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Monthly Archives: May 2014

This article was originally posted on RealClearScience.

The widespread notion that “opposites attract” is wrong, not just psychologically but, as a new study shows, genetically as well.

Psychologists have long known that the “opposites attract” cliché is a gigantic myth. As a general rule, people are more attracted to those with whom they share personality traits, hobbies, and political and religious beliefs. Read More »

This article was originally posted on RealClearScience.

This coming summer, I will be making my 13th trip to Europe. I thoroughly enjoy the various cultures with which I come into contact, despite the sometimes thinly veiled sense of superiority that lurks beneath the surface of many Europeans. Because of that, as well as Europe’s tendency to lecture Americans on how to be good global citizens (while simultaneously destroying the Baltic Sea), I can’t resist occasionally poking back when given the opportunity.

And that opportunity is now. Read More »

This article was originally posted on RealClearScience.

The doctor will see you now.

The Black Death, caused by the bacterium Yersinia pestis, wiped out 30 to 50 percent of Europe’s population between 1347 and 1351. But, this is just the most infamous of the little microbe’s shenanigans.Y. pestis, which is one-millionth our size, has caused three major pandemics and continues killing people to this very day. The plague gets such a bad rap because it represents some of the greatest tragedies to ever befall the human race. Read More »

MOST academics would view a post at an elite university like Oxford or Harvard as the crowning achievement of a career—bringing both accolades and access to better wine cellars. But scholars covet such places for reasons beyond glory and gastronomy. Read the rest at The Economist.

This article was originally posted on RealClearScience.

One of America’s greatest tragedies is curiously absent from most U.S. history textbooks. On May 31, 1889, the South Fork Dam failed, and the ensuing flood killed 2,209 people living in and around Johnstown, Pennsylvania. Read More »

This article was originally posted on RealClearScience.

My grandfather used to keep all sorts of things in the trunk of his car: Fishing gear, duct tape, aluminum foil, a large chain, a defused WWII hand grenade. When we asked why he squirreled away such a random assortment of items, he would shrug and say, “Just in case.”

That, in a nutshell, is why we should never destroy the smallpox virus. Just in case we need it someday. Read More »