Deborah DeLaire

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The Science of Snobbery: How We're Duped Into Thinking Fancy Things Are Better

Wine snobs, string quartets, and the limits of intuition<p>Several months ago, this author sat at a classical music concert, trying to convince himself that wine is not bullshit.<p>That may seem like a strange thought to have while listening to Beethoven’s Symphony No. 7 in A major. But Priceonomics had …

What is Foucault's Pendulum?

Google's latest doodle marks what would have been the 194th birthday of Jean Bernard Léon Foucault, the French physicist who used a simple pendulum to prove that the Earth rotates in space. But how does his elegant experiment work?<p>During Foucalt’s life it was already proven that the Earth rotated, …


Game Company Valve Will Probably Announce A Console On Monday

Valve is leaping into the hardware business. (Probably. Almost certainly.)<p>Valve, the gaming company behind hits like the <i>Portal</i> and <i>Half-Life</i> franchises, plus the creators of the massively popular online gaming store Steam, are releasing... something. They created a site to tease a Monday …

Republicans Block Proposal For National Science Laureate, Fearing Science

House Republicans, fearing action on climate change, do the nation a distinct disservice.<p>Earlier this week, House Republicans quietly blocked a proposal that would institute the position of science laureate of the United States. It was expected to sail by--after all, who could possibly have a …

The Galaxy's Core Is About to Explode

The supermassive black hole at the center of the Milky Way Galaxy will soon consume a blob of gas and begin to radiate energy at a tremendous rate.