Earth from space, they would know a few things about us humans. They would know our routines are dictated by the sun. They would see that we tend to congregate and build near water. But perhaps most of all, they would know that we move. Today’s world is an […]

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    Supernovas & Other Big Bangs: Where Your Body Comes From

    “Some part of our being knows this is where we came from. We long to return. And we can. Because the cosmos is also within us. We’re made of star stuff. We are a way for the cosmos to know itself.” —Carl Sagan, Cosmos That Carl Sagan quote is among one of his most famous sayings, […]

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    Space Travel for Everyone: The Intergalactic Travel Bureau

    Trudging through the mire of midtown Manhattan in the middle of a July heat wave makes you long for relief from your earthly trials—and at the corner of 8th Avenue and 37th Street last week, you could find one. Nautilus popped in to the Intergalactic Travel Bureau, a pop-up shop promoting moon-hopping, sun-surfing, and all forms […]

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    Mystery in Motion, Beauty in Battle

    Night Ride: A CH-47 Chinook helicopter in Ghazni Province, Afghanistan.U.S. Army / Sgt. Michael J. MacLeod One of the most beautiful things you’ll ever see in a war zone had no name, until it was given one in honor of two soldiers who gave their lives. Benjamin Kopp, a US Army Ranger, and Joseph Etchells, […]

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    The Time-Honored Quest to Find the Rules of Time Travel

    It’s 2077 in the city of Vancouver, now part of the North American Union, run by a “Corporate Congress.” Technically, everyone is still free and enjoys the fruits of a highly technologically advanced society—except they spend their lives paying down the massive debt owed to the corporations, and are subject to high surveillance in what […]

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    Where Could You Find the Best Surfing in the Universe?

    As recently as the late 80s, finding a planet orbiting another star seemed like the stuff of sci-fi fantasy, about as realistic as a diminutive alien riding a flying bicycle, or a sports car that worked as a time machine. Thanks to many smart astronomers using a new generation of powerful telescopes, we now know […]