A Surprising Side of Carl Sagan

Hollywood has been enamored with aliens for as long as movies have been a thing, but perhaps no alien-themed movie has had quite the impact of Contact, released 25 years ago this month. Based on the novel by Carl Sagan, the movie marked a sharp departure from the space-travel-and-alien movies of its time. For starters, the aliens come...

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20 Foods You Might Be Mispronouncing

When ordering a meal at a restaurant, taste should be the main concern. Whether you can pronounce the name of the dish shouldn't factor into your decision, but that's not always the case. If you've ever ordered a salad to avoid saying vichyssoise to your server, it's time to brush up on your culinary vocabulary. Here are 20...

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10 Women Writing in the Time of Shakespeare

Virginia Woolf was convinced that women couldn’t have been writers in Shakespeare’s time. Even intelligent women “ have taken part in any one of the great movements which … constitute the historian's view of the past,” she lamented in her 1928 lecture, A Room of One's Own. If Shakespeare had had an equally talented sister, Woolf said, she...

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Mysteries Are to Be Embraced, But Also to Be Solved

One of my favorite TV shows as a teenager was a series called Arthur C. Clarke’s Mysterious World. This was a 13-part British television series looking at all manner of unexplained events, weird phenomena, and urban myths from around the world, introduced by the famous science-fiction writer and futurist Arthur C. Clarke. The series divided up its subject...

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Getting a Bee in Math: Honey Bees Can Distinguish Between Odd and Even Numbers

Honey bees know nothing. Literally. Honey bees have previously demonstrated to scientists they understand the concept of zero by selecting dotted paper based on a reward of sweetened water. Eventually, the paper with no dots that provided the treat was recognized.Apparently, their aptitude for math is even more impressive than initially believed. A new study has revealed honey...

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