You've heard, maybe, about "Simple Living"? It's what some people do, Gandhi-style, to simplify their lives. They shed possessions. They watch their carbon footprint. They choose to live with less. They have what they need, and that's enough.
What's the opposite of Simple Living? (Everything needs an opposite, right? Read Hegel.) Well, if you want to conjure Simple Living in reverse, it's not gluttony. Anybody can buy too many shoes. No, the opposite of Simple Living should also be a movement with a name, a style — and lots of fans.
Originally published on Fri September 13, 2013 2:18 pm
America's Signature Whiskey: Some craft distilleries, like Catoctin Creek in Virginia, are making a whiskey that's 100 percent rye to showcase the grain's spicy, peppery flavor.
Credit Courtesy of Catoctin Creek
Ten years ago rye whiskey was on the brink of extinction.
Despite its venerable history as the whiskey made by George Washington, only a handful of distillers were bottling this quintessentially American spirit. And you definitely couldn't order a rye Manhattan at your local cocktail lounge.
Originally published on Mon September 9, 2013 4:25 pm
We've grown accustomed to choosing our food from a spectacular rainbow — care for an impossibly pink cupcake, a cerulean blue sports drink or yogurt in preppy lavender?
But there's a growing backlash against the synthetic dyes that give us these eye-popping hues. And now scientists are turning to the little-known (and little-grown) purple sweet potato to develop plant-based dyes that can be labeled as nonthreatening vegetable juice.
Originally published on Mon September 9, 2013 11:26 am
By Tania Lombrozo
Fire breathing only makes it harder to talk: An activist with the Science and Rationalists' Association of India demonstrates against the claim that Mother Teresa performed a miracle in Calcutta.
Credit Deshakalyan Chowdhury / AFP/Getty Images
A few years ago, over dinner, a friend and fellow academic "came out" to me as a theist.
The conversation later struck me as quite funny. Only in my exotic academic enclave, I thought to myself, would two Americans have a conversation in which the Christian theist "came out" to the atheist Jew. In most American communities, my beliefs would be the anomalies, to be revealed selectively and with caution.
Thousands of messages posted on the Internet every day in China get censored. Until now, little has been known about how the Chinese censorship machine works — except that it is comprehensive.
"It probably is the largest effort ever to selectively censor human expression," says Harvard University social scientist Gary King. "They don't censor everything. There are millions of Chinese [who] talk about millions of things. But the effort to prune the Internet of certain kinds of information is unprecedented."
Look in the mirror and you won't see your microbiome. But it's there with you from the day you are born. Over time, those bacteria, viruses and fungi multiply until they outnumber your own cells 10 to 1.
As babies, the microbes may teach our immune systems how to fight off bad bugs that make us sick and ignore things that aren't a threat.
We get our first dose of microbes from our mothers, both in the birth canal and in breast milk. Family members tend to have similar microbiomes.