Oana N

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Scientists say your “mind” isn’t confined to your brain, or even your body

You might wonder, at some point today, what’s going on in another person’s mind. You may compliment someone’s great mind, or say they are out of their mind. You may even try to expand or free your own mind.<p>But what <i>is</i> a mind? Defining the concept is a surprisingly slippery task. The mind is the seat …

The Brain

One Sentence With 7 Meanings Unlocks a Mystery of Human Speech

Ruth Nall is a talented talker. Always has been. When she was a child, her mother taught her to enunciate her words when she spoke, which she did …

Mr. Rogers Had a Simple Set of Rules for Talking to Children

The TV legend possessed an extraordinary understanding of how kids make sense of language.<p>For the millions of adults who grew up watching him on public television, Fred Rogers represents the most important human values: respect, compassion, kindness, integrity, humility. On <i>Mister Rogers’</i> …

Fred Rogers

Was There a Civilization On Earth Before Humans?

A look at the available evidence<p>It only took five minutes for Gavin Schmidt to out-speculate me.<p>Schmidt is the director of NASA’s Goddard Institute for Space Studies (a.k.a. GISS) a world-class climate-science facility. One day last year, I came to GISS with a far-out proposal. In my work as an …

Earth Science

Understanding Jacob's Ladder

<i>Commentary on Parashat Vayetzei, Genesis 28:10 - 32:3</i><p>And he dreamed and behold a ladder stationed on the earth and its top reaches the sky, and …

Theology

Who Is a Turk? It’s Complicated

ISTANBUL — Earlier this year, Turkey opened its closely guarded population register, a monumental archive of lineages going back to Ottoman times. A website that gives access to all public services in Turkey now includes a genealogy tab. Users can download ancestry documents, with records going as …

This Galaxy Has Almost No Dark Matter—and Scientists Are Baffled

If astronomers really have found an "undark" galaxy, it’s a strong clue that dark matter is real.<p>An unusual galaxy far, far away is stumping astronomers not because of what’s there, but because of what’s missing.<p><b>What is this thing?</b><p>About 65 million light-years away, the galaxy called NGC1052-DF2 is …

17 Journeys By Train That Will Change Your Life Forever

Take a slow and stunning journey by train across some of the world's most beautiful landscapes.<p><i>This photo essay is part of a series of stories about travel.</i>

Here's a Simple Explanation of Stephen Hawking's Greatest Contribution to Science

He really was a genius.<p>Mathematical physicist and cosmologist Stephen Hawking was best known for his work exploring the relationship between black …

Take a Virtual Tour of The Uffizi Gallery in Florence, the World-Famous Collection of Renaissance Art

The Uffizi Gallery in Florence doesn't particularly need an introduction, seeing that it's one of the most widely-visited museums in Italy, the home …

24 hidden iPhone settings you should know about

Dig deeper into iOS.<p>Part of the appeal of the iPhone is its simplicity—you can grab it right out of the box and starting setting it up without reading any instructions. However, behind that simple, intuitive interface, you'll find dozens of lesser-known settings and options. Here are 24 you can use …

Netflix codes: The secret numbers that unlock thousands of hidden films and TV shows

Netflix's incredibly niche, personalised subgenres have long captivated movie nerds, from "Steamy Crime Movies from the 1970s" to "Period Pieces About Royalty Based on Real Life".<p>The genres, based on a complicated algorithm that uses reams of data about users' viewing habits to recommend exactly …

Entertainment

The 20 best apps to improve your smartphone

Whether you want an alarm that syncs with your body clock or a to-do list you can speak to, these are the apps you’ll need to make your smartphone smarter<p>The latest generation of smartphones comes with a panoply of apps to get you started, from email and photography to navigation, weather and …

Apps

These Are the 66 Best Documentaries of All Time

What makes a documentary “important”? What makes it worth referencing, or remembering, or even watching in the first place? Why, in this time of seemingly perpetual sociopolitical strife, would we veer away from the vaunted, glorious escapism of big feature films and go see something small and …

