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Observations

Observations

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

More Solar Panels at the White House

More Solar Panels at the White House

The Washington Post‘s indefatigable Juliet Eilperin got an unnamed official at the White House to confirm that solar panels are being reinstalled at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue this week—fulfilling a promise made by the Obama administration three years ago...

August 15, 2013 — David Biello
We Could Make Elon Musk’s Hyperloop Real

We Could Make Elon Musk’s Hyperloop Real

At some point cloaked in the (recent) mists of time, Elon Musk took over the mantle of leading U.S. visionary, as is the prerogative apparently of our technology billionaires.

August 14, 2013 — David Biello

Secure E-mail Services Shuttered over Fears of Government PRISM Reprisals

Revelations of the U.S. National Security Agency’s PRISM program continue to have worldwide ripple effects. Nearly two months after U.S. federal prosecutors charged NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden with espionage and theft of government property for blowing the lid off of the clandestine surveillance program, the company that secured Snowden’s electronic communications with journalists and international [...]..

August 9, 2013 — Larry Greenemeier

Accurate Self-Beliefs Strengthen Relationships

How well do we know ourselves? The intuition that you are your own best judge is strong, yet flawed. The prevailing wisdom in social psychology today is that we are incorrigible self-enhancers...

August 9, 2013 — Sandra Upson

Souvenir Seafood Menus Offer Glimpse into Hawaii’s Oceans of Old

Kyle Van Houtan, a marine ecologist at Duke University and a researcher for the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, has spent the last few months scouring libraries, Web sites and private collections for Hawaiian restaurant menus dating as far back as the late 1800s...

August 9, 2013 — Arielle Duhaime-Ross

Living with Voices inside Your Head

Myths can be more harmful than lies, Nobel laureate Harry Kroto has said, because they are more difficult to recognize and often go unexamined.

August 8, 2013 — Fred Guterl

Integrating Left Brain and Right, on a Computer

As computers have matured over time, the human brain has no way of keeping up with silicon’s rapid-fire calculating abilities. But the human cognitive repertoire extends far beyond just fast calculations...

August 8, 2013 — Larry Greenemeier

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