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Queen Latifah, science geek? That's the buzz

Here at Scientific American , we’re quite proud of our 163-year history. We especially like to point out that nearly 140 Nobel Prize winners have written for us – including three of those who won last week.

October 17, 2008 — Jordan Lite

If I could turn back time, I'd buy Einstein's watch

Is a wristwatch worth more than half a million dollars? If it belonged to Albert Einstein, the answer isn't relative.

An anonymous bidder has coughed up $596,000 for a gold wristwatch worn by the physicist whose special theory of relativity proposed that time slows down or speeds up depending on how fast things are moving.

October 17, 2008 — Jordan Lite

Rein in lead, EPA tells states

For the first time in 30 years, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has tightened limits on lead emissions, a move that will require states to crack down on polluters that spew more than 1,300 tons of the metal annually.

October 17, 2008 — Jordan Lite

Tesla Motors sputters as Big Three get jump-start

Chrysler, Ford and GM are busy using up the $25-billion jump-start they received last month and their economic outlook is far from rosy. But it is the upstarts—in specific, electric car company Tesla Motors—facing the roughest road because they don't have the track record for access to cheap cash.

October 16, 2008 — David Biello

Rock the vote -- online: Obama ad blitz targets video gamers

Does Joe the Plumber play video games? We're not sure what hobbies the invisible star of last night's presidential debate indulges in, but as far as Democratic presidential nominee Barack Obama is concerned, if you want to register young, eligible voters, you need to go to online gaming sites.

October 16, 2008 — Jordan Lite

Human waste: Everything you ever wanted to know

We take it for granted, the humble commode, but waste disposal as we know it may not survive indefinitely.

Lucky for us, author Rose George fills us in on the history of the toilet — and the forces that necessitate its upgrade — in her new book The Big Necessity: The Unmentionable World of Human Waste and Why It Matters .

October 16, 2008 — Jordan Lite

Having brain surgery? Bring a banjo to the operating room

Lots of surgeons listen to music in the operating room. And it may even help some patients. At least that’s what New York Times reporter Daniel Wakin concluded from what must have been a very rigorous review of the medical literature two years ago.

October 15, 2008 — Susannah F. Locke

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