News from the science and technology of humans.

Science, technology, and life.
May 3 2005 12:01 PM

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News from the science and technology of humans.

Latest Human Nature columns: 1) No steroids in football, but let them eat steak. 2) Why pro-lifers fear the morning-after pill. 3) If steroids are cheating, why isn't LASIK? 4) Tom DeLay's mortal hypocrisy. 5) Terri Schiavo's persistent legislative state. 6) Jews vs. Catholics in the stem cell debate. 7) A plan to create an embryo-like thing. 8) The case for raising the retirement age. 9) What Larry Summers got right and wrong.

A study suggests parents protect attractive children more carefully than unattractive children. At supermarkets, attractive kids were more than three times more likely to be strapped in to the cart. Skeptics said socioeconomic status might account for the difference.

William Saletan William Saletan

Will Saletan writes about politics, science, technology, and other stuff for Slate. He’s the author of Bearing Right.


An ingredient in multivitamins may accelerate age-related mental decline. Old people who took folic acid in doses equal to or greater than the recommended daily allowance declined more rapidly than their peers did.

Transcendental meditation may prevent death from hypertension. In a study, hypertensive elderly people who used TM were 23 to 30 percent less likely to die than those who relied on other relaxation methods or drugs.

Florida mandated lifelong GPS tracking of child molesters. Proponents say GPS will assist in "warning authorities when a sex offender is someplace he shouldn't be—such as near a school" and "pinpointing of suspects if a child is abducted."

Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney filed legislation to resume executions by "relying on science." Death sentences would require "conclusive scientific evidence," an "independent scientific review," and a "no doubt" (rather than "no reasonable doubt") standard of proof.

A study found that self-reported slights of black women strongly correlate with hardening of the arteries. Researchers think the mediating variable is stress. Skeptics suggest the causation may go the other way: Cardiovascular stress makes you perceive more slights.

Hundreds of toads are exploding in Germany and Denmark. A scientist says the wounds indicate crows have pecked out the toads' livers, causing the toads to explode when they puff out in self-defense.

A zebra-donkey hybrid was born. It has a brown torso and striped legs.

Congress debated why football players are getting bigger. Some experts at a hearing blamed steroids; others blamed a selection bias for fat guys. Several warned that genetic engineering of athletes is already possible.



Blacks Don’t Have a Corporal Punishment Problem

Americans do. But when blacks exhibit the same behaviors as others, it becomes part of a greater black pathology. 

I Bought the Huge iPhone. I’m Already Thinking of Returning It.

Scotland Is Just the Beginning. Expect More Political Earthquakes in Europe.

Students Aren’t Going to College Football Games as Much Anymore

And schools are getting worried.

Two Damn Good, Very Different Movies About Soldiers Returning From War

The XX Factor

Lifetime Didn’t Think the Steubenville Rape Case Was Dramatic Enough

So they added a little self-immolation.

Medical Examiner

The Most Terrifying Thing About Ebola 

The disease threatens humanity by preying on humanity.

Lifetime Didn’t Find the Steubenville Rape Case Dramatic Enough, So They Added Self-Immolation

The Good Wife Is Cynical, Thrilling, and Grown-Up. It’s Also TV’s Best Drama.

  News & Politics
Sept. 20 2014 11:13 AM -30-
Business Insider
Sept. 20 2014 6:30 AM The Man Making Bill Gates Richer
Sept. 20 2014 7:27 AM How Do Plants Grow Aboard the International Space Station?
  Double X
The XX Factor
Sept. 19 2014 4:58 PM Steubenville Gets the Lifetime Treatment (And a Cheerleader Erupts Into Flames)
  Slate Plus
Slate Picks
Sept. 19 2014 12:00 PM What Happened at Slate This Week? The Slatest editor tells us to read well-informed skepticism, media criticism, and more.
Brow Beat
Sept. 20 2014 3:21 PM “The More You Know (About Black People)” Uses Very Funny PSAs to Condemn Black Stereotypes
Future Tense
Sept. 19 2014 6:31 PM The One Big Problem With the Enormous New iPhone
  Health & Science
Bad Astronomy
Sept. 20 2014 7:00 AM The Shaggy Sun
Sports Nut
Sept. 18 2014 11:42 AM Grandmaster Clash One of the most amazing feats in chess history just happened, and no one noticed.