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Geeks get ahead

Geeks get ahead

If you were popular in high school, look out! Your unpopular geek counterparts are probably going to be more successful than you are. In her new book The Geeks Shall Inherit the Earth, Alexandra Robbins promotes her “Quirk Theory” which states that the traits that cause people to be excluded from the “in crowd” in [...]

Boneheads: My Search for T. Rex

Boneheads: My Search for T. Rex

Besides devising better methods for putting things up their noses: what could occupy the minds of children more than dinosaurs? There’s a child in us all and although we may grow out of our more primitive aspirations — dinosaurs have continually been a source of curiosity for children and adults alike. <i>Boneheads: My Search for [...]

Michael Shermer’s skeptical take on the brain: can you believe it?

Michael Shermer’s skeptical take on the brain: can you believe it?

Besides having sex for pleasure and cooking food before ingestion, there is one other way in which humans differentiate from the rest of the animal kingdom: our big, believing brains. Michael Shermer, the founder of Skeptic magazine, attempts to explore this heady notion in his new book The Believing Brain: From Ghosts and Gods to [...]

Forget the blood-type diet; bring on the bacteria-type diet!

Forget the blood-type diet; bring on the bacteria-type diet!

A new Nature study looking at bacteria systems growing in the gut divides people into three groups. Similar to the way blood types divide people into four groups, the new research finds there are three distinct bacteria ecosystems that transcend sex, weight, health, age and race. It’s not clear yet whether these bacteria types are [...]

Should we say goodbye to puppy mills?

Should we say goodbye to puppy mills?

More than 56,000 dogs and cats were impounded in Los Angeles last year, one of the highest years on record, and many worry that this year could be worse. One Los Angeles councilman is proposing a solution. Councilman Paul Koretz wants to ban large-scale commercial animal mills that breed dogs, cats, chickens and rabbits. The [...]

Is celebrity perjury undercutting the foundation of American justice?

Is celebrity perjury undercutting the foundation of American justice?

Recently four high profile public figures, Bernie Madoff, Martha Stewart, “Scooter” Libby and Barry Bonds lied under oath. In his new book “Tangled Webs,” author James Stewart argues that this behavior is emblematic of a troubling trend in American society, that the celebrated and the very wealthy often perceive themselves to be above the law. [...]

Peter Bart’s tales of the movies and the mob at Paramount

Peter Bart’s tales of the movies and the mob at Paramount

In 1967, Peter Bart made a risky decision to leave his job as a reporter at the New York Times and go to work at Paramount with his friend, the legendary Robert Evans. As inexperienced as they were, the two of them set about to breath new life into the studio of Hitchcock, Wilder and [...]

Alphabetter Juice: or, The Joy of Text

Alphabetter Juice: or, The Joy of Text

Roy Blount Jr.—you’ve heard him on "Wait Wait… Don’t Tell Me!" but did you know he is a usage consultant to the American Heritage Dictionary? Blount’s love affair with words is clear from his previous book’s subtitle: The Energies, Gists, and Spirits of Letters, Words, and Combinations Thereof; Their Roots, Bones, Innards, Piths, Pips, and [...]

Caltech and Fuller in a virtuous partnership

Caltech and Fuller in a virtuous partnership

Can science explain why we “do good?” The Travis Research Institute at Fuller Theological Seminary and Caltech have been researching what happens in the brain that leads some people to act in a virtuous manner. The goal of this research is to explore the empirical and philosophical underpinnings of virtuous action. The research team used [...]

Joint Ventures: Inside America’s almost legal marijuana industry

Joint Ventures: Inside America’s almost legal marijuana industry

There are more marijuana dispensaries in California than public schools. In Denver, Colorado, there are more dispensaries than Starbucks and liquor stores combined. And yet the industry is still largely unknown to many of us. Trish Regan, who gained notoriety with her Emmy-nominated documentary Marijuana, Inc., goes behind the scenes in her new book to [...]