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Culture

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.

Picture of a city intersection at night, as snow falls and cars travel along the roads.

Researchers used radar to provide new insight into how precipitation raises the chances of deadly car crashes.

Bailey Bedford, Contributor

A newly analyzed jawbone is the first confirmed Denisovan fossil found anywhere outside Siberia.

Charles Q. Choi, Contributor

The braided ribbon on a maypole can be analyzed using a type of math called group theory.

Catherine Meyers, Editor

Picture shows rolled joints and the components on a table

Different people respond to cannabis in different ways, making a blood THC level difficult to legislate.

Joel Shurkin, Contributor

Drought-tolerant ingredients and local sourcing of brewing containers meant the beer could flow even in tough times.

Charles Q. Choi, Contributor

Fossils from 50,000-67,000 years ago represent Homo luzonensis, discovered in a cave on the island of Luzon.

Charles Q. Choi, Contributor

New tools are creating a trend in archaeology research: excavation without digging.

Katharine Gammon, Contributor

Analysis of trash mounds shows how a regional hub collapsed after the onset of the Late Antiquity Little Ice Age.

Charles Q. Choi, Contributor

Ancestors of modern humans may have scavenged calorie-rich bone marrow from already dead animals.

Thomas Garlinghouse, Contributor

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