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January-February 2012

Features

Nixon’s Presidential Library: The Last Battle of Watergate

Who controls the Nixon Library? A dispute over how to tell the story of his presidency raises questions about the purpose, and legitimacy, of presidential libraries.

Placebo Effect Stronger Than We Thought?

Double-blind trials have long been considered the gold standard to determine drugs’ effectiveness. Do we need to rethink that assumption, given the power of the placebo effect?

Where Have All the Doctors Gone?

Communities with more primary care doctors enjoy better health, yet those physicians are a dying breed. Here is what some schools are doing to combat the looming shortage.

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Women Eye Dance Moves to Find Thrill Seekers

How to spot thrill-seeking men on the dance floor, “sweet” personalities in public, and bidding fever on eBay.

 

Does Black History Need More Than a Month?

The documentary “More Than a Month” asks: Does Black History Month still inspire reflection, or just Nike sales?

 

We’re Sorry: Not All Apologies Are Apologies

Politicians take note: Research shows the fine line between claiming regret and taking responsibility.

 

No Debate: Kids Can Learn By Arguing

Columbia professor Deanna Kuhn says teachers should foster some debate to help kids learn the lost skill of thinking critically.

 

Can a Bad Economy Save Your Marriage?

Spouses who blame the economy for their woes, rather than pointing the finger at their partner, are more likely to be satisfied with their marriages.

 

How Foreclosures Feasted on Some Cities, Not Others

A look at foreclosures in two Southern California cities shows why some fared better than others in the housing crisis.

 

Street Makeovers Put New Spin on the Block

How community activists are taking city planning into their own hands and creating pedestrian-friendly blocks via pop-up urbanism.

 

Why Robot Maids Won’t Do the Dishes

How hard is it to design a humanlike robot? Harvard’s Steven Pinker highlights how simple human accomplishments represent formidable robotics challenges.

 

20,000 Robots Under the Sea

Jules Jaffe of the Scripps Institution of Oceanography is developing an army of underwater explorers that researchers hope will produce a fine-grained, real-time map of the movements of the sea.

 

Something’s Fishy About That Red Snapper

Preventing seafood fraud won’t be easy, but a new law has potential to stop fish poaching and laundering, which involves mislabeling fish in restaurants.

 

U.S. Planting Seeds of Peace in Afghanistan

U.S. soldiers work to undo some of the damage done to Afghanistan’s agricultural communities from decades of war.

 

Returning Warriors Go to Work, in the Fields

Facing high unemployment rates, returning U.S. veterans are finding work on the farm.

 

Where Have All the Doctors Gone?

Communities with more primary care doctors enjoy better health, yet those physicians are a dying breed. Here is what some schools are doing to combat the looming shortage.

 

Do You Know Where Your Medicine Came From?

Here’s look at where the stuff in your medicine cabinet was manufactured. Just don’t ask if these foreign-made drugs are safe, because in many cases, it’s impossible to say.

 

Placebo Effect Stronger Than We Thought?

Double-blind trials have long been considered the gold standard to determine drugs’ effectiveness. Do we need to rethink that assumption, given the power of the placebo effect?

 

California’s Medical Marijuana Morass

In Northern California, where the drug laws can change with the mile markers, a supplier of medical marijuana risks going one toke over the (county) line.

 

Nixon’s Presidential Library: The Last Battle of Watergate

Who controls the Nixon Library? A dispute over how to tell the story of his presidency raises questions about the purpose, and legitimacy, of presidential libraries.

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Sufferers of Social Anxiety Disorder, Your Friends Like You

The first study of friends' perceptions suggest they know something's off with their pals but like them just the same.

Standing Up for My Group by Kicking Yours

Members of a minority ethnic group are less likely to express support for gay equality if they believe their own group suffers from discrimination.

How Old Brains Learn New Tricks

A new study shows that the neural plasticity needed for learning doesn't vanish as we age—it just moves.

Ethnic Diversity Deflates Market Bubbles

But it's not in the rainbow and sing-along way you'd hope for. We just don't trust outsiders' judgments.

Online Brain Exercises Are Probably Useless

Even under the guidance of a specialist trainer, computer-based brain exercises have only modest benefits, a new analysis shows.

The Big One

One company, Comcast, will control up to 40 percent of Internet service coverage in the U.S., and 19 of the top 20 cable markets, if a proposed merger with Time Warner Cable is approved by regulators. November/December 2014

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