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    City Living Makes Animals Dishonest

    Honesty is the basis of any good relationship. This is as true for animals as it is for humans. When a peahen is looking for a mate, she sees a peacock’s tail as an honest signal of his quality. “Look at me!” says her suitor, wiggling his ridiculous display from side to side, “I can […]

  • blog-12-19

    Take Two Hikes and Call Me in the Morning

      One hundred sixty years ago, Henry David Thoreau published his magnum opus, Walden. In it he detailed his time spent living alongside nature in a cabin adjacent to Walden Pond. In one of the book’s emblematic lines, Thoreau wrote, “We can never have enough of nature.” He believed that it was a “tonic” for us. […]

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    Our Cities Could Get a Whole Lot Smarter

    Pieces of SolaRoad, concrete blocks topped with solar cells, were recently installed in a bike path in Holland.SolaRoad Remember having to stay at home and wait for phone calls? (If you’re below a certain age, you can consult old movies, books, or TV shows—or just trust me on this.) It wasn’t so long ago that […]

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    Seeing Maps of Sounds and Smells

    Jorge Louis Borges once described an empire that wanted to build a map. But the maps they had seen before were not precise enough. They had too much compression and approximation. There was too much inexactitude. And so the empire eventually made a map of the empire that was the size of the empire, and […]