Why Revolutionaries Love Spicy Food

To early Chinese Communists, if you couldn’t stand spicy food, you weren’t equipped to fight for the revolution. Science suggests this association between strength, risk and Maoists might have to do with the chemical interactions between the chili pepper, culture and certain personality types.

Source: Nautilus
Published: Jul 5, 2018
Length: 12 minutes (3,073 words)

The Rise and Fall of the English Sentence

Writing has made our syntax richer and more complex — and also increasingly distinct from spoken language.

Source: Nautilus
Published: Nov 16, 2017
Length: 14 minutes (3,643 words)

Loyalty Nearly Killed My Beehive

When a queen bee dies on a Brooklyn rooftop, an amateur beekeeper follows (and meddles with) the bumpy succession process.

Source: Nautilus
Published: Sep 21, 2017
Length: 12 minutes (3,020 words)

Reinventing Staten Island

After WWII, New York City started dumping its trash on Staten Island in what became America’s first landfill. Over half a century later, scientists are turning the dump back into grasslands and tidal wetlands in a park three times as large as Central Park. The question isn’t whether ecologists can put nature back “in balance.” The question is how nature will change over time in such a toxic environment.

Source: Nautilus
Published: Aug 3, 2017
Length: 14 minutes (3,626 words)

Shakespeare’s Genius Is Nonsense

Literary critics and cognitive scientists are finding common ground through the study of Shakespeare’s revolutionary use of language.

Source: Nautilus
Published: May 25, 2017
Length: 13 minutes (3,347 words)

Why Poverty Is Like a Disease

The emerging science of epigenetics takes the concepts of “meritocracy” and “pulling yourself up by the bootstraps” to task.

Source: Nautilus
Published: Apr 20, 2017
Length: 15 minutes (3,858 words)

Survival of the Friendliest

Evolution isn’t all about nature red in tooth and claw.

Source: Nautilus
Published: Mar 23, 2017
Length: 9 minutes (2,476 words)

Against Willpower

It’s a concept that has shaped ethical debates for centuries. A clinical psychiatrist now thinks it’s time we got rid of it.

Source: Nautilus
Published: Feb 2, 2017
Length: 9 minutes (2,489 words)

How Designers Engineer Luck Into Video Games

Humans have taken the reins from the gods, and luck has become a design tool capable of changing players’ experiences and expectations.” A look at how game developers strike a balance between luck and fairness.

Source: Nautilus
Published: Jan 12, 2017
Length: 10 minutes (2,671 words)

How I Rewired My Brain to Become Fluent in Math

Even though repetition and memorization have fallen out of favor in many schools, one scholar argues that those, not active discussion or creative approaches, are the most effective ways for students to learn math.

Source: Nautilus
Published: Sep 15, 2016
Length: 12 minutes (3,010 words)