Xiao Fu

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All about my mother: ‘It’s amazing what the living expect of the dying. We expect wisdom, insight, bursts of clarity’

People who weren’t there like to say that my mother died at home surrounded by loving family. This is technically true, though it was just my brother and me and he was looking at Facebook and I was reading a profile of Hillary Clinton in the December 2009 issue of Vogue. A hospice nurse had been …

The Real Roots of Midlife Crisis

What a growing body of research reveals about the biology of human happiness—and how to navigate the (temporary) slump in middle age<p>This summer, a friend called in a state of unhappy perplexity. At age 47, after years of struggling to find security in academia, he had received tenure. Instead of …

Big Ideas Gets a Bit Bigger

Inside Flipboard / June 23, 2014<p>We’ve got a special place for people aspiring to make the world better: it’s called Big Ideas. This category, which …

Astronomers Get First Glimpse of Cosmic Web

Changing Planet<p>Computer simulations suggest that matter in the universe is distributed in a “cosmic web” of filaments, as seen in the image above from a large-scale dark-matter simulation. The inset is a zoomed-in, high-resolution image of a smaller part of the cosmic web, 10 million light-years …

The Astronomical Hijinks of the Shortest Day of the Year

The solstice isn't for more than a week, but the earliest sunset of the year is already upon us. How's that possible?<p>If you live around latitude 42N—a well-populated latitude in North America and Europe, taking in Boston, Rome, and Vladivostok—today is the day you'll experience the earliest sunset …

Fascinating Comparison Shows How Cats See the World

Artist and researcher Nickolay Lamm created this fascinating series that compares the differences between how humans and cats see the world. Each comparison includes one scene appearing in two different ways. The top image shows a panorama of crisp and colorful human vision while the bottom image …

There’s one key difference between kids who excel at math and those who don’t

“I’m just not a math person.”<p>We hear it all the time. And we’ve had enough. Because we believe that the idea of “math people” is the most self-destructive idea in America today. The truth is, you probably <i>are</i> a math person, and by thinking otherwise, you are possibly hamstringing your own career. …

Mathematics