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.

Researchers designed pasta that is stored flat and morphs into shape while cooking.
Charles Q. Choi, Contributor
Reducing light pollution could be as easy as turning off a switch, but it still requires a well-coordinated effort.
Yuen Yiu, Staff Writer
Greek mythology says Icarus fell because he flew too close to the sun. What does science say?
Yuen Yiu, Staff Writer
This month in pictures
Abigail Malate, Staff Illustrator
Global study reveals microbial diversity of sourdough starters.
Rodrigo Pérez Ortega, Contributor
Modern tech helps researchers read unopened letters from more than 300 years ago.
Charles Q. Choi, Contributor
A long-accepted study on the optimal size of national legislatures faces a challenge.
Peter Gwynne, Contributor
Dark sky tourism seeks to preserve the rich storytelling history of the indigenous people before it fades away.
Yuen Yiu, Staff Writer
January brought good and bad news to start the year.
Abigail Malate, Staff Illustrator
Fossil hands help solve the puzzle of when humans gained manual dexterity.
Charles Q. Choi, Contributor
Inside Science offers thanks and recognition for scientific accomplishments during a challenging year.
Chris Gorski, Editor
Images from the end of 2020 filled with wonder, exuberance and hope.
Abigail Malate, Staff Illustrator