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Can the multiverse explain human history?

Where did this idea of parallel universes come from? Science fiction is an obvious source: in the 1960s, Captain Kirk met his ‘other self’ in a Star Trek episode called ‘Mirror, Mirror’, while Philip K Dick’s novel The Man in the High Castle (1963) imagined an alternate world in which the US was a Nazi puppet state. Since then, the idea has become mainstream, providing the image of forking paths…

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Astronaut Luca Parmitano describes near-drowning experience in space

With water already obscuring his vision, he had to turn upside down in order to release his safety cable. “Two things happen: the Sun sets, and my ability to see — already compromised by the water – completely vanishes, making my eyes useless; but worse than that, the water covers my nose — a really awful sensation that I make worse by my vain attempts to move the water by…

Quick Study: Neuroscience: Crosswords don’t make you clever

Many people think classical music is going to enhance brain function (the Mozart effect) or playing particular games sharpens ones cognitive function. These theories have been looked at in detail and they don’t stand up. It is disappointing in a way, but what we have learned is that exercise is the key thing for brain function. Doing crosswords isn’t good for your brain? It is good for improving your crossword…

Family catch and eat octopus with six tentacles during Greek vacation

I keep a silly personal blog devoted to a six-legged toy that both my kids have outgrown but which still amuses me. I sometimes use that blog, and that toy, in classroom activities, and occasionally students develop an affection for what I called a “hectopus” (combining “hexagon” with “octopus,” though I concede “hexapus” would have been a better choice). Anyway, one of my former students sent me this story about…