Tag Archives | science

The Best of Biomimicry

As the name implies, biomimicry is the discipline of designing products by mimicking phenomena that already exist in biology and nature.  The best-known example of this approach is Velcro, which was developed in the 1940s by engineer George De Mestral when he noticed burrs clinging to his dog’s fur after a walk in the woods….

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The science of subtle signals

Mark Buchanan is a theoretical physicist who writes about how physics can be used to understand biology, economics, psychology and other social sciences. His book, “The Social Atom: Why the Rich Get Richer, Cheaters Get Caught and Your Neighbor Usually Looks Like You” is a fun read in the style of The Tipping Point and Freakonomics. In an article…

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Moving to California Won’t Make You Happy

Are people happier in California? Almost everywhere I’ve visited, I’ve encountered the belief that people are happier in California. When pressed as to why, the most common explanation is weather. Since studies have shown that sunlight positively influences mood, perhaps everyone should move to CA – it might make the world a happier place. Practicality aside, it turns out…

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Swarm Intelligence

What do the Southwest Airlines boarding process and the video game Halo have in common? They both rely on swarm intelligence to improve their experience. Swarm intelligence describes the behavior of a population of simple agents whose aggregate behavior exhibits intelligence unknown to the individual agents. Groups exhibiting swarm intelligence have no central leader but…

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