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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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Levels of Depression Could Be Evaluated Through Measurements of Acoustic Speech

Engineers find tell-tale signs in speech patterns of the depressed.

We’re Not So Great at Rejecting Each Other

And it's probably something we should work on.

Chronic Fatigue Syndrome and the Brain

Neuroscientists find less—but potentially stronger—white matter in the brains of patients with CFS.

Incumbents, Pray for Rain

Come next Tuesday, rain could push voters toward safer, more predictable candidates.

Could Economics Benefit From Computer Science Thinking?

Computational complexity could offer new insight into old ideas in biology and, yes, even the dismal science.

The Big One

One town, Champlain, New York, was the source of nearly half the scams targeting small businesses in the United States last year. November/December 2014

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