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In the Picture

small-picture-novdec

In the Picture: SNAP Food Benefits, Birthday Cake, and Walmart

In every issue, we fix our gaze on an everyday photograph and chase down facts about details in the frame.

The Big Screen

scary

The Psychology of a Horror Movie Fan

Scientists have tried to figure out the appeal of axe murderers and creepy dolls, but it mostly remains a spooky mystery.

The Rest of the World

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Purity and Self-Mutilation in Thailand

During the nine-day Phuket Vegetarian Festival, a group of chosen ones known as the mah song torture themselves in order to redirect bad luck and misfortune away from their communities and ensure a year of prosperity.

Book Reviews

tell-us

Tell Us What You Really Think

In politics, are we always just looking out for No. 1?

We Read It

old-books

Can We Read Our Way Out of Sadness?

How books can help save lives.

Subculture

skiing-generic

Downhill Integrationists: The National Brotherhood of Skiers

The latest entry in a series of interviews about subculture in America.

From the Editor

ps-issue

Introducing the New Issue of ‘Pacific Standard’

The most dangerous idea in mental health, the rise of extreme daycare, the anatomy of ignorance, and more in our November/December 2014 print issue.

What Makes You So Smart?

vern-williams

What Makes You So Smart, Middle School Math Teacher?

Noah Davis talks to Vern Williams about what makes middle school—yes, middle school—so great.

A Conversation With

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What Do Clowns Think of Clowns?

Three major players weigh in on the current state of the clown.

X and Y

novels

Why Don’t Men Read Romance Novels?

A lot of men just don’t read fiction, and if they do, structural misogyny drives them away from the genre.

Guy in the Sky

prayer-church

Why Do Americans Pray?

It depends on how you ask.

Findings

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Musicians Are Better Multitaskers

New research from Canada finds trained musicians more efficiently switch from one mental task to another.

In the Classroom

vassar-college

Veterans in the Ivory Tower

Why there aren’t enough veterans at America’s top schools—and what some people are trying to do to change that.

The Rest of the World

all-language

Our Language Prejudices Don’t Make No Sense

We should embrace the fact that there’s no single recipe for English. Making fun of people for replacing “ask” with “aks,” or for frequently using double negatives just makes you look like the unsophisticated one.

In the Classroom

education-manufacturing

Education Policy Is Stuck in the Manufacturing Age

Refining our policies and teaching social and emotional skills will help us to generate sustained prosperity.

Sociological Images

bird-hat

The Bird Hat Craze That Sparked a Preservation Movement

How a fashion statement at the turn of the 19th century led to the creation of the first Audubon societies.

Sociological Images

languages

The Majority of Languages Do Not Have Gendered Pronouns

A world without “he.” Or “she.”

Placebo Week

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‘Voodoo Death’ and How the Mind Harms the Body

Can an intense belief that you’re about to die actually kill you? Researchers are learning more about “voodoo death” and how it isn’t limited to superstitious, foreign cultures.

Findings

arts-degree

That Arts Degree Is Paying Off

A survey of people who have earned degrees in the arts find they are doing relatively well, although their education didn’t provide much guidance on managing a career.

X and Y

heel-roller-skate

A Brief History of High Heels

How what was once standard footwear for 16th-century Persian horsemen became “fashion’s most provocative accessory.”

Quick Studies

emergency

Advice for Emergency Alert Systems: Don’t Cry Wolf

A survey finds college students don’t always take alerts seriously.

Time to Celebrate

columbus-protest

Goodbye, Columbus: If You’re Worried That America Has Forgotten Its Western-Civ Roots, Go Read a Book

Conservatives say that by derogating Columbus Day we annul 1,500 years of cultural history. So how many of them have read Erasmus?

Inequality

obama

Michelle Obama Trans-Truthers Reveal Persisting Prejudices

Black and trans women are still stereotyped as unfeminine.

Quick Studies

street

A City’s Fingerprints Lie in Its Streets and Alleyways

Researchers propose another way to analyze the character and evolution of cities.

Quick Studies

violin

When Violins Meet Leaf Analysis

Techniques used to analyze leaf shapes reveal the subtle evolution of the violin.

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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

Copyright © 2014 by Pacific Standard and The Miller-McCune Center for Research, Media, and Public Policy. All Rights Reserved.