Alan A. Tan

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Devils, Deals and the DEA

ProPublica• Share on Facebook<br>• Share on Twitter<br>• Comment<br>• Donate<br>Tim McDonagh, special to ProPublica Devils, Deals and the DEA Why Chapo Guzman was the …

Crime

Why Do We Smell the Change of Seasons?

Colorful foliage is autumn’s hallmark, but humans can also smell the change of seasons. What exactly <i>is</i> that familiar scent that hits our noses every …

Why we hate some queues more than others

Waiting in line seems like a universal annoyance – but research shows that our response to it depends on the queue’s design, purpose and even where we’re from. Brendan Cole reports.<p>Whether at Wimbledon stadium or Waterloo Station, the British are renowned for their ability to form an orderly line. …

Inhabitat's Week in Green: the Model X and man-made islands

<i>Each week our friends at Inhabitat recap the week's most interesting green developments and clean tech news for us -- it's the Week in Green.</i><p>After three years of anticipation Tesla just launched its latest electric car. The company says the Model X is the world's safest SUV; it can go from 0-60 in …

The American Who Saved Shakespeare: Henry Folger’s First Folio Quest

One coffee heir rounded up most of the surviving copies of the Bard’s earliest works. In Andrea May’s new book, the story of Henry Folger’s obsession …

Having A Low Heart Rate Is Linked To Being A Criminal: Study

File this under weird stuff your body says about you: aggressive and antisocial people tend to have lower resting heart rates than the average …

Dos and don’ts to preserve your brainpower

From changing your diet to partying like you’re 21, here are six tips for protecting your brain from the ravages of time.<p>Like any good machine, the brain needs a little care and attention as it ages to ensure it continues to run in good working order. If only there were a manual to its maintenance …

How Social Media Is Ruining Politics

It is turning out to be more encompassing and controlling, more totalizing, than earlier media ever was.<p>Our political discourse is shrinking to fit our smartphone screens. The latest evidence came on Monday night, when Barack Obama turned himself into the country’s Instagrammer-in-Chief. While en …

Social Media

How to Hold Bad Prosecutors Accountable: The Case for a Commission on Prosecutorial Conduct

Plagued by misconduct, New York is considering the establishment of independent review boards for prosecutors, just like the ones for judges. It’s …

Garum sauce: ancient Rome's 'ketchup' becomes a modern-day secret ingredient

The best thing you never heard of is called <i>colatura di alici</i>, or garum, its ancient name.<p>Garum and other similar fish-based sauces were the ketchup of the ancient world, mass produced in factories by the Romans, and sprinkled on anything savory. They usually made several versions: a dark-colored …

Amalfi Coast

The modern news conference is a scripted farce: Why Jorge Ramos’ badgering of Donald Trump was a necessary corrective

<b>(Fusion/AP/Richard Shiro)</b><p>Once famously combative, press conferences have morphed into carefully choreographed, entirely predictable affairs<p>Robert Mann<p>August 28, 2015 1:31pm (UTC)<p>When I heard that Donald Trump had booted Univision’s Jorge Ramos from a press conference on Tuesday in Dubuque, Iowa, I …

Donald Trump

Don’t get butthurt over the OED’s awesomesauce — ephemeral slang in the dictionary has a rich and delightful history | Salon.com

<b>(Masson via Shutterstock)</b><p>Don’t get butthurt over the OED’s awesomesauce — ephemeral slang in the dictionary has a rich and delightful history<p>The 18th century gave us some real treasures—isn’t it time we brought “quiddit” back?<p>Paula Young Lee<p>August 28, 2015 4:06pm (UTC)<p>“Women chat of <i>fucus</i> this, and</i> …

Donald Trump Is in My Butter

Jan Castellano believes she found the classiest butter in the world—one bearing Donald Trump’s screaming visage.<p>Jan Castellano was preparing a simple …

What You Didn't Know About the Act of Reading Books

Finding time to read has never been an issue for me. I read different books at different levels — you don’t put the same effort into Harry Potter as …

How the End of World War II Almost Didn’t Happen

When Emperor Hirohito surrendered on August 15, most thought the war was over. It almost wasn’t.<p>Seventy years ago today the recorded voice of Emperor …

A Gambler Goes for Broke in Vegas

In a classic self-portrait of an un repentant high roller, Jack Richardson walks away from a good night in the casino, totes up his winnings, and …

The man who turns fizzy drinks into big lollipops

How much sugar is there in a bottle of pop? Artist Henry Hargreaves put the question to the test in a series of sticky creations.<p>When New Zealand-based artist Henry Hargreaves heard a health professional call soda “the cigarettes of our generation”, he wanted to find a way to represent the risk …

Researchers can predict bad weather up to a month in advance

Climate change means that it's no longer certain that the tailgate you've planned for the third weekend in August will have clear skies and sunshine. Fortunately, a group of Chinese researchers think that they've developed a system that'll predict catastrophic weather events from anything up to 30 …

Mailer Loved Getting Punched In the Face

If there was a fight club for writers, Norman Mailer would be Tyler Durden.<p>It’s difficult to choose my favorite Norman Mailer fight.<p>There was the …

I’ll Take My Latte with a Shot of Bacteria

As we start to understand the tiny critters that flavor our coffee, we can tailor the strains and flavors.<p>Many of our favorite foods, from beer and …

The Radical Left—Always a Bridesmaid

Radical leftists never take control in the halls of American power, but as a new history demonstrates, they have still wrought genuine social change …

Are Microbes Stealing Your Mind?

Could bacteria hold the answer to an Alzheimer’s cure? Some researchers say yes.<p><i>Time moves in one direction, memory in another. — William Gibson</i><p>One …

Scotland to ban GM crop growing

<b>Scotland is to ban the growing of genetically modified crops, the country's rural affairs secretary has announced.</b><p>Richard Lochhead said the Scottish government was not prepared to "gamble" with the future of the country's £14bn food and drink sector.<p>He is to request that Scotland be excluded from …

Agriculture

The Baijiu Riddle: Learning to Love China's Infamous Firewater

I was slumped against the neon sign of a dive bar in Bushwick, chain-smoking and hazy from cheap beer, when a beautiful woman walked up to me and wordlessly offered a glass flask with a red cap. I took a whiff and recognized the smell immediately: <i>baijiu</i>, the Chinese firewater whose sharp, pungent …

The Startling Blast of “Rock Around the Clock,” Sixty Years Later

You’ve seen this one before: the kids are at a night club or a soda shop, or maybe in a gymnasium. They’re dancing, energetically and all smiles, to beat-heavy music. Adults are present as well—parents or teachers, usually, but they could be rich, stuffy old men in tuxedos and monocles. They are …

Music

Does the Supreme Court Need a Code of Conduct?

In 2011, Chief Justice John G. Roberts, Jr., used his annual report about the state of the federal judiciary to defend the probity of his Court colleagues. He was responding to members of Congress, experts in legal ethics, and legal advocacy groups who wanted the Court to be subject to the Code of …

Researchers boost solar energy by tapping infrared light

Our sun blasts out over 50 percent of its energy as "near-infrared" light, but solar cells only harvest visible light. As a result, the best commercial panels only convert about 20 percent of solar energy to electricity. Researchers from UC Riverside have now figured out how to "upconvert" infrared …

But what if I actually need painkillers?

<b>(Tempura via iStock)</b><p>I’m an opioid user at a moment of extreme opioid anxiety. How do I manage my pain — and an addictive substance?<p>Leslie Kendall Dye<p>July 27, 2015 12:00am (UTC)<p>When I visit my pain management doctor, he hands me my monthly prescription for a small number of an opioid called …

New York City