How bed bugs infest our homes and our minds
Do we really want to fuse our brains together?
Why Americans believe the US can win wars
Why it has become OK to be American and Catholic
Bed bugs crawl under our covers, suck our blood and disappear, leaving us on a razor’s edge between reality and delusion
New research places us on the cusp of brain-to-brain communication. Could the next step spell the end of individual minds?
The myth of victory
War isn't like it used to be. Victory is more elusive, and a strong military doesn't count as much
The war on Rome
For centuries, Americans saw the Catholic Church as a dangerous foreign enemy. Not any more. What changed?
Evolution works through tiny corridors of space and time, churning genes and transforming species before our very eyes
Generational thinking is seductive and confirms preconceived prejudices, but it’s a bogus way to understand the world
Slaves of history
If you descend from slaves in Senegal, your shame is an open secret and your life limited by stigma and disrespect
A higher plane
For centuries, altitude sickness thwarted our attempts to reach sacred heights. What mysterious force repelled us?
In the beginning
Cosmology has been on a long, hot streak, racking up one imaginative and scientific triumph after another. Is it over?
Seen through game theory, cancer and police corruption are pretty much the same thing. And for one of them, there’s a cure
Still seeking omega
The Vatican still refuses to endorse evolutionary theory – setting a billion believers at odds with modern science
The info moralist
Persecuted little guy, or powerful revolutionary – what sort of wunderkind was Aaron Swartz?
The fire age
We can melt ice sheets and cook landscapes. When humans made fire, they made themselves and their planet too
Happily never after
Messy plots, audience participation and uncertain endings: how digital storytelling revives the ancient art of gossip
Written in stone
In the race for geology’s highest accolade – a ‘golden spike’ – do advocates of the Anthropocene sell their ideas short?
A touch of evil
Lying, cheating and arrogance might be morally repugnant, but a little dose of nastiness can be a creative thing
The school of failure
The worst public schools do one thing very well – they teach poor black kids how to stay in the American underclass
The art of butchery
How we lost touch with animals, life and death, and learned to find butchery repulsive while eating more meat than ever
A lethal nostalgia
Steel mills, coal mines and blast furnaces have killed and poisoned thousands of Americans – so why mourn their passing?
The idea that we are edging up to a mass extinction is not just wrong – it’s a recipe for panic and paralysis
The marriage calculus
Women with money and education tend to get and stay married in America. Why don’t working-class women do the same?
Throughout evolutionary history, we never saw anything like a montage. So why do we hardly notice the cuts in movies?
The martyr is not an alienated and depressed loner but an individual driven by idealism, altruism and the need to belong
Out of the ashes
It took a lot of fossil fuels to forge our industrial world. Now they're almost gone. Could we do it again without them?
A conscientious objector
Jacob Bridge is a popular lieutenant in the US Marines who woke up one day with an urgent need to leave the military. Why?
Life in the dark
In the dark corners of our galaxy, there are billions of rogue planets roaming around, starless — can they support life?
Into the mystic
From Stonehenge to Silicon Valley: how technology nurtured New Age ideas in a world supposedly stripped of its magic
A sense of Chuck
In memory of Charles Bowden, hard-nosed reporter and avid sensualist, who loved every sight, feel and sip of being alive