College admission conundrum?

College admission conundrum?
Critics carp about college entrance exams and point to data showing that high-school grades better predict success. How do the “non-submitters” actually do at colleges that have quit requiring the tests? More »

The benefits of watching

The benefits of watching
A fascinating study taps “mirror neurons” to improve hand strength and dexterity. If I watch a movie of somebody cutting with scissors, and then use scissors myself, my brain will change — and my hand will be stronger. No kidding! More »

Losing in politics & sports

Losing in politics & sports

What’s the attachment to “my” team? How do we deal with the inevitable disappointment? Are murder and suicide now “part of the game”? And what about politics? More »

When dead men speak…

When dead men speak…

How do bones, isotopes, historic records, DNA and grave goods tell us about the dead? We check out the example of King Richard III, found in a parking lot! More »

Fixing filthy beaches

Fixing filthy beaches

Most water pollution originates in polluted runoff. After a near-record number of beach closures, could green infrastructure convert stormwater from liability to asset? Rain gardens, rain barrels, infiltration ponds, green roofs, buffer strips all trap sediments and nutrients while reducing the load on sewer systems. Is green infrastructure oversold? More »

Should “wastewater” be wasted?

effluent pumps

Population growth, climate change and development are all focusing attention on water shortages. Theoretically, water can be recycled forever, but can we possibly clean sewage to make it drinkable? Yes, and a number of projects around the country are doing exactly that. Bottoms up! More »

Short of meds…

Short of meds…

Contaminated injection blamed for mini-epidemic. Why are hospitals running out of generic drugs, anesthetics and antibiotics? More »

Tsunami: The killer wave

Tsunami: The killer wave

Could an offshore earthquake start a deadly tsunami, as in Sumatra and Japan? Where do tsunamis get their power? How do warning systems work? More »

Science of spending

Science of spending

Can marketers coerce you to buy stuff you don’t need? How do sound, scent, touch and brand affect buying behavior? More »

Tar sands = Clean oil?

Tar sands = Clean oil?

Canada’s oil-drenched sands are the second-largest oil reserves, but they pollute air and water, destroy forests and boost warming. A good idea? More »

Scraps of ancient textiles found

Scraps of ancient textiles found
Flax, the basis for linen, was spun and dyed, and lost in the mud. More than 30,000 years later, microscopic flax fibers provide the first cord in archeological history. More »

Phony science

Phony science

Fraud happens. In a 2009 survey, 2 percent of scientists admitted faking data; 14 percent said colleagues have done it. Problems worst in drug and other medical studies. More »

Running short of copper, phosphorus, rare elements

Elements rule! Without phosphorus fertilizer, millions starve. Copper = electricity shortage. And U.S. imports more than 95% of “rare-earth” elements needed for LCDs, cell phones, green energy. Risky? More »

Questioning candidates

Questioning candidates

The candidates are skirting issues related to environment, energy and science policy. Heard promising plans for greener energy, solid science advice, or coping with the decline of oil? We neither… More »