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Protest Infrastructure: How Much Trouble Are Protesters, Really?

In the staring contest between the Occupy Wall Street protesters and New York City, Mayor Bloomberg blinked first, deciding that the occupiers didn't represent the kind of safety crisis Brookfield Office Properties, the owners of protest epicenter Zucotti Park, described in its letter to the NYC police commissioner...

October 14, 2011 — Scott Huler

Cycling through the Archives: Trick Riding

What better way to get back into the archives than on two wheels? I’ve been inspired by tomorrow’s NYC Tweed Run, an event that celebrates a bygone era of bicycling culture, to present one of my favorite finds from Scientific American’s past: trick riding.Trick riding became widely popular in the late 1880s and 1890s in Europe and America...

STAFFOctober 14, 2011 — Mary Karmelek

Green Chemistry's Real Roots [Video]

Plants mastered chemistry a long time before humans, billions of years actually. In fact, we humans and most of the rest of the life on Earth can thank tiny cyanobacteria for mastering/evolving the molecule known as chlorophyll...

October 14, 2011 — David Biello

Stone Age Art Kit found in South African Cave

Archaeologists have discovered two sets of art kits thought to be 100,000 years old at a cave in South Africa. The findings provide a glimpse into how early humans produced and stored ochre - a form of paint - which pushes back our understanding of when evolved complex cognition occured by around 20,000 - 30,000 years...

October 14, 2011 — Gozde Zorlu

Surveys Find No Sign of Endangered Vietnamese Pheasant

Are we looking at Asia's first pheasant extinction? The endangered Edwards's pheasant ( Lophura edwardsi ) has not been observed in the wild since 2000, and now surveys conducted by the World Pheasant Association (WPA) in the bird's two most likely habitats in Vietnam have failed to turn up any sign of the species.Edwards's pheasant was described as fairly common when it was first described and named by French ornithologist Alphonse Milne-Edwards in the 19th century...

October 14, 2011 — John R. Platt

Is High Ability Necessary for Greatness?

As soon as I saw the headline “Research sheds light on origins of greatness” , my interest was piqued. The article is referring to a new paper in Current Directions in Psychological Science , so I immediately downloaded that paper and left the press release open to the side...

October 14, 2011 — Scott Barry Kaufman

Friday Fodder, October 14, 2011

It's been awhile since we had a Friday Fodder round-up. I assume you've followed the biggest science news, such as the faster-than-light neutrinos hullabaloo, the Tevatron's final moments, and the awarding of this year's round of Nobel Prizes, including the Physics Prize, for the discovery of the accelerating universe (and, hence, the notion of dark energy)...

October 14, 2011 — Jennifer Ouellette

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Scientific American Health & Medicine

Scientific American Health & Medicine