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ProPublica

fracking-aerial

Oil and Gas Companies Are Illegally Using Diesel Fuel in Hundreds of Fracking Operations

An analysis by an environmental group finds hundreds of cases in which drillers used diesel fuel without obtaining permits and sometimes altered records disclosing they had done so.

Hmmm

phantom-cat

The Mystery of Britain’s Alien Big Cats

In a nation where the biggest carnivorous predator is a badger, why are there so many reported sightings of large cats?

Quick Studies

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How a Shift in Human Head Shape Changed Everything

When did homo sapiens become a more sophisticated species? Not until our skulls underwent “feminization.”

The Rest of the World

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Ending the Sale of All Ivory May Be the Only Way to Save Africa’s Elephants

Populations of Africa’s forest and savannah elephants continue to decline precipitously, leading conservationists to call for more extreme measures.

ProPublica

docs-spyware

Leaked Documents Show Spyware Was Used to Snoop on U.S. Computers

Software created by the controversial U.K. based Gamma Group International was used to spy on computers that appear to be located in the United States.

The World Wide Web

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How to Detect Shoddy Wikipedia Entries

Become a master of Bayesian statistics.

Homecoming Week

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Why I Lived Alone in a Cabin for Six Months

Sam Riches went looking for solitude in nature, hoping to find his Jack London moment—but after half a year, he came back with a slightly different conclusion: self-reliance is overrated.

The World Wide Web

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Just Kill All of the Comments Already

Even if they’re not vile and psychologically damaging, most of them aren’t worth your time. And we already have a better system in place.

Homecoming Week

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Finding a Home for New Zealand’s Living Dinosaurs

For the past three decades, researchers in New Zealand have undertaken extraordinary—and at times, controversial—efforts to save an 80-million-year-old species from the edge of extinction. Unfortunately for the tuatara, other man-made forces are threatening their survival once more.

Homecoming Week

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Do Dogs Understand When a Soldier Comes Home?

The animal science behind your favorite heartwarming YouTube phenomenon.

The Slightly Smaller Screen

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A Shark Scientist Bites Back

Shark Week inspired David Shiffman to become a marine biologist, but now he’s made it his personal mission to publicize the television event’s misinformation.

True Crime

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Shooting a Mountain Lion

Until his illegal hunting business was shut down by authorities, you could have paid Christopher Loncarich $7,000 to bag a mountain lion.

Quick Studies

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Your Fitbit Might Be Ripping You Off

Without more specific analysis, personal health tools tend to leave the “burden of synthesis on the self-tracker.”

The Kids Will Be All Right

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Pending Parenthood in the Digital Age

As a content strategist for the Washington Post and former media reporter, Josh Sternberg is hyper aware of his digital trail. Now, as a soon-to-be new dad, he wonders what it means that our kids can look up everything we’ve ever done.

Findings

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Faith in Scientific Progress Decreases Eco-Friendly Behavior

A new study finds affirming belief in scientific progress appears to reduce the likelihood of acting in environmentally responsible ways.

ProPublica

epa-building

The EPA Is Failing to Properly Oversee Hundreds of Thousands of Toxic Injection Wells

The Government Accountability Office says environmental regulators are failing to adequately enforce rules for wells used to dispose of waste from drilling.

Genes Are Us

book-math

How and Why Does the Social Become Biological?

To get closer to an answer, it’s helpful to look at two things we’ve taught ourselves over time: reading and math.

ProPublica

frack-new-york

A New York State of Fracking

Court cases. A governor’s moratorium. Pending health study. A quick guide to the state of fracking in New York.

Quick Studies

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How California Could Power Itself Using Nothing but Renewables

We don’t need fossil fuels.

Quick Studies

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The Rise of the Nuisance Flood

Minor floods are afflicting parts of Maryland nearly 10 times more often than was the case in the 1960s.

ProPublica

mountain-stream

Under Water: The EPA’s Ongoing Struggle to Combat Pollution

Frustration and inaction color efforts to enforce the Clean Water Act.

Quick Studies

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America’s Streams Are Awash With Pesticides Banned in Europe

You may have never heard of clothianidin, but it’s probably in your local river.

The World Wide Web

world-of-warcraft

Does Internet Addiction Excuse the Death of an Infant?

In Love Child, documentary filmmaker Valerie Veatch explores how virtual worlds encourage us to erase the boundary between digital and real, no matter the consequences.

Quick Studies

nasa.jpg

NASA Could Build Entire Spacecrafts in Space Using 3-D Printers

This year NASA will experiment with 3-D printing small objects in space. That could mark the beginning of a gravity-free manufacturing revolution.

Hmmm

Hell Isn’t for Real

You may have seen pictures of the massive crater in Siberia. It unfortunately—or fortunately—does not lead to the netherworld.

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Diversity Is in the Eye of the Beholder

Perception of group diversity depends on the race of the observer and the extent to which they worry about discrimination.

Psychopathic or Just Antisocial? A Key Brain Difference Tells the Tale

Though psychopaths and antisocial people may seem similar, what occurs in their brains isn’t.

Common Knowledge Makes Us More Cooperative

People are more inclined to take mutually beneficial risks if they know what others know.

How a Shift in Human Head Shape Changed Everything

When did homo sapiens become a more sophisticated species? Not until our skulls underwent "feminization."

Journalists Can Get PTSD Without Leaving Their Desks

Dealing with violent content takes a heavy toll on some reporters.

The Big One

One in two full-time American fast-food workers' families are enrolled in public assistance programs, at a cost of $7 billion per year. July/August 2014 fast-food-big-one
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