It's not a national craze; it may never become one. But for an anthropologist, this micro-trend is fascinating to note: some parents, mostly in one area of New York City, as far as I can tell, are raising their children from birth without diapers.
This is a story about a duck. More precisely, it's a story about what your brain just did when you read the word "duck."
Chances are, your brain created an image of a web-footed waterfowl. It also may have recalled the sound of quacking or the feel of feathers. And new research suggests that these mental simulations are essential to understanding language.
Say the words "crop insurance" and most people start to yawn. For years, few nonfarmers knew much about these government-subsidized insurance policies, and even fewer found any fault with them. After all, who could criticize a safety net for farmers that saves them from getting wiped out by floods or drought?
"First they ate their horses, and then fed upon their dogs and cats, as well as rats, mice and snakes."
So says James Horn of the historical group Colonial Williamsburg, paraphrasing an account by colony leader George Percy of what conditions were like for the hundreds of men and women stranded in Jamestown, Va., with little food in the dead of winter in 1609.
They even ate their shoes. And, apparently, at least one person.
A new video reveals just how close NASA came last year to losing its $500 million Fermi Gamma-ray Space Telescope in a narrowly averted collision with a defunct, Cold War-era Soviet spy satellite.
On March 29, 2012, Julie McEnery, the project scientist for Fermi, received an automatically generated email warning that the two satellites were due in just a few days to pass within 700 feet of one another as their respective orbits crossed.
Twenty years ago, when brain imaging made it possible for researchers to study the minds of violent criminals and compare them to the brain imaging of "normal" people, a whole new field of research â€” neurocriminology â€” opened up.
Adrian Raine was the first person to conduct a brain imaging study on murderers and has since continued to study the brains of violent criminals and psychopaths. His research has convinced him that while there is a social and environmental element to violent behavior, there's another side of the coin, and that side is biology.
If only there was an Oscar for "Smallest Movie," a group of IBM nanophysicists would be a shoo-in with their new one-minute stop-motion video starring 130 atoms.
A Boy and His Atom, which debuts Wednesday, has already been certified by the Guinness folks as the "world's smallest movie."
While it isn't exactly the most complicated story line â€” the nearly monochrome video features a boy, appropriately named Adam, who dances and plays with a toy atom â€” what's really amazing is how they did it.
When Isaac Newton published his theory of universal gravitation in 1686, he knew he'd have to confront a few critics. Like a ghost stretching its arms across empty space, Newton's theory described the gravitational attraction between two masses, say, the Sun and the Earth, as a mysterious force that acted instantaneously between them.
How could the Sun influence the Earth, and the Earth the Sun, without direct contact?