The Trainman and the Nobel Laureate

According to his discharge papers, he stood five feet, eight inches tall. He had a pale complexion, brown hair, blue eyes, two moles on his back, his sole distinguishing marks. In June 1918, he was discharged from the British Army with a disability received in the Great War–a sadly innocent term that people used before […]

Guest Post: That Eternal Question

One evening during a recent visit to Santiago, Chile, I went to dinner with two colleagues. Afterward, as I descended the stairs of the Metro to cross Providencia Avenue, I saw a young girl, no more than five years old, wrapped in a dirty blanket, sitting on the ground. She was holding out a shoe […]

And the Winners Is

This year’s Nobel Prize in Physics was, in a way, a foregone conclusion. The 1998 discovery by two teams of scientists that the expansion of the universe is accelerating—under the influence of something that scientists have shruggingly come to call dark energy, which later studies have revealed to comprise 72.8 percent of the universe—was one […]