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  • Science Visualized

    Evolution of river systems

    A river’s erosion downward and across a landscape is based on a variety of factors, including terrain steepness and the arrangement of tributaries. In the March 7 Science, geophysicist Sean Willett of ETH Zurich and colleagues boiled down these factors into a single parameter called χ (the Greek letter chi), which typically becomes larger as distance from a river’s mouth increases. The...

    04/01/2014 - 09:44 Earth
  • Reviews & Previews

    Mindless: Why Smarter Machines are Making Dumber Humans

    As scientists ponder whether the Internet is turning our brains to mush, technology and labor scholar Simon Head worries about the role ofcomputer business systems operating largely without notice from the public. These computer and software systems, often called enterprise systems, drive the decision-making apparatuses of large companies — and not necessarily with the workers’...

    03/31/2014 - 10:05 Networks
  • Reviews & Previews

    Ha! The Science of When We Laugh and Why

    It’s certainly possible to over-analyze a joke. But can the same be said for humor as a whole? Considering the abundant research on the topic, maybe not.

    Scott Weems, a neuroscientist, takes readers on a wide-ranging tour that explains what humor is and why readers should care. Turns out, humor influences health and social well-being in many ways.

    Humor improves...

    03/29/2014 - 11:59 Neuroscience
  • Science Stats

    Grief takes its toll

    A person’s risk of heart attack or stroke is doubled in the month following the death of a spouse or partner. The increased risk fades in subsequent months. Researchers used a U.K. health registry to compare more than 30,000 people ages 60 to 89 whose partner or spouse had died with a group of 83,000 people who weren’t bereaved but who matched the survivors in age and gender. Previous studies...

    03/27/2014 - 10:30 Psychology, Health
  • Reviews & Previews

    To do: Exhibits to explore in the U.S. and London

    Say Hello to the Nation’s T. rex

    April 15, 2014

    A nearly complete T. rex skeleton arrives in D.C. and kicks off a redesign of the Smithsonian’s dinosaur hall beginning April 28. A cast of the skull (above) will remain on display during construction.

    National Museum of Natural History, Washington, D.C.

    Pterosaurs: Flight in the Age of Dinosaurs

    April 5, 2014 – January 4, 2015...

    03/24/2014 - 09:46 Evolution