Jul/Aug 2012

The Wizard Of Oz

To Find America, Follow the Yellow Brick Road

New books, movies, and plays keep spilling out of the perennial wellspring of Oz. Each reveals a facet of that fabled land—and of the generation that produces the work.

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Silence’s Loud Goodbye

Cries for turning down the volume on Earth grow louder, but can they be heard over the din of a noise-pollution epidemic?

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From AT&T to ADHD

Too much cell phone time for mouse moms makes for brain-addled babies.

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Researchers & Discoveries: An Eye for Medicine

University of Washington bionanotechnologist Babak Parviz on medical technology that can live on a contact lens

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Mammograms: The Year of Living Dangerously?

Three years ago, a health task force sparked a heated debate when it recommended that women between 40 and 50 stop getting mammograms every year. Did timing, insurance, and emotion quash their findings?

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The Whale Wrangler: Freeing Tangled Leviathans

The world’s largest animals get snarled in every kind of sea gear that has rope—mooring lines, gillnets, shrimp pots, anchors. Scott Landry figures out how to wrestle them free.

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Have You Heard the One About the Guy with Prostate Cancer?

Should therapists be turning to football and jokes to reach a wider audience of men in need?

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Aversion to Therapy: Why Won't Men Get Help?

Research shows that men benefit from talk therapy just as much, if not more, than women. Yet most men still won't go.

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Claremont's Mission to Desegregate Religion

The Claremont School of Theology, founded 126 years ago to create Methodist ministers, has plans to train rabbis and imams alongside its Christian preachers. The alliance, Claremont administrators say, will create the nation’s first Islamic seminary, awarding the country’s first graduate degrees in Muslim leadership. But the idea has agitated people inside and outside the institution.

Lift Off

Going Ballistic: From Cold War to Commercial Space

California’s Vandenberg Air Force base has sent nearly 2,000 missiles blasting skyward. Soon, it will also send up Elon Musk’s latest—and biggest—private space rocket.

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Just Breathe: Confirming Meditation's Benefits

Plenty of followers swear by meditation to cure a long list of ails. But how does it work? Neuroscientist Clifford Saron, of the University of California, Davis, and a Who’s Who of peers, are spending millions to find out.

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Pacific Rim Trade: a Great Blue Highway Out There

The staggering, often surprising, scope of stuff being bought and sold across the Pacific.

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A State of Military Mind

To train future soldiers, the Department of Defense is using new technologies and centuries-old techniques, like yoga and meditation, to hone their minds, help them make better decisions on the battlefield, and prevent trauma.

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Prometheus Adviser Kevin Hand: Aliens’ Advance Man

When Prometheus director Ridley Scott wanted help conceiving his imaginary space creatures, he called one of NASA’s real-life ET-hunters.

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Weaponzing Mosquitoes to Fight Tropical Diseases

How scientists are fighting malaria and dengue fever by turning disease-carrying bugs into their own worst enemies.