Science

Author Interviews
4:00 pm
Sun April 20, 2014

Far From 'Infinitesimal': A Mathematical Paradox's Role In History

The 17th-century rivalry between English philosopher Thomas Hobbes, left, and English mathematician John Wallis lasted decades.
Hulton Archive Getty Images

Originally published on Sun April 20, 2014 5:43 pm

Here's a stumper: How many parts can you divide a line into?

It seems like a simple question. You can cut it in half. Then you can cut those lines in half, then cut those lines in half again. Just how many parts can you make? A hundred? A billion? Why not more?

You can keep on dividing forever, so every line has an infinite amount of parts. But how long are those parts? If they're anything greater than zero, then the line would seem to be infinitely long. And if they're zero, well, then no matter how many parts there are, the length of the line would still be zero.

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The Two-Way
11:01 am
Sat April 19, 2014

Ancient Landscape Is Found Under 2 Miles Of Ice In Greenland

A new study suggests the Greenland Ice Sheet did not fully melt during previous periods of global warming — and that it preserved a tundra beneath it.
Joshua Brown University of Vermont

Originally published on Mon April 21, 2014 12:36 pm

In a surprising discovery, scientists have found evidence of a tundra landscape in Greenland that's millions of years old. The revelation goes against widely held ideas about how some glaciers work, and it suggests that at least parts of Greenland's ice sheet had survived periods of global warming intact.

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Krulwich Wonders...
10:03 am
Sat April 19, 2014

So This Is How They Do It! Zebras Getting Stripes

Ricardo Solis

Originally published on Sat April 19, 2014 11:42 am

How did it happen? How'd the zebra get its stripes?

In Rudyard Kipling's version, a gray, horsey-looking beast went into "a great forest 'sclusively full of trees and bushes and stripy, speckly, patchy-batchy shadows," stayed there awhile, and after a "long time"... got stripy.

OK. Not bad.

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Shots - Health News
4:24 pm
Fri April 18, 2014

One Scientist's Quest To Vanquish Epileptic Seizures

The dream of epilepsy research, says neurobiologist Ivan Soltesz, is to stop seizures by manipulating only some brain cells, not all.
Steve Zylius UC Irvine Communications

Originally published on Fri April 18, 2014 6:13 pm

In the early 1990s, a young brain researcher named Ivan Soltesz heard a story that would shape his career.

His adviser told him about a school for children whose epileptic seizures were so severe and frequent that they had to wear helmets to prevent head injuries. The only exception to the helmet rule was for students who received an award.

"The big deal for them is that they can take the helmet off while they're walking across the stage," Soltesz says. "And that thing struck me as just wrong."

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Environment
3:08 pm
Fri April 18, 2014

Pipeline Put Off, As Keystone Review Is Indefinitely Extended

Originally published on Fri April 18, 2014 6:13 pm

The Keystone XL pipeline remains a major point of contention within the Democratic Party, as green voters pull President Obama one direction and pro-energy senators and labor unions pull the other. It looks as though the "comment period" for the project will be extended, delaying a decision past the November elections.

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