The Unseen

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    Why Joel Osteen, “The Smiling Preacher,” Is So Darn Appealing

    Right out of the gate, Osteen is using three of Antonakis’ identified tactics: an animated voice, facial expressions, and gestures.Photograph by Cooper Neill / Getty It’s hard to quantify charisma, but by any measure Joel Osteen has some pretty impressive stats. Every week, the man some call “The Smiling Preacher,” draws an estimated 43,500 individuals […]

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    Geology Makes You Time-Literate

    A scientist tells us how her field instills timefulness.

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    A Cardiologist’s 9/11 Story

    From trauma to arrhythmia, and back again.

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    Why Nuclear Power Professionals Are Serious About Joking Around

    The Summer Games events often have a dark humor to them—they play around with nuclear disaster scenarios in ways outsiders might find jarring.Photograph by Stephen P. Weaver / Wikicommons In August 2013, Finland’s young nuclear professionals, under 35 years old, met up for the Summer Games in Mikkeli municipality, put on by the Finnish Nuclear […]

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    The Strange Numbers That Birthed Modern Algebra

    Reprinted with permission from Quanta Magazine‘s Abstractions blog. Imagine winding the hour hand of a clock back from 3 o’clock to noon. Mathematicians have long known how to describe this rotation as a simple multiplication: A number representing the initial position of the hour hand on the plane is multiplied by another constant number. But is a similar […]

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    Should You Get an AI Nanny for Your Child?

    Mattel’s AI nanny, called Aristotle, recently gained the notorious distinction of being subject to a bipartisan protest in the US Congress. Plus, there was a petition against it with over 15,000 signatures. The Campaign for a Commercial-Free Childhood, which organized the petition, argued that Aristotle is a consumerist ploy. It “attempts to replace the care, […]


    The Ethics of Consciousness Hunting

    How fMRI has become an ethical obligation.


    The End of Time

    In the fundamental physics of the world, there is neither space nor time.

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    Love, Death, and Other Forgotten Traditions

    What we don’t tell our children.

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    The Curious Case of the Bog Bodies

    Why do so many corpses found in Europe’s peat bogs show signs of violent death?