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issue_50

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    The Case for More Science and Philosophy Books for Children

    If we, as a society, were serious about our children, then children’s education—especially for those beginning “the age of reason”—would be our highest priority.Photograph by Sharon Mollerus / Flickr During my career as a scientist and a philosopher I have written and edited, thus far, 14 books. Of these, seven are for the general public. […]

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    Claude Shannon, the Las Vegas Shark

    The father of information theory built a machine to game roulette, then abandoned it.

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    This Man’s Immune System Got a Cancer-Killing Update

    William Ludwig was a 64-year-old retired corrections officer living in Bridgeton, New Jersey, in 2010, when he received a near-hopeless cancer prognosis. The Abramson Cancer Center at the University of Pennsylvania had run out of chemotherapeutic options, and Ludwig was disqualified from most clinical trials since he had three cancers at once—leukemia, lymphoma, and squamous […]

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    Where Did Time Come From, and Why Does It Seem to Flow?

    We say a river flows because it moves through space with respect to time. But time can’t move with respect to time—time is time.Image by violscraper / Flickr Paul Davies has a lot on his mind—or perhaps more accurate to say in his mind. A physicist at Arizona State University, he does research on a […]

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    Should You Feed Your Kid Probiotics?

    It’s not as simple as you think.

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    How to Hear Like a Champion Birder

    Take a walk with the man building a Shazam for birds.

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    The Strange Similarity of Neuron and Galaxy Networks

    Your life’s memories could, in principle, be stored in the universe’s structure.

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    How I Coaxed a Western Medicine Skeptic to Get a Biopsy

    Calculated humility in a physician may be the difference between life and death.Photograph by Tonhom1009 / Shutterstock Although I have lived the majority of my life in New Jersey, Utah has always felt like home. Three of my grandparents were multigenerational Utahns, of pioneer stock, and the other grandparent grew up in nearby Idaho. Our […]

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    Why Jupiter’s Great Red Spot Refuses to Die

    If you want to investigate what could attack the Red Spot and make it disappear, you not only have to worry about what’s attacking the kinetic energy, like friction; you also have to worry about something that turns out to be more important—what’s attacking the potential energy. There’s a well-known reason why the potential energy […]

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    I Built a Stable Planetary System with 416 Planets in the Habitable Zone

    This system is completely stable—I double-checked with computer simulations. But nature would have a tough time forming this system. If it exists, it could only have been built by a super-advanced civilization.Image by Sean Raymond / planetplanet.net When Frank Drake was a boy, growing up in 1930s Chicago, his parents, observant Baptists, enrolled him in […]