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Tag Archives: Scientific American

How Can We Cultivate Grit and Imagination in the Classroom?

Though grit and imagination are two important character traits for success, we often treat them as opposed to each other. However, many of the highest achievers find ways to incorporate both dreaming and doing into their work. Educators that combine the two can be an inspiration for students, setting them up for success in the classroom and beyond. To help teachers ...

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Paleo Profile: The Crown Tooth

Baleen whales used to have teeth. Paleontologists have known this for decades now, pulling one grinning mysticete after another from strata all over the world. But when did the ancestors of today’s minkes and humpbacks make the switch from chomping their food to straining the seas? A new fossil whale found in the 30 million year old rock of South ...

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Myths about Sulfites and Wine

Let’s clear up some of the most common myths and misunderstandings about sulfites, wine, and headaches Credit: Marco Verch Flickr (CC BY 2.0 ) If drinking red wine gives you a headache, you’ve probably had someone tell you that sulfites are the likely culprit. Perhaps you’ve been advised to stick to white wine, organic wines, or wines made in Europe ...

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Learn about Rocky Mountain Mushrooms with Yours Truly

The Artful Amoeba Curious about mushrooms? Live in Colorado? Credit: Jennifer Frazer Advertisement | Report Ad If you live in Colorado’s Front Range, you can come learn about our local mushrooms from me live and in person this August. I will be teaching the class “Mushrooms of the Front Range” for the Boulder County Nature Association, and we still have ...

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Nothing but the Tooth

“I’m the best at what I do. But what I do isn’t very nice.” So said Wolverine. It just as readily applies to the biggest and ferocious of predatory dinosaurs, too. The likes of Tyrannosaurus and Giganotosaurus have taken up the role of superpredators in our imagination, skillfully able to stalk, kill, and consume more or less anything they wanted. ...

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The Promise of LSD Microdoses and Other Psychedelic "Medicines"

I first met psychedelic expert John H. Halpern, M.D., in 1999 at a conference on altered states in Basel, Switzerland (where I also interviewed Albert Hofmann, LSD’s discoverer , and tripped on magic mushrooms ). Halpern, then a professor of psychiatry at Harvard Medical School, was studying effects of peyote on members of the Native American Church, who consume peyote ...

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Mental Illness Is Common, but Long-Lasting Mental Illness Is Rare

Most of us know at least one person who has struggled with a bout of debilitating mental illness. Despite their familiarity, however, these kinds of episodes are typically considered unusual, and even shameful. New research, from our lab and from others around the world, however, suggests mental illnesses are so common that almost everyone will develop at least one diagnosable ...

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How Fake News Goes Viral–Here's the Math

NASA runs a child-slave colony on Mars! Photos taken by a Chinese orbiter reveal an alien settlement on the moon! Shape-shifting reptilian extraterrestrials that can control human minds are running the U.S. government! What drives the astonishing popularity of such stories? Are we a particularly gullible species? Perhaps not—maybe we’re just overwhelmed. A bare-bones model of how news spreads on ...

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Hunt for Flight MH370 Takes Searchers into Uncharted Territory

The hunt for the missing flight MH370 plane maps a largely unexplored part of the Indian Ocean’s seafloor The first scientific study to come out of the search effort reveals a detailed underwater terrain marked by steep slopes and pockmarks. Shown here is the Diamantina Escarpment. Credit: Commonwealth of Australia and Geoscience Australia, 2017 When a Malaysia Airlines flight vanished ...

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London's Deadly Grenfell Tower Fire: Building Material Now Leading Suspect

The Grenfell Tower fire in the UK has shone a spotlight on building materials—and how fire retardant they are—after initial analysis suggested the rapid spread of the blaze was aided by the combustible filler used inside panels of aluminium cladding on the building’s exterior. On June 14 flames ripped through the west London block’s 24 stories, killing at least 80 ...

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