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The unexpected science of everyday things

Science is a mirror that reveals sometimes hidden, often unexpected and always astounding insights into everyday things and human life. Here we explore everything you always wanted to know about holidays, food, art, music, books, games, TV, film, education, urban life and crime — as well as human history, archaeology and anthropology.

From traditional three-leaf shamrocks to four-leaf varieties, clovers have produced mix-ups and mysteries for generations.

Katharine Gammon, Contributor

Author Duchess Harris talks about the economic and social factors that led African-American women to work as "computers" for NASA.

Yuen Yiu, Staff Writer

The movie gives a shout-out to Euler's Method -- a centuries-old math technique. Did it really help send astronauts into orbit?

Catherine Meyers, Staff Writer

Evolutionary psychologist Gad Saad explains how the biological imperative to spread one's genes underlies our rituals of romantic love.

Nala Rogers, Staff Writer

This year's Oscar Sci-Tech awards go to new technologies that seamlessly blend virtual worlds with the real one.

Emilie Lorditch, Staff Writer

Small farmers in Vermont could benefit from research that discovered how to grow an exotic -- and lucrative -- spice during the winters.

Peter Gwynne, Contributor

Technology in optics may have helped artists throughout history to surpass their predecessors in execution, but true artistry lies in vision as well as skill.

Jason Socrates Bardi, Editor

Reanalyzed foot and handprints may date to thousands of years before many thought the roof of the world was settled.

Charles Q. Choi, Contributor

Physics Today magazine features a special article this month examining science stereotypes in the popular TV show

Jason Socrates Bardi, Editor

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