a collection of atoms unanimously in favor of the Oxford comma

 Mother Nature Network: Why I spent my vacation living with hunter-gatherers in the rainforest 
I've been obsessed with hunter-gatherers for the last few years. It started when I realized that my sleep problems were being caused by modernity. (Turns out my biological clock doesn’t tick very well with the schedules 
19th century factory owners made for their workers.) I wondered what else about modern society jarred with my natural rhythms, so I set out to know more ...


GOOD Magazine: Love on the Streets

It’s morning in the Bowery, a somewhat grimy neighborhood in southern Manhattan. Across the street from a soup kitchen, two figures sprawl on a colorful floral comforter. Gray roots betray the woman’s honey brown hair. She stretches her legs over her companion, a middle-aged man in a touristy black NYC cap whose smile cracks into crow’s feet around his eyes ...


Religion Dispatches: 5 Reasons that Cartoons are the 21st Century's Great Metaphysical Playground

Could we be living in a simulation created by an advanced civilization? Philosopher Nick Bostrom argues that it’s possible, at least in theory, to create a program in which artificially conscious beings inhabit a simulated world. If that’s the case, humans may eventually create a multitude of these simulations—and it’s possible that we are simply someone else’s artificial world ...


The Atlantic: Soul Searching Through the Myers-Briggs Test

A group of young adults shyly meet for the first time on the second floor of an empty Manhattan shopping mall. The stores are all closed for the weekend, and other than a man stopping in the lobby to read his phone, this group is the only sign of activity.
“I actually really like clubbing,” shares one guy.
The group goes silent.
“Get out of the circle,” a woman whispers.


The Atlantic: Not Everyone's Internal Clock Is Set for the 9-to-5

No matter how early she went to bed, Maggie couldn’t fall asleep until the early hours of the morning. Though constantly exhausted, Maggie (she asked that I not use her last name) got good grades in high school, but she'd frequently get in trouble for coming in late and napping during her morning classes ...

From the Grapevine: The dramatic search for one of the world’s most elusive creatures: sand kittens

Dr. Alexander Sliwa hadn’t showered in more than a week. He was cold and tired, probably because he was squatting on the roof of a moving Toyota Land Cruiser at 2 a.m., just as he’d been doing for the past nine days. Perhaps the 52-year-old German zoologist would have liked to read a book to pass the time, but his hands were occupied: he gripped a railing with one hand and shined a spotlight on the path before him with the other ...


The Atlantic: Would a Work-Free World Be So Bad?

People have speculated for centuries about a future without work, and today is no different, with academics, writers, and activists once again warning that technology is replacing human workers. Some imagine that the coming work-free world will be defined by inequality: A few wealthy people will own all the capital, and the masses will struggle in an impoverished wasteland ...


Religion DispatchesPuzzling Over the Most Famous Transcendental Number
Pi (π), a number used to measure the circumference of circles, is approximately 3.1415. I say approximately because pi is a transcendental number, meaning that its decimal digits actually go on forever, unpredictably. As far as mathematicians can tell, those numbers never settle into any kind of pattern. This numerical lawlessness is quite the thorn in the side of human pattern-loving brains. It’s like peeling back the skin of the universe and finding pure randomness ...


The Atlantic: The Myth of the Barter Economy

Imagine life before money. Say, you made bread but you needed meat. But what if the town butcher didn’t want your bread? You’d have to find someone who did, trading until you eventually got some meat. You can see how this gets incredibly complicated and inefficient, which is why humans invented money: to make it easier to exchange goods. Right? This historical world of barter sounds quite inconvenient. It also may be completely made up ...


The Atlantic: The Weird Little Industry Behind a Mesmerizing Instrument
Josiah Collett, a 10-year-old autistic boy from Broxbourne, England, had always struggled with social interactions. But things were getting worse. In school, his peers told him that he shouldn’t be alive. He spent nights crying, unable to explain to his parents what had happened ...