News from the science and technology of humans.

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

People Watching

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.



Talking White

Black people’s disdain for “proper English” and academic achievement is a myth.

Hong Kong’s Protesters Are Ridiculously Polite. That’s What Scares Beijing So Much.

The One Fact About Ebola That Should Calm You: It Spreads Slowly

Operation Backbone

How White Boy Rick, a legendary Detroit cocaine dealer, helped the FBI uncover brazen police corruption.

A Jaw-Dropping Political Ad Aimed at Young Women, Apparently

The XX Factor
Oct. 1 2014 4:05 PM Today in GOP Outreach to Women: You Broads Like Wedding Dresses, Right?

How Even an Old Hipster Can Age Gracefully

On their new albums, Leonard Cohen, Robert Plant, and Loudon Wainwright III show three ways.

How Tattoo Parlors Became the Barber Shops of Hipster Neighborhoods

This Gargantuan Wind Farm in Wyoming Would Be the Hoover Dam of the 21st Century

Oct. 1 2014 8:34 AM This Gargantuan Wind Farm in Wyoming Would Be the Hoover Dam of the 21st Century To undertake a massively ambitious energy project, you don’t need the government anymore.
  News & Politics
Oct. 1 2014 7:26 PM Talking White Black people’s disdain for “proper English” and academic achievement is a myth.
Buy a Small Business
Oct. 1 2014 11:48 PM Inking the Deal Why tattoo parlors are a great small-business bet.
Oct. 1 2014 6:02 PM Facebook Relaxes Its “Real Name” Policy; Drag Queens Celebrate
  Double X
The XX Factor
Oct. 1 2014 5:11 PM Celebrity Feminist Identification Has Reached Peak Meaninglessness
  Slate Plus
Behind the Scenes
Oct. 1 2014 3:24 PM Revelry (and Business) at Mohonk Photos and highlights from Slate’s annual retreat.
Brow Beat
Oct. 1 2014 9:39 PM Tom Cruise Dies Over and Over Again in This Edge of Tomorrow Supercut
Future Tense
Oct. 1 2014 6:59 PM EU’s Next Digital Commissioner Thinks Keeping Nude Celeb Photos in the Cloud Is “Stupid”
  Health & Science
Oct. 1 2014 4:03 PM Does the Earth Really Have a “Hum”? Yes, but probably not the one you’re thinking.
Sports Nut
Oct. 1 2014 5:19 PM Bunt-a-Palooza! How bad was the Kansas City Royals’ bunt-all-the-time strategy in the American League wild-card game?