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A bite of fresh lilac: The age-old allure of edible flowers

When I was little, I ate lilac petals. With zest. I don’t remember too much about our Moscow apartment, but I do recall with absolutely clarity the large vase overflowing with lilac petals that would appear, like clockwork, every May, along with the long-elusive warmth of spring that was, at long last, allowed to flow into our rooms through the newly opened windows...

June 3, 2013 — Maria Konnikova

Wasps aren't objective when it comes to fighting

If you grew up with brothers or sisters you will know that competition is a key part of childhood. Personally, I experienced competition for food resources (the last bar of chocolate), parental investment (attention) and other more unusual resources (the best colour of lego pieces).As we age, we continue competing, although what we compete for changes...

June 3, 2013 — Felicity Muth

Decoding Space and Time in the Brain

"...henceforth, space by itself, and time by itself, are doomed to fade away into mere shadows, and only a kind of union between the two will preserve an independent reality." This now iconic quote spoken by Hermann Minkowski in 1906 captured the spirit of Albert Einstein's recently published special theory of relativity...

June 3, 2013 — Aiden Arnold

Brain Scans and the Law (Watch the Full World Science Festival Event)

The question of whether brain scanning can detect the intentions of a criminal defendant fascinates cops, lawyers and John and Jane Doe. It's probably still a theoretical question and may remain so for a long time to come.Even so, Alan Alda moderated a panel of experts whose members spend a lot of time on the issue of scanners and criminal intent...

STAFFJune 1, 2013 — Gary Stix

Neuroscience in Fiction: Proust and Pixar

http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Madeleine_verso.jpg No sooner had the warm liquid mixed with the crumbs touched my palate than a shudder ran through me and I stopped, intent upon the extraordinary thing that was happening to me...

May 31, 2013 — Susana Martinez-Conde

Do Dogs Understand Our Words? The Dogs Weigh In

“This is not your food! Don’t even think about eating it. This … is … not … your … food.” What do our words mean to dogs? Not that I’m about to stop speaking to dogs anytime soon, but I do wonder what my daily utterances signify to Millie, Piper, Upton and Finnegan, the dogs I converse with on a regular basis...

May 31, 2013 — Julie Hecht

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