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Want to survive a plane crash? Sit in the back.

I'll probably get docked a week's pay for saying this, but Popular Science Mechanics is getting better all the time. When was the last time you can remember a science magazine doing enterprise journalism?...

July 20, 2007 — Christopher Mims

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows of sustainable paper

I promise not to give anything away, just wanted to highlight a few facts about the impending mega-release: its first printing will consume 16,700 tons of paper (which, depending on whose estimates of tree per piece of paper you believe, equals roughly 400,800 trees), according to Scholastic...

July 20, 2007 — David Biello

Impropriety or merely the appearance thereof?

Consider the case of pulmonologist David Schwartz, director of the National Institute of Environmental Health Science. * The $250,000-a-year director earns $150,000 as an expert witness in asbestos cases during his tenure so far (pdf)...

July 19, 2007 — David Biello

Are journalists innumerate? Because the editorial page of the Wall Street Journal certainly seems to be.

I know we're not all scientists here, but anyone who has even glanced at the graphs in a few scientific papers will instantly recognize that trying to fit a curve to the following data is prima facie idiotic: I'm not going to go into the reasons why picking an inflection point at the one outlying data point on this graph is so, let us not be delicate-- dumb --that you don't even have to understand the math to sense why this is wrong...

July 18, 2007 — Christopher Mims

The Empress and a latter day Noah (of turtles)

A chance encounter in a Manhattan Chinese restaurant with a terrapin turtle led Richard Ogust into living in a tent besides a New Jersey warehouse where he temporarily stored a collection of rare and endangered turtles that had swelled to more than 1,200 specimens...

July 17, 2007 — David Biello

Altered crops: Your thoughts?

From The Editors: In "Future Farming: A Return to Roots" in the new August issue, Jerry D. Glover, Cindy M. Cox and John P. Reganold argue that many of the problems associated with the modern agriculture--soil erosion, excessive water demands, high energy inputs and so on--are linked to the fact that most important grain crops are annuals, not perennials...

July 16, 2007 — Christopher Mims

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