Brady Thompson

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An evolutionary biologist explains a fascinating theory about how humans started speaking

The shells were from a species known as <i>Nassarius (Plicarcularia) gibbosulus</i>, a grape-sized marine gastropod (like a garden snail) that lives in the shallow waters of the Mediterranean Sea, and they were perforated and made into beads, probably for a necklace.<p>If evidence of what anthropologists call …

Anthropology

How To Think Visually Using Visual Analogies - Infographic - Adioma

Visual learners are people who think in pictures[1] and use words to communicate that picture to others. About 60%[2] of the world population are …

Data Visualization

¿Ser hijo único puede joderte la vida?

Preguntamos a dos expertos sobre cómo son realmente los hijos únicos.<p>Seguramente has escuchado alguna versión de lo que en ocasiones se ha denominado "el síndrome del hijo único": supuestamente, la gente que no tiene hermanos recibe tanta atención de sus padres de pequeño que se convierten en …

Scholars reveal church’s role in Magna Carta

Study of handwriting shows church scribes copied two of the surviving four historical parchments<p>Magna Carta, signed by King John 800 years ago on Monday, laid the groundwork for the modern state, imposing the first limits on the monarch’s power. Now the true extent of the role the church played in …

Church Cancelled Due To Lack Of God

The Duggars Have a Lot to Teach the Church About Islam

Last Friday, I was part of a roundtable on <i>HuffPost Live</i>.<p>My 15 minutes of not-even-close-to-fame on almost TV were fun, even though I was cut off from finishing a thought by another panelist who I actually agreed with and...well...it doesn't matter.<p>During the segment, the host asked me if as a …

Religion

No One Can Think Outside the Box

Taxi services think inside a box. So did Blockbuster. So does Microsoft.<p>But here’s the thing. Uber, Netflix, and Apple also think inside boxes. So do you. So do I.<p>A box is a frame, a paradigm, a habit, a perspective, a silo, a self-imposed set of limits; a box is context and interpretation. We …

Why Aren't The Aliens Here Already?

The story begins like this: In 1950, a group of high-powered physicists were lunching together near the Los Alamos National Laboratory.<p>Among those in attendance were Edward Teller (father of the nuclear bomb) and the Nobel Prize-winning Enrico Fermi. The discussion turned to a spate of recent UFO …

Universe

“The party of white people”: How the Tea Party took over the GOP, armed with all the wrong lessons from history

The Founders were a divided bunch. They believed in debate but also in solving problems. Someone tell the Tea Party<p>There was an emerging disagreement among conservatives, one that grew out of differing dispositions, if not principle. The Tea Party movement possessed an almost centrifugal force in …

Our dogs can read our minds: The new neuroscience of animal brains and understanding

Understanding emotion in others is basic to survival, grounded in evolution. Animals have the skill just as we do<p>In the quest to identify what might be unique to the human mind, one might well ask whether non-human animals have a theory of mind. In fiction, perhaps, they do. Eeyore, the morose …

The Science Of Why You Should Spend Your Money On Experiences, Not Things

You don’t have infinite money. Spend it on stuff that research says makes you happy.<p>Most people are in the pursuit of happiness. There are economists who think happiness is the best indicator of the health of a society. We know that money can make you happier, though after your basic needs are met, …

Happiness

Evidence Suggests That The Sphinx Predates The Ancient Egyptians

For many years there has been a consensus among historians concerning the origins of one of Ancient Egypt’s most iconic and mysterious monuments, the …

The apocalypse is coming — is the human race even worth saving? Neal Stephenson ponders the big questions in “Seveneves”

In the SF master’s new post-post-apocalyptic epic, humanity is reduced to eight women after the moon explodes<p>Every post-apocalyptic tale is a utopian dream in disguise, which makes our current cultural obsession with the theme — from TV series like “The Walking Dead” to literary fiction like …

Why the Smartest People Have the Toughest Time Dating

I have a mini-confession to make: I wrote the <i>Tao of Dating</i> books specifically for really smart people. The writing of the books was precipitated by the endemic dating woes on the Harvard campus as I observed them as an advisor and, earlier, indulged in them as a student.<p>Those kids graduate and …

Relationships

Overloaded Circuits: Why Smart People Underperform

David drums his fingers on his desk as he scans the e-mail on his computer screen. At the same time, he’s talking on the phone to an executive halfway around the world. His knee bounces up and down like a jackhammer. He intermittently bites his lip and reaches for his constant companion, the coffee …

Why Do We Reward Stupidity?

In America, not only is stupidity not frowned upon, but it's encouraged. Reality shows like "The Jersey Shore" and "Buckwild" reward stupidity. This …

Critical Thinking

The 12 Most Controversial Facts In Mathematics

The following 12 simple math problems prove outstandingly controversial among students of math, but are nonetheless facts.<p>They're paradoxes and idiosyncrasies of probability. And they're guaranteed to start an argument or two.<p>If you're looking for a mathematical way to impress your friends and …

Mathematics

Can Music Be Used as Medicine?

Biometric trackers are helping scientists tap into the body's response to songs and sound.<p>“Because you listened to Drake, how about Future next?”<p>Pandora, Spotify, and other music-streaming services try to predict what users might like to listen to, based on their tastes and what’s popular with …

The Brain

See How What Makes Us Happy Has Changed Over the Past 80 Years

Psychologists from the University of Bolton in the U.K. have re-created a famous study conducted in the same town almost eight decades ago that …

Why Being Upset With Someone Is Always About YOU

<i>You will not be punished for your anger. You will be punished by your anger. -Buddah</i><p>A very wise teacher once told me that anytime I find myself angry or upset with someone, I need to look at what it is in them that I see in myself. What is it triggering in me that needs to be healed? This was …

Do you genes determine your entire life?

Some scientists claim that new discoveries have proved free will is an illusion. Nonsense, says Julian Baggini<p>Whenever you read stories about identical twins separated at birth, they tend to follow the template set by the most remarkable of them all: the “two Jims”. James Springer and James Lewis …

49 Maps That Explain The USA For Dummies

The United States is mind-boggling. Right?!

When humans go extinct: How life will evolve after we’re gone

The sixth extinction could wipe out up to half of Earth’s species. Michael Tennesen tells us what might happen next<p>The sixth mass extinction is nearly upon us. Species on Earth are dying out at a rate one thousand times greater than they were before humans began altering the environment. By the end …

Apple to Add Force Touch and Pink Color Option to Next iPhones, Screen Size to Stay the Same

Apple will add pressure-sensing Force Touch technology to its next-generation iPhones, reports <i>The Wall Street Journal</i> in an article that covers a range of new details on the iPhone 6s and iPhone 6s Plus. Currently built into the upcoming Apple Watch and 12-inch Retina MacBook, Force Touch lets …

Apple Watch

Fresh Fossil Studies Rewrite the History of Humanity’s Genus Homo

Scientists say they're filling in some of the most frustrating gaps in the story of human evolution — thanks to the discovery of the oldest known fossil from the genus to which we belong, plus the computer-aided reinterpretation of another key fossil.<p>The revelations, published Wednesday by the …

Anthropology

One Reason For Netflix's Success -- It Treats Employees Like Grownups

If you’re one of the many Americans toiling away at a huge corporation, here are some things you’re probably familiar with: tracking vacation days, getting expenses approved and sitting through yearly performance reviews.<p>These are things salaried employees at Netflix don’t have to worry about.<p>They …

The Eiffel Tower now generates its own energy with wind turbines

The Eiffel Tower has gone <i>vert</i>.<p>After going nearly 30 years without a major upgrade, the iconic French tower has undergone a modern-day makeover, …

Strange lights on dwarf planet Ceres have scientists perplexed

A dwarf planet is shining two bright lights at a NASA spacecraft right now, and our smartest scientists are unsure what they are.<p>As bizarre as that …

Scientists Plan to Hunt for Alien Life on Europa

Jupiter's icy moon is a candidate for harboring alien life—but would we know life if we found it?<p>Are we truly alone in the universe? Or is Earth just one of many inhabited worlds? These are some of the most fascinating questions facing humanity, and soon, thanks to a 2016 federal budget allocation …

Astronomy