Sony Pictures

The Magic and Moral of Joan Didion

I blame my flickering attention, but I have always gone as gaga for isolated sentences as for whole books. One favorite begins an essay that I’ve read 20-odd times over 30-plus years, and it’s this: “Once, in a dry season, I wrote in large letters across two pages of a notebook that innocence ends …

Where Did the English Language Come From?: An Animated Introduction

If you've ever deliberately studied the English language — or, even worse, taught it — you know that bottomless aggravation awaits anyone foolish …

Linguistics

Revisiting Star Trek’s Most Political Episode

In 1995, the Deep Space Nine installment “Past Tense” stood out for its realistic, near-future vision of racism and economic injustice.<p>“It’s not that they don’t care. It’s that they’ve given up.” This was how Commanding Officer Benjamin Sisko, played by Avery Brooks, described early 21st-century …

Science Fiction

HGTV Is a Never-ending Fantasy Loop. Look Deeper, and It Gets Pretty Ugly.

<b>Photo-illustration by Gluekit</b> A house — and a life? — transformed for the cameras.<p>A man in the desert touches flame to a snaking trail of gasoline, …

The First White President

The foundation of Donald Trump’s presidency is the negation of Barack Obama’s legacy.<p><b>It is insufficient</b> <b>to state</b> the obvious of Donald Trump: that he is a white man who would not be president were it not for this fact. With one immediate exception, Trump’s predecessors made their way to high office …

Donald Trump

Will Donald Trump Destroy the Presidency?

He disdains the rule of law. He’s trampling norms of presidential behavior. And he’s bringing vital institutions down with him.<p>Donald Trump is testing the institution of the presidency unlike any of his 43 predecessors. We have never had a president so ill-informed about the nature of his office, …

Has Salt Gotten An Unfair Shake?

For such a simple compound, salt is complicated.<p>Sodium is a key element in table salt, and it's also essential for life. It helps regulate our blood volume. It shuttles nutrients into our bodies and brains. It allows our muscles to contract and our nerves to pulse with electricity. Yet for decades, …

The 25 Best Performances Not Nominated for an Oscar in the 21st Century, From Kristen Stewart to Andy Serkis

And the Oscar doesn't go to...<p>Awards aren’t everything, but no one ever complained about having their hard work recognized. Consider that the impetus …

Kill Bill

The 25 greatest comedies of all time

Charlie Chaplin

Who Is Really Making ‘Chihuly Art’?

SEATTLE — More than 40 years later, Jeffrey Beers still vividly remembers what it felt like to have Dale Chihuly call up to convene a pre-dawn glassblowing session. You felt flattered and inspired, he said, jazzed by Mr. Chihuly’s caffeinated freight train of energy and the idea of making art with …

When J.M. Coetzee Secretly Programmed Computers to Write Poetry in the 1960s

Before J.M. Coetzee became perhaps the most acclaimed novelist alive, he worked as a programer. That may not sound particularly notable these days, …

A visual explanation of quantum mechanics

From the ViaScience YouTube channel comes this 31-part video explainer of quantum mechanics. As the introduction video notes, there is a fair bit of …

Watch 50 Hours of Nature Soundscapes from the BBC: Scientifically Proven to Ease Stress and Promote Happiness & Awe

A recent study from BBC Earth and UC-Berkeley has shown that watching nature documentaries can inspire "significant increases in feelings of awe, …

A Plan For Raising Brilliant Kids, According To Science

<i>Since NPR Ed first published this piece last year, it has become one of our most popular posts of all time. And since then, there has been a little anecdotal proof of concept for these parenting theories:</i><p><i>Kathy Pasek, one of the authors interviewed, has a son named Benj Pasek. He is a composer who,</i> …

Critical Thinking

The Super-Users of America's Health-Care System

In a given year, just 5 percent of the U.S. population is responsible for 50 percent of the nation’s medical spending. So who are these “super-users?” In this animation by Yukai Du we explore this incredibly diverse, constantly changing population and the efforts to address their enormous …

Health Care

Scientists Modify Viruses with CRISPR to Kill Antibiotic-Resistant Bacteria

by Karla Lant June 24, 2017 Hard Science 25156<p>CRISPR-Powered Viruses<p>Earlier this month, the annual CRISPR 2017 conference was held at Montana State …

CRISPR