Juan Montejano

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The Icelandic poet follows Margaret Atwood and David Mitchell as the latest contributor to the Future Library anthology. He describes the magic behind the project<p>My favourite Icelandic folk story has to do with the future. In it we learn about an old couple living in poverty on a desolate farm in a …

Literature

Mice can inherit learned sensitivity to a smell

When a mouse is trained to become afraid of a certain odor, his or her pups will be more sensitive to that odor as well. Researchers say that knowing …

Why There Are No Atheists at the Grand Canyon

Any fool can feel religious around the holidays. When the entire Judeo-Christian world is lit up — literally — with celebrations of faith, family and …

Your brain sees things you don’t

Our brains process visual input that we never consciously perceive. A study challenges currently accepted models about how the brain processes visual …

The Hyper-Efficient, Highly Scientific Scheme to Help the World’s Poor | WIRED

In 1993, after five years of grad school and low-wage postdoctoral research, Michael Kremer got a job as a professor of economics at MIT. With his …

'Racist abuse of Yaya Touré is a smokescreen, real problem is at home'

I'm not interested in what happened to Yaya Touré at CSKA Moscow – as far as I'm concerned their supporters can abuse who they want because, for me, what happened in Russia is the tip of a wider issue and, quite frankly, something of a smokescreen. For instance, how many black coaches are there in …

Why the GMO Debate Misses the Point: Part 2

<i>Washingtonians are going to the ballot box today to vote on Initiative 522, a measure that would require food producers to label genetically engineered foods. Sasha Wright, an ecologist and state native, offers her solutions to the GMO debate. This is the second part of a two part series. You can</i> …

Agriculture

Video shows child grow to old age in one incredible five-minute shot

The facial features that clue us in to an individual's age are a bit nebulous. Wrinkles certainly tip off that someone is no longer young, but it is the entire package of one's face — not a single identifiable feature — that leaves an almost instinctual impression of how old that person is. A new …

The Inside Story On The Fear Of Holes

Trypophobia may be moving out of the urban dictionary and into the scientific literature.<p>A recent study in the peer-review journal <i>Psychological Science</i> takes a first crack at explaining why some people may suffer from a fear of holes.<p>Trypophobia may be hard to find in textbooks and diagnostic …

20 Historic Black and White Photos Colorized

One of the greatest facets of reddit are the thriving subreddits, niche communities of people who share a passion for a specific topic. One of the …

I'm a rare book dealer, but since getting an e-reader older reading media seem awkward and cumbersome<p>It was the second lead story on The News at Ten. JK Rowling, it seems, had just been unmasked as the author of a pseudonymous thriller, The Cuckoo's Calling, under the name Robert Galbraith. By the …

The Top 50 ‘Pictures of the Day’ for 2013

At the end of every quarter the Sifter will highlight the top 25 ‘Pictures of the Day‘, culminating in an epic <i>Top 100</i> at the end of the year (check …

For the first time, scientists can identify your emotions based on brain activity

The mind reading trick, done before with objects, is now plumbing the depths of human feeling<p>The field of neuroscience has been animated recently by the use of Functional Magnetic Resonance Imaging, or fMRI. When a person lies in an fMRI machine, scientists can see their brain activity in real …

Why you’ll share this story: The new science of memes

More and more of the things that set the internet on fire are of that species of charmingly moronic pairing of text and image that allows even the post-literate to feel like they have partaken of a shared cultural moment. And now, scientists are beginning to understand how the curiously addictive …

Memes

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Science Confirms The Obvious: Smoking Pot Makes You Less Motivated

The brains of habitual cannabis users have trouble synthesizing dopamine, according to a small study.<p>Does smoking a joint make you feel a little bit lazy? According to new research, when your "Reefer Madness" turns into "Reefer Can't-get-off-the-couch," it could be because the cannabis is …

Decline and fall: how American society unravelled

In or around 1978, America's character changed. For almost half a century, the United States had been a relatively egalitarian, secure, middle-class …

Why the war on drugs has been made redundant

The term "designer drug" became popular with the acid house and ecstasy boom in the 1990s, but it was never really accurate. The main ingredient in …

At last, the edifice of drugs prohibition is starting to crumble

The past two months have been an incredibly busy and productive time for global drug policy reform and scientific research into psychedelic drugs. …

Why Dolphins Make Us Nervous

What is it about dolphins? They have very, very big brains, and that makes we humans, whose brains are nothing to sniff at, nervous. We don't know what to make of them.<p>The latest example: On May 17 in India, the Ministry of Environment and Forests issued an order to all Indian states banning …

Ranking the Types of Bear Species

What makes each bear species stand out against the rest?<p>Updated:<p>There are a lot of bear species and numerous subspecies that live all over the world. We've never met a bear we didn't like, but let's face it, some types of bears are better than others. Find out what makes each bear species …

Why do identical twins end up having such different lives?

Barbara Oliver has had an intriguing relationship with her identical twin sister, Christine, over the decades. Throughout their childhoods, they were …

5 Delicious (and Healthy!) Iced Tea Combinations

How an Entirely New, Autistic Way of Thinking Powers Silicon Valley

book excerpt ————<p>The Autistic Brain<p>by Temple Grandin and Richard Panek<p>"I’ve given a great deal of thought to the topic of different ways of thinking. …

The web's 'echo chamber' leaves us none the wiser

<i>The internet glosses over life's ambiguities with false certainty, and we do little to search out these important grey areas</i><p>By rights, the internet …