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Can Pistachios Help You Sleep?

With about 20% of the U.S. population suffering from sleep disorders, it’s no surprise there’s a wide range of sleep aids – from prescription to over-the-counter to homeopathic. But did you know that eating a small number of pistachios before you go to bed at night might help you sleep? First, some background. Our brains…

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The Art of Countersignaling

Not long after I wrote about humblebragging, a reader asked me if humblebragging was an example of countersignaling. My short answer is ‘no’ but it deserves a more nuanced explanation. Signaling is a biological concept in which information is implicitly conveyed to others. Red mushrooms signal to would-be predators that they are poisonous. Peacocks bare…

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Fun With Palindromes, Without Aibohphobia

A palindrome is a word, sentence, or number that reads the same backward or forward. It derives from the Greek palindromos (palin is “again, back” and dromos, “running”), suggesting the palindrome “runs back” on itself. Most credit author Henry Peacham for introducing the word palindrome into English in 1638. Palindromes are quite common in English, especially three letter ones: mom,…

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