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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.

The futuristic ideas from the original "Star Trek" series have inspired today's technology.

Emilie Lorditch, Staff Writer

Photo of people on an escalator

Now, how to convince commuters?

Joel Shurkin, Contributor

Interpreting clues from 500-year-old book required math developed long after initial publication.

Andrew Silver, Contributor

A new algorithm may help divvy up cake without leaving anyone unsatisfied.

Andrew Silver, Contributor

Fireworks are so advanced they turn into shapes like hearts, stars and even smiley faces. But have you ever wondered how they do that?

Karin Heineman, ISTV Executive Producer

This Father's Day I celebrate the man who taught me science is a state of mind.

Catherine Meyers, Staff Writer

Lecture hall

Few undergrads will enter careers in academia, but their training is geared to it.

Erin Ross, Contributor

Iceland's long genealogical records show that you have more in common with your siblings than your parents.

Katharine Gammon, Contributor

Scientists try to uncover the brilliance of Leonardo da Vinci.

Joel Shurkin, Contributor

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