It would be easy to dismiss the myth of the yeti as just that: a myth. There's no conclusive evidence that a giant, ape-like creature lives in the Himalayas (or anywhere else, for that matter). But the beauty of science is that we don't just have to roll our eyes. We can test the hypothesis.
If you have a very limited media diet, you may not have heard that Prince Henry of Wales (usually referred to as Prince Harry) recently proposed to American actress, model, and humanitarian Meghan Markle. Along with his hand in marriage and a place in the British royal family, she has accepted a glittering rock from Botswana. It formed hundreds of thousands of feet under ground, billions of years ago, only to be pushed upwards by subsurface plumes of burning magma on its fateful journey to Markle's ring finger.
Twentieth Century German social psychologist Erich Fromm first advanced the notion that humans hold an inborn connection to nature. Later, it was popularized by biologist E.O. Wilson as “the urge to affiliate with other forms of life.” In the ensuing years, support for the positive effects of nature has gained considerable traction, grounded in a growing body of research. In recent weeks, at least four new studies have emerged adding more validity to what science repeatedly has revealed: being around nature is good for us. The latest research shows that interacting with nature makes the brain stronger and soothes the psyche.
In November of 1964, Popular Science published "Stupid Questions About What You Eat" because "most [people] have many mistaken notions" about the digestive process. The article sought to answer "fundamental questions about what and why you eat—with digested answers." The text of the article (formatted for the web) follows below. It can also be read in its original format through the Popular Science archives, here.
Humans have been buddies with booze for thousands of years. Some scientists believe this love affair goes back even further. The so-called drunken monkey hypothesis speculates that our ancestors possessed an unusual knack for consuming ethanol without keeling over dead, allowing them to access the sweet, sweet caloric payloads of rotting, fermenting fruit. But we've come a long way from merely tolerating overripe apples. These days, alcohol factors into our social interactions, our most cherished cultural ceremonies, countless classic poems, songs, paintings, and plays. And save for some occasions when we sip an elixir to fulfill a religious rite, we drink alcohol for one main reason: it makes us feel good.
Charles Manson, who died November 19, famously attracted a coterie of men and women to do his bidding, which included committing a string of murders in the late-1960s. Manson is undoubtedly a fascinating figure with a complicated life story. But as someone who studies human cognition, I'm more interested in the members of the Manson “family” like Susan Atkins and Patricia Krenwinkel, and how they become drawn to leaders of cult-like organizations in the first place.