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Observations

Observations

Opinion, arguments & analyses from guest experts and from the editors of Scientific American

Web Comics Splash with Color Thanks to an Unlikely iPhone Programmer (Q&A)

It only took a few days for Boudewjin Pelt to develop the software tools that digital artists like Jeff Zugale, co-author of the Webcomic Not Invented Here, now call “indispensable.” The tools, which Pelt posted online for free in 2004, gave digital artists the ability to color their artwork with just a few clicks of [...]..

August 2, 2013 — Arielle Duhaime-Ross

Telltale Language Reveals Who Is Keeping a Secret

Sharing a secret can forge a relationship and solidify a bond with a friend. Keeping a secret, however, can eat away at our health and happiness.  As it turns out, hiding a painful truth also changes the way we communicate with others...

August 2, 2013 — Sandra Upson
Global Water Shortages Grow Worse but Nations Have Few Answers

Global Water Shortages Grow Worse but Nations Have Few Answers

As we have been hearing, global water shortages are poised to exacerbate regional conflict and hobble economic growth. Yet the problem is growing worse, and is threatening to deal devastating blows to health, according to top water officials from the U.S...

August 1, 2013 — Dina Fine Maron
Is Bradley Manning Guilty or Innocent?

Is Bradley Manning Guilty or Innocent?

Bradley Manning, the U.S. soldier responsible for the public release of more than 700,000 classified documents, was acquitted July 30 of the controversial “aiding the enemy charge” by a military judge, further inflaming public discussion about Manning’s role: was he a heroic whistleblower or a treasonous leaker of government data?...

July 30, 2013 — Bryan Bumgardner
Why Do You Exercise?

Why Do You Exercise?

  Exercise has always been something of an afterthought for me. Books, not sports, were my passion growing up. But I've also always enjoyed travel, exploring both cities and natural wonders...

July 30, 2013 — Christine Gorman

Incas Intoxicated Sacrificial Children in Preparation for Death

She was killed at the age of 13 and placed in a mountaintop shrine in the Argentine high Andes–a sacrifice to the gods. There she lay for some 500 years until 1999, when archaeologists recovered her frozen body along with those of two other separately entombed children, a boy and a girl both between four [...]..

July 30, 2013 — Kate Wong

Cameras Faster Than a Speeding Bullet [Video]

Tough luck, Superman: Being faster than a speeding bullet isn’t such a big deal anymore. A couple of Youtubers who go by TheSlowMoGuys have slowed the progress of bullets to a crawl.

July 26, 2013 — Seth Wharton

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Scientific American Health & Medicine