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What Makes a City Unhappy?

According to the National Bureau of Economic Research, Dana McMahan splits time between two of the country’s unhappiest cities. She set out to explore the causes of the happiness deficits.

Hot in Here


Extreme Weather, Caused by Climate Change, Is Here. Can Nike Prepare You?

Following the approach we often see from companies marketing products before big storms, Nike focuses on climate change science in the promotion of its latest line of base-layer apparel. Is it a sign that more Americans are taking climate change seriously? Don’t get your hopes up.



Chesapeake Energy Faces Subpoena on Royalty Payment Practices

The Justice Department’s inquiry comes after an investigation and years of complaints from landowners who say they have been underpaid for leasing land to the energy giant for drilling.



AT&T Stops Using Undeletable Phone Tracking IDs

Verizon remains committed to its program of inserting a tracking number into its customers’ cell phone transmissions.

Quick Studies


Coastal Cognizance of Climate Change

People who live closer to the shore are more likely to believe in climate change and to support regulation of carbon emissions.

Hot in Here


The Ways Climate Change Is Already Killing Us

In ordinary ways, it’s erasing some of the last century’s impressive progress toward eliminating preventable illnesses and deaths.

True Crime


Odometer Fraud Continues to Plague Used Car Sales

The tools and methods have evolved over the decades, but the crime remains the same.

What Makes You So Smart?


What Makes You So Smart, Computer Programmer?

Noah Davis talks to computer whiz Andrew Kirmse about video game development, his time at Google, and his love of code.

Quick Studies


Controlling Genes With Your Mind

It’s not as surprising as you think.



How a 19-Year-Old Is Teaching Your Laptop to Pick Up on Your Feelings

Even though he’s still a teenager, Catalin Voss is already a six-year veteran of the i-app industry, and now he’s turning his attention to figuring out how computers might interact with humans more perceptively.



The Best Encrypted Messaging Programs

A new ranking of popular encrypted messaging programs finds the ones that are most effective at protecting users’ privacy.

Quick Studies


Tough Weather Makes for Moralistic Gods

Climate variability and the availability of natural resources help shape religious beliefs, scientists find.



There’s No Foolproof Way to Detect a Lie

Except for the rare band of “truth wizards” among us, people are not skilled at catching liars.



Somebody’s Already Using Verizon’s New Smartphone IDs to Track Users

Twitter is using a newly discovered hidden code that the telecom carriers are adding to every page you visit—and it’s very hard to opt out.

Go Outside


Embracing Autumn in the Apple Orchard

Casey N. Cep goes apple picking and realizes the importance of putting winter out of mind.

Climate Confidential


What Drones Are Learning From Insects

Large, unmanned aerial vehicles look like regular (albeit menacing) airplanes. But there are also small drones that resemble big insects, and they’re being programmed to act like them too. Insectile drones could evolve into useful minions to track, map, and respond to climate change.



India’s Struggle to Get Reliable Power to Hundreds of Millions of People

India’s new Prime Minister Narendra Modi is known as a “big thinker” when it comes to energy. But in his country’s case, could thinking big be a huge mistake?



Dreamers of the Carbon-Free Dream

Can California go full-renewable?



Should We Prosecute Climate Change Protesters Who Break the Law?

A conversation with Bristol County, Massachusetts, District Attorney Sam Sutter, who dropped steep charges against two climate change protesters.



America’s Bathrooms Are a Total Failure

No matter which American bathroom is crowned in this year’s America’s Best Restroom contest, it will still have a host of terrible flaws.

Genes Are Us


Why DNA Is One of Humanity’s Greatest Inventions

How we’ve co-opted our genetic material to change our world.

Quick Studies


Earliest High-Altitude Settlements Found in Peru

Discovery suggests humans adapted to high altitude faster than previously thought.

Hot in Here


Converting the Climate Change Non-Believers

When hard science isn’t enough, what can be done?

Quick Studies


That Cigarette Would Make a Great Water Filter

Clean out the ashtray, add some aluminum oxide, and you’ve (almost) got yourself a low-cost way to remove arsenic from drinking water.

The Things We Eat


Fruits and Vegetables Are About to Enter a Flavor Renaissance

Chefs are teaming up with plant breeders to revitalize bland produce with robust flavors and exotic beauty—qualities long neglected by industrial agriculture.

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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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