Lately it’s been fashionable to say that hunter-gatherers lived better than we do. They had more free time, they followed more natural sleep cycles, and so on. But is our picture of hunter-gatherer society right? A giant earth mound in Louisiana suggests we know less than we think. Anthropologist Tristram R. Kidder explains.

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Why is gravity so weak?

By Ultra-Condensed Science on June 6, 2016 / No Comments

Scientists find gravity very puzzling. For one thing, they don’t understand is why it is so weak; that is, why it takes so much stuff (like a planet’s worth) to generate much gravitational force. Perhaps, they say, it is leaking out of our universe. Physicist Adam Archibald explains how this could be and describes an experiment to detect leaks.


Why don’t plants grow upside down?

By Ultra-Condensed Science on April 1, 2016 / 6 Comments

We take so many things for granted. Why do trees grow only so tall and no taller? Why do some potatoes have those mysterious brown holes in them? And why do plants grow right-side up instead of upside-down? Eric Hamilton explores the question.

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When Pulsars Hit the Spin Cycle

By Ultra-Condensed Science on February 2, 2016 / 3 Comments

Pulsars are dead stars that emit intense beams of radio waves that sweep through space with the regularity of a clock. That’s strange enough but what’s even stranger, they sometimes speed up — in a universe where the norm is for everything to slow down. What could possibly give them the extra energy?


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