Reports of Kepler’s death have been greatly exaggerated.
NASA’s flagship planet hunter, which netted nearly 1,000 confirmed exoplanets during its four-year mission, is getting a second chance at life with a little help from the sun. The space agency has given the new mission, dubbed K2, the go-ahead to start observations at the end of May.
Kepler was knocked out of commission last...
Standing on a mesa high above the town of Rifle, Colo., Andres Aslan is having a hard time staying quiet. The lanky geologist from nearby Colorado Mesa University normally speaks in a low-key professorial drone. But here, looking down at a sprawling river valley blazing with autumnal cottonwoods, his enthusiasm cranks up his volume. “This could be it,” says Aslan, gesticulating wildly. “This...
Reviews & Previews
In the 1970 book Future Shock, Alvin Toffler popularized a term for the disorientation that people suffer when they can’t cope with the pace of change around them. Media theorist Rushkoff makes a good case that this predicament has arrived in a generation struggling to live a modern life that’s always on.
He starts by decrying the decline of narrative in Western culture. The...
Joshua Pearce takes unusual satisfaction in strolling through Walmart. The shelves laden with toys, household items, tools and clothing inspire in him a certain smugness, a pride in American entrepreneurship. But it’s not because Pearce admires the chain as an empire built by a self-made man. Pearce swells with pride at Walmart because the store is full of mass-manufactured objects that he...
Science & the Public
This week, the United Nations hosted a major conclave in Rio de Janeiro — the 2012 Conference on Sustainable Development. Widely referred to as Rio+20, its timing commemorated the 20th anniversary of the so-called Earth Summit in this Brazilian capital. As one token — but highly visible — gesture toward sustainability, the new event encouraged all attendees to shrink their paper footprints....
On the Scene
SAN ANTONIO— In a midtown-Manhattan psychotherapist’s office, a new client adjusts his floppy, glow-in-the-dark shoes and nervously tugs at his multicolored shock of hair before starting to talk.
You might recognize me, doc. I’m Bozo. Bozo the Clown.
The circus is in town? How’d you get here today — cannon shot?
Spare me, doc. This is serious. I’ve lost my happiness. I’ve...
ALBUQUERQUE — For once lice are nice, at least for scientists investigating the origins of garments.Using DNA to trace the evolutionary split between head and body lice, researchers conclude that body lice first came on the scene approximately 190,000 years ago. And that shift, the scientists propose, followed soon after people first began wearing clothing. The new estimate,...
Libraries and other archives of physical culture have been struggling for decades to preserve diverse media — from paper to eight-track tape recordings — for future generations. Scientists are falling behind the curve in protecting digital data, threatening the ability to mine new findings from existing data or validate research analyses. Johns Hopkins University cosmologist Alex Szalay and...
Henry was headed for serious trouble. The 15-year-old provoked an endless series of fights at school and frequently bullied girls. Teachers regularly suspended him for his classroom disruptions. Older students taunted Henry in the hallways by calling him a sexual pervert or jeered him for having been held back in kindergarten. At home, his father browbeat and denigrated the boy, while his...
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