"Then Nate Simms did something really crazy: He snitched."

The Informant

What makes a man break the street’s code of silence and testify against his best friends?




"Smartphones, like Swiss Army knives and SkyMall watches, have a few nifty features and plenty of useless ones."

iPhones Make Lousy Dermatologists

Smartphone apps claim to provide medical help, but just how good are their diagnoses?

Salon (via Pacific Standard)



"Little is known about the human brain on technology — less than even the brain on drugs — but many social psychologists fear that so much ‘screen time’ is rewiring our neural circuitry, and not for the better."

Put Down the Laptop and Lace Up the Hiking Boots

New research reveals that we’re more focused and creative in the outdoors.

Salon (via Pacific Standard)



"The awful cost and calculus of war never changes, of course, but in the 60 years between Operation Overlord and Operation Iraqi Freedom, our understanding of the human brain, on and off the battlefield, has marched far ahead."

Who’s Most Susceptible to PTSD?

A staggering number of returning soldiers are afflicted by the disorder, yet we still don’t entirely understand it

Salon (via Pacific Standard)




"There’s no culture war like the contraception war."

What to Expect When You’re Not Expecting

Prescribing Plan B for teenage girls before they need it

Salon (via Pacific Standard)



"Roberts’ comic book begins with a bomb blast and follows three rather well-chiseled emergency doctors as they make their rounds, triaging casualties and treating wounds."

WHAM! Doctor Tries Comic Book to Boost Trauma Drug

A cheap drug could save thousands of trauma patients from bleeding to death. Why won’t doctors use it?




"What exactly is Facebook good for, anyway? Investigating the college antics of the office intern, perhaps, or reminding exes how happy you are with your new man who, ahem, just surprised you with a trip to Turks and Caicos."

Can Facebook Promote Safe Sex?

Targeting high-risk teenagers with public health initiatives

Salon (via Pacific Standard)



"Freestyling demands a particular kind of genius. Watch enough YouTube videos of rap battles at ScribbleJam, and you begin to recognize the sight of a performer lost in the creative process: the droopy eyes, the nodding head, the trance-like sway. They’ve left planet earth and entered a flow state."

What Can We Learn from Freestyle Rappers?

They may hold the secret to creativity

Salon (via Pacific Standard)



"Beware physicians—and, ahem, journalists—bearing small sample sizes and non-randomized study designs."

Can a Condiment Save Us from Strokes?

No. Only a web editor would write a link-bait hed like that. 




"Amanda Todd is an Internet sensation. Last week, her name was a trending Twitter #hashtag. A Facebook page honoring her has 590,000 “Likes.” A YouTube message she recorded to the world has been watched more than four million times. If only Amanda Todd had lived long enough to witness it."

The Death and Afterlife of Amanda Todd

A tragic suicide underscores just how easy it is for teenagers find trouble on the Web—and how hard it can be to escape the past.

Pacific Standard



"The only bit of sunshine to come out of Niger this summer, it seems, was the story of Hamadou Issaka, a swimming pool attendant who took up rowing three months before the London Olympics, trained in an old fishing boat, and finished dead last in the men’s singles sculls wearing an enormous grin on his face."

How to Save a (Nigerien) Life

The Millennium Development Goals call for an ambitious reduction in child mortality by 2015. In West Africa, Niger is sweeping away the competition. What’s its secret?

Pacific Standard



"Nerds, rejoice! It’s Nobel season — the Oscars for lab rats, peacemakers and cognoscenti alike."

And The Prize for Gluttony Goes To…

The secret to genius? It might be more chocolate

National Public Radio



"The Enga are something of a living fossil, preserved by geography and chance."

To End All Wars

What happens when a premodern society swaps axes for semiautomatic weapons?

Pacific Standard



"Our animal brains begin to treat trips to the gym as a reason to eat more than usual and veg out, with predictable results."

When Working Out Doesn’t Work

A Danish study reveals that, when it comes to working out and losing weight, unintended consequences can hamper even the best of intentions.

Pacific Standard



"In 2005, a Georgia bride-to-be faked her own kidnapping and inspired a statewide manhunt before turning up in New Mexico, the victim of nothing more than cold feet."

Veiled Doubts: New Reasons to Say “I Don’t”

Doubts before “I do” can predict unhappy marriages and even divorce, but many brides walk down the aisle anyway.

Pacific Standard