Author Archives: Bob Welbaum

Why Trust Science?

Why trust Science? This has become a pertinent question, especially in the current political climate. Science has a role in so many aspects of our lives, from our jobs to our health to our environment. Yet, despite being able to time solar eclipses down to the second, there seems to be more distrust of what

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Runners’ Low

All of my friends know I run as a sport. It’s an integral part of my life, as it is for many other people. But the sport has an ugly side that is always present, but doesn’t always get the attention it deserves. I remember running with friends after work along the Santa Ana River

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How To Be Popular

Everyone wants to be popular, right? So what can you do to increase your popularity quotient? Actually, I’ve just found an article that claims your key to popularity is what you don’t do. And as a bonus, not doing these can make you happier as well as more popular! Here is a list of nine

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Why Do We Like To Be Scared

Did you have a scary Halloween? If so, how did that make you feel? A recent study published in the journal Emotion examined brain activity after a voluntary scary experience. The researchers found the experience put people better moods and with overall decreased brain activity. “We think it’s very similar… to the runner’s high experience,

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Who Are the Master Builders?

If you think humans are the most efficient at building cities and other intricate structures, you may have overlooked another species — ants. An abandoned colony of grass-cutter ants was located, and scientists decided to study it in depth. First they filled the empty chambers and passageways with concrete. Then they excavated around the concrete

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Does English have Enough Words?

How many words are there in the English language? I’ve seen estimates ranging from 400,000 to as many as a million if you count all the scientific and technical terms, although a quick Google search says the Second Edition of the 20-volume Oxford English Dictionary contains full entries for 171,476 words in current use (https://wordcounter.io/blog/how-many-words-are-in-the-english-language/). No matter who is counting, a

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Games To Play With Your Pet Rat

If you are looking for a new game to play with your pet rat, may I suggest hide-and-seek? Neuroscientist Juan Ignacio Sanguinetti of the Humboldt University of Berlin does just that. Drawing inspiration from YouTube animal videos (really!) he has taught rats to play hide-and-seek. His work was recently published in the journal Science. The

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