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Observations

Observations

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

Chevy Volts to hit the road as GM meets year-end deadline

Amidst frigid weather conditions, 350 ice-covered Chevrolet Volts hit the roads aboard transport trucks headed from General Motors's Detroit assembly plant to car dealerships in California, New York, Texas and Washington, D.C...

December 14, 2010 — Larry Greenemeier

Antikythera mechanism: An eclipse-predicting machine made of Legos

Most of us probably aspire to build nothing more complex this year than a gingerbread house. (Tick tock.) Videographer John Pavlus spent much of 2010 writing and shooting a video about an Apple engineer, Andy Carol, who designed and built a fully functional eclipse-predicting machine, a replica of an ancient Greek device, out of 1,500 Lego Technic parts and 110 gears...

December 9, 2010 — Robin Lloyd

WikiLeaks supporters attack Web sites of MasterCard and other opponents

Despite the incarceration of founder Julian Assange, WikiLeaks is not going away quietly. In fact, Web-savvy supporters of the online whistle-blowing operation have gone on the offensive, launching cyber attacks against Web sites of some of the organizations and people perceived to have wronged Assange and his operation...

December 8, 2010 — Larry Greenemeier

U.S. Environmental Protection Agency hits 40

Forty years ago today Republican president, Richard Nixon, created the Environmental Protection Agency. At the time the nation had no law mandating clean water, clean air or the safety of chemicals...

December 2, 2010 — David Biello

The best body mass indexes for low mortality rates

Want to pencil in a healthy target weight for that New Year's resolution? A new analysis of data from 1.46 million adults has zeroed in on the body mass index (BMI) with the lowest risk of death from any cause—and they aren't the ones that most tilt the scales downward...

December 1, 2010 — Katherine Harmon

World AIDS Day Marks Progress Toward Prevention

Wednesday marks the 22nd annual World AIDS Day. In the past year several scientific advances have helped rekindle convictions that progress is being made against the spread of HIV and AIDS...

December 1, 2010 — Katherine Harmon

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