The Last Word

March 10 – 14 This week, Christie told us that story she doesn’t tell. Then lots of other people flocked to the comments to tell theirs. Guest poster Daniel O’Connell asked if there’s gold in them thar evolutionary hills. Cameron wondered if deep-sea species will be soon be forced to have their own reality show. […]

We Are All Both Ant and Grasshopper

When we deposit our money at the bank, when we drop our kids off at school, when we prepay for a future service, we are exercising the trust that has been encouraged in human nature by thousands of years of fruitful cooperation. But not every human we encounter will be trustworthy. According to The Truth […]

The G-out Room

It would start with tapping fingers on my bar, as the house music blared its inane, sometimes nonsensical, lyrics. The hands would be fidgety, the muscles straining for something to press against. Then his legs would start bopping and his face would start working and he’d launch into a violent dance. The shirt would come […]

Simple ways to save a life

Out of 20 million premature and underweight babies born each year, four million die. Most are in developing countries. Solving this problem is not just a short-term humanitarian effort, it also constitutes low-hanging fruit in the international development field. When infant mortality goes down, we tend to see population sizes decrease as well. Poverty can […]

The Last Word

25- 29 November This week, we gave thanks. Ann pointed out that sexual harrassment may be a subset of a deeper inability to keep other people from suffering the consequences of your own inner demons. Kant is involved. Jessa identifies a central mechanism keeping us from flying off into virtual existences — that pesky inner […]

The future is vomitous

If anything bolsters our instinctive revulsion to game-changing technology, it’s that so much of it makes us physically queasy. Much of our experienced technology involves sensory conflicts that inadvertently activate an ancient digestive reflex. Since the first mariner failed to find his sea legs, the story of human limit-pushing has been one big barf-fest. There’s […]

The Last Word

21 – 25 October What happens to sperm and egg donors in the era of cut-rate genetic testing? Cassie discovers that anonymous donations come with a cost. A growing class of viral clips — generally misinterpreted as cute or funny — actually shows animals in anger, pain, or sexual arousal,  says guest poster Whitney Robles. […]

Canada’s lost generation of scientists

The first major warning sign came in 2006, shortly after Conservative Prime Minister Stephen Harper first ascended to power. The office of the National Science Advisor was to be phased out. It was a blunt and open declaration of what would come to be called, in environmental writer Chris Turner’s new book, Canada’s War on […]