22 articles
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    The Stranger Things That Gave Birth to Science

     Finding regularity in nature is the bread and butter of science. We know that reptiles lay eggs, while mammals bear live young; the Earth revolves around the sun every 365.25 days; electrons glom onto protons like bears onto honey. But what if some oddity seems to defy the laws of nature, like the platypus, an […]

  • Q&A_HERO-2


    Is the Modern Mass Extinction Overrated?

    We are ignoring the gains that balance the losses.

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    Why Medieval Cats Approved of the Plague

    The cat as the witch’s familiar in the 17th century, woodcut.Mary Evans Picture Library From the 12th century onward there were two distinct attitudes to cats. For many people the cat population operated as important rodent-controllers, and every so often a cat would go beyond being a mere working animal and become a welcome pet […]

  • Fear_HERO-2


    How Evolution Designed Your Fear

    The universal grip of Stephen King’s personal terrors.

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    How Absurd Do You Like Your Art?

    fStop Images – Caspar Benson / Getty Images Some art makes a lot of sense. If we look at a painting or a photograph of a gorgeous view, its beauty feels natural. The reason for this is that the kinds of landscapes people tend to like correspond to places that would have been a good […]

  • Zomorodi_HERO-F-3


    What Boredom Does to You

    The science of the wandering mind.