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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.

New programs highlight coral bleaching, a process driven by climate change, which could destroy most coral ecosystems by 2050.

Ramin Skibba, Contributor

Mathematical model shows how fear of crime can spread even when risk is low.

Nala Rogers, Staff Writer

The same salty seawater spray that strengthened ancient Roman piers millennia ago makes modern coastal concrete constructions crumble -- here’s why.

Charles Q. Choi, Contributor

Dressmakers are exceptional at judging distances, while dentists and surgeons are no better than the rest of us.

Nala Rogers, Staff Writer

Canadians are changing how they say words -- and so are many Americans.

Joel Shurkin, Contributor

New findings suggest that a still-widespread tradition could cause increased lead levels in mothers and their children.

Teresa L. Carey, Contributor

Scientists use oceanography technology to find the wrecks of World War II aircraft.

Joel Shurkin, Contributor

Are new instruments as good as Antonio Stradivari's prized creations?

Joel Shurkin, Contributor

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