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    People Are Discovering the Joy of Actually Talking on a Phone

    Researchers predicted that people would consistently underrate how much they might benefit from talking on the phone.Photograph by Stokkete / Shutterstock I’m one of the lucky ones. The onset of this pandemic has put a strain on the sanity of many people forced to isolate themselves from friends and family. If you live alone, or […]

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    Can “New Horizons” Bring a Crowdsourced Message From Earth to Aliens?

    Now that New Horizons has completed its flyby of Pluto, the spacecraft is on a long journey to become the fifth manmade object to leave the solar system. It does so carrying some curious human artifacts: a Florida state quarter, an American flag, and one ounce of the ashes of Clyde Tombaugh, who discovered Pluto […]

  • Hands touching

    So Human, So Beautiful

    I look into the mirror and try to see what another human would see. My beard is months old, scraggly and dirty, my balding head covered with wisps of gray. I take out the scissors and start to clean it up. Thoughts of other people, being with other people, force their way to the surface, […]

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    View From the Inside: How Gang Members Use Secret Codes

    Everyone knows Thomas Angel Porter as AROCKS, a name he was given while growing up in Harlem during the 1990s. While playing basketball with his crew of friends, they would constantly yell at him to pass the ball, or “rock.” Within the next year his crew of friends were recruited—along with thousands of black youths […]

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    The Prison Guard With a Gift for Cracking Gang Codes

    Former correction officer Gary Klivans doesn’t want to be photographed more clearly for fear of gang retaliation.Gary Klivans As a corrections officer at a Westchester County, N.Y., prison in the 1990s, Gary Klivans was a one-man gang unit. Members of The Latin Kings and the Bloods made up a sizable part of the prison population. […]

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    Human Tendencies

    Some of our most cherished traits are shared by other animals—and even plants.