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Observations

Observations

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

How the earthquake in Chile could change Earth's axis

The magnitude 8.8 earthquake that jolted Chile on Saturday was felt as far away as São Paulo. But NASA scientists are proposing that its repercussions are truly global in a geophysical sense: it likely shifted Earth's axis by about eight centimeters.

March 2, 2010 — Katherine Harmon

Can greener gadgets save us from e-waste?

One laptop per child seems a simple slogan, chock full of benefit. What could go wrong when you put the power of the Internet and solar cells into the hands of children in the developing world?

February 28, 2010 — David Biello

Will the Internet make us stupider?

Few observers, in 2000, would have foreseen Facebook being a ubiquitous presence on the Internet in 2010. Even fewer would have felt comfortable predicting whether some phenomenon like it would be “good" or bad” for human interaction, or for society's use of the English (or any other) language, for that matter.

February 24, 2010 — Mark Fischetti

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