Michael Gerety

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Pluto might be a planet again. Let’s talk about why this matters.

Scientists aren’t just jerking you around—this is about something more than your childhood nostalgia<p>Prepare yourself—the Pluto debate has returned, and people are <i>not</i> going to be able to shut up about it. Pluto might be about to regain its planethood.<p>It might feel like scientists are jerking you …

How to take a screenshot on any device

Grab that screengrab<p>There are lots of reasons why you might want to take a screenshot on your computer or phone: to prove you finally completed that video game, to record a website layout for safe keeping, or even to make some desktop wallpaper from your favorite movie. Whatever the reason, here's …

Data limits are the worst—here's how to stay under yours

The data must flow<p>Smartphones put a world of information, games, videos, and music at your fingertips. That is, until you run out of data. It only takes a few minutes of throttled, agonizingly slow speeds to realize how much you rely on that cellular connection—and how important it is to stay …

Reach inbox zero in Gmail with these 5 tricks

Take charge of your emails<p>When it comes to email, it's usually a case of can't live with it, can't live without it. These messages make up an essential part of modern-day communications, but sorting through them takes up an inordinate amount of time, time that could be spent doing something more …

Apps

What's It Like to See Ideas as Shapes?

Thoughts and feelings are constellations in the mind of a man with a rare form of synesthesia.<p>One spring evening in the mid 2000s, Jonathan Jackson and Andy Linscott sat on some seaside rocks near their college campus, smoking the kind of cigarettes reserved for heartbreak. Linscott was, by his own …

Metastasis

Want Happiness? Buy Experiences, Not Things, Says Cornell Psychologist

Happiness can mean very different things to different people. How to achieve it is a lifelong question for most of us. Our religions and politics …

Want More Success and Happiness? No Joke, Science Says Avoid Pride

Research says pride comes in two different personalities. One you definitely want to avoid, if you want to live life to the fullest.<p>Do you consider yourself a proud person? Well, after this article, you may want to re-consider whether it's serving you or working against you. As it turns out, a rare …

Extreme Sports

The Nature Of Consciousness: Resonance Between Ancient Philosophies And Current Science

What is consciousness? Is it an essentially human characteristic or a fundamental characteristic of the universe? Questions about consciousness have intrigued philosophers and scientists for thousands of years. Neuroscientists, like myself, are asking questions about the essential characteristics …

Consciousness

The truth behind testosterone: why men risk it all

How do hormones such as testosterone and cortisol affect our ability to work, rest and play? A stock-market trader turned neuroscientist has the …

Sam Harris - Free Will

My Major, Myself

Business students are not agreeable, art students are neurotic, and other findings from a recent meta-analysis.<p>They say it doesn't matter what you major in during college. It might matter, however, if you want your personality to match your chosen field—lest you end up the lone nod-greeter in a …

College & University

How ‘Service With a Smile’ Takes a Toll on Women

When workers’ emotions deviate from what’s expected of their gender, they are often left to process the backlash on their own.<p>Discussions of gender inequality in the workplace often focus on the more visible manifestations of the imbalances between men and women: wage inequality, the motherhood …

Snoop Dogg

Animal Loses Head But Remembers Everything

When I first saw this," says cell biologist Alejandro Sanchez Alvarado, "it was with total amazement."<p>This is a worm. It's called a planarian. It's about an inch long, and you'll find it gliding along the bottoms of rivers and ponds all over the world. It's very flat, like a moving bit of pasta — …

A Classroom Where No One Cheats

A new book says it's possible—but only if teachers get their students to care about learning for learning's sake.<p>When I catalog my personal top ten list of teaching failures, the first spot always goes to the same offense: cheating. The times I’ve caught the eye of a student whose glance has …

5 Beloved Traditions Invented to Make You Buy Stuff

<b>By Rebecca Zerzan</b><p><i>Here's how some beloved traditions came about, including diamond engagement rings and the ubiquitous green-bean casserole.</i><p>1. Rudolph …

Pop Culture

How People Explain Color Throughout The World [Infographic]

This clever color wheel reveals how different languages explain the color spectrum, whether in three words or more than 60 words.<p>Data interpreter/designer Terrence Fradet created this lovely interpretation of colors through the filter of language. At the Fathom Information Design site, he has a …