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Tripping on Peyote in Navajo Nation

In 2002, on assignment for Discover Magazine, I participated in a peyote ceremony of the Native American Church. I’ve been recalling this extraordinary experience lately because I’ve been in contact with the man who arranged it, psychiatrist John H. Halpern, an authority on psychedelics, whom I met while researching my 2003 book Rational Mysticism . Below is the article I ...

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The Microsaurs of Yore

I’ve said before that there are entire tetrapod groups that I’ve only ever mentioned in passing, or in cases not even mentioned at all. Today we’re going to look at one of those groups… though, as it turns out, it might not really be ‘a group’ at all. I’m talking about the microsaurs, an extinct Paleozoic group, conventionally put somewhere ...

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What in the World Was Macrauchenia?

For an animal that’s been dead since the close of the Ice Age, Macrauchenia has been awfully stubborn. For over a century and a half, paleontologists have been trying to figure how this camel-like beast fits into the wider mammal family tree. Now, with the help of some ancient DNA, the experts have an answer. Way back in 1838, while ...

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Paleo Profile: The Large Ancestor Lizard

In 2006, when paleontologist Simone Maganuco and colleagues named Razanandrongobe sakalavae, there wasn’t very much to go on. All they had was a part of the front of the jaw and some teeth from some sort of archosaur – one of the ruling reptiles that included dinosaurs and crocodiles among their ranks. Now, thanks to some new fossils, we know a little bit more ...

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G20 Hamburg: Leaders fail to bridge Trump climate chasm

Leaders of 19 nations at the G20 summit in Germany have renewed their pledge to implement the Paris deal on climate change, despite the US pulling out. Deadlock over the issue had held up the last day of talks in Hamburg but a final agreement was eventually reached. It acknowledges President Donald Trump’s withdrawal from the Paris climate agreement without ...

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Banning Nuclear And Autonomous Weapons

By Ariel Conn How does a weapon go from one of the most feared to being banned? And what happens once the weapon is finally banned? With tensions increasing between various nuclear-armed countries, and with the potential for a new arms race of lethal autonomous weapons, these questions seem more timely than ever. For answers, I turned to security and ...

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Mike Pence Ignores NASA's 'Do Not Touch’ Sign, Sends Internet Into Orbit

Vice President Mike Pence apparently couldn’t help himself. He caused concern on Thursday by blatantly ignoring a safety sign during a tour of NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Cape Canaveral, Florida. Pence was shown some critical space flight hardware, including a piece covered by a sheet of paper with the instruction “DO NOT TOUCH.” But as this snap by Reuters photographer ...

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Your Insomnia Could Actually Lead To Alzheimer's, Study Says

Tossing and turning all night and walking around in a daily fog? Poor quality sleep and daytime drowsiness may increase the risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease, according to a new study . The self-reported study examined 101 subjects, all cognitively normal and with an average age of 63. After they completed sleep questionnaires, the subjects submitted to a spinal tap ...

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Native Americans Challenge Government Over Fate Of Yellowstone Grizzly Bears

Native American tribes and activists have joined forces in a complaint against the U.S. government’s decision to take grizzly bears in the Yellowstone National Park off the endangered species list.  In a lawsuit filed in Montana  late June, a collection of more than 16 tribes, clans and leaders asked a federal judge to block a new policy that would allow ...

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Trump's EPA Warns Us To Wear Sunscreen While It Does Nothing About Global Warming

WASHINGTON — The Environmental Protection Agency , which under President Donald Trump  removed its climate change website  and is set to launch a program to “critique” near-universally accepted climate science , has some advice for protecting yourself against extreme heat this summer.  “It’s summertime!” the agency wrote in a Friday post to Twitter. “That means the days can get hot. Wear sunscreen and ...

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