The Strange Brain of the World’s Greatest Solo Climber
Alex Honnold doesn’t experience fear like the rest of us.
When Bad Things Happen in Slow Motion
Is there more to our experience of time than the foibles of memory?
Are Suicide Bombings Really Driven by Ideology?
The surprising anthropology of group identity.
5 Things That Sound, Move, or Smell Like a Nuclear Explosion
After most of the world’s nations signed the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty, in 1996, they set up a new commission to watch out for clandestine explosions. Since then the commission (CTBTO) has wired the world with hundreds of seismometers, infrasound detectors, radionuclide sniffers, and underwater microphones. The stations send their data to the CTBTO’s headquarters in Vienna, Austria, where it is analyzed for signs of a secret bomb. But the system keeps picking up other things, too—which is sometimes a problem for the system and sometimes a boon to science.
Explaining the Unexplainable
During the Enlightenment, the French philosopher Voltaire called superstition a “mad daughter” and likened it to astrology. The leading thinkers of the time espoused reason and sought to explain the world through the scientific method.
Another Side of Feynman
Nine letters by Freeman Dyson portray his relationship with the Nobel Laureate.