When the Universe Plays Detective, the Wrong Guys Pay the Price

Men have mistreated women every step of the way in human history: from raping conquered women to burning them at the stake for witchcraft to paying women less for equal work—women drew the short stick in the cosmic gamble (or perhaps more aptly, they drew an equally sized stick and men snatched it, snapped it in half, and swallowed the evidence).

So who’s paying for this injustice? Men are. Well…males are. Male anglerfish. Continue reading

ROYCB? Why the Rainbow isn’t What We Think It Is

We all know the rainbow. We see it all the time: the reds, the oranges, the yellows, the greens—you get the picture. Or do you? MinutePhysics’ Henry Reich would argue that many of us, in fact, don’t. The way he sees it (and the way physics sees it), that warm, velvety purple that underlines every rainbow like the Achilles of arcs, well, isn’t really there. So he denies us our sweet, satisfying, grape-flavored conclusion, and then he gives it back, sort of.

Unfortunately, the jury’s still out on that pot of gold.

Note: What he said about violet being just another name for deep blue isn’t exactly true. Some red cones in the eye do fire in response to seeing blue-violet light, thus violet is more purplish than a pure blue. You can read more about that here.

Ancient Greeks, Mathematicians, and Romantic Idealism: How to Find the Perfect Match.

I recently re-listened to an old Radiolab episode whose beginning filled me with a warm, fluttery excitement for love. Give a listen to this 2,400-year-old story that comes from Plato by way of Aristophanes (it’s transcribed below in case you can’t listen, though the cello and Robert Krulwich’s voice give it something, more):

(0:53 – 3:17) Are You My Brain Double

My first reaction was predictable: “Ain’t love grand?” I grow up, I read, I write, I Continue reading