“Well sir, the shortest farewells are the best,” Casper Gutman—the fat man—tells detective Sam Spade near the end of Dashiell Hammett’s classic noir novel, The Maltese Falcon.
Thomas Wolfe liked to masturbate before each of his writing sessions: the activity, he said, helped inspire his imagination and put him in the proper mindset for writing (a “good male feeling,” he called it)...
Earlier this week, the Bank of England made an announcement that should warm many a literati’s heart: Jane Austen will be the new face of the £10 note.
Last Friday, July 5, the psychology community lost one of its greatest minds, Daniel Wegner. It's hard to overstate his influence on psychology as a whole -- and on individual students and researchers (myself included) along the way...
I’ve never once written about autism. Not a single time. It’s not that I don’t think it’s an important topic—I do, and crucially so—but only that, each time I return to it, I realize how vast and complex the field is, how much it shifts, how multifaceted and equivocal is each study, each researcher, each point of view...
Today, the Northern Hemisphere celebrates the summer solstice, the longest day of the calendar year (happy winter solstice to the Southern Hemisphere!).
Picture the following scenario. A well-respected surgeon successfully concludes an operation. It’s the end of a long day, and he is looking forward to going home for a well-earned break...
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...
Central Park almost didn’t exist. When it was first proposed, no comparable urban green space could be found in the whole of the United States—and it seemed unlikely that one would arise on land that could be put to other, more profitable use - especially with New York real estate values on a steady rise...
It is a truth universally acknowledged that, out of all musical instruments, bagpipes make the most infernal noise. That, and an out-of-tune violin. The problem with bagpipes, though, is they maintain their infernality no matter how adept you are at playing them...
STAFFBehind the scenes at Scientific AmericanRead
Anecdotes from the Archive
Anthropology in Practice
Exploring the human condition.Read
Insights into intelligence, creativity, personality, and well-beingRead
Everything you always wanted to know about raising science-literate kidsRead
Critical views of science in the newsRead
Dark Star Diaries
Explore the science behind the dog in your bedRead
News and research about endangered species from around the worldRead
Eye of the Storm
The Science Behind Extreme WeatherRead
Frontiers for Young Minds
Science by and for kids ages 8-15Read
Commentary invited by editors of Scientific AmericanRead
Climate science in a changing worldRead
Illusions, Delusions, and Everyday DeceptionsRead
Discussion and news about planets, exoplanets, and astrobiologyRead
Opinion, arguments & analyses from guest experts and from the editors of Scientific AmericanRead
Roots of Unity
Mathematics: learning it, doing it, celebrating it.Read
Adventures in the good science of rock-breaking.Read
STAFFIllustrating science since 1845Read
STAFFA science blog, sans blagueRead
The Artful Amoeba
A Blog About the Weird Wonderfulness of Life on EarthRead
Exploring and celebrating diversity in science.Read