Sorensen: Solving the Mesa Verde Mystery

Washington State University scientists, writes Eric Sorensen, are using cutting-edge methods to learn about 700-year-old technology. Archaeologists are probing decades of data from cliff dwellings in New Mexico to figure out why they were suddenly abandoned. On...

Perkowitz: Foreseeing the Criminal Future

Sidney Perkowitz—author, artist, and physics professor—explores predictive policing in an essay for Aeon. Using statistical modeling to predict where law enforcement officers might have the most impact sounds effective. But how can cities that adopt this approach,...

Peeples: Get the Lead Out

It’s in the water in Flint, MI. But Lynne Peeples also warns, in a feature for Undark magazine, that lead is also in the ground, air, and animals, including ones that humans use for food. The problem stems from lead ammunition. Lynne (@lynnepeeps) crisscrosses the...

O’Brien: Sounding It Out

We know our ABCs by sight, but could we learn them as machine-generated tones? Elle O’Brien writes about a 1930s-era project to use a machine to convert text into an audible alphabet. Try listening yourself, using the clip in Elle’s piece, as you read (in the...

Rickey: A Cloud is Born

Tom Rickey, writing for Pacific Northwest National Laboratory, tells about making a cloud in a laboratory —including a video. The lab clouds are teeny specimens, but the molecular details of their formation help environmental scientists understand the conditions that